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How to Move the Test Cut Location Anywhere: Silhouette CAMEO/Portrait Tutorial

Oh happy day...today I'm sharing a quick Silhouette trick for you that's going to save you a ton of wasted material and hair pulling.  It's just not the beauty of the test cut, it's the ability to move the test cut location...anywhere!

Silhouette tutorial, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Cameo, test cut location
Let's say you take yourself on a little shopping spree at Expressions Vinyl...you wait your two or three days and all the pretty vinyl and glitter HTV arrives in the mail.

Silhouette tutorial, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Cameo, test cut location

You're so anxious to cut it you go for it...wah wah wah.  There's nothing like a kill joy when the gorgeous glitter heat transfer vinyl (or a new type you haven't cut before) isn't cut all the way through because you had the wrong cut settings.

I hear this time and time again from people that they've wasted an entire sheet of vinyl or HTV due to the wrong cut settings. If only they'd done a test cut and "wasted" half a square inch of that glitter HTV rather than the whole sheet.

The test cut gives you a tiny sneak peek into whether your cut settings will work for your material...no more guessing.  But here's the best part...you can actually move the test cut location ANYWHERE.  I love doing this for two big reasons:
    Silhouette tutorial, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Cameo, test cut location
  1. The default test cut is in the upper left corner of the mat, but in that spot you have to fully unload the mat to examine the cut.  Moving it further down the page allows you to check out the test cut without unloading the mat and material. 
  2. If your design is placed in the upper left corner of the cutting area, as many crafters do, the test cut could get in the way of the design cut..moving it eliminates that worry.  I prefer to move it to the right side, near the bottom.
So how do you move the test cut location?

Open up Silhouette Studio and click on the 'Cut Settings' window. That's the little blade along the top tool bar.


Pick your material. In this case I have a custom material listing for 'Glitter HTV.' After you select the material, use the scroll bar to scroll further down the page. Use the suggested cut settings in Studio to adjust the blade.

Right below the cut settings, you'll see the test cut button. To the left of it are a few directional arrows on a blue square...bet you never noticed them before did, ya?.  Don't press them yet....but they are key!

Place that pretty Glitter HTV onto the mat with confidence. Load the mat into the machine as you normally would.

Silhouette tutorial, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Cameo, test cut location

Now in Silhouette Studio use your mouse to hold down one of those directional arrows - pick the one that correlates to the direction you want the blade to move. You can tap the arrow or hold it continuously until it goes where you want. For example, if you want the test cut in the bottom right corner...hold the "down" arrow and then hold the "right" arrow.  Once you have the blade exactly where you want it to test cut, click "Test Cut."

Here's a quick video to demonstrate.  Keep your eye on the mouse hovering over the test cut arrows as well as the blade housing.


When the test cut is complete, the blade will should return (but doesn't always...I have no idea why) to the home position. Since the test cut is easily accessible and not blocked by the rollers, you can use your hook tool to peel up the little square or triangle to see if the current cut settings work well for your material.

Silhouette tutorial, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Cameo, test cut location

If you're satisfied, you can confidently send your design to cut by clicking "Send to Silhouette."

If the material does not easily weed in the test cut location, adjust the cut settings and blade depth and perform another test cut, moving the test cut location to another spot on the material.

Now that you know you won't be wasting any more vinyl (or other materials)...buy all the pretty colors!  Personally, the glitter HTV from Expressions Vinyl is my absolute favorite, but of course moving the test cut location works on any and all materials!


Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive 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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