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Save designs

There are two types of embroidery file format:

Design:Design files, also known as ‘outline’ or 'all-in-one' files usually contain digitized shapes and lines, selected stitch types and stitch values and effects.
Machine:Machine files, also known as ‘stitch’ files contain only stitches and machine functions and are suited to specific embroidery machines.

EMB is the native file format of the embroidery software. Other 'all-in-one' formats such as JAN are supported. The software also supports many machine or stitch formats such as JEF, SEW, DST, EXP, and others. For a comprehensive list, see Supported embroidery files.

On this page...

In this week’s blog we’re taking you through the process of exporting your files into your preferred machine format and why it is so important to save your designs as .EMB files too. We guide you step-by-step, showing you exactly where to click and what to do when it comes to saving and converting your files. Click the thumbnail to read more or right-click to open the link in a new tab...

Use Standard > Save Design to save the current design.

Use Output Design > Save Design As to save current EMB design with a different name or location.

Save designs

The Save options allow you to save a design to native EMB format or similar 'all-in-one' format such as JAN.

  • To save changes to an existing design, simply click the Save Design icon on the Standard toolbar or press <Ctrl + S>.
  • To save a design changes to an existing file but preserve the original, use Save Design As.
  • Navigate to the design folder and save in the format of your choice.
  • Select a file format from the Save as Type list. See also Supported embroidery files.


Small stitch removal

You have control over the automatic removal of small stitches. This functionality is now accessed via Design Settings > Remove Small Stitches...

The filter can be applied continuously, on output only, or never. When set to ‘Always’, the filter is automatically applied in the background whenever objects are edited or digitized. The default is 'On output'. This option applies to all design output, whether you are saving to design file or exporting to machine file.

Use Output Design > Export Design to export the current design to a machine file for stitching.

Export designs

You can export an open design to machine file format for use by embroidery machines. The software supports machine formats such as JEF, SEW, DST, EXP, and many others. For a comprehensive list, see Supported embroidery files.

  • Open the design you want to export.
  • To export to a format recognized by your selected machine, click the Export Design icon.
  • Select the machine file type you want to export to.
  • Click Browse to locate a destination folder for the converted designs.

Use Manage Designs > Convert Selected Designs to convert the design selected in the Design Library window into different file types.

Convert multiple designs

You can convert your EMB and other design files to and from other file formats directly from your design library.

  • Select the file(s) to be converted and click the Convert Selected Designs icon. The dialog lists all machine file formats the software supports.
  • Select the file types you want to convert to.
  • Click Browse to locate a destination folder for the converted designs.
  • Click Convert to start the conversion. The converted designs will be stored in the nominated folder.

Use Output Design > Export Cutting to export the current design or selected objects to SVG file format for cutting.

Export cutting lines

The Export Cutting command lets you export appliqué and/or embroidery shapes to SVG file format. The command also works with fonts. You can export entire lettering objects as cutting lines or break apart to export individual letters. Cutting data includes appliqué shapes outlining the fabric patches that will fill the appliqué. The software allows you to export entire files or selected objects only. Exported SVG files can be used directly in some cutters or converted to a format such as FCM.

  • Open the design to export. Optionally, select the object or objects you want to export.
  • Click Output Design > Export Cutting or select the command from the File menu.
  • Adjust settings as necessary:

    ObjectsChoose whether to export the entire design or selected object/s only.

    Choose whether to export appliqué cutting lines only and/or cutting lines for other embroidery shapes.

    File locations

    Export files will be saved by default into a folder called 'My Cutting Files' under the 'Pictures' folder in the Design Library. This folder will be created when exporting if it doesn't already exist. Alternatively, you can set up separate export locations for each element as shown:

    Design name

    This defaults to the current design name. It can be changed prior to exporting cutting files. Separate files are exported for each element. The element name is appended to the design file name - e.g.

    • Dog Applique_applique.SVG
    • Dog Applique_embroidery.SVG
  • Open the files in a suitable SVG editor. Brother cutters use their own format FCM. This format can be created via their online free conversion software. Other cutters now read PES files. Several cutters allow online editing. If you have chosen to export the entire design, you may need to separate objects in the editor for individual cutting.

  • Appliqué cutting lines can also be printed onto design reports. See also Print designs.