Today I’m kicking off a new series called “Let’s Explore v4”. Each week I will highlight a new Panel available in Silhouette Studio v4 and explain a bit about that panel.
One of my goals as a TJC Licensed Silhouette Instructor is to not “reinvent the wheel”. There are lots of great posts, tutorials and videos that are a wealth of information and if you are on my Silhouette Secrets+ Facebook Page or Group, you will see that I share information from other colleagues and industry leader who I think you may benefit from. You will see me post links to their pages, share their information and link them up in my blog posts. Why? I am not in competition with them, we can all learn from multiple sources and what I’ve found is there is always something new to learn with the Silhouette Studio software & the Silhouette machines.
Now on to the fun stuff!
I am using Silhouette Software v4.1.201, this information can be found under the Help>About in the software. If you are using an older software version, then my screen will look very different than yours and some of the options may not be available to you. If you’d like to upgrade your software to the latest version, you can find the upgrade HERE on the Silhouette America site, v4.1.206 is the most recent and it will work for these tutorials.
You do not want to choose the Beta version unless you know the software very well and are able to spot a bug or two that may be in the program and report that back to Silhouette.
Page Setup Panel
The Page Setup Panel is located on the right side at the top of your Panel bar. Click on it and the Panel will pop up. Now with v4, you can move your panels around – this is called Floating Panels. If you grab the Blue area where it says Page Setup, you can move that panel around and drop it where you like.
These Panels will stay open if you do move them on your screen, so it is a nice feature instead of having to keep clicking on the Panel icons on the right side.
If your Panel is not letting you grab and move it, check out the Preferences under Edit > Preferences. Under Defaults, change the Panel mode to ‘Flexible Panel Mode’.
Now let’s break down the first tab in the Page Setup Panel.
- Page Size – Here you can select the Automatic (machine) size and it will default to whichever machine you have plugged in to your computer or the last recognized connection. Click on the drop down arrow and you have many selections to choose from including a Current Printer option, if you have one connected.
- Width & Height – You can make the page size any size from 12″ wide to 10′ long.
If I choose to change my Page size to 10″ x 12″, notice how it adjusts the white page or the red cut border (if Show Cut Border is checked).
Something to note, if you have your page size set and your design is outside of that page size, it will not cut outside of the Page border.
- Orientation – this will flip your page either vertical or horizontal on your mat.
- Cutting Mat – The Silhouette Cameo can cut any material that has a backing, such as vinyl & HTV without a mat. It can cut materials up to 10 feet long and this is how you accomplish that. You can tell the software you are cutting with ‘None’ or you can choose a 12″ x 12″ or 12″ x 24″ mat or several other options for other machines.
Below you will notice that my Cut border is the full dimension of my mat. I have my Preferences set to ‘Cut to Edge of mat’. It does not always cut to the very edge, but it comes close. When you choose to cut with a mat, you are telling the software that it needs to feed that mat in to a certain location before it can begin cutting. It should only be cutting on the grid area of your mat. If it happens to cut higher than that, go check if you have it set to cut without a mat.
Now in the photo below, I have chosen Cutting Mat ‘None’ and I want to point out a few differences. You will see that the Cut border (red line) starts immediately at the top of the page. If your design is right at the top of the design mat, when you load your vinyl, it will begin cutting exactly where you have placed it on your screen.
Also note, the Cut border on the left & right side. You lose about 1/4″ of cuttable space on both sides of your vinyl when you cut with no mat. This is the allowance that the machine needs to grip the vinyl in the machine. And you will see the Cut border end approximately 1″ from the back end of the page size, this is again cuttable space that is lost so the machine can hold that vinyl in the machine to finish the cut.While you can cut without a mat, I personally prefer to use my mat any time that my material will fit on it. It provides stability and there is less that can go wrong, such as your vinyl sliding.Now, if you do decide to cut without a mat, I would strongly suggest investing in a roll feeder. I just used this for a large cut job and it worked beautifully and I did not have to babysit it as much as without.
Here is what that looks like:
You can find the Silhouette roll feeder HERE.
- Reveal – This one is a favorite of mine. At 0% your design mat shows a white space that equals your page size. As you slide the bar up it starts to reveal the grid lines of the mat underneath that are the exact match to your Silhouette cutting mat. At 100%, it shows your entire cutting mat grid area and this is how I prefer to use my software most of the time.
- Rotate – this rotates the orientation of your mat on the screen. It is for visual purposes only and does not actually rotate your design or the way the mat is fed into the Cameo.
Notice the photo on the left, it is at 0 degrees – the arrow is facing up. The arrow is the direction you load your Silhouette mat into the machine, it matches the arrow on the physical Silhouette mat. I have placed a design from the Silhouette store (Design #181402) on my mat, so you can see how it changes.
Now, look at the photo on the right, I have changed the Rotate to 270 degrees and the arrow is now pointed to the left. This option rotates your entire mat and anything on your mat, but it does not change where your design will cut on your mat. It will still cut in the top left corner because you are loading the mat into the Cameo with the arrow pointing in.
- Show Print Border – If you check the box next to it, a gray box will appear on your screen. This is the Print Border for the current printer you have connected to your computer. It shows you the maximum border that you can put a design at to be able to print it on a material.
- Show Cut Border – This is another feature that I always have checked. As you can see in the photo above, I have the Show Cut Border feature checked and it shows a red line around what my maximum cut border is. I have it set to Letter size paper, so it is showing me it will cut to and 8.5″ x 11″ space. If I change my Paper size to 12″ x 12″, it will expand to the full 12″ x 12″ and outline my grid on my mat, as seen in several photos above.
I encourage you to check out each of these features in the Page Setup Panel and as you click on them, you will see things change on your screen. If you have an understanding of how these features work, you can spot and fix a problem when you notice something is not right.
I hope you have enjoyed the first session of “Let’s Explore v4.”
I am EllyMae with Silhouette Secrets+ and my goal as a TJC Licensed Silhouette Instructor is to teach the Silhouette Studio software. Once you know how to do things in the software, you have the skills to create any design for a project that you want.
Check out my Silhouette Instructions and Events tab for more information on Personalize Silhouette Instruction.
Have fun Exploring your Silhouette Software v4!
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