Input methods

In the software, you build designs from basic shapes or ‘embroidery objects’. Embroidery objects have general properties such as color, size, position, and so on. They also have embroidery properties such as stitch type and density. Properties are defined as you digitize but they can be modified at any stage. The most important property for an embroidery object is its stitch type. Different stitch types are suited to different shapes.

The process of creating embroidery objects on screen is called ‘digitizing’. Embroidery digitizing tools are similar to drawing tools except that the end result are embroidery objects rather than vector objects.

 

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Use Digitize > Digitize Open Line to create a row of run or other outline stitching along a digitized line. Left-click for corner points, right-click for curves.

Use Digitize > Digitize Closed Shape to create closed shapes using either outline or fill stitching. Left-click for corner points, right-click for curves.

Use Context > Line to outline closed shapes with the current line stitch type.
Use Context > Fill to fill closed shapes with the current fill stitch type.

Digitizing shapes

Different digitizing tools are suited to different shapes or design elements such as fills, outlines, details. Shapes may be closed or open. If closed, stitching may be comprised of fills or outlines. When you select a tool, different stitch types become available. The Context toolbar also changes to modify what can be done. The input method for all digitizing tools is basically the same. General rules...

  • For manual digitizing, you will generally want to import artwork as a digitizing backdrop. See also Import images.

  • Select a digitizing tool from the Digitize toolbox - either open line or closed shape.

  • Select a suitable stitch type from the Object Properties docker. This can always be modified later.
  • Important! Choose a 'fill' or 'line' method from the Context toolbar. This will determine whether the object is digitized as a fill or as an outline.
  • Create boundaries using left and right mouse clicks to mark reference points - left-clicks for curve points, right-clicks for corners.

Use Standard > Undo to undo previous action.
Use Standard > Redo to redo previously undone action.

  • Refer to the Status Bar for help. This will often include prompts to guide you.
  • If you make a mistake, press <Backspace> to delete the last point. Alternatively, use the Undo / Redo tools on the Standard toolbar.
  • If you want to change a corner point to curve point, or vice versa, select the point and press <Spacebar>.
  • Press <Esc> to undo all new points. Press <Esc> again to exit digitizing mode.
  • To constrain a line to 15° increments, hold down <Ctrl> as you digitize.
  • Press <Enter> to finish digitizing a line.
  • Use Auto Scroll to scroll automatically within the design window while digitizing.
  • Hold down the <Alt> key to temporarily deactivate Auto Scroll.
  • Use the <Ctrl+Shift+A> key combination to toggle Auto Scroll on/off.
  • To change settings, double-click an object to open the Object Properties docker. Change line or fill types via the docker.

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Control points

The reference points you mark when digitizing a shape become its ‘control points’. These vary slightly with object type. Most points can be added, deleted, or moved. Corner and curve points can be interchanged via the <Spacebar>. Some control points such as entry and exit points cannot be deleted but they can be moved.

Entry point
Exit point
Corner reshape node
Curve reshape node
Control handle
Stitch angle points

Use Digitize > Digitize Open Line to create a row of run or other outline stitching along a digitized line. Left-click for corner points, right-click for curves.

Use Digitize > Digitize Closed Shape to create closed shapes using either outline or fill stitching. Left-click for corner points, right-click for curves.

Lines

The software provides tools for creating outline stitching of varying thicknesses and styles. Digitize outlines with both open and closed shape methods. Lines of varying thickness are typically used to add borders, outlines, and details to shapes. See also Line stitches.

Use Digitize > Digitize Closed Shape to create closed shapes using either outline or fill stitching. Left-click for corner points, right-click for curves.

Parallel fills

Use the Closed Shape tool to digitize large and complex shapes generally with fixed rather than turning stitch angles. Most shapes can be digitized with this tool. Digitize the boundary in the same way you digitize run lines. Follow the prompts in the status bar to help you digitize. If you make a mistake, press <Backspace> to delete the last reference point, then continue digitizing.

Use Digitize > Digitize Blocks to digitize shapes of varying width with turning stitching.

Turning fills

Use the Digitize Blocks tool to digitize columns of varying width with turning stitches. With this tool, you create the shape by marking reference points on alternate sides of the column. Click to enter corner points. Right-click to enter curve points. Mark a pair of points wherever the outline changes, and wherever you want the stitch angle to change.

Tips:

  • The control points in a pair do not have to be the same type. For example, one can be a corner point, the other a curve.
  • If you make a mistake, press <Backspace> to delete the last reference point, then continue digitizing.
  • Press <Enter> to keep the last stitch and place the exit point at the last reference point you digitized, or
  • Press <Spacebar> to omit the last stitch and place the exit point on the opposite side of the column.
  • If you are joining two columns, omit the last stitch on the first column so that the exit point is close to the entry point of the next column.

Use Digitize > Rectangle / Square to quickly digitize rectangular shapes using current stitch settings.

Use Digitize > Circle / Oval to quickly digitize circular shapes using current stitch settings.

Circles & squares

Digitize circles and ovals, squares and rectangles with a few clicks. With the addition of a third reference point, the Circle tool can create oval shapes. Press <Enter> to complete the object. If you only want a circle, press <Enter> twice. When in doubt, follow the prompts.

You can use any fill stitch type.

Use Digitize > Digitize Closed Shape to create closed shapes using either outline or fill stitching. Left-click for corner points, right-click for curves.

Use Digitize > Digitize Blocks to digitize shapes of varying width with turning stitching.

Use Digitize > Digitize Open Line to create a row of run or other outline stitching along a digitized line. Left-click for corner points, right-click for curves.

Switch between runs & fills

You can quickly switch between digitizing closed fills and open lines by means of the <Spacebar> shortcut key. This is useful, for example, when creating travel runs between closed shapes of the same color. You can use the same shortcut key to switch between Digitize Blocks and Open Line.

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Join method

When you are digitizing closed objects, the Closest Join method automatically calculates connector points.

This method can be toggled off via the Embroidery Settings > Design tab available from the Software Settings menu. When deactivated, all newly digitized objects are joined by the 'As Digitized' method. This means that you manually specify entry and exit points while digitizing.

Generally it's good to check entry and exit points before stitching out. See also Reshape objects.