In many industrial applications, non-contact and non-destructive surface profile measurements are frequently required. The projection grid method is one of the available methods that fulfills the above needs. It is based on the principle of triangulation, hence simple in computation. It has the advantage of full field measurement without any scanning optics. To increase the sensitivity, phase shifting techniques are incorporated. It improves the sensitivity to 1/100th of a fringe. However an accurate positioning device is required to shift the grating. Traditional systems use mechanical devices, for example a translation stage, to perform the shifting. Due to hysteresis, backlash and wear, inaccurate shift such as unequal or incomplete shift often results leading to undesirable errors. This paper describes a phase shifting digital projection system that solves the above problem. The conventional physical grating is replaced by a computer generated grating. A computer generated grating is projected onto the test object via an LCD projector. Complete shifting of grating is performed by computer software. Besides the system is very flexible. It has the advantage of variable type and pitch of grating. In this paper, the system hardware is described in detail, followed by a performance analysis and experiments.© (1994) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.