Splitting objects

Certain objects such as appliqué, are 'compound' objects and cannot be ungrouped in the normal way. Sometimes, you may want to edit components which cannot be done within the grouped compound object. For example, you may want to make edits to the various layers of appliqué such as the tackdown stitch, etc. Alternatively, you may want to resequence the stitching order of appliqué components. To perform such editing operations, compound objects need to be 'broken apart'.

Sometimes you may need to manually cut filled objects into smaller objects. This is important where changes in stitch direction are necessary. This is especially useful for editing converted TrueType fonts.

The design should be saved before you break it apart. Save to a different name so you can go back to the original compound object to edit if necessary.

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Use Edit Objects, Appliqué or Lettering / Monogramming > Break Apart to split composite objects - monograms, appliqués, lettering, etc - into components. Allows each to be edited individually. This tool is also available via Edit menu.

Breaking apart objects

The Break Apart tool allows you to separate appliqué objects into their components. It can also be used with monograms, lettering and blackwork runs. The effect on these objects is similar to the ungrouping operation. However, once it is broken apart, it cannot be re-grouped as a compound object again.

  • Select the object to break apart – open-object appliqué, auto-appliqué, monogram, or lettering. The Break Apart command is activated.
  • Click Break Apart. The object is separated into its component source (primary) and any generated (secondary) objects.
  • The operation ungroups open-object appliqué into its components – source (primary) objects, generated (secondary) objects. It also creates an auto-appliqué object from each piece of fabric in the design. These will have no stitching.
  • The operation ungroups monograms into component objects – a lettering object, ornaments (each ornament set remaining as a group) and borders (also grouped). See also Break apart lettering / monograms.
  • To modify individual objects – e.g. to change the stitching sequence of monogram borders – use the Design Sequence dialog to ungroup objects and resequence. See also Sequence objects.


When saved into earlier versions of the software, monograms, appliqués, lettering, and blackwork runs may be subjected to the Break Apart procedure by default.

Use Edit Objects or Lettering / Monogramming > Knife to cut objects along a digitized line, preserving stitch settings and colors.

Cutting objects

The Knife tool is used to manually cut filled objects into smaller objects. This is important where changes in stitch direction are necessary. Cut objects are generated with stitching – parallel or turning – appropriate to their shape.

The Knife tool has two modes of operation:

  • It will only cut selected objects when there is something in selection.
  • It will cut all objects under the knife when there is nothing selected.

The Knife tool is especially useful for editing converted TrueType fonts. When you select a TrueType font in the Font list, it is automatically converted to embroidery lettering.

While TTF conversion produces similar results to digitized embroidery fonts, the quality may not always be quite as high. Narrower serif type fonts generally produce the best results. However, in 99% of cases, conversion problems can be fixed with the Knife tool. When you select a lettering object to cut, the object is highlighted with a thick magenta outline.

With or without an object selected, digitize a cutting line as you would any other line – left-click for corner points, right-click for curve points – and press Enter. By default the software reorders resulting objects into a closest-join sequence that preserves the source object’s entry and exit points. Manually adjust object overlaps using the Reshape tool. See also Reshape objects.


Note that the Knife tool will cut both filled objects and outlines...