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Break apart objects

Depending on your product level, the software will let you split composite objects – monograms, appliqués, lettering, etc – into their components. You can also cut shapes into smaller fragments which 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 composite 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.

Break apart objects

Certain objects such as appliqué are 'composite' objects and cannot be ungrouped in the normal way. Sometimes, you may want to edit components which cannot be done within the composite 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 sequence the stitching order of appliqué components. To perform such editing operations, composite objects need to be 'broken apart'. The effect is similar to ungrouping. However, once broken apart, it cannot be re-grouped as a composite 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 monograms into component objects – a lettering object, ornaments (each ornament set remaining as a group) and borders (also grouped).
  • Lettering too can be broken into separate letters. Individual letters can even be broken into embroidery patches. Lettering properties are lost. Only object properties remain. See also Break apart lettering.

  • To modify individual objects – e.g. to change the stitching sequence of monogram borders – use the Sequence docker to ungroup objects and sequence. See also Sequence objects.

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


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

Use Edit Objects / Select > Reshape to reshape an object outline, stitch angles or enveloping.

Cut shapes manually

Depending on your product level, the Knife tool may be available in your Edit Objects toolbox. Use it to manually cut closed or block-digitized shapes into smaller fragments. It can, for instance, be useful when editing artwork converted to embroidery with auto-digitizing methods.

The Knife tool has two modes of operation:

  • With nothing selected, it will cut all objects under the knife.
  • With selected objects, it will only cut those within the selection.

Note that the Knife tool will cut both filled objects and outlines. This is often necessary when objects include an outline which also needs to be cut. This is often the case, for example, where you want to make a split monogram. Generally, auto-digitizing conversion problems can be fixed with a combination of Knife and Reshape tools.

The Knife tool will work with Satin, Zigzag, Blanket, and Motif outlines. It also works with underlays, including double zigzag. It can be used with machine format designs that you may work with. It does not work with branched objects. These need to be first broken apart.