How to Turn off Snapping in Photoshop

When you’re working on complex Photoshop projects with multiple layers, snapping is one of the most useful features available. It can save you lots of time, but more importantly, it can save you lots of frustration! 

But snapping isn’t always beneficial. For example, when you’re cropping an image, precision matters – especially when you’re working close to the edges of your document. But of course, that’s when Photoshop decides to “help” and immediately snaps the edge of your crop outline to the document edge.

If snapping is stopping you from positioning your image elements exactly where you want them, you can toggle snapping on and off using the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + ; or use Ctrl + Shift + ; if you’re using Photoshop on a PC. (That’s a semicolon, in case it’s hard to see).

Fortunately, Photoshop offers a lot of control over how snapping works. You can choose to disable it entirely, or you can choose which specific image elements are snappable. They’re all controlled in a single spot: the View menu. 

The View menu controls all your snapping options in Photoshop

To toggle snapping to a particular interface element, simply click the corresponding item in the Snap To submenu. A checkmark means Photoshop will snap to that element.

There are also a couple of special cases where you can temporarily disable snapping without having to use the keyboard shortcut to disable snapping completely. 

When using the Move tool or the Crop tool, you can hold down the Ctrl key to temporarily disable snapping. 

However, this keyboard shortcut is a bit different than most: it’s actually the same for PC and Mac. Most PC/Mac shortcuts swap the ‘Ctrl’ key found on PC keyboards for the ‘Command’ key used on Mac keyboards, but in this case, you’ll have to use the Ctrl or Control key on both operating systems. 

It’s also important to note that you have to press the Ctrl/Control keyboard shortcut after you’ve already begun to click and drag using the mouse, or you’ll get a very different result. 

I realize that a lot of these keyboard shortcuts and commands can be a bit overwhelming when you’re first learning Photoshop, but they really are worth learning. You’ll find yourself working much faster and much more intuitively once you get used to them, so practice, practice, practice!

About Thomas Boldt
Thomas started his Photoshop career way back in 2000. After exploring Photoshop 5.5 in a high school computer lab, he developed an enduring passion for photography, design, and technology that carried him through a Bachelor of Design degree and into the wild world of tech startups.

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