Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Reasons 7 - 13.5 for buying Silhouette Studio Designer Edition

In my previous post I covered the first six reasons (of the 13 total) for buying the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition.  In this post I will cover the remaining seven (and a half) reasons.

Those seven features are:

7.      Sketch tools.
8.      Skewing.
9.      Rulers.
10. Guides.
11.   Supports .svg and .dxf files.
12.   Layers Pane.
13.   No need to pay full retail.

7.      Sketch tools. Like the rhinestone and skewing feature, this tool set is only available in the designer edition.  You can use special markers in your Silhouette machine to draw images onto paper. There are six options for edge sketches and seven options for different fill sketches. There are also advanced options for edge effects, fill types, and fill effects.  The image below shows a few of the available edge options such as continuous sketch, pen, scribbles, and pencil.

There were too many options to cover them all in paragraph form, so I tried to show as much as I could in image form.

8.      Skewing, also known as shearing, is another feature only available with the designer edition. This tool set allows you to tilt and skew your creations in a number of preset angles as well as creating your own angle with the custom slider. The shearing option is also helpful for creating italicized fonts that don't usually have an option for italics (it will be a grayed out option).

The image below has four parts:

  • The unsheared objects
  • The objects at a 15° right leaning horizontal shear
  • The objects at a 30° right leaning horizontal shear
  • The objects at a 30° vertical shear
Skewing.  For when you just want to turn things sideways. #MTGreference

9.      Rulers are the measurement guides on the upper and left sides of the design window.  This is a feature that I use a lot more than I thought I would. They aren’t a necessary tool, but I definitely would miss them. I really have no idea why this is labeled as a “feature”. It should have been included in the free version in my opinion.

As I said in a previous post... rulers should be a right, not a feature.

10.  Guides are the thin blue lines created by clicking and dragging from one of the rulers onto the crafting window. It is used to create straight lines, both horizontal and vertical, at a locations of your choosing. They do not show up when printing or cutting.

There is an option to snap to guides, which is shown in the image below by the red arrow. I snapped the purple rectangles to the guides to make this image. If you have the free version of Silhouette Studio you can get around not having guides by creating straight lines, the downside being you cannot snap to them and you have to remove them before printing or cutting.

To adjust your guides, select it like you would any other object by clicking on it. The guide will turn a darker shade of blue. Now you can move the line around or hit the delete key on your keyboard to remove it.

I can't tell you how hard I had to search for what guides were when I first read about them.

11.   The designer edition allows for two additional support vector graphic types: SVG and DXF.  If you use Photoshop or AutoCAD often, this alone is worth it.

12.   Layers.  If you are familiar with them, it’s awesome.  If you aren’t familiar, layers are useful because it helps make complicated designs a bit less annoying to work with.  For example, I like using them to separate my background images from the cut layer so swapping for a new theme or color pattern is fast. You can name layers, show/hide layers, and lock layers. You can also name the shapes in each layer to make identification easier and faster.

I probably should have created an official fourteenth reason for purchasing the Designer Edition but I figured why not just hide it amongst my other reasons for no real reason (I may or may not have forgotten to write it down). So here it is... reason number 12½ ...shadows!!! Oooo fancy. The shadow feature lets you add shadows around objects and text. You can change the color, transparency, and offset of shadows. The red arrow is pointing to the word shadow.. because I said so.

Yes yes, I know its layers and the shadow box is being pointed at ... stop judging me!

13.   MSRP is $49.99. You should NEVER need to pay that much.  For example, right now Amazon has the license key card priced at $25.99, and I have seen it as low as $25.37.  The only downside of ordering from Amazon is that you have to wait for delivery, unless the retailer is willing to email you the code.  Personally, I just waited for the two day shipping.

I know these reasons aren't as interesting as the previous six, but there are still some nice things. The rulers just feel so natural being there, that I would be sad if they were gone, I use them often. Skewing is handy... for when you need it... but I don't see it becoming a popular feature for everyone. Finally, I was really glad I found the software cheaper. I don't think it's worth $49.99, but I can justify the $26 bucks. Thanks for reading.

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