Decoration or trimming cut from one piece of fabric and stitched to another to add dimension and texture. Designs with appliqué can be more economical than embroidery alone, if appliqué occupies a significant amount of the design, thereby lowering stitch count.


Continuous embroidery which covers all of the goods from selvage to selvage.


A software technique similar to dithering which is used to soften hard outlines where color blocks intersect. It produces smoother outlines by 'blurring' the pixels where colors join.

Appliqué cutter

A device that can cut fabric along a line, somewhat like old pen plotters. It requires a vector file as input. In MS Windows they can be set up as a type of printer devic


Bitmap or vector graphic used as a backdrop for digitizing. See also Bitmap image and Vector graphic.

Auto Center

Auto Center automatically centers the start and end points of a design.

Automatic color change

Ability of multi-needle embroidery machine to follow a command to change to a specified needle with a different thread color.

Automatic pull compensation

Embroidery stitches pull the fabric inwards where the needle penetrates. This can cause the fabric to pucker, and gaps to appear in the embroidery. Automatic pull compensation counters this effect by 'overstitching' outlines of filled shapes on the sides where the needle penetrates. This means the design can be optimized for different fabrics. See also Pull compensation.


Back appliqué

A fabric piece used behind a design where the front fabric will be cut away to reveal the fabric beneath it.


An electronic image used as a guide for digitizing designs on-screen. Two types are used – vector or bitmap. Insert them from various file sources, or copy and paste them via the Windows clipboard.


The area inside the hoop in the design window. The background color can be changed to match the color of the fabric you will be using for stitchout.


The copying of files onto floppy disk or other storage media in order to duplicate and secure data. Usually two copies are made and kept separately.


The notional line on which the letters of an alphabet sit. Only descenders extend below it. Baselines determine the shape of lettering objects in a design. Place it on straight horizontal or vertical lines, curve it around a circle or arc, or digitize your own baselines.

Baseline Angle

The baseline angle determines the absolute angle of the baseline relative to the horizontal axis. You use it to align letters to a significant part of the design.


An electronic image made up of dots or 'pixels' in contrast to vector 'outlines' Typically created in paint programs, bitmaps have file extensions such as BMP, JPG, GIF, TIF and PCX. When enlarged or scaled down, vector graphics preserve image quality while bitmap images generally cause problems of pixelation and image degradation. See also Pixels.


Windows bitmap image format.


Spool or reel that holds the bobbin thread, which helps form stitches on the underside of the fabric.

Border objects

The Satin Line tool creates borders and outlines using Satin stitch. Typically it is used for columns and borders of fixed width with larger shapes. Collectively these objects are known as Satin Line objects.



A way of arranging open windows on the desktop so that they overlap each other, with the title bar of each window remaining visible.


A temporary storage area in PC memory for what was last cut or copied. Images on the Clipboard can be pasted into designs any number of times.

Color depth

Color depth, also called 'pixel depth' refers to the amount of color information available to each pixel in an image. An image with a color depth of 1-bit can display only two colors. As the color depth increases, more colors are available ・16 Colors (4 bit), 256 Colors (8 bit), High Color (16 bit), True Color (24 bit).

Color palette

The color palette contains a selection of thread colors tailored for each design. This color scheme, or 'colorway' represents the actual thread colors in which a design will be stitched. See also Thread chart.


An instruction issued to the software in order to carry out an action. It may be as simple as 'paste an object' or as complex as 'regenerate stitches' It is usually activated via a menu item, toolbar icon, or command button in a dialog.

COM port

A standard serial port used as a connection point for peripherals. Other ports may be present if the appropriate internal option cards have been installed. The computer must be informed which port is being used by which peripheral ・e.g. COM1, COM2, etc.

Condensed file

See Outline file.


The size and type of computer hardware. Can also be used to mean the options provided with your software.

Connector stitches

Connector stitches link objects in a design. They can be run stitches or jumps. You can use automatic settings to generate connectors, trims and tie-offs, or add them manually.

Control points

Control points are used to modify object shapes, stitch angles and entry and exit points. You can change the shape of an object by moving, adding or deleting control points on the outline. For most objects, you can also change control points from corner points to curves.


To place a copy of a selection onto the Clipboard. See also Duplicate.

Cover stitch

The cover stitch is the Satin border around an appliqué shape. You can change the width of the cover stitch, and offset it to the inside or outside of the digitized outline.


An embroidered motif like an emblem, an insignia or a Coat of Arms.


Regular Bean stitch movements that cross at the center to form an X. Laid in rows or within a box shape to form geometric designs. Creates a handmade appearance.


An editing function. To remove a selection from a design. The cut selection is stored in memory (on the 'Clipboard') and can be pasted into the same or different design.


Default values

Pre-defined settings which determine object properties such as stitch spacing, as well as certain system settings. These are stored in the design template. They remain "current' unless you override them with new settings. See also Object properties and Current property settings.


See Stitch density or Thread density.


A 'design' is a file in the native embroidery format - e.g. EMB, JAN, ART - of embroidery digitizing software. The design source may be a stitch format design. The design contains stitching information such as fabric type in addition to stitched shapes.

Design card

Disk containing computerized embroidery designs read by the embroidery machine's computer.

Design properties

Designs themselves have properties, some of which can be modified, others not. The most important design property is its source ・Native Design, Imported Outlines, Processed Stitches, or Imported Stitches. Other properties include the software version number, stitch count, and so on.

Design sequence

See Stitching sequence.

Design Window

The Design Window is where designs are displayed for viewing and modification.


MS Windows terminology for the screen background on which program icons are displayed.

Destination folder

The folder (directory) where you intend to copy or move one or more files.


An outline, a border, a pickout run, or a small area of the design you want to be stitched out last when using Click-to-Design.

Diagonal backstitch

The backward rows are diagonal, directly connecting the forward rows. Diagonal backstitch is suitable for turning shapes, and gives good results with Jagged Edge. See also Backstitch.


An on-screen box that either requests or provides information. Many dialogs present options to choose among before a command is carried out. Some dialogs present warnings or explain why a command cannot be completed.


Usually refers to the person punching or digitizing the design. Digitizer can also refer to the digitizing tablet used by the digitizer. See also Digitizing tablet.


Process of encoding a design. Artwork is converted into a series of 'embroidery objects' to be read and manipulated by a specialist CAD/CAM application. Before outputting to embroidery machine, it is converted into 'stitch data'. See also Punching.

Digitizing tool

Digitizing tools, sometimes referred to as 'input methods' are similar to drawing tools except that the end result is an embroidery object rather than a vector object. Different digitizing tools are suited to creating different shapes or design elements. 

Disk drive

Computers usually have three types of disk drive: a hard disk (or fixed disk) which usually supports the mass storage of information and applications, a floppy disk drive, and a CD ROM drive.


A screen used to display the output of a computer. Also known as the monitor.


A software technique which combines existing colors in a checkerboard arrangement of pixels. It is typically used to simulate colors that are missing from an image palette. A type of optical illusion created by placing two pixels of different color next to each other. The human eye automatically resolves the two colors into a third color.


A security hardware device required to run protected software. Some are attached to a parallel port, others to a USB port.

Dots Per Inch (DPI)

A measurement of screen or printer resolution; the number of dots in a line of 1".


The process of transferring a copy of a file from a remote computer or the internet to a computer or other device such as an embroidery machine.


An operation of the mouse. Holding the (left) mouse button while moving the mouse. Typically used for moving something on the screen.

Drawing package

Software application that creates or allows you to edit vector graphics made up of separate individual vector objects. Vector graphics can be scaled with no loss of sharpness. Examples of vector editing programs are Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand and Corel Draw. See also Graphics application.

Dropdown list

A single-line dialog box control that opens to display a list of choices.


When an object is duplicated, it is not copied to the Clipboard. This leaves the Clipboard free for you to cut or copy other objects.


Edge Run underlay

Edge Run underlay places stitches around the edge of an object. Use Edge Run together with the Zigzag or Tatami underlays when digitizing large shapes.


Changing aspects of a design via a computerized editing program. Most programs allow you to scale designs up or down, edit stitch-by-stitch or block-by-block, merge lettering with the design, move aspects of the design around, combine designs and insert or edit machine commands.


Embroidered design with a finished edge, applied to a garment after stitching, commonly an insignia of identification. Also known as a 'crest' or 'patch'.


Decorative stitching on fabric. Generally involves non-lettering designs, but can also include lettering and/or monograms. Evidence of embroidery exists during the reign on Egyptian pharaohs, in the writings of Homer and from the Crusaders of the 12th century. Has evolved from hand-work to manual sewing machines and from hand-looms and Schiffli machines with hundreds of needles to high-speed, computerized multihead machines.


Enhanced Metafile vector graphic format.

Entry point

The entry point is the point where the thread enters the embroidery object. This should coincide with the exit point of the preceding object.

Exit point

The exit point is the point where thread leaves the embroidery object. This should coincide with the entry point of the next object.


Stitch or 'expanded' file format native to Melco machines.

Expanded file format

See Stitch file.



Fabrics have many properties, the main one being elasticity or 'fabric stretch' Surface texture, if present, is another property that requires different underlay types. The system can automatically compensate for the pull-push effect of different fabrics. Push, warping, and shearing are reduced by suitable underlay for the stitch type and fabric.

Fabric settings

Pre-defined fabric settings include settings for all full-coverage stitch types. For each stitch type, spacing is preset. Additionally, the quality effects of pull compensation and underlay are also preset for each stitch type. Decorative effects are not affected when fabric setting are changed.

Fabric stretch

Embroidery stitches pull the fabric inwards where the needle penetrates. This can cause the fabric to pucker, and gaps to appear in the embroidery. Use automatic pull compensation to counter this effect by 'overstitching' outlines of filled shapes.

Factory settings

These are the initial system settings as installed. They are a standard known setting that you can return to. Some customers want to create custom settings tailored to the exact fabric they are using most frequently. The "My Fabric' settings are those retained in the design and can be saved to the template file.


A named collection of specifically related information stored on a disk. Designs that have been saved are stored as files.

File extension

The dot and three letters at the end of a filename such as '.BMP' The extension identifies the file as a certain type, readable by certain applications.

Fill stitch

Series of running stitches commonly used to cover large areas. Different fill patterns can be created by altering the angle, length and repeat sequence of the stitches. Also known as Geflect stitch.


Processes done after embroidery is completed. Includes trimming loose threads, cutting or tearing away excess backing, removing facing or topping, cleaning any stains, pressing or steaming to remove wrinkles or hoop marks and packaging for sale or shipment.

Fixed Line baseline

A Fixed Line baseline has a fixed length which you can digitize or specify numerically. If the text is longer, the letter spacing is decreased and the letters may overlap. The letter width is not changed. With Fixed Line, you need to mark two points to define the base. See also Baseline.


Up and down motion of fabric under action of the needle, so named because of its resemblance to a waving flag. Often caused by improper framing of goods. Flagging may result in poor registration, unsatisfactory stitch formation and birdnesting.

Floppy disk

A flexible disk permanently sealed in a square plastic jacket - e.g. HD/DD 3.5" floppy disk. Used for information storage 'off-line' for security and/or infrequently used data. Also used for transferring punched embroidery design (stitch file) data from computer to embroidery machine.


A collection of files and sub-folders that are stored together on a disk. Part of structure for organizing files on a disk.


 A set of characters, including letters, numbers and other typographic symbols, of the same design and style. Also called Alphabet, even if it includes non-letter characters.


Gradient Fill

An artistic stitch effect that gradually varies stitch spacing between dense and open fill along an embroidery object, producing shading and color effects which are difficult to achieve manually.

Graphics application

Software application that creates or allows you to edit bitmap images and/or vector graphics. See also Paint package and Drawing package.


A grayscale picture is made up of 254 different shades of gray, plus solid black and solid white for a total of 256 different tones. Black and white photographs are grayscale.


Grid lines provide visual cues to help you accurately place a design. When you start the software for the first time, grid lines appear by default.

Guide run

Series of stitches used to align embroideries in multi-hooping situations or to assist in fabric placement for appliqué It is the first appliqué layer stitched and is used to position the appliqué fabric on the background material. See also Appliqué.


Hard disk

A device for mass information storage. Usually the disk is fixed inside the system unit, and a second hard disk can be added. When you store information on the hard disk it will remain there until you delete it. As it has a finite capacity, file management is required.


Computer componentry, including monitor, keyboard, digitizing tablet, printer, scanner, sewing machine, etc.

Heirloom embroidery

Embroidered goods designed to be passed down from generation to generation.


Device made from wood, plastic or steel used to tightly grip fabric and stabilizer between an inner and outer ring. Designed to hold fabric taut against the machine bed for embroidering, it attaches to machine's frame.


Image preparation

Method of improving or clean up artwork. Outlined and non-outlined images require different methods of preparation. Cleaning up scanned images may involve any one or a combination of the following techniques: reducing the number of colors, adding or emphasizing outlines, removing noise, dithering or anti-aliasing, eliminating unnecessary detail, cropping sections or eliminating backgrounds.



JPEG file interchange bitmap image format.


A frame or hoop movement without a needle penetration, commonly used to get from one point in a design to another.




Lacework involves the use of threads to produce overall embroidery of full-length fabrics. Most often used to embellish women's apparel and home fashions. Such work typically uses boring. It is the most widely used application for Schiffli machines.


An arrangement of multiple embroidery designs placed in a user-defined area.


Embroidery using letters or words. Lettering commonly called 'keyboard lettering' may be created from pre-defined alphabet styles or fonts, allowing variance of size, height, spacing, density and other characteristics.

Line art

A drawing with only two colors - usually black and white.


Commonly referred to as a lock-down or tack-down stitch, a lock stitch is formed by three or four consecutive stitches of at least a 10-point movement. It should be used at the end of all columns, fills and at the end of any element in your design where jump stitches will follow, such as color changes or the end of a design. May be stitched in a triangle, star or in a straight line. Lock stitch is also the name of the type of stitch formed by the hook and needle of home sewing machines, as well


Name, symbol or trademark of a company or organization. Short for logotype.


Loops on the surface of embroidery generally caused by poor top tension or tension problems. Typically occurs when polyester top thread has been improperly tensioned.


Manual object

When you open a stitch format file without outline recognition, it becomes a single 'manual' object. This object type consists of a series of needle penetration points and has only general and connector properties. When you transform (scale, rotate, mirror) a manual object, the original stitch density does not change.

Max/Min stitch length

The minimum and maximum stitch lengths allowable in a design determine the outside limits as measured between needle penetration points. They are governed by the minimum and maximum frame movements that the machine can make.

Maximize button

For Windows, the small box in the center of the group of three at the right of the title bar. Click the Maximize button to enlarge a window to its maximum size.


The place in the computer's system unit that stores information while you are working with it. If you exit without saving information in memory, it will be lost.

Minimize button

For Windows, the small box to the left of the group of three at the right of the title bar. Click the Minimize button to reduce a window to its minimum size.

Minimum stitch length

The minimum movement of the hoop. It is measured between needle penetration points. See also Max/Min stitch.


Duplication of an object in the Y and/or X axis. The location and orientation of the mirrored stitches are determined by location and angle of the axis of reflection relative to the position of the original stitches.


 Unit to telegraphically send computer information from one computer to another.


The screen on which punching or stitching progress can be followed, stitch by stitch.


Embroidered design composed of one or more letters, usually the initials of a name.


Pre-defined design elements, such as hearts, leaves or border patterns, that can be quickly inserted into a design. Motifs generally consist of one or more simple objects, and are stored in a special motif set.

Motif Fill

Motif Fill is a decorative fill stitch with which you can fill Parallel Fill objects. You can also create special or three dimensional effects.

Motif Run

Motifs which are linked together along a digitized line. You can create decorative outlines using any motif from the list. 


A device, equipped with control buttons and designed to roll about on the table next to the keyboard. As the mouse moves, its circuits relay signals that move a pointer on the screen.



A fuzzy or downy surface of fabric covering either one side or both, produced by brushing loosely twisted yarns.

Native file format

A design saved in the original format of the application you are working with is said to be the 'native' file format. It can also refer to the stitch file format required by a specific embroidery machine. When saved to another format, it is known as a non-native format.


Small, slender piece of steel with a hole for thread and a point for piercing fabric. A machine needle differs from a handwork needle; the machine needle; eye is found at its pointed end. Machine embroidery needles come with sharp points for piercing heavy, tightly woven fabric; ball points which glide between fibers of knit; and variety of specialty points, such as wedge points, which are used for leather.

Needle addressing

Some machines support 'needle addressing'. Needle numbers correspond to slots in the color palette. Each color in the design corresponds to a needle number. Older multi-needle machines simply move to the next needle whenever a Color Change function is encountered. In either case, the machine must have the correct thread colors loaded for each needle to stitch out correctly.

Needle in/needle out function

The Needle In and Needle Out functions instruct the machine whether or not to use needle penetrations. You can enter these functions automatically using the Penetrations tool.

Needle points

You can view needle points in a design to check density or, for instance, to select stitches for editing.


Nesting lets you create or insert an object at an exact point of the stitching sequence. You can 'nest' an object in the middle of another object's stitching sequence to prevent long connectors being generated.


To link embroidery machines via a central computer and disk-drive system, usually via a modem or network card. A group of machines linked via a central computer.

Noise filtering

Noise filtering means restoring the solid color blocks of original artwork in scanned images. This is achieved by merging different shades into one solid color. Noise filtering is important for automatic digitizing because it makes it easier for the software to identify solid color blocks which become embroidery objects in the resulting design. It also cleans up blurred or mottled areas of color.

NORMAL template

The NORMAL template is the default template supplied with the software. It contains current property settings as well as a selection of preset styles. These styles include variations on the current property settings. For example, and contains different stitch spacing settings for Satin stitches. You can view and modify the settings for these styles at any time. See also Templates.


Object outline

See Outline file.

Object recognition

See Outline recognition.


In computer science, 'objects' are regarded as any discrete item that can be selected and manipulated, such as an onscreen graphic. In object-oriented programming, objects include data and the procedures necessary to operate on that data. See also Embroidery objects.

Object type

An object has a type, shape, thread type and color, stitching settings and a position in the stitching order. The object type may or may not determine the intended final appearance of the stitching.


Options provide software with extra functionality that can be purchased by registered owners of the product.


A grouped embroidery design which may consist of one or more objects of any type and one or more colors. Ornaments may be placed in up to eight positions around letters, or centered behind letters.

Outline file

Outline or 'condensed' files are high-level formats which contain object outlines, object properties and stitch data. When you open an outline file in the software, corresponding stitch types, input methods and effects are applied. Outline files can be scaled, transformed and reshaped without affecting stitch density or quality. See also Stitch file.

Outline stitch

Overall embroidery is embroidery which covers the entire fabric. This includes lacework where the backing fabric is actually removed after manufacture. Overall embroidery is typical of Schiffli manufacture, less common with Multihead.

Overview window

Use the Overview window to view a thumbnail of the design. The window is updated whenever you make a change, and can be used to zoom in or pan across the design window. 


Paint package

Software application that creates or allows you to edit image files. You can create lines and filled areas as well as edit the image pixel-by-pixel using paintbrushes, erasers and spraypaint tools. Examples of image editing programs are Adobe Photoshop, Jasc PaintShop Pro and Corel PHOTO-PAINTョ. See also Graphics application.


Use Pan to view parts of a design which are not currently visible in the design window. 

Parallel port

A connection on a computer, usually LPT1, where you plug in the cable for a parallel printer and/or a dongle. Parallel ports are used to connect some embroidery machines. They are named LPT1, LPT2, etc. When you set up a parallel machine connection, select the parallel port and the required protocol, and complete the machine setup procedure.

Partial appliqué

Technique to create appliqué objects with partial cover stitching to create an overlapping effect without doubling-up borders.


To insert an object, which has previously been placed on the clipboard by cutting or copying selected objects, into a design. You can paste from the clipboard as many times as you like.


PAT is a Saurer SHC file type.


The fabric piece use in appliqué.


The composite of pieces sewn together to form a large piece, such as a quilt.

Patchwork block

A collection of patches sewn together, usually forming a regular shape such as a rectangle. These are then sewn together to make a quilt.


The design, card, punching, tape, disc, or enlargement.

Pattern outline

See Motif Run.

Pause function

The Pause function is a conditional Stop, always on an empty stitch. It is interpreted by the machine according to the machine operator preferences.


Gunold Outline Design or 'condensed' file format.


PC Paintbrush bitmap image format.


Portable Document Format. Used to view the Online Manual in Acrobat Reader.

Pencil rub

Low-cost way of producing an embroidery design sample. Consists literally of a piece of tracing paper placed over a stitchout and rubbed lightly with a pencil to produce an impression of the embroidery.


The Needle In and Needle Out functions instruct the machine whether or not to use needle penetrations. You can enter these functions automatically using the Penetrations tool.


Any device connected to a computer which is to some degree controlled by the computer - e.g. an embroidery machine or printer.


The business of sewing patches together into patchwork blocks.


A dot. For example, dots of light that make up the image on a computer screen. The more pixels in a given area - that is, the smaller and closer together they are - the higher the resolution.


An effect which occurs when a bitmap image is enlarged so that the individual pixels are obvious to the eye.

Placement lines

See Guide runs.


PMU is a Proel stitch or 'expanded' file format.


Portable Network Graphics vector graphic format.


Unit of measurement, with 10 points equal to 1 mm.


A part of the screen display, the pointer can take various shapes. It is moved by moving the mouse and can be used to point to anything on the screen to make selections and indicate points for input. It also indicates when the computer is working and no input is possible.


A connection on a computer where you plug in the cable that carries data to another device. Ports which are used to attach peripherals have names like COM1 or LPT1 so that you can specify where the peripherals are attached.


The Process feature lets you adjust the density of one or more stitch types across the whole or selected parts of a design. Change stitch density in order to stitch on a different fabric or with a different thread. Alternatively, you may want to make production cheaper by reducing the overall stitch count. Processing a stitch file is similar to converting it to an outline file when opening except that you can process only selected objects or stitches. 

Processed stitches

Designs read from stitch or 'expanded' files where stitches have been regenerated by processing.

Production worksheet

The production worksheet is the link between the designer and the embroidery machine operator. It contains a design preview as well as essential production information, including the design size, the color sequence and any special instructions.


A computer program or 'application' is generally used for a particular kind of work, such as word processing or database management.


The communications protocol depends on the connection type between the computer and the embroidery machine. This will be one of: standard serial, parallel, serial to parallel converted (DCi), or interface card.


Postscript vector format.


Result of the fabric being gathered by the stitches. Many possible causes include incorrect density, loose hooping, lack of backing, incorrect tension or dull needle.

Pull compensation

Digitizing technique that takes into account the distortion of a design that will occur because of the interaction of thread with fabric. 'Push and pull' will cause a circle digitized perfectly round to sew with the sides pushed out, resulting in an egg shape. Generally, it is necessary to extend horizontal elements and reduce vertical elements. See also Automatic pull compensation.


When any stitch is sewn into fabric, the tension in the thread between needle penetrations can build up and result in a 'push-pull' effect. This can cause distortions in your sewn designs, poor stitch registration and even the bunching of the fabric. The degree of distortion can be affected by the following factors: stitch density, fabric type, underlay, backing type, thread type and garment orientation. See also Stitch-Pull.



In general, the process of making a quilt; in specific, the stitching of patterns into the quilt layers to add strength and decoration to the quilt - top, batting and backing -- to form decorative patterns on the surface of the quilt and to hold the layers together. 



Random Access Memory, computer chip maintaining memory.

Raster image

See Bitmap image.


To open a design which has been written on a design card or to an embroidery machine.


A device that allows you to download/upload designs to and from a design card. Cards can be purchased from your dealer or from designers on the net. Cards can have designs on them or are blank for you to read/write from/to. The cards are inserted into the embroidery module attached to a sewing machine. The R/W will allow you to have the PC and sewing machine quite separate from one another.


The screen display is refreshed. This is useful when parts of the display have become obscured in the course of editing. See also Slow Redraw.

Reference point

A point that can be aligned with the grid. For example, you can set the grid reference point to the design center. This is easier and faster than moving the whole design. 


Correct registration is achieved when all stitches and design elements line up correctly.

Relative Pointer Setting

This setting shows the pointer position as an absolute value from the first needle point of the design. Useful for checking that the design fits a given area.


Layout used for making emblems or designs on a fabric span that are repeated at regular intervals. The design repeat is defined by the distance between needles - the point at which the design repeats itself.


Resolution determines the number of dots per inch (dpi) used to create an image. The higher the value, the clearer the image, but the more storage space required. A resolution of 75 dpi generally produces good results.


RGB stands for red, green, and blue. It is the system used by computer monitors to create color.

Rotation handles

When you select an object, selection handles display at its extremities. If you click the object again, rotation and skew handles appear around the object. Rotation handles appear at the corners of the object and an anchor point displays at the object's center. Skew handles are diamond-shaped and appear at the center-top and bottom of the object. See also Selection handles.

RPM functions

RPM +/- functions instruct the machine to increase or decrease machine speed in increments from current or normal.

Run stitch

Run stitch, also known as 'Walk stitch', places a single row of stitches along a digitized line. The needle penetrations are placed in consecutive order. Run is generally used for stitching outlines and connector stitches. Run stitch length can be set to automatically vary in order to follow tight curves.



A fabric strip that separates blocks in a setting, framing them and making the quilt larger.

Satin stitch

Type of fill stitch. Formed by closely arranged zigzag stitches, it can be stitched at any angle and with varying lengths. The thread is laid across a shape with a zigzag sewing action where two stitches form a column. Hence it is only suitable for small or narrow shapes. As the stitches are almost parallel, Satin provides good coverage. It is often used for lettering, outlining, and details. Because there are generally no needle penetrations breaking up the fill, Satin stitch creates a glossy e


Ability to enlarge or reduce a design. In expanded format, most scaling is limited to 10 to 20%, because the stitch count remains constant despite final design size. In condensed formats, on the other hand, scale changes may be more dramatic, because stitch count and density may be varied.

Scale factor

This option allows you to automatically scale CND designs as you load them. For example, to scale the imported design to 120% of the original, you would enter a scale factor of 1.2.


Ability to enlarge or reduce a design in size. In stitch or 'expanded' format, most scaling is limited to ±5% because the stitch count remains constant despite final design size. In outline or 'condensed' formats, scale changes may be more dramatic because stitch count and density are recalculated.


A device that converts physical images into digital form so that they can be stored and manipulated by computer. Scanning allows you to take scanned images as a basis for embroidery design.

Scanning resolution

Most scanners require you to enter scanning resolution information. Resolution determines the number of dots per inch (dpi) used to create a drawing. The higher the value, the clearer the image but larger the file. For digitizing purposes, use a maximum resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch). A resolution of 72 dpi (screen resolution) will usually be sufficient. Generally speaking, the smaller the source image and/or more detail it contains, the higher the resolution needs to be.

Screen printing

Screen printing is a more complex process than direct-to-garment, requiring the creation of a screen for each of the spot colors (Pantone) that make up the design. There may be multiple screens for each spot color, depending on how the design is layered. See also Direct-to-garment printing.

Screen resolution

See Pixels.

Scroll bar

The bar at the bottom and right edge of a window whose contents are not entirely visible. Each scroll bar contains a small box, called a scroll box, and two scroll arrows to allow different types of scrolling.

Security device

See Dongle.


Filled embroidery objects are generally built as several discrete 'segments'. Travel runs are typically used to connect them. All segments, however, form part of the same object. Where they meet, the push-pull effect on the fabric during stitchout may cause gaps to appear.

Selection handles

Eight small squares that appear symmetrically at the corners and edges of a selected object. Use them to position and resize objects. See also Rotation handles.

Selection marquee

The dotted rectangle that appears when you select a range of items. See also Bounding box.

Serial port

A connection point on a computer where you plug a serial communications device such as a modem. PC serial COM ports are male connectors, and can be either 9-pin or 25-pin. They are named COM1, COM2, COM3, etc. The number of available ports limits the number of devices you can connect. If additional ports are required, you can add them. Multi-port serial cards can also be used.

Serial port setup

Here you can adjust Baud, Data Bits, Stop Bits, Parity values. These settings must be identical to those of the embroidery machine. The type of handshaking must match the type of cable you are using.


In typography, serifs are semi-structural elements on the ends of strokes that make up letters and symbols. A typeface that has serifs is called a serif typeface. A typeface without serifs is called sans-serif.

Shortcut key

A key stroke or a series of keystrokes you can use to perform a task instead of using the mouse. For example, Ctrl+C actions the Copy command.

Short stitch

Digitizing technique that places shorter stitches in curves and corners to avoid an unnecessarily bulky build-up of stitches.

Small stitches

Use the Small Stitch Filter to remove unwanted small stitches from a design automatically.

Specialty threads

Threads designed for effects such as shine, glitter, iridescence or thickness. The threads often are made from synthetic materials including rayon, mercerized cotton, metallics and textured nylon.


Stitches per inch; system for measuring density or the number of Satin stitches in an inch of embroidery.


See Backing.

Standard backstitch

The rows are approximately parallel, with every backstitch row slightly shorter than the forward row. Because the rows are different lengths, there are fewer small stitches at the edge of the shape, reducing possible damage to the fabric. Standard backstitch is suitable for high density fills. See also Backstitch.

Standard Contour

Standard Contour creates rows of stitches across the shape, perpendicular to the digitized stitch angle. The number of stitch lines is constant, so the stitching is denser where the shape is narrower, and more open where the shape is wider. See also Contour stitch.

Start/End Boring Tension functions

See Boring Tension functions.

Status bar

Provides information about the whole design: number of stitches, position of the design (X, Y), number of colors (C), number of stops (S), etc.


Gunold stitch or 'expanded' file format.


A detail stitch that can be used to outline items or fill in areas. It is used for stems and vines with other decorative stitches, or as an outline for Satin or Motif fills.


A method of creating a fill made of run stitches which meander around within a border. Often used in quilting.


A stitch is one needle penetration; also used to refer to the thread laid down from one needle penetration to the next.

Stitch angle

The stitch angle is the angle the overall stitching follows within a shape. The shape may have a fixed stitch angle - e.g. 45° to the horizontal - or multiple stitch angles.

Stitch bunching

Standard stitch spacing is calculated at the outside edge of a shape. With sharp curves, spacing which provides adequate coverage on the outside edge may cause bunching along the inside edge. This may cause thread breakage when stitching out.

Stitch count

Stitch count refers to the number of stitches in a design. In the software, one stitch is considered one machine revolution. See also Design properties.

Stitch density

The number of stitches per given area (or stitch lines per distance in a fill).

Stitch editing

Digitizing feature that allows one or more stitches in a pattern to be deleted or altered.

Stitch file

Stitch or 'expanded' designs are low-level formats for direct use by embroidery machines. They contain only stitch coordinates and machine functions. Stitch designs are generally not suited to scaling because stitches are not regenerated during rescaling. See also Outline file.

Stitching defects

Stitching defects may appear in the form of gaps between filled areas, fabric show-through and thread breaks. These are often caused by incorrect stitching settings - e.g. setting pull compensation too small for the fabric stretchiness.

Stitching direction

Stitching direction can affect embroidery quality because of the Push-Pull effect. Only closed embroidery objects can be reversed.

Stitch processing

The calculation of stitch information by means of specialized software, allowing scaling of expanded format designs with density compensation.

Stitch processor

A patented software feature developed by Wilcom International P/L. Stitch Processor is a function of the software which interprets 'raw' stitch data and converts it into objects that the software can recognize.


See Push-Pull.

Stitch shortening

When a shape takes a sharp turn, the spacing of stitches on the inside of the shape decreases rapidly. This results in bunching on the inside and gaps on the outside of the shape; the longer the stitch, the worse the problem. Automatic Stitch Shortening solves this problem by eliminating thread bunching. The embroidery has smooth, even stitch spacing throughout. It also reduces thread breakages during production.

Stitch spacing

Spacing between two consecutive needle penetrations on the same side of a column. The smaller the value, the greater the stitch density. For more open stitching, use larger values.


The software lets you send a design directly to the embroidery machine for stitching if it is connected to your computer.

Stitch type

Three basic stitch types are available with lockstitch machines - Run, Satin and Tatami (Weave). The software provides many variants of these.

Stock designs

Embroidery designs readily available on disk or proprietary embroidery card. Digitized embroidery designs that are commercially available for general use by embroiderers.

Stop code

Stop codes are interpreted as 'explicit stops'. The machine stops stitching.

Straight stitch machine

Machine, which features needles that move up and down in one spot. The pantograph pushes the design along. The majority of commercial embroidery machines use this type of needle movement.


Datastitch stitch or 'expanded' file format.


A style is a group of property settings stored under a unique name. You can save any combination of settings to a style. This makes it easy to apply these settings to selected embroidery and lettering objects. When you apply a style to an object, the style settings replace its current properties. Any properties not specified in the style, retain their current settings.


Sublimation means a change from a solid to gaseous state and back to a solid without becoming liquid. Thus dye particles migrate from the paper as a gas, to bond with a polymer - fabric or other material - and become solid again. The transfer is effected using high heat (205°C) and pressure, thus guaranteeing that the image penetrates and becomes an integral part of the substrate.

Sublimation printing

Sublimation is similar to DTG printing but the process uses solid inks which give a more even gradation of color rather than the liquid inks in DTG printing. With sublimation printing, inks are printed onto a release paper and then transferred onto a fabric or other surface.

Supported machine type

A machine is 'supported' by the software either via a direct implementation in the software for a specific machine or via the MS Windows® operating system - e.g. a MS Windows® supported printer or MS Windows® supported cutter.

Swiss embroidery

Satin stitch embroidery. Also recalls the origins of automated embroidery in Switzerland, where the Schiffli embroidery machine was developed in the 1800s by Isaak Groebli. Embroidery remains a government-supported industry in Switzerland today.

System administrator

The System Administrator is responsible for the entire Enterprise Network and security. In smaller enterprises, the System Administrator is also usually responsible for database administrations.



See Digitizing tablet.


Zigzag stitch, placed after placement and cutting lines, and used to fix appliqué patches to the background fabric before cover stitching is applied.

Tatami partition lines

With Tatami fills you can specify how each row is offset in order to create patterns formed by needle penetrations. Partition lines, with up to eight offsets, can create more patterns. 

Tatami stitch

Series of run stitches, commonly used to cover large, irregular shapes. Stitches are laid in rows traversing back and forth across the shape. These can be parallel or slightly turning. Different fill patterns can be created by varying the stitch length, angle or sequence. Also known as Weave stitch.

Tatami underlay

Tatami underlay is used to stabilize large, filled shapes. It resembles an extremely open Tatami fill stitch, where rows of stitches are placed across the object to create the underlay.


Templates are special files used for storing styles and default property settings. The NORMAL template packaged with the software provides a selection of preset styles. You can modify these as required and save them back to the NORMAL template or to your own custom templates. Use these when digitizing frequently-used design types to save time re-adjusting the current property settings. For example, a custom template may include standard objects and sample lettering. It may simply have preferred


Tautness of thread when forming stitches. Top thread tension, as well as bobbin thread tension, need to be correctly set. Proper thread tension is achieved when about one third of the thread showing on the underside of the fabric on a column stitch is bobbin thread.


Fine cord or natural or synthetic material made from two or more filaments twisted together and used for stitching. Machine embroidery threads come in rayon (high sheen), cotton (duller finish), polyester (strong and colorfast), metallics (synthetic core wrapped with metal foil or thin slivers of metal foil) and acrylic (sheen similar to rayon).

Thread chart

Thread charts are lists of pre-defined thread colors. They may be based on commercially available thread charts, or charts you define yourself. You can copy colors between different thread charts to create your own charts from existing colors. See also Color palette.

Thread code

Code is the identification number of a thread color in a brand.

Thread cutting

The removal of 'floats' by hand or by machine.

Thread density

Different thread density systems are used by different thread manufacturers. Density A is normal embroidery thread (density 120/2, or 40). Density B is thicker, Density C is finer, and Density D is very fine.

Thread type

Embroidery thread varies in thickness. Types are A, B, C and D. Stitch density should be set according to the thread type. See also Thread thickness.


Tie-in stitches are inserted at the start of objects to prevent stitches from unraveling. They are inserted inside the shape on the second stitch. You generally use them when the previous connector is trimmed.


Tie-offs are generally placed before trims to prevent stitches from unraveling. You can adjust connector settings to automatically add tie-offs under certain conditions, or add them manually. You can also include trim functions so machines with trimmers cut the thread automatically.


Material hooped or placed on top of fabrics that have definable nap or surface texture, such as corduroy and terry cloth, prior to embroidery. The topping compacts the wale or nap and holds the stitches above it. It includes a variety of substances, such as plastic wrap, water-soluble plastic 'foil' and open-weave fabric that has been chemically treated to disintegrate with the application of heat. Also known as 'facing'. See also Stabilizer.


You generally check a design's stitching sequence by 'traveling' through it by stitches, segments, functions or objects.

Travel runs

Travel runs are typically used to connect segments of complex shapes. They can also connect adjacent objects. Because runs are not trimmed, they may be visible in the final embroidery. For this reason, they are less commonly used as connectors between objects than jumps. If objects are adjacent and connectors will be hidden, they can be used.

Trim function

If you are using a machine with an automatic trimmer, the trim code causes the thread to be cut after a tie-off. In the software, trims are represented by a triangle with a small circle at the point where stitching starts again. The trimmed connector appears as a dotted line. You can adjust connector settings to automatically add trims, or add them yourself.


Devices built into an embroidery machine to automatically trim or cut remaining thread when the design jumps from one area to another or performs a color change.


Action of cutting loose thread, removing backing, etc, from the final embroidered product.

Triple Run stitch

Triple Run repeats each Run stitch three (or more) times for a thick line. Typically used to add borders and pickout runs to designs.

Triple Satin

Triple Satin is often used for folk designs to mimic handmade embroidery that uses thicker thread. If you require thicker stitches, set the Satin stitch to repeat itself multiple times. 

TrueType font

Digital font technology designed by Apple Computer and now used by both Apple and Microsoft in their operating systems.


TrueView provides you with a preview of how your embroidery will look when stitched out. It gives the screen image a three dimensional look.

Turning stitches

Embroidery objects can be filled with parallel or turning stitching. Turning stitches are columns of stitches which turn to follow the path defined by the object outline. By contrast, parallel stitching traverses the shape in one direction only - e.g. at 90° to the horizontal, 45°, or whatever is set. Objects can be created with turning stitching already applying, or multiple stitch angles can be added later. Turning stitches are best used with designs containing complicated, turning shapes such


Industry standard which allows devices (such as scanners) to communicate directly with design and layout programs. Both device and program must be TWAIN-compliant. This lets you use any TWAIN-compliant scanner with your software.



Stitch file format native to Barudan machines.


Stitches sewn before other design elements to help stabilize fabrics. The stitching action that will attach the backing to the fabric being embroidered. It also supports the top embroidery for a more lofty, dimensional look. Underlay stitches are made up of a series of single run stitches, usually with a very short stitch length, and are digitized manually or placed automatically under the column (satin) or fill stitch areas of your embroidery design.

Underlay margin

The distance between an object outline and the edge of the underlay. Increase this margin to prevent underlay stitches from extending outside the cover stitches.

USB port

Universal Serial Bus Connector, a connection on a computer where you plug in the dongle. 



The actual settings - letters and numbers - that you enter into dialogs. See also Object Properties.

Variable stitch length

The software can automatically calculate the best length for each stitch with the Variable Run Length option. A chord gap value controls how closely the stitches follow the digitized lines.

Vector graphic

Unlike raster images, vector graphics contain vector data. This is a collection of geometric shapes and lines that combine to make an image. Rather than pixels, such data is recorded as a set of mathematical formulas defining shapes such as rectangles, ellipses, curves, polygon stars, etc. These are created using vector graphics programs such as CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite. Vector graphics are scalable without distortion, and are usually much smaller than bitmap images. See also Bitmap image.

Vector object

Vector objects are derived from vector graphics and can be created in the software or imported. In the embroidery software they can be converted to and from embroidery objects. You can set general properties such as size and position, and arrange and transform them in the same way as other objects. See also Vector graphics.

Vector text

A text object created using the CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite Text tool.


Hiraoka VEP file format is used extensively for Pattern Arrangements (ABC) on existing machines. VEP uses a small arrangement file which splits the different design parts - A is one file, B is a second file, C is a third file.



When referring to T-shirts, the three standard weight divisions are mid-weight/value, heavyweight/premium, and super heavyweight.


MS Windows® Metafile vector format.


To send design information to an embroidery disk, design card or embroidery machine for immediate stitchout or storage.


X/Y coordinates

The horizontal (X) and vertical (Y) distances on a graph or computer screen. Use X values to measure width, and Y values to measure height.


Compucon stitch or 'expanded' file format in the professional market.



Zigzag stitch

Zigzag stitch is similar to Satin but is generally used where fewer stitches are required. The needle penetrates each side of the column, laying the thread across in an open zigzag pattern. The density is determined by the stitch spacing setting. The settings for Zigzag fill stitches are stored separately from Zigzag and Double Zigzag underlay settings.

Zigzag underlay

Zigzag and Double Zigzag underlay stitching is used to support wide columns.

Zoom factor

The scale at which the design is currently displayed.


ZSK1 format is for older ZSK machines, generally those older than 1991. ZSK2 is for newer ZSK machines, those characterized by a single top thread trimmer. The trim is the most significant differentiating factor between the two types.