by Julieanne Kost
When working with the Vector tools (drawing a Shape layer for example) Photoshop CS6 has a new preference to Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid. This option can be extremely helpful when creating objects that need solid, straight edges as it prevents drawing shapes that aren’t fully aligned to a pixel and are therefore created with anti-aliased edges.
This illustration demonstrates three options, the first shape was drawn with the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference turned on and, as a result, all sides of the rectangle are solid (remember, even though the initial rectangle shape might not have been drawn in perfect alignment to the pixel grid, Photoshop automatically snapped the rectangle to that grid because the preference was turned on).
The middle illustration was drawn with the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference turned off. This resulted in anti-aliased edges (varying levels of opacity) because the rectangle (the vector path) was not perfectly aligned to a pixel edge when the rectangle was drawn.
The final illustration is the same rectangle as in the second illustration, however the Align Edges option was enabled for the rectangle shape layer (in the Options bar) after drawing the rectangle. Enabling the Align Edges option “jumped” the edges of the rectangle to the nearest pixel grid (you can still see that the original shape (path) is not aligned to the pixel grid, but the fill is being forced to Align Edges to the edges of the pixel grid. Align Edge is a good way to align objects on a “per shape layer” basis if you want to turn off the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference .
However, I expect that most people will leave the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference turned on as it will help to avoid anti-aliased edges when drawing shapes as well as transforming them making alignment clean and precise.