In this post, you’ll learn about using SVGs in Silhouette Studio® and why you might choose to buy the SVG addition in the Silhouette Design Store. SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphic. The lines are not made up of pixels of color the way bitmap images are, which include JPG, GIF, and PNG files. That means vector lines can be resized without losing any quality.

Cut lines, text, and shapes created in Silhouette Studio® are vector designs, as are cut files in the Design Store that are not designated as Print & Cut designs. But those are all opened and saved by default as Silhouette Studio® files. SVGs also exist outside of Silhouette Studio® and are created and used in other software programs. So how can you use SVGs in Silhouette Studio®?

If you’ve upgraded to Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition or higher, you have the ability to open external SVGs that you create, purchase, or download from other sources. Here are a few points to know when working with SVGs in Silhouette Studio®. First, know that not all SVGs are created in the same way, so you’ll get some variance in their properties and behavior.

Set your Properties in the Import tab so that imported SVGs open centered in the page, or else it’s possible some may open off of your workpage and become hard to find.

Now we will choose the Open icon and find the 3D bow SVG we’ve downloaded. You can also drag and drop an SVG file from an open computer folder straight onto your design page.

Check the line thickness, which you can see in the Quick-access Toolbar when it’s selected.

Many SVGs open at 1.0 thickness, so if you are cutting, it’s good practice to set the line thickness to 0.0 so there’s no risk of cutting on both sides of a skinny line.

You may need to ungroup multiple times or even release the compound path to break objects apart and then regroup things like perforated lines so that the pieces move with their related parts.

Watch for the thin bounding boxes to show up, indicating separate objects.

You usually need to turn on cut lines with imported SVGs. This is done in the Send panel. With the designs selected, choose Cut or Cut Edge, depending on whether you need inner parts to cut or not.

Now this bow is ready to cut from colored paper, or turn on registration marks to do a Print & Cut.

Let’s move on to purchasing SVGs in the Silhouette Design Store. You may have noticed in the Silhouette Design Store when you add individual files to your cart, and while in your shopping cart, that you’re able to check a box to include SVG with certain designs.

If you check that box, you pay a little more, but you not only get the design that downloads straight into your Silhouette Library, but you will also be able to download that SVG to use in other programs that use SVGs. Let’s complete the checkout, and then we’ll go back into our account to retrieve the SVG. In the Design Store, click on your name to go to your account, then go to My Download History.

On any order where you opted to add the SVG, you can now download the SVG. Select all or check the individual SVG you want, then click the Download Now button.

It lets me choose where to save the zip file on my computer, so I’ve created a folder where I save all my Design Store SVG downloads. If your computer is set up so it doesn’t ask where to save it, you’ll have to find the zip file where all your other computer downloads go.

We will find the zip file, unzip it, and then we can open it like any other SVG in Designer Edition or higher.

Now we’ll go through the same process as with other SVGs. Ungroup and regroup as necessary.

Change the line thickness to 0.0.

And turn on cut lines in the Send panel.

Now you might be wondering why you would purchase an SVG from the Design Store when the file that goes straight into your library works perfectly well in Silhouette Studio®. There are a couple of reasons:

  • First, although all your Design Store purchases are stored in the cloud and can be accessed if you change computers, some users may find additional peace of mind having designs they can find on their computer’s hard drive, outside of Silhouette Studio®.
  • Second, if you are comfortable using software programs other than Silhouette Studio® that allow you to work with SVGs, then those SVG files you purchase from the Design Store can be used in those other programs.

That’s how to use SVGs in Silhouette Studio® and why you might buy the SVG add-ons in the Silhouette Design Store.