Let’s talk software. The Silhouette Studio program is a software program that is installed directly on your computer.
What is software? Well, the most basic answer I can use to describe it is, it is code put together in a pattern that tells it what to do. We don’t see this side of things and I know I wouldn’t understand any of it if I did. It is numbers and letters arranged in a particular pattern to create what we see on the screen.
The Silhouette software has grown over the past 10 years from a basic cutting software to a powerful graphics program that can do much more than just send a design to be cut on a Silhouette machine.
Silhouette America puts out software updates on a regular basis. These updates are free of charge and are either released to correct a bug (coding) or to release new features in the software.
Recently (2019), the version 4.2 was released and this has many new features added into it such as flexi-shapes, color fonts, library updates, lasso selection, warp templates, puzzle generator, and more. But, any time a new feature is added it changes the “code” of the program. This is true for all software related devices – Iphones, Ipads, android devices, Silhouette Studio, etc.
There is a Silhouette Beta team, which I am a member of, and this team tests updates as they are created. At any point and time, there may be 1 or more Closed Beta versions that are released to us to test. Testers download and use these current “test” versions and report back on any unusual things we experience. There may also be a Public Beta version on the website, that any user can download and use. However, I do only suggest an experienced user download the Beta version as it is still in testing and may have unknown bugs in it.
There are many, many factors that play into how the software will react for a user. And even though the version is tested within the Beta group and Silhouette’s staff, there may still be things that pop up after it is released to the general public. This can be for many reasons, but the number 1 reason I see is that no user’s computer is the same as the next person. Some of us have computers built for multiple graphic program use, while others are built for surfing the internet. That means that a software program may react differently for one user vs the next.
And then you throw in another big factor – the big computer companies also have updates to their operating systems. And they don’t let anyone know prior to releasing the update what they are going to change. In this day and age, you may not even have a choice on whether to accept these updates to the Operating System or not, it just happens. You close your computer one night and then next morning open it back up and are faced with that spinning wheel that says, “Please wait while updates are installing.”
Now, I say all that to give you a little back story on my view of software updates as a Silhouette Studio user and Terri Johnson Creates Licensed Silhouette Instructor. I troubleshoot a lot on Facebook and when teaching classes at events, so I see a lot of things pop up. Not all the issues that come up can be blamed on the software.
Today, I’m going to touch on 2 “bugs” in the software that we experienced in my classes at the All Things Silhouette Conference this past weekend. I say “bugs” because they are not detrimental bugs but are changes that a user can still work with once they know why it is happening.
Today we will discuss 2 of the things that I saw during my classes – edit points & multiple machines recognized.
Both of these are workable “bugs” once you understand that they are happening.
Edit points are the data points of a design that the software recognizes and relays to the Silhouette machine to make the cut happen.
The typical behavior is if you double click on a design, they will appear. However, in the current public versions of the Silhouette software, they are more sensitive and like to come out to play much easier – sometimes with a single click of the mouse button. And sometimes they do not necessarily show up on the screen as the dots, especially if a design is grouped together.
There are a few ways you can tell if the object has entered point edit mode.
The first would be that the gray edit points appear on the edge of the design.
The next way to tell if the Edit points have come out to play is if you can see the Edit Points options in the top left corner of the QAT (Quick Access Toolbar) or if the Edit Points Panel opens on the right side. There may be times that you may not see the gray dots of the edit points so at first glance, you may not know that’s what happened, but check to see if the Point Edit mode panels come up.
So, what do you do if this happens? First, try not to get frustrated as that doesn’t make those little guys go away.
Two things you can do – click off the object and try to select it again or right click to bring up the menu and choose “Exit Point Edit Mode”.
Knowing why it is happening, what causes it to happen and how to get out of it – I believe helps with understanding how to work with it.
And of course, when you want to recreate the issue to show someone or demonstrate in class, those little guys keep on hiding. But, they love to come out to play when you aren’t try to get them to do it on purpose. I find this happens often when I find something I think might be a bug in the software & I try to recreate it to bring to the Beta teams attention – and it just laughs at me.
Multiple Machines Recognized
Now, this “bug” may not affect users as much as it did for those in attendance at the All Things Silhouette Conference, but you may notice that the software is now scanning continually for machines nearby.
On the Send tab in the top right corner, at the bottom right of the page is a machine icon. By selecting this icon you can switch between Silhouette machines, which is a Business Edition feature, or if the software is picking up multiple machines, you can choose the one that shows “Available”.
With the current Silhouette Studio v4 software, it is continually scanning and will pick up some other machines nearby. Sometimes, it may even recognize the same machine, but think it’s a new one that’s plugged in. We had both situations happen during class at the June 2019 All Things Silhouette Conference.
The good news on this is the connection between the Silhouette software is getting much stronger and it’s picking up more now. However, I did see more issues with a MAC vs a PC in class. Now, as a home user you may not have any issues with it picking up and placing more machine names in the machine list. But, if you are at an event or just returned from the All Things Silhouette Conference, you may see that you have a lot. The most that I saw on a users computer was 62. While we figured it out during class (Thank you to my Silhouette America staff helpers – Jesse & Ben!), it can still be there when you get home.
The Silhouette America website has a fix for this. While these are the instructions for a “Crash on initializing”, they are also the same instructions for many other issues & can clear out a lot of things that will help the software run a bit smoother as well.
On the other side of it, this operation does wipe out any Custom cut settings (User Defined Settings), so it is best to export those before you proceed. Check out this post on how to Export the User Defined Settings – HERE. It also will reset some of the Preferences to factory defaults, so keep that in mind. The Preferences in the software can be adjusted and which option you choose is a personal preference. But, we will get to that part in a bit.
Once you have exported those User Defined Settings, then you can proceed to clearing out the machine history.
These instructions are direct from the Silhouette America website HERE and I have verified these with Silhouette support.
Since I know that some are visual learners, I have created a video going through the steps of both exporting the User Defined Settings and Clearing out the Silhouette Studio software preferences.
Here are the written instructions from the Silhouette America website, if you are showing multiple machines in the Silhouette software and want to clear those out do the following:
“Please do the following to clear your Silhouette Studio software preferences. Please note that this procedure will result in the removal of user generated cut settings (blade/thickness/speed settings) and user option selections:
On a Mac:
- Close the Silhouette Studio software
- Open the Finder
- Press CMD+SHIFT+G
- Type in ~/Library/Preferences
- Press Return
- Delete the Folder com.aspexsoftware.Silhouette_Studio
- Empty the Trash
- Re-open the Silhouette Studio Software
On a PC:
- Close the Silhouette Studio software
- Press the Windows key (lower left, between CTRL and ALT) and the R key on your keyboard simultaneously
- Type in %appdata%
- Press Enter
- Delete the Folder com.aspexsoftware.Silhouette_Studio
- Empty the Recycle Bin
- Re-open the Silhouette Studio software”
Now, the next step. Once you have cleared out all of the Silhouette Studio software preferences, there may be a few things that you want to go in and change back in the Preferences Panel.
While a few of these Preferences are personal preference, there are also a couple that will help the software run better if you do not need them.
The Preferences panel can be found under the Edit menu in the top left corner or by clicking on the gear icon in the bottom right corner of the Design tab.
Under the Preferences Panel, click on the Defaults tab at the top.
I choose to have the Default Fill Style as Outline Only and the Cut to Edge of Page checked. These are personal preferences only.
Under the Tools tab in the Preferences Panel, I change it to “Choose Select” on After Creating a Shape, After Drawing Freehand & After Using Zoom.
Next, click on the Advanced tab at the top of the Preferences Panel.
These are 2 options that will help the software run smoother by decreasing the data that is saved with each file. It does not affect the design but does affect how large the file is.
Change the Packet Size to 500
Uncheck the “Include Cut Data” – this is only needed if you are saving to a USB stick and want to use the USB stick directly in the Silhouette machine to cut the design with.
I hope this helps explain a little bit about the Silhouette software and how to work with some of these “bugs” that are showing in v4.2. As I said above, I don’t really find them to detrimental bugs, but things that can be worked with once you understand that they are there.
Designs used – *Let it Bee – Design #259286 by Megan Hardy Designs, Love Pets Party – Fly – Design #253648 by Lettering Delights, Big Eyed Bug – Design #13871 by Jennifer Wambach, Firefly – Design #19850 by Snapdragon Snippets, Mosquito – Design #7947 by Cali Arroyo
Feel free to post your comments and questions below or on my Facebook group at Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.
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