Frequently Asked Questions

Using external images

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You can use your own images created in other programs with the Silhouette. The Silhouette Studio® software program is able to use external images that are in a basic raster image format (such as PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF, and TIF file types). These files can be opened through the File > Open option. Once in the software, the image then needs to be converted into a cuttable image that has lines present for the Silhouette to recognize as cut lines. A Trace feature is included in the software for this purpose.

The Trace feature may be found in the upper right-hand side of the screen:

Once accessed, a panel will open on the right-hand side of the screen where options are provided to trace imported images in order to create cut lines. Silhouette America® cannot support or guarantee results from files not offered by our company. Not all image files are designed to be traced and converted well into a cutting format.

 Steps to bring in an external image and trace it to create cut lines are as follows:

  1. Open Silhouette Studio®
  2. Go to the File > Open option to locate and open the image file
    NOTE: If on a PC, "All Files" needs to be selected from the "file type" selection in the "Open" window
  3. Go to the Trace icon
  4. Click on the Select Trace Area option
  5. Draw a box around the image that is desired to be traced
  6. Adjust any of the tracing filters as desired. Filters include the following:
    • High Pass Filter - Allows the trace lines to be set beginning from the outside of your image and then works toward the inside of the image as the filter setting is adjusted up. This is a nice option if you are trying to create a basic cutting frame for a more detailed image. If you do not wish to create a frame outline for your image, you may wish to turn this option off.
    • Low Pass Filter - Does the opposite of the High Pass Filter where tracing begins at the center points of your image parts and then works toward the outside of the image as the filter setting is adjusted up.
    • Threshold - Determines how broadly you wish to apply the trace filter to your image beginning with the darkest colors for low settings and applies lighter color parts as well as you move to larger settings.
    • Scale - This setting controls the smoothness of pixilated edges of your image. It is only necessary to use if the image in question is of a low quality and highly pixilated.
      NOTE: The trace filter will show a yellow area covering the image. This yellow area is a preview for where your cut lines would be created.
  7. Once the trace area has been drawn and desired filter settings are in place, select one the tracing methods under Apply Trace Method. The available trace options are as follows:
    • Trace - This option will trace all outer and inner lines. This is generally preferable if you are attempting to create a regular cut image with multiple parts and specific details to be cut.
    • Trace Outer Edge - This option will create a cut line only around the outer edges of your image. This is generally preferable if you are attempting to create a Print & Cut image.
    • Trace and Detach - This option will punch out the image from the white background space. It is only used when you specifically removing the white background so that you can have select images overlap or be closer for Print & Cut jobs.

Performing these steps will create cut lines for the imported image.

Alternately, if users wish to use Adobe Illustrator®, CorelDraw®, or other major vector imaging programs with the Silhouette Studio® program (to bring in file types that can be cut directly without tracing), they may consider upgrading to the Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition. This version provides the additional ability to import SVG files directly which you may have created in another vector imaging program (such as Adobe Illustrator® or CorelDraw®).

Or, if you do not wish to go through the Silhouette Studio® program, an alternate plug-in called Silhouette Connect™ allows users to send jobs directly from Adobe Illustrator® or CorelDraw® to the Silhouette.

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