Thursday, September 29, 2016


This post is going to be really basic, but I really want to make this blog a comprehensive tool for everyone with a Silhouette cutting machine, not just the more advanced users.

We are going to start with the line, then move to the oval, rectangle, circle, and square. Then just for good measure a rounded rectangle and square.  After these basic shapes we will do triangles, and half circles.

Let's get started with the line. Just click the “draw a line” tool then click to start the line. When you are happy with where you want the line to end just click again. You may also click and hold the mouse button, which is what I recommend. By clicking and holding, you can make a perfectly horizontal or vertical line by making sure the two arrows disappear as depicted in the two images below.
A simple line drawn at an angle.  The red arrow is pointing
 to the arrows that appear when the line is not 100% horizontal.

Another simple line.  Notice the two arrows from the previous
 picture are missing because this line is completely horizontal

The next thing we will draw is a rectangle and oval. You may click once, adjust your shape, and then click again to create the shape. Or you can click and hold down the left mouse button and release it when you are happy with your shape. Also, holding down the 'Alt' key will center your shape on where you initially clicked.

The red arrows are pointing to the two tools used to make rectangles and ovals.

To draw a perfect circle or square there are four ways you can go about doing so. From the best to worst (in my opinion):

  1. Hold down the shift key before clicking the mouse. This will cause the aspect ratio to remain the same on both the horizontal and vertical planes resulting in a circle or square.
  2. Draw your rectangle or oval. Then using the scale tool (blue arrow) make sure the 'lock aspect' box (red arrow) is NOT checked and fill in the measurements that you would like the circle or square to be. See the image below for this method.
  3. A combination of 1 and 2 where you draw a circle or square using the shift key method, then manually enter the correct size using the adjust tool. Be sure to have 'lock aspect' box checked.
  4. Manually move the cursor when creating a oval or rectangle until the measurements on the shape are the same number. (I do not recommend this method).
Just like the oval and rectangle, a circle and square can be centered on a specific point by holding the Alt+Shift key before drawing your shape.

Using the scale tool to make an oval into a circle.  Uncheck the 'lock aspect' box and make the width and height numbers the same (blue arrow). 

Drawing rounded rectangles and squares are created just like a regular square or rectangle just be sure to select the rounded rectangle option (red arrow below) The only difference you will notice are two red circles (blue arrow in the image below) in the upper left hand corner of your shape. These are used to adjust the curvature of your corners. You can move them by clicking and dragging them until you are happy with how your shape looks.

Manipulating the red dots in the picture above changes the angle of the corners so you can adjust the corners as needed.

Finally the last thing I am going to cover will be using very basic points manipulation to create two new shapes, the right-angle triangle and a half circle/oval. To draw a right-angle triangle first start with a rectangle or square. Then using the select tool (also known by me as the arrow tool) double click on the outline of the shape. You should now see 4 grey squares appear at the corners of your shape. This 'mode' is known as "edit point" mode. If you do not see these points, try double clicking on the shape again or clicking on the 'edit points' tool located on the upper left tool box (red arrow) after selecting your shape.

The edit point mode (red arrow) is a very useful tool when manipulating shapes in the Silhouette Studio software.

Next, select one of the grey squares and click the 'delete point' option in the upper left (red arrow). That is it. You should now have a perfect right angle triangle.

Delete a point on the square. BAM ... triangle! You are awesome!!!

Creating a half circle shape is almost like creating the right triangle except there is one additional step.
  1. Draw a circle or oval.
  2. Double click on your shape to enter "edit point" mode.
  3. Delete one of the points on the circle (red arrow).
  4. Select the point that highlights the section that will be the flat portion of the half circle or oval.  Select the 'make flat' option (blue arrow).
  5. All done!
Both of the shapes shown started as a circle or oval and had one point deleted. Making these types of arches is a great way to align text in this program which I will cover in a future post.

So, what are you going to use all these shapes for now that you are a professional shape creator? In my next project post I am going to join basic shapes together and manipulate those basic shapes to create awesome sticker cut outs for your journals, planners, calendars, and whatever else you want to make colorful! Thanks for reading.

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