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Converting Silhouette Studio Files to PDFs

Silhouette Studio, files, PDF, convert
I'm in the process of a top secret project....can't share the big reveal yet, but what I can share is a little secret I learned along the way.  The project requires me to print and cut.  However, I need a high quality print and it's not one that I really trust my home printer with.  So I needed a way to print the .studio file at a copy center like Staples or Office Max.  Obviously neither can access .studio files so my designs would need to be converted to PDF format.   But how?!

A little bird in one of the Silhouette Facebook Groups I'm a part of, pointed me, a MAC user, in the right direction and it's one that I think is definitely worth passing along....so I take no credit for this one. K?! 

This conversion can be helpful for not only print and cuts but for any design that you create in Silhouette Studio that you later want to export and use later because once it's in PDF format, there are FREE online conversion tools that will then convert it to JPEG and well, from there the possibilities are endless.

What you want to do is create your design in Silhouette Studio as you normally would.  If you're doing a print and cut add your registration marks like your normally would.  If you're not doing a print and cut obviously skip that part.

Click on the printer icon as if you are going to send your design to the print. (Don't worry, you're not going to print.)  On the pop up window, you'll see this little PDF button.


Silhouette Studio, files, PDF, convert

Click it and you'll get a drop down mention with the option to Save as PDF.

Silhouette Studio, files, PDF, convert, save as PDF

When you name your file be sure that you manually type in the the extension ".pdf" after the file name.

Silhouette Studio, files, PDF, convert

That's all there is to it.  You can navigate to where your file saved and see that it's in PDF format and will open with Acrobat Reader.

Silhouette Studio, files, PDF, convert


And here's what the file with the registration marks looks like...

Silhouette Studio, files, PDF, convert, registration marks

Just remember, if you are doing print and cut be sure your file is exactly as you want it before you save and have it printed at 100% and DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES to your design in Studio after you save as a PDF. Once your image is printed, you can proceed with the print and cut as if you printed on your home computer - just load the images on your mat, find the registration marks, and send it to cut.

If you want to convert your file further from a PDF to JPEG, I recommend the website PDF2jpg.net.


Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I received a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!


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39 comments

  1. This does not work with my computer (not a Mac). I just get the normal print box like I do with any program I am printing from.

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    1. This resource is very useful! But I also liked this one for the ease of use: Really makes it easy to convert images to PDF. I didn't have to download anything and it was really easy to use. You can also convert all image formats, it's great.
      It converts JPG to PDF but also PNG, BMP, TIF or GIF

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Do you need to have the Designer's Edition to do this?

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  4. I love this tutorial. Thank you. I am trying to make a mother's day print for a regular sized paper, but the print border makes my background not reach the sides of the paper after I save as a PDF. I also have my "borderless" option selected and even though my print goes to all edges of the paper, when I save as a PDF, my print has white .5" edges all around it. Any suggestions?

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. I love this tip too! Thanks for posting. I am similar to Angela above though... when I save as pdf and then open it, the image is not centered on the page anymore as it was in silhouette. Any ideas on this. I keep having to go back to my silhouette doc and manually adjust the image left, right, up, down and resaving as pdf until I find it looks centered on my pdf doc. Also wondering if you know how to save an image larger than letter size so it will show up and print on pdf. THANKS for the tip!

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  7. I too only get the normal print window. I'm using a pc and basic studio software. Can you please advise me on how to get the odd option. Thanks so much!!!

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  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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  9. I do not have this option. I have a windows machine. Is there a way for me to print to PDF?

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    1. I would like to know as well!

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    2. you need a print tool that prints as pdf, sorry, I am on the mac and do not know the name of the print tool

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  10. Good work. Thank you for sharing this guide about converting Silhouette Studio files to PDF.
    Best regards.
    PDF conversion

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  11. My file is bigger then the standard (11x8.5). How can I save a bigger file as a PDF without it cutting it off?

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    1. hi - did you figure this out? I'm stuck :/

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    2. I'm also wondering this as well! Did you figure it out??

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    3. I don't believe you can - it must be within the safe print area to save as a pdf

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    4. No I never figured it out.

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  12. I keep getting black boxes on my file..... they are not on the original so I am not sure where they are coming from but when I open the pdf they are there, any ideas?

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    1. Nikki were you using the free version and getting this result?

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. In most times, I just deal with PDF and Word, since the Word can directly save to PDF files, I would need to convert PDF to word sometimes, and I only use the free online tool: http://www.free-pdftoword.com/

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  15. Thai you so much! This is so easy! I was getting mad trying to do it!!

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  16. I have been using 'print -> as pdf' for tons of years! on my mac on a daily basis, w/o a plotter. (no need to write .pdf, it gets added automatically) On windows you first need a printer add-on that prints to pdf.
    For the next step just use the app preview! e.g. 'export to jpg'!
    Too bad those great features are not known more widely.

    BUT with silhouette I do have a problem: It prints the grid lines even if I put it on invisible. So I usually use to make a screen shot (shift-cmd-4) - which then is a jpg and usually sharp enough for my purposes. (and then you can use preview to 'export to pdf')
    Anybody else having a problem with the hidden grid lines?

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    1. I just saw your post. I am having the same issues with the grid lines. If I find a solution, I will let you know.

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    2. Someone gave me this solution…And it worked great.
      https://cleversomeday.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/ssprintables/

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    3. PlaidKat, what a great solution, thanks a lot, you made my day!

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  17. I am on a Macbook Pro. When I save my file to .pdf and then open it, it shows the grid marks. I design without a grid. What do I need to do differently?

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    1. I am having the same problem! Did you ever find a solution to the grid lines?

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  18. see above, I used the preview in Lion and it helped, but cannot find it anymore in ElCapitan. so what I do is a screenshot, and it it has the lines I move the design outside before taking the screenshot.

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    1. last time when I checked "no grid" in silhouette it worked fine for me.

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  19. I am using the standard edition of Silhouette Studio. Does this conversion not work for this edition? Please help!!!

    Marie

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    1. should work on any mac, no matter which silhoutte version

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  20. Wow! This was so easy. You just saved my day. Thank you!

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  21. Hello, Thank you for this great tutorial. Really makes my life so much easier. Has anyone figured out how to place oversized images so that it will come out nicely on multiple Letter-sized pages? I design quilting patterns and need to know how to do this. Thank you.

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  22. You can try http://www.pdfcoding.com/online/pdf/convert-pdf-to-tiff/ for high quality asp.net convert tiff to pdf. Even there is 10% discount on the first order.

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