Sunday, January 15, 2012

Converting SVG files to Use with Silhouette Studio Software

I am awaiting the arrival of my Silhouette Cameo machine.  Yeah for me!  I have been playing with the Silhouette Studio software.  One thing I have learned is that you cannot use SVG files with the standard version of Silhouette software, however, you can convert SVG files to use with Silhouette Studio without upgrading to the designer edition.  From here forward I will be posting my files in both SVG and DXF format so my Silhouette friends that use the standard version of Studio can cut them as well.  DXF is a format that you can open, in cuttable format, in the standard version of Silhouette Studio.  However, if there are SVGs out there you would like to use with your Silhouette Studio software, here is how you can convert them to DXF and open in Studio.
1.  Download and install Inkscape if you do not already have it.  You can download the most recent version for free here.
2. Launch Inkscape.
3. Open the SVG file you want to convert.  (under the file menu, select "Open," and open up your SVG.)
4. Under the file menu select "Save As" and under the "save as file type" pull down menu, select "Desktop Cutting Plotter" (it is about half-way down.)  When it asks you what type output you would like select "Use ROBO-Master type of spline output" and hit OK.
5.  Launch your Studio software.
6.  Go to "Open"under the file menu.  Select "All files" from the file typedrop down menu.  Find and select the DXF file you just saved out of Inkscape.
7. Viola, you can now cut it with your Silhouette out of your studio software or save it as a .studio file to cut later.

MAC USERS:  SEE COMMENT FROM BANI BELOW FROM 2/5/13. 

Thanks Bani for the insight for our Mac using friends!!  (from my blog statistics I see there asre quite a few so this is invaluable information!!

There are a ton of SVG files out there and now you can use them with your Silhouette Studio software!!
Happy Cutting!

89 comments:

  1. Amazing step by step! thank you!!!!! I have my Cameo and upgraded to the SVG3. Would love to have my favorites in the Silhouette Studio tho. thank you and Congrats on the purchase :)

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  2. Oh Snap, Michelle. You have unlocked my svg files for me and I am soooo grateful. Thanks, girl!

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  3. Thank you so much! I just got my cameo and was looking at the software issue with the svgs. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

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  4. Wow! This is so great. Really appreciate you taking the time to step me through this and to share your svg files. Thanks so much!

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  5. Hi Michelle - I have just discovered your blog through a link and have read this post with interest. I do have the DE of Silhouette Studio - but I have found your article here on converting them very interesting. I hope you don't mind, but I posted a link to your article to some friends on a Facebook group I'm in - a Silhouette Cameo group as it happens. Some of the members don't have DE, and most of us are struggling with the whole concept of SVG's, so I thought I would say 'hi' and let you know how useful this article that you've written is....

    Paula (UK) xxx

    here is a link to our group - which is the Silhouette Cameo Paper Crafts Group. I'm not an administrator, but my friend Tracy is.

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/155661967888224/

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    1. Just found this blog after much frustration trying to download SVGS files. I do have the DE program. Apparently mine doesn't automatically convert. Is this normal? Or do is there a defect with my program. I'm having to do this manually. I follow the above instructions and hope it helps.
      Thank you,
      Ria

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  6. Thank you so much for the incredible "play by play: instructions. I am so excited I can use all of my SVG's now! A thousand times, Thank You!!!

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  7. Thank you so much for passing this info along!

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  8. This is a FABULOUS tutorial! Is it okay if I post a link in a facebook group? One of the dialy questions we have is how to convert an SVG for regular Silhouette software!
    Thanks!
    kacey

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    1. Hi Kacey. I am glad it was helpful. Feel free to share!

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  9. I must be doing something wrong! I have followed these steps and am able to see the file in Studio DE - but it will only cut a square round the shape - not around the shape itself :-( Any ideas?
    Thanks - Lora

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    1. Hi Lora. Studio DE will open svgs without you having to convert them. If you have DE you should not have to convert an svg. I don't have DE but I believe you import the svg file instead of opening it. Maybe converting is messing you up. Try to import the svg without converting at all.

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    2. I also have the problem. When I open any file like jpg or svg, I only see a black rectangle.

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  10. thank you...you have save my day....thank you...may God Bless You...

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  11. This is exactly what I was looking for to use my SVG files! Thank you so so much!!!

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  12. Thank you so VERY MUCH. Your thoughtfulness in posting this has helped me (and many others it seems)in solving this problem. Very grateful.

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  13. I just got my cameo yesterday and this is exactly what I need. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  14. This is fantastic! I just tried it and it worked wonderfully. Thanks so much!

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  15. Thanks for your help, this is so easy to use and your instructions simple to follow. Well done !!

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  16. Thank you for your easy to follow steps. Even with the Designer Edition I was running into issues with svg files. This was a blessing.

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  17. I would like to convert a silhouette file ti sgv, how do I do that?

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    1. Hi there. There are a couple options, neither very good to be honest. You can buy the designer edition of studio. If you don't have the designer edition and do not care to buy it you can print to PDF in Studio then trace in Inkscape, MTC or SCAL and save as an svg. Final option I am aware of, you can open the studio file and take a screen shot of the file, save in an image editing program and then take it into MTC, SCAL, or Inkscape and trace, then save as SVG. Do any of those work for you??

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  18. It seems as if it worked for me, but when I open the file in Silhouette I dont see anything. DO I need to select the itme in inkscape prior to saving it?
    I have tried both ways and the image doesn't appear in SIl, but it acts as if it is opening something.....

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  19. that is fabulous.. i have inkscape but no silhouette. using inkscape can you convert svg files to something that can be cut with updated cricut?

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    1. Hi Bev. Unfortunately, unless you have third party software that was purchased prior to Provo Craft's lawsuit(s) you can only use Provo Craft products to cut to the Cricut. Sounds like you may be ready to upgrade. :) Good news is there seems to be a good market out there for used Cricuts . . .

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  20. Im having the same problem as Missy. I convert it like you said and open it up in Sil. and it shows nothing.

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  21. I am having the same problem as missy. Help!

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  22. I had the same problems with files not showing but these tweeks to the instructions helped. (Thanks Michelle it you saved me a lot of frustration)

    * click on image in Inkspace before "save as"
    * type .dxf at the end of your file name
    * tick both file cutter options

    Mine are all ready to go now .. one happy crafter!

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  23. I am new and learning but on another page a lady used .png files too. I will try that too, who knows if it will help someone having issues. Man I want to learn it all before I plug it up! ;)

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  24. I can't seem to get this to work for me!! I am VERY new, just got my machine for X-mas so I can't justify the extra for the upgrade just yet. And when I click on the image in Inkscape "save as" isn't an option. Any suggestions? I got one to work after about 5 tries but so far still one the one. Thanks!!!

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    1. Hi Kristina. Once you have opened the svg in Inkscape, do not click on the image. Instead go to the file menu and select Save As. You will get a pop-up window. Continue on from step four above and you will be golden!! Hope you can get it to work. Congrats on the new machine!! You will LOVE it!!

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  25. It worked for me... yay! Thanks so much for the easy step by step instructions.

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  26. WOW Worked Perfect!! Thank you sooo much!!

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  27. I keep getting errors in inkscape! Any suggestions!?!

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  28. what does your error say? maybe you got a bad inkscape install?? Uninstall and reinstall and see if that helps.

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  29. i'm a dummy...i have silhouette designer edition. everything i cut is svg. why i ask, are you converting svg? i think i'm missing something here.

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  30. You are not a dummy Kat . . . you have the designer edition. The basic edition of studio will not cut svgs so they need to be converted so the standard edition can open them.

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  31. This worked perfectly! Thank you so much!

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  32. I was not able to get this to work on my silhouette. I have done step by step according to the instructions. The DXF file does appear in the drop down box under "all files" however when I try to open it in Silhouette nothing shows up. Any suggestions?

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    1. Hmmmm . . . when you open it in Silhouette and do not see anything try doing a select all and then chosing a line color of black. maybe you have no line color in the file or it is opening as white so you do not see it. Hope that work for you!!

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    2. i have tried all of the above and still cannot get an image to open :( just a gray rectangle box in my library, and nothing when i open it. please help!!!

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  33. i wish you had an image here so i could pin this on pinterest!!

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  34. I struggled a bit to make the save as dxf work on my Mac (Mountain Lion), so I'll leave here some further info for mac users. I already had Inkscape installed, so I don't remember very well how I got it to work, but I do know that I had to install XQuartz and that I have to open it manually before attempting to open Inkscape.

    Then, if you get the error "The fantastic lxml wrapper for libxml2 is required by inkex.py and therefore this extension...", here is the tricky part that worked for me: first, make sure you have XCode installed. The open it and from the Preferences in the main menu install the Command Line Tools - this installs the compiler that builds the missing library. Then download lxml from http://pypi.python.org/pypi/lxml/3.0.2, open the terminal and from the download directory run the following commands:
    $ tar zxpfv lxml-3.0.2.tar.gz
    $ cd lxml-3.0.2
    $ sudo python setup.py install
    If you get an error in the end of the last command, try this:
    $ sudo ln -s /usr/bin/gcc-4.2 /usr/bin/llvm-gcc-4.2
    and then run it again.

    After that you have the library installed, but maybe it still won't work. To make sure Inkscape can find it, I followed the instructions from here:
    https://answers.launchpad.net/inkscape/+question/194132#comment-6

    And VoilĂ , this time you are really ready to convert your files to dxf on Mountain Lion using Inscape ;)

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    1. I have a Mac and I am getting this error you speak of. However, everything you said to fix it is like Chinese to me. Oh why did I buy a Cameo!!!! :*(
      abbyclairebrady@gmail.com

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    2. Wow, I spent 2 hours doing all that and got as far as downloading lxml. The download didn't open, and then when I went to the terminal in X11 and input each line, it kept giving errors. Finally when I entered the sudo, it prompted me a warning and asked for a password...I aborted because I'm not willing to risk damaging my new computer over a $50 upgraded program.

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  35. Thanks for the insight Bani. I am going to include a note in the post itself for Mac users to see this comment. Thanks again!!

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  36. Thank you so much for your info, I have been so overwhelmed with my silhouette machine, I found that my cricut machine is easier to use, but i'm sure with time and practice, i'll get the hang of it.

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  37. The SVG. I have is a zip file it won't open in inkscape. Any ideas? Thank you so much for this and all the time you spend trying to help us! :)

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  38. Hi justkrish. Unzip (extract) the file first, then you will be able to open it in Inkscape. Good Luck!!

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  39. Oh dear - I just installed Inkscape on my Mac (os 10.8.2) - I could not get it to open. I click on the icon in applications - it briefly opens on my dock, then disappears.
    I just read Bani's post...I think it will be worth it to just update my Silhouette Design Studeo to DE. :(

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  40. I have tried it many many times.. tried saving as a ping (which does make the image show up in my library) and as the dxf file type. The problem I have is when I try to save it with the dxf file type, I get this pop up after I have checked the boxes and saved it (Traceback (most recent call last):

    File "dxf_outlines.py", line 290, in

    e.affect()

    File "C:\Program Files (x86)\Inkscape\share\extensions\inkex.py", line 215, in affect

    self.effect()

    File "dxf_outlines.py", line 267, in effect

    layer = layer.replace(' ', '_')

    AttributeError: 'NoneType' object has no attribute 'replace'

    Then the file when it shows up, it is a blank page and has 0mps.. When I save it as a ping.. I can get it to the library. However, it goes as a image only and isnt a cutable file. It is a print ONLY file and you cannot get any kind of cut lines on it since it has no layers to it. The cut lines are around the page part of the image or ..you know what I mean.. I would be able to cut an outer rectangle only. So I am at a loss as to what I can do to make this something I could cut out.

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  41. Worked perfectly for me - I chose to import the dxf files to my silhouette library and then opened them from there. Thanks!!!

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  42. YOU. Are am amazing genius and I love you for sharing this information with us!! I can now cut some files I've been holding onto that I really wanted!! Is there a better way to thank you than just saying THANKS!!? If there is, let me know. You, my friend, ROCK!! xoxo Jen

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  43. Thank you so much. I appreciate you taking the time to share this info with us. My book project is due Monday & now I stand a chance at finishing on time!

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  44. Anybody find any less confusing instructions for Mac Mountain Lion conversion of .svg to .dxf? I'm already ready to send this silhouette back and I just go it today. I'm not computer illiterate but the instructions by Bani aren't clear enough for me to follow. I've downloaded Inkscape and tried to install lxml but I have no idea if I was successful or not. I still keep getting the warning message when I give the program the "save as" command.

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    1. Theres a few steps, but WAY easier than Bani's method... posted on the official inkspace forum:

      http://www.inkscapeforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12478#p46872

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  45. Thank you soooooo much for this. Simple, straight forward instructions. I trawled a few before I found yours. Some were far too wordy and complicated. Now to try cutting my old work...took me a long time to do!
    I just bought a Cameo and have to convert from Xyron Wishblade. I also downloaded the Robo software ages ago so I could convert files.
    I know where to come for snags!

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  46. Hi, this is so wonderful to know-thanks!! I have a question. I just downloaded inkscape on my pc last night. In your step #4 I check the box for ROBO spline output. There is an option below ROBO that is already checked and says "use LWPOLYLINE type of line output" Do you know if I leave that checked or should uncheck it? Thanks :)

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  47. Linda June 11, 2013 at 2:00 PMJune 11, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Hey I have been using my Silhouette with my converted svg files and just recently my .dfx Inkscape files aren't even showing up in silhouette or as I've been checking them out in illustrator. It was working great now it appears as if there is a problem between inkscape and the silhouette. I have been selecting Desktop Cutting Plotter and Use ROBO-Master type of spline output. Is there anything else that I could be doing wrong?

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  48. I have a question, I just cam across this wonderful tutorial, I have been trying to figure out how to cut SVG's for some time. I get it to work all the way to opening in sil and I get an era saying this type of file isn't supported. What am I doing wrong? TIA

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  49. Hi Michelle,

    I bought a few cute SVG's from a site, opened one in Inkscape, saved it as a DXF, imported it into my Silhouette library, but when the file opens and I try to layer the parts they don't really line up very well. Have you experienced this issue at all? I don't know how to fix it. Thanks so much!!

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  50. Thanks Bani, but I found a much easier way to update Inkscape so that it imports SVG and exports DXF on MAC without error messages... that doesnt require downloanding xcode (which is 1.65 GB!) and doing a bunch of command line stuffs...

    check out this walkthrough on the official inkscape forum...

    http://www.inkscapeforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12478#p46872

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  51. Bless your heart! I know your original blog post is old, but I've been tearing my hair out trying to find a solution to my issues, and this fit the bill beautifully. I have an older Silhouette SD, and I've been cutting fine (from Inkscape and the SIL software) on my laptop. However, I wanted to cut from my computer, from Inkscape... and it just wouldn't work. After installing drivers again and again, I could manipulate the SD from Inkscape, I could do a test cut from the CraftRobo controller... but I couldn't cut!! Came across your tutorial to convert to DXF from Inkscapes SVG, and it worked beautifully! I'd never had a need of it until now, but now I can't stop thinking about how much easier my life is going to be again! Thanks!

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  52. Thank you so much for your help. This has been very valuable to me and as far as I can see, many other Silhouette users.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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  53. Gracias por la explicacion, pero eso no funciona con el software silhouette estudio

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  54. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I will share it on my own blog.

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  55. I'm doing everything as it's written, but when I open the DXF file in Silhouette Studio, the picture isn't outlined in pink like cut-able images normally are. I'm just trying to convert a plain black text image, and it shows up outlined in black, it looks like a normal image.

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  56. Thanks for this tutorial. New to cutting and this info has helped enormously

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  57. Michelle, I think you are my new best friend!! Thank you SO incredibly much for your clear, easy-to-follow instructions - and this information in general. I gave things a go with a file that I was desperate to use... and it was all quite easy-peasy. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  58. Hello, I have received a silhouette studio file and am trying to open it on my Mac. I do not have a silhouette machine and so I do not have the silhouette software. When I try and open the file, it says I need studio to open it. Can someone tell me how I can open this file to use it?

    thank you for any help you can give me
    Michelle

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  59. thank you so much. you have made my day ....... now no housework will get done as i just wanna cut all my SVGs xx

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  60. Thank you so much for the tutorial I have been trying to do this. Now it is all cleared up. Do you have any suggestions how to move the white roller on the right??? I have been muckin with the bloody thing since I got my sil, about 1 month ago and have nnot been able to budge it, I have even put on the ole rubber gloves to see if I could get better traction..There has to be a trick to this!! thanks a lot

    Jamie

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    1. Did you lift up the roller bar (the blue lever to the right) and then twist the white piece til the ends come out of the notches in the metal roller bar? Then you should be able to slide it back to a different position and twist it til the ends sit back in the notches on the metal bar again? Hope that makes sense. :)

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  61. Thank you so much for this information it is really useful.

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  62. I feel really stupid. i downloaded Inkscape and now can't figure out how to get into the program. It doesn't show up as an icon on my desktop nor as one of the programs. sigh...

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    1. It may well be in your programme file. Go to Start, Programmes and see if it in there.
      When you find it there will be 3 folders and an Inkscape emblem double click this emblem and it should open automatically.
      If you can't find it just download it again as it is free.
      Goodluck.

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  63. THANK YOU!!!!!! it's working. I am so happy!

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  64. Michelle felicitaciones por ese tutorial, muchas gracias por compartir tus conocimientos. Fue de mucha ayuda, para los que al abrir el archivo en studio no sale nd miren el archivo DXF que tamano tiene por que aveces aunque sale no queda bien guardado.

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  65. Thank you, thank you thank you! Exactly what I needed without having to upgrade to designer edition just for this.

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  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  67. Holy cow! I had to try this after reading/commenting earlier. It works! I followed the clear simple instructions and there was a gorgeous .svg that I wanted to cut on portrait that I just saved as .studio. Just brilliant! Thank you so very much. I will be sending many people this way. Thanks from a fellow canadian in the US. PS: Just one clarification might be that one should check the box next to "Use ROBO-Master type of spline output" and uncheck the "Use polyline type of output" box.

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  68. hi
    i followed your tutorial to the letter, but when i go to open it in the cameo software nothing appears what am i doing wrong? Thank you
    Vince

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  69. I've been designing files for years. Never used the Silhouette Studio software before. I have tons of files in many formats this tutorial is great!

    One question, am I right in assuming that if the file has layers that are on top of each other in SVG form, you need to make them all one layer to convert?

    I tried one file conversion and didn't do this. the layers welded into just one layer. Unable to distinguish between the pieces-

    Hope this helps someone else.

    Thank you!

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  70. Correction, at least pieces not on top of each other.

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  71. New to the Silhouette software and don't have the DE version. Found you through a Google search! Thanks so much for taking the time to post and explain this. Fabulous!!

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