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Auto-digitize embroidery

The software can automatically convert artwork to embroidery. Artwork is ‘batch processed’ to create the many embroidery objects that make up a design. The software can recognize shapes in artwork – bitmap and vector – and choose suitable stitch types to use. It can also determine a stitching sequence based on closest join. The auto-digitizing tools become available when an image is selected. Only one image can be selected at a time.

Auto-digitizing tools accept artwork in either a raw or processed state. However, the quality of the resulting designs greatly depends on the type and quality of the original artwork. Generally speaking, vector drawings preserve the picture quality when resized, whereas bitmap images cause problems of pixelation and image degradation when enlarged or scaled down. However, any scaling required should be done before importing into the software as the importing operation automatically transforms vector drawings into bitmaps. In order to make bitmap images more suitable for automatic digitizing, the software also provides image processing capabilities and links to graphics packages. See also Electronic artwork.

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A key feature of Hatch Embroidery Software is Auto-Digitizing, found in the left tool bar of your software. This feature takes the stress out of digitizing your artwork by providing a quick and easy short-cut to that great digitized effect. Click the thumbnail to read more or right-click to open the link in a new tab...

Use Auto-Digitize > Auto-Digitize Instant Embroidery to automatically digitize whole embroidery design directly from the imported bitmap artwork.

Auto-digitize instant embroidery

In essence, creating an embroidery design with the Auto-Digitize Instant Embroidery tool is simply a matter of selecting the image you want to convert, and clicking the tool. The system automatically determines colors to fill, turn into details, or omit altogether. And it chooses the most suitable stitch types to apply using default settings. Even if an image is not pre-processed with the image preparation tool, Auto-Digitize Instant Embroidery automatically processes and converts it. Delete any unwanted background stitching. Edit stitch colors and types as preferred. See also Import images.

You may want to preset the Design Colors according to your available threads before processing the image. Select from a wide range of commercial thread charts. You can assign up to 128 color slots.


Use Auto-Digitize > Auto-Digitize Embroidery to automatically digitize prepared bitmap artwork, optionally with user's choices.

Auto-digitize embroidery (advanced)

For more control over object conversion, use the Auto-Digitize Embroidery method. This too can recognize shapes in artwork, bitmap or vector, and choose suitable stitch types to use. However, it provides more control over conversion settings.

  • Select the image and click Auto-Digitize Embroidery. If you have not yet processed the image, you will be prompted to do so. See also Process images.
  • Image colors are automatically classified as fills or details, or omitted altogether. You can modify them as necessary.
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  • Select a color in the list and use the Locate button to preview. The software detects and omits the background color by default.
  • Having located the colors in the design, decide if you want to treat them as fills or details. Similarly, decide where you want them to appear in the stitching sequence. Use the droplists to reassign colors as preferred. And use the 'Move' buttons to re-sort the color sequence as preferred. Fills should always be stitched first, outlines and details, last.
  • Select a conversion method for color processing:

    You have three options:

    • Bitmap colors are added to the current palette (the default). See below.

    • Choose a specific thread chart to match bitmap colors to – click 'Select Thread Charts' button to access thread chart listing.

    • Or, match image colors to the nearest colors in the design palette.

  • Select stitching options for handling details and outlines:


    You have three options:
    • Handle details as a centerline, satin line, or a satin fill. Select an option from the droplist.
    • Add outlines to all detected color blocks. Tick 'Outlines' and select a thread color from the droplist.
    • Add a satin border to the entire design. Again, pick a color from the droplist.
  • Click OK to process the image.
  • The 'Outlines' option reinforces all color blocks with continuous, branched running stitches.

Editing techniques are available to further refine the auto-digitized image. The editing capabilities may be limited depending on the level of Hatch you own. See also Edit objects.


Use Customize Design > Threads >> to toggle Threads docker display. Use it to find threads from different charts and change design colors.

Use Design Colors > Hide Unused Colors to show or hide all unused colors in the design palette.

Use Design Colors > Discard Unused Colors to remove all unused colors from the design palette.

Use Threads > Select Thread Charts to select the thread charts you currently have available for use.

Use Threads / Customize Design > Match All Design Colors to automatically match and assign threads in the thread list to all colors in the Design Color toolbar.

Assign threads to design palette

The software lets you manage thread colors for each design. If you have chosen to add bitmap colors to the Design Colors palette (the default), the next step is to assign threads from your preferred thread chart to those bitmap colors. Select from a wide range of commercial thread charts. Find and sort specific threads by color code. Or let the software automatically match threads to bitmap colors.

First, note that the bitmap colors have been added to the end of the Design Colors palette and are tagged with blue square. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Use the Discard Unused Colors command to collapse the palette to only used colors. Hover the cursor over each color. Notice that they are identified only by their RGB values.

Choose a thread chart via the docker. For expediency, use the Match All command to match threads from the chart to the RGB values. The nearest matching threads are automatically assigned. Again, hover the cursor over the design colors to check the assigned threads.

Various techniques are available for changing design colors from the Design Palette. See also Design colors.


Click Switch and Convert > Switch to Graphics Mode to import, edit or create vector artwork as a backdrop for embroidery digitizing, manual or automatic.

Use Switch and Convert > Convert Artwork to Embroidery to convert selected vector artwork to embroidery objects.

Use Switch and Convert > Convert Embroidery to Artwork to convert selected embroidery objects to vector artwork.

Convert artwork to embroidery with CorelDRAW®

If you have a supported version of CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite installed on your system, the software provides another option for converting graphics to embroidery designs and vice versa. Individual objects or whole designs can be converted. Both vector graphics and bitmaps can be used. Use the Switch and Convert toolbar to switch between Embroidery Mode and Graphics Mode in the software. The Convert function is also located on this toolbar. Behavior depends on the operating mode...

  • Graphics can be imported into the system either via Embroidery Mode and Graphics Mode. See also Import images.
  • In Graphics Mode, use the Convert tool to convert selected graphics – vector or bitmaps – directly to embroidery.
  • Selected objects or the entire design are displayed in Embroidery Mode. Here you can edit generated embroidery objects, recolor, resize, change stitch types, and so on.
  • In Embroidery Mode, you have the option of converting embroidery objects to vectors or to 'virtual embroidery'.
  • Virtual embroidery creates a TrueView bitmap image of your design in Graphics Mode. This can be saved to file for reference purposes or even printed on fabric.