Software Lessons

Overview

What is DigitizerPro?

Digitizer Pro is a software program that allows you to

  • create embroidery designs from graphic images, including photographs
  • modify embroidery designs
  • create lettering
  • convert embroidery designs from one stitch format to another
  • manage and catalog embroidery designs

It is professional-level software - sophisticated enough to create designs that are comparable to designs you purchase from embroidery designers.

Create Embroidery Designs from Graphic Images

In the computerized-embroidery world, the term "digitize" is used to describe the process of creating embroidery. Digitizing means we start with a graphic image, which is a picture, and use it as a "pattern" to create an embroidery design. 
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An embroidery design is actually a series of instructions in a computer file that embroidery machines can read. The instructions tell the machine how to lay down stitches to sew the design. To create an embroidery design, you must have digitizing software.

DigitizerPro has three major ways of creating embroidery designs. You can use any of the three ways depending on your desire and skill level. They are:

  • Autodigitizing , where the software automatically creates the design for you
  • Semi-automatic digitizing , where you direct the software to generate embroidery for the area of the graphic that you choose
  • Manual Digitizing , where you use the digitizing tools to describe areas of the graphic to generate embroidery

Any or all of the three ways can be used to create an embroidery design, and they can be used together.

Modify Embroidery Designs

Many embroiderers have no desire to create embroidery designs. They prefer using embroidery designs from the wonderful designers that are on the market. However, they want to make changes to the embroidery, such as changing size, thread colors, area shape, deleting parts, or even borrowing parts from other embroidery designs.

In order to modify designs, embroidery software must be object-based - that is, it must have the ability to break down embroidery designs into embroidery objects. Embroidery objects, which are pieces or segments of the design, can be isolated so they can be manipulated, allowing you to change them. 
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In the example above, the side of the ship has been changed to a textured stitch pattern.

The types of changes that can be done to embroidery objects using object-based software are diverse. They can:

  • Be resized, changing stitch count and keeping density intact
  • Have thread color changed
  • Have fill pattern changed
  • Be moved
  • Be rotated
  • Be reshaped
  • Have underlay changed
  • Have density changed
  • Copied
  • Pasted
  • Have a hole cut out
  • Have holes filled in

DigitizerPro is object-based embroidery software and can make embroidery objects from stitch-type embroidery designs. It is high-level software, similar to those that professional embroiderers use.

Lettering

There are 52 scalable fonts in DigitizerPro. Scalable fonts are only found in sophisticated embroidery software. Scalable fonts are generated by the software based on parameters you provide, such as lettering size, slant, and orientation. Also, because the lettering is generated as an embroidery object, it can be changed quickly and easily.

DigitizerPro can also create lettering objects from any of the TrueType fonts in your computer. It converts the fonts into embroidery stitches and then allows you to modify the lettering as if it were originally scalable.

Conversion

Simply by opening an embroidery design into the software, and then saving it to another stitch format, embroidery conversion occurs. DigitizerPro can read and write most home embroidery formats, and even two commercial formats.

Desktop Icons

When DigitizerPro is installed, three icons are placed on your desktop. They show the three programs that come in the DigitizerPro suite. The three programs are:

  • Easy Design - this is the "power" program, in which all embroidery functions can be found.
  • Easy Edit - this is an adjunct program, used when it is necessary to modify a design at the stitch level. Most users will find they rarely need to access this program because there is so much embroidery modification available through Easy Design.
  • Design Gallery - this is the embroidery design management program, which provides thumbnail information about embroidery designs, and lets the user manage their embroidery designs. 
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Folders on the Hard Drive

During the installation process, DigitizerPro places two folders on the hard drive of your computer. They are:

  • Digitizer Pro , which contains the software to make the programs work.
  • Embroidery Album , which contains bitmaps and embroidery designs in object format that will help you learn to use the software.

DigitizerPro Works With a Dongle

A dongle is a security device that comes with DigitizerPro. It plugs into a USB port on your computer. The software won't install on your computer or run on your computer if the dongle is not present. DigitizerPro communicates with the dongle to ensure that the software has "permission" to function on your computer.

Most high-level software comes with dongles. 
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How Does DigitizerPro Work?

Easy Design, the "power program" of the software suite, works by breaking down embroidery designs into object format. It creates an object file, with the file extension of .jan, for any design that is on the computer screen. The .jan file becomes a "master pattern" for the embroidery design, capable of easily being modified. 
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Easy Design can also create stitch format files. Stitch format files are those files that the embroidery machine actually reads.

For Janome users, the Memory Craft 11000 reads embroidery file format .jef+. Memory Craft models 10001, 10000, 9700, 9500, and 300E read stitch format file .jef. Memory Craft models 9000, 5000, and 5700 read stitch format file .sew.

DigitizerPro can be used to create designs for non-Janome home embroidery machines, as well.

Managing Embroidery Designs

Design Gallery, the management program of the software suite, allows you to organize designs so you can find them easily. It allows you to

  • View your embroidery prior to opening the design
  • Catalog your embroidery
  • Convert several designs at one time
  • Print your designs

DigitizerPro Upgrade

If you previously used Digitizer 10000, you'll be happy to know that DigitizerPro is based on Digitizer 10000, so it works very much the same way. The substance of all of the previous Digitizer 10000 lessons will be applicable to DigitizerPro. However, there may be icon and toolbar changes that we'll cover in future lessons. And, there are loads of new features that also will be covered.

Changes/Improvements to DigitizerPro

  • "Flyout" toolbars
  • Added Lettering toolbar
  • TrueType font conversion
  • Borders to lettering objects
  • Additional navigation tools
  • Improved Resequence dialog
  • Align tools
  • Object cloning
  • Switch between EasyDesign and EasyEdit
  • Improved autodigitizing Click-to-Design
  • Improved semi-autodigitizing Click-to-Stitch
  • Photo Click
  • Thread Color Control
  • Improved hoop options
  • Improved fabric settings
  • Improved automatic underlay
  • Improved fabric/stretchiness allowance
  • Improved Stitch Angle Editing
  • Reinforced outlines
  • Fill Holes tool
  • Gradient fill
  • Travel on Edge
  • Motif Run
  • Motif fill stitches
  • EPS format file support
  • Additional professional format file support
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