Whether you are a beginner or experienced with the Silhouette software, there is always something new to learn in it. I don’t think any one person can remember every single thing this software is capable of. And speaking from my own personal experience, I think all users get in a routine of doing the same things with the same tools and sometimes we don’t even think of a “new” way to do things.
For example, using the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) versus the panels on the right side.
I am more comfortable using the panels on the right because I like the expanded panel and am just not in the habit of using the quick icons at the top. But, I am getting better at it.
Going through this series, I have learned a lot of new features that I just didn’t use on a regular basis. This is a very powerful graphics program!
Now, if the software seems overwhelming, I would suggest grabbing this free PDF and downloading it to your computer. When you open it and click on the titles, it will take you to a corresponding blog post with more details on that feature.
Today let’s look at the top 10 posts from the “Let’s Explore v4” series that I think will help you learn the software and get you started or more comfortable with designing in the software.
Silhouette Secrets+ Top 10 Let’s Explore v4 Tools
1 – Text Tool & Text Style Panel
Text is one of the first things any user will work with in the Silhouette software. The Text Tools are found on the left side of the software and the Text Style Panel, which allows you to change the properties of the text is on the right side.
2 – Fill Color Panel
I use the fill color panel every single time I open the Silhouette software. Not only does it help you see the design better and give you an idea of how the finished project will look, but it can also make it easier to select the object if it is filled with color.
3 – Line Style Panel
This panel can be very helpful if you want to change the line color of the design so it doesn’t show as a red line or if you are printing a design. Cut lines do not have any weight to them, so if you want to print the lines you would either need to increase the line thickness or choose to “print lines of selected shapes”.
4 – Align Tools
This is another tool that I use every single time I open the software. I like to have my designs and text perfectly aligned and centered in my object. The Align tools are found under the Transform Panel on the right side.
5 – Trace Panel
The trace panel can come in handy for many projects from creating basic designs to print and cut projects with jpeg or png files.
6 – Drawing Tools
These tools can come in handy when you want to create something yourself add your own weeding lines around a design, draw a frame around the design, and many other things. The more comfortable that you get with the software, the more options you will find to create things in it.
7 – Replicate Panel
Want to create an exact copy of the design you just drew or make several copies with the click of 1 button? This can happen under the Replicate Panel.
8 – Offset Panel
Want to make that font a little thicker? The Offset Panel can help with that and so much more.
9 – QAT – Quick Access Tool bar
This is a fluid tool bar that will change depending on what you have selected on the design mat. You will notice that the icons will be the same as the panels on the right side.
With objects selected on the design screen these are the icons you might see in the QAT bar.
Look at all the information in the Quick Access Toolbar. All of this information can also be found on the right side in the Panels, but these are quick buttons to access it as well. There are multiple ways to do things in the software, no one way is right or wrong, but the best way is what works for you.
It is a fluid tool bar, which means that it changes depending on what is selected. If you have text selected on the design screen, then you will see text options in the tool bar.
10 – Edit Points
While this isn’t something that I would label as a beginner tool. I do think knowing what those gray dots are when they pop up is a relief. You don’t need to understand how to work with them right now, but understanding why they appear & how to make them disappear is something I believe is very helpful.
There are so many different tools in the Silhouette software. The best thing you can do is just get started. Play, play, play. Start with 1 project and get that down and then move on to new things.
I would love to see what you create!
Feel free to post on my Facebook group at Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.
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