Let's Explore v4, Silhouette, Silhouette Projects, Uncategorized

Let’s Explore v4 – Print & Cut Basics

With the v4.3 software released, the Registration Marks panel had a small change as well. For software version of v4.3+, there is now an On or Off on the Registration Marks Panel – find the full details on the panel HERE. If you are using a software version prior to v4.3, then you will see it a little bit different and for almost all users, you would choose Type 1 registration marks – find the full details on that HERE.

Registration Marks Panel difference copy

No matter what version of v4 software you are using, the Basics of setting up a print and cut project are the same.

I follow the exact same steps each time and have great success with each print and cut project.

Print and Cut Basics

This tutorial is written using the v4.3.356 Silhouette studio software. For versions prior to v4.3 you may see a few differences in the software, the steps will be the same. However, you may find this Print and Cut Part 1 tutorial to be helpful too.
Affiliate links may be present in the following blog post and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

First, you want to start out by setting the design page up.

Step 1 – Open the Page Setup Panel – Tab 1
Step 2 – Choose the correct machine & cutting mat.
Note: users prior to v4.3 will notice the Page Setup Panel is a little different too. Find out more on that HERE.
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.
*NOTE: for users with software v4.4.450 or higher – choose Letter size – there is a change in the software with “media” size I have found as of 12/15/20. I have reported it and will update the post as I know more information in the future
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.

Planner Sticker PNC1 copy

Next, open the design onto the cutting mat by either right clicking on the file in the Silhouette library and choosing merge or using File > Merge.
This will merge the design directly onto the page you have just set up.

Merge vs File Merge

Next, click on the Page Setup Panel – Tab 3 – Registration Marks and choose On.
Then click the Restore Defaults button.

PNC demo copy
Penguin in Snowball Fight by Stinkin’ Cute Paper Piecings – Design #117611

As with any new project, I would recommend doing a test first. This is why I start with all the default settings. A test print can save you a lot of headache and frustration just like a test cut when you are cutting new materials or a new design.

With a print and cut, design placement is very important. The design cannot be in the cross-hatched areas of the design screen or over the cut border that is shown on the screen. This is why I turn the Show Cut border on first on the Page Setup Panel.

Design placement copy

Make sure the design is away from the cross-hatched area. This is the area that the optical eye on the Cameo needs to read the registration marks accurately in order to find the design on the page. Making this area smaller or placing a design in it, can result in either a registration marks error message or an inaccurate cut.

Now it is ready to print.

There are 2 ways to do this.

Click on the Printer icon in the top left corner. This will send the print job directly to the printer that is set as the default printer connected to your computer.

Printer icon copy

In the top left corner, choose File > Print and you will get a pop up of Printer options. (Ctrl + P)

file print
The options vary by the printer you have connected to your computer.

Choose the printer to send the job to.

Tip: If you have a Preferences button, click on that and look for a “Preview before Printing” option. This is a great feature to see if it is going to print how you want it to before actually committing to the print job.

Preferences copy

Check the Preview before Printing box.

File Print Preview copy

Then click OK.

print copy

And choose Print.

A Printer menu will pop up and the design can be previewed before committing to printing.

Print Preview copy
Note: this will be dependent on the printer and what the printer setup settings are. Not every user will have this and it can vary, but never hurts to look for it.

Tip: Check to make sure that the bottom left registration mark will print completely. I see a lot of print and cut issues and one is the registration marks were outside the users printer margins and did not print. This means you will either get a registration error or it will cut inaccurately because it doesn’t have all the information to read it correctly.

Once you’ve verified the settings are correct, click on Print and it will send it to the current default printer.


Grab it off the printer. I am using a Canon TS9521C Craft Printer and I love it. This printer has great quality and I love having the option to print on a 12″ x 12″ sheet of cardstock with it.

Place it on the Silhouette cutting mat exactly as it shows on the virtual design screen, in the top left corner of the cutting mat. Make sure that the page is covering the grid lines on the cutting mat, or the Cameo may try to read the black lines when it goes to register.

Page on mat copy

Load the left edge of the cutting mat next to the line on the left side of the machine.

IMG_20200127_154139823 copy

Click on the Send tab in the top right corner and then choose the Material type you are cutting.

Cut Setting copy

Once all the settings are correct, then choose the Send button in the bottom right corner.

Note: a test cut using the Test option in the software will result in part of the upper left registration mark being cut out and can interfere with reading the marks correctly. I would suggest doing a test cut on a spare piece of material or moving the test cut out of the top left corner.

I love print and cut!

IMG_20200127_153032225 copy

I do the same steps every time when setting up the print & cut and rarely have an issue.

IMG_20200127_153058460 copy

I find that in troubleshooting most print and cut issues, it is something in how it is set up or how the design printed. I recommend for all my students and those interested in print & cut, to start with all the default settings to establish a baseline before they start changing things up.

Now that we have a successful print and cut, let’s try another design.

Print and Cut Planner Stickers

Follow the same setup steps listed in the beginning of this tutorial for the Page Setup.

Use File Merge and open the design on the screen.

Open the Page Setup Panel – Tab 3 – Registration Marks and turn the marks on. Click Restore Defaults.

Registration Marks copy
Doughnut Planner Stickers Set by Jennifer Wambach – Design #100816

In the photo above, I have highlighted a few trouble areas of this design. On the left and right edge, the design is over the Cut border and in the bottom left corner, the design is in the cross-hatched area.

To fix this, I select the entire design & cut lines and then use the bounding box in the corner and scale it down just a bit to fit within the borders of my print and cut page. Then move the design to the center of the page.

Planner Sticker demo copy

Once it is all setup the same way, follow the same steps as listed above for printing and loading it in the machine. Click on the Send tab and choose the material type. I am using sticker paper for this set and Send it to the Cameo to cut.

Planner sticker demo cu copy

I used the Silhouette White Sticker paper for this one, as that is what was in my stash. But, I’ve also used the Staples brand sticker paper and I like both.

IMG_20200127_161717399 copy

There are so many options that you can do. The Cameo 4 Autoblade cut beautifully using the Sticker Paper – White setting.

IMG_20200127_161842860 copy

The best thing to do is to start with the basics. Set it up with the defaults, do a test print, and then keep on playing.

If you are still needing help, check out the Print and Cut video class on my Teachable site HERE.

Print & Cut header

This includes 2.5 hours of step-by-step set-up, discussing different file types to print and cut, and troubleshooting tips as well.

Don’t forget to save this for later by pinning the image below – it will work time and time again.

Print and Cut Basics Pin

I would love to see what you create on my Facebook group at Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.

Having print and cut issues? Feel free to post on the group and we will troubleshoot it with you.


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.

28 thoughts on “Let’s Explore v4 – Print & Cut Basics”

  1. I spent a lot of time making a PHONICS page with a picture surrounded by boxes of text. When I pulled it up and printed it later, after the Studio Upgrade in February 2020, the alignment was way off. The top didn’t print the first two lines and the bottom was over 1/2 inch too high on the sheet. I was using double sided scrap booking paper and ruined sheet after sheet as I tried to lower the design. The picture and the words were finally in place but the Cut lines and Perforation marks were always off.
    Frustration! Frustration! This was a studio file that had been made in Studio before the UPDATE in February 2020.

    I needed those PHONIC papers, so tried to open a PDF in which I had saved the original STUDIO design so I could see it in File Explorer as the STUDIO file is just a blue S, but although I have opened HUNDREDS of PDF files and imported them, this did not work.

    Finally, I opened the SVG file as I had also saved it that way though I do not create SVG files. This was better and after a few more ruined sheets and a lot of nudging, I was able to print out this very informative PHONIC sheet which stood as a Center Step Card just as cute as could be with the PHONICS on one side and the printed scrap book sheet on the other side.

    Can you open an old STUDIO file and have it print like it did the day you created it?

    Please send me some advise and perhaps other readers also have an alignment problem with pictures or words not printing in the correct place after opening a STUDIO file that has been saved.

    I really enjoy your blog.



    1. I have not encountered any problems with files being backwards compatible. However, there are a few things you might try.
      1. Have you gotten a new printer since you originally created the file?
      2. Did you originally print on scrapbook paper? Different weights of paper can be pulled into the printer differently and cause alignment to be off.
      3. In the original image, had you moved the registration marks at all? I am assuming it was a Print and Cut.
      4. Did you try copying it to a new design mat and then resaving the file? Just to see if there was a difference.
      It is really just a guessing game without seeing images of what happened. If you continue to have an issue feel free to post on my Facebook group and we will troubleshoot it…


      1. What if I wanted to add words to the stickers how can I get it to cut individual still


  2. OMG!!!! Thank you. I have been trying to do this for 3 days and your post was easy to understand and easy to follow!!! THANK YOU!!!!!


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