Cameo 4, Designing in Silhouette Studio, Let's Explore v4, Silhouette, Silhouette Projects

Let’s Explore – Registration Marks v4.3

If you are using a v4.3 software version, you may have noticed that there are a few changes in the software panels from prior versions.

One of those panels is the Page Setup Panel – Tab 3 – Registration Marks, so let’s take a look at the difference.

Registration Marks Panel difference copy

If you are using version 4.0 to version 4.2, then the Page Setup Panel – Tab 3 will look like the one on the left side in the photo above – check out this post HERE for details on that.
If you are using version 4.3, then the Page Setup Panel – Tab 3 – Registration Marks will look like the one on the right.

As you can see the Registration Marks Style section has changed to an On or Off position now in version 4.3. While this is the only change you can see in this panel, when you are looking at videos or older tutorials, it will show the step to choose Type 1. This is great to know if you are new user to Silhouette or for someone just updating to the version 4.3 software.

But, while we are here, let’s review the Registration Marks Panel and explain what it all means.

The Registration Marks Panel is the 3rd tab in the Page Setup Panel, which is the top right icon.

Registration Marks Panel copy

The print and cut registration marks can also be toggled on by the keyboard shortcut letter ‘M’. I see this happen often when a user is typing with text and then clicks off of the text, but still tries to type letters. This can activate keyboard shortcuts and the marks will toggle on and off.

Now, first before we go into the details of this panel, let’s first set up the page for the print and cut. I follow the same steps every single time I set up a print and cut project and I rarely have any issues. We will go through them here briefly, but check out this Print and Cut – Part 1 tutorial for more details – HERE. Keep in mind that this tutorial was written in a software version before the On and Off change in this panel.

Affiliate links may be present in the following blog post.

Setting up a Print and Cut Page

Step 1 – Open the Page Setup Panel – Tab 1
Step 2 – Choose the correct machine & cutting mat.
Step 3 – Choose the Media size. I choose “Printer” as the option when using letter size paper. You will find it at the bottom of the drop down box for Media Size.
Step 4 – Move transparency to 0%. This will help you see the page size better.
Step 5 – Choose the Portrait Orientation. This is the orientation I recommend as I see the least amount of issues with it.
Step 6 – Check the boxes next to Show Print Border and Show Cut border. This will show you the boundaries you have to work with.

Page Setup copy
Colorful Sloth – Stickers by Sandi Idleman – Design #312256

Now, that the page is set up, let’s move to the registration tab and turn the
Registration Marks On.

Registration Marks On copy

Some things to point out here.

When the Show Cut border box is checked on the Page Setup Panel – Tab 1, you will notice that the red cut boundary moves when you turn the registration marks On. Notice that the cut boundary is lined up with the registration marks that appeared on the page.

There is a cross-hatched area that shows up on the design screen. This does not print on your page. However, having a design, cut border, or background in this cross-hatched area can interfere with the optical eye reading the registration marks accurately. This can cause mis-cuts. Make sure that the design is away from the cross-hatched areas on the page.

Notice on the left and right side, I have circled and highlighted 2 problem areas. These would result in those 2 things not being cut completely, if there were no other errors because they are outside of the cut border.

I mentioned above, that I do the same exact steps every time I set up a print and cut project. The next step I do is click the Restore Defaults button.

Restore defaults copy

And I am ready to print. This Colorful Sloth – Stickers by Sandi Idleman – Design #312256 is set up as a print and cut design, so the cut lines are already there.
If you are creating your own cut file, you may need to trace or fill with color. Check out these posts on Print & Cut – Part 2 – Text and Print & Cut – Part 3 – Images for exactly how to do that.

I go to File > Print in the top left and make sure the printer is set up with the correct page settings for the printer I am using. If the Printer Setup has a Preview option, I would highly recommend using it to make sure that all of the registration marks will print correctly.

Printer Setup copy

But, what about all the other options on the Registration Marks Panel?

Yes, there are more options. However, I would highly recommend for a beginner with print and cut, if you’ve ever had problems with print and cut, or if you have a new printer to start with the defaults and establish a baseline.
This will eliminate so many things that could be an issue that gives you a registration error or mis-cut.

It printed beautifully on the Silhouette white sticker paper! Make sure to place the printed page in the top left corner of the cutting mat exactly as the page shows on the design screen. Place the page on top of the grid lines on the cutting mat or the Cameo may try to read the grid lines instead of the registration marks.

PNC Loaded copy

The left edge of the mat, should line up with the line on the left on the Cameo that the 2 arrows point to.

PNC Load line copy

Now, something I noticed after it printed was that the designer of the file had increased the line thickness of the cut lines, so when it printed the red lines printed too. This is not always desired, so make sure you double check the file before printing it out.

Line Thickness copy

I love print and cut and I rarely have an issue with it registering or mis-cutting. This is why I want to stress the importance of using the defaults at least the first time to set you up for the best chance of success.

PNC Cut copy

Registration Marks Panel Options

Once you have established a baseline with print and cut and have had success with the default settings, then I you can venture into testing the limits.

I often see users who have maxed out the registration marks to try to gain more space on their page and they end up with it not registering at all or if it does, the cut is far from accurate. While you can move the registration marks, each printer will vary in how far you can move those and still get an accurate cut.
This will take testing on your part to know what the limits are for your printer!
I rarely move my registration marks because I know at the defaults it cuts great every time. However, on the occasion I am feeling daring, I have moved them but tell myself the entire time that if it doesn’t cut, I will know why. While I’ve still been successful in moving the marks and getting accurate cuts, that is not what I see with the majority of users. So, just keep that in mind.

Registration Marks Panel detail copy

1 – On or Off – Turn the registration marks used for print and cut on or off by clicking the box next to each option.

2 – Length & Thickness – Adjust the length of the registration marks or the thickness of the marks.

3 – Inset – Adjust all 3 of the registration marks at the same time. The higher the number, the closer to the middle they move.

Inset example copy

4 – Advanced Options – Click on the arrow and it expands with more options to adjust the individual insets of the print and cut area.

Advanced Inset copy

5 – Restore Defaults – This will reset the registration marks to the default settings.
This is the #1 thing that I feel can make all the difference in getting an accurate cut. I highly recommend starting with the defaults first and then as you feel more comfortable, you can start changing things up. Especially on a file that you have purchased that is set up as a print and cut file. It may not have been saved with the default settings for the Silhouette. The designer may have been able to print it with their printer at those marks, but yours may not be the same. Or you could encounter someone who has just designed it but never printed it to test it.

6 – Orientation – Default vs Inverted – This changed the direction of the registration marks on the mat. Notice the direction of the arrow on the cutting mat. Inverted placed it on the opposite corner of the mat & moves the registration marks on the page.

Orientation demo copy

7 –Barcode  – This adds a barcode to the side of your page and it stores all of the cut settings data in the bar code that the Cameo 3 will read. This is a Business Edition feature only. There is also the option to save the information to the cloud account that is associated with the email address used to log in. 

I troubleshoot a lot on many platforms for print and cut and most often it is something that needs to be tweaked with the way the file is set up. Starting with those defaults will save you a lot of headache in the long run.

Don’t forget to Pin this image below to save these tips for the future!

Registration Marks pin

I would love to see the projects you have created feel free to post on my Facebook group at Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.


SS_Signature copySS Logo snip it

**This post may contain affiliate links. What that means is that I may receive compensation if you purchase through the links I have provided. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher but I may get compensated for sharing.

9 thoughts on “Let’s Explore – Registration Marks v4.3”

  1. This post is so helpful. I never noticed the printer option, for one. I’ve had problems in the past with reading the registration marks. I think it was because the grid from my mat was showing. I also was going to do my image landscape, but I will take your advice and use portrait.
    Have you found any advantages to increasing the thickness of the registration marks?


    1. So glad it was helpful! I rarely have to increase the thickness of the registration marks, however, I do see some users who do and it is successful. In my experience, it is better to have the marks thicker than smaller. So if you do change them, I would go bigger, not smaller. But, I would definitely test at the default settings first and keep the design away from the cross-hatched area so it doesn’t interfere.


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