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I want to be able to tweak a raster to be exactly 1mtr cell size during export to bmp or tif. at the moment it's approx 1.19

In Global Mapper the process is clear - I would just simply change the 'Sample spacing' to '1' on X and Y axis:

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I can see QGIS reference it as Pixel Size:

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I've looked at 'Align Raster' - but that seems to require resampling the current raster to a new raster layer and for some reason it seemed to mess with the output raster more than i'd like (darkened).

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Is there any way to change cell size within a gdalwarp (clip) process?

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I don't think you want the "Align Rasters" function. (And gdalwarp is not clip) Your question mentions resampling, and in order to change the pixel size you have to do resampling; No way around that. It does "mess" with the data, but that's the consequence of resampling.

gdalwarp is indeed the right tool for the job. You can both resample and clip to some defined extent in one go. The resample resolution is set with the -tr 1.0 1.0 command line option. In the GUI window you set the "Output file resolution" parameter.

It's not clear what you meant by "(darkening)". The display colors of the raster are totally separate from the resampling procedure.

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