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How to use Silhouette Studio

Learn all the basics of Silhouette Studio.

Silhouette Studio is a great software to create and cut your own designs with your Silhouette cutting machine. If you’re a beginner, you’ve found the right article to get you started. This guide will walk you through the basic features, so you can start crafting right away!

Download the software

Silhouette Studios is a desktop application founded by Silhouette America and it comes in different editions. The basic version is free to use, but they also offers paid upgrades: Designer Edition, Designer Edition+ and Business Edition.

All you need to do to make use of the software is to download the Basic Edition, install it on your computer, and create an account. 

When the software is installed, you can open it anytime via your computer applications. 

This is what the canvas looks like once you have started the program.

Tools & Features

There are a lot of tools available in the canvas overview. In the toolbar on the left-hand side of the canvas, you’ll find the essentials.

  • Select: A tool to select objects or text on your canvas.
  • Edit Points: When you want to edit a shape that you created with the Line Tool, you can use Edit Points to add or remove a point, corner it and make smoother lines.
  • Line Tool: With the Line Tool you can draw single lines, a polygon, a curved shape and an arc.
  • Drawing Tools: A tool for drawing shapes such as rectangle, ellipse and regular polygon.
  • Draw Freehand: A pen tool to freely draw on your canvas.
  • Text: Creates a textbook to write text with your keyboard.
  • Draw a note: A tool for adding notes (such as internal comments) to your project.
  • Eraser Tool: Makes it possible to erase anything on your canvas.
  • Knife Tool: A tool to cut in images and objects.

When each tool is selected, a set of features for that specific tool will become available in the toolbar on the top.

Edit your project

In the toolbar on the top, you have other options to edit your project. The features available are:

  • New Drawing: Opens a new blank canvas as a new untitled drawing.
  • Open: Allows you to open new files, such as craft and graphics files. More on which file formats are compatible here.
  • Save: To save an ongoing or new project to your computer.
  • Send to Printer: Not your cutting machine, but a paper printer connected to your computer.
  • Cut/Copy/Paste: To cut out, copy or paste a copied object.
  • Undo/Redo: To go back or go one step forward in your editing. It’s not possible to redo something before you’ve undone it.
  • Select tools: Makes it possible to select all objects, deselect all selected objects or select objects by color.
  • Various zoom options: To zoom in or out on your canvas.

Switch your design overview

Apart from these features, there are also a few options to switch overview. The Design overview shows your ongoing design on your canvas. If you click Store you can view the Silhouette Design Store. Clicking Library takes you to your own personal Silhouette Cloud. If you click Send your design gets prepared to be cut or printed with your cutting machine.

Panel options

In the toolbar to the right, there are multiple extended panel options to edit your design. Read more in our tutorials here how you can use these.

Create and edit text

Let’s go more in depth on creating and editing text. Click the Text button and click anywhere on your canvas. You will now be able to write your text. A menu will appear on the top, and this is where you can change and edit the font.

To change the font, simply click the little arrow next to the font column, and a drop-down menu will appear. These are all the fonts installed on your computer. You can also search for a font by typing the name of the font in the same column.

If you’d like to read how to install and use your own fonts, check out our tutorial here.

Apart from changing the font in the font menu, you also have the option to edit the style of the font, adjust the size and placement of the font, and the color of the fill and outline.

Delete textbox

If you would like to remove a text box you can either click the X located in the text edit menu or simply marking the box and click the Backspace or Delete button on your keyboard.

Edit options for shape and images

If you open an image or a shape on your canvas, the edit options will look a bit different. There are multiple options to edit the shape with the point tool, change the color and the placements of the shape.

The image editing gives you the same kind of editing options.

Save or make a project

When you are done for working on your project, you can easily save it by clicking Save in the menu on the top.

If you are completely done with a project and want to send it to you cutting machine, click Send.

Silhouette will prepare your project on the cutting mat. In this overview, you can decide if you’d like to print or cut the design, and how you want it to be cut or printed.

Before you can start cutting, make sure to check so your cutting machine is connected to your computer. 

Have fun while exploring Silhouette Studio, and if you want more in-depth tips on how you can use the software, make sure to check out our other tutorials.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at [email protected]

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