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Silhouette Studio File Types: Avoiding the Silhouette Studio File Not Supported Error

There are at least a dozen different file types you can import into Silhouette Studio - but not all files types are supported in all versions of Silhouette Studio.   If you've ever gotten the error "Silhouette Studio File Not Supported" it's because you are attempting to import a file that the version of Silhouette Studio you are using can't open. 

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This Silhouette Studio tutorial provides an easy break down and list of file types Silhouette Studio supports...and therefore which can be cut with your Silhouette CAMEO, Portrait, and Curio.

It's helpful to know what types of files can be used in Silhouette Studio for cases when you purchase a file or graphic bundle or have the option to download various file types from an outside source like The Hungry JPEG.  Why import a file type that needs to be traced if you can actually open another file type that is easily opened in Studio with cut lines?!

For example, DXF files will open in standard Silhouette Studio with cut lines and all you have to do is turn them on. Other files types, like JPEGs, need to be traced to generate the cut lines.

Here's a break down of which file types are compatible with each version of the software so you can determine the best file type for import.

Basic Silhouette Studio 

The basis Silhouette Studio software has the ability to import the following file types:
  • STUDIO  
  • DXF
  • PNG 
  • JPEG 
  • BMP
  • GIF
  • TIFF 
  • PDF 
The files types have been listed in order of what I would consider to the most user friendly in Studio.

Only .Studio files and DXF files will open in Silhouette Studio with cut lines. However, the .Studio file type is proprietary so third parties can not sell that file type. That makes DXF one of the absolute best options for Silhouette Studio users when .studio files are not an option. Just like .Studio files, DXF files will open in Studio with cut lines! The other file types that are supported by basic Silhouette Studio will open, but will need to be traced to produce cut lines.

For example, let's say you want to convert a pdf to a Silhouette Studio file.  You would have to drag and drop the PDF file from your computer's desktop into the work space in Studio. Use the trace tool to trace the PDF to produce cut lines. Now you can cut the file.  When it's time to save this file: File > Save > Save to Library/Hard Drive. When you save from Silhouette Studio the file is automatically saved as a .Studio file.

Silhouette Studio Designer Edition

Silhouette Studio Designer Edition has the ability to import all of the file types basic Studio can import plus:
  • SVG
  • GSD
SVG and GSD files will open in Silhouette Studio with cut lines around them. The files types have been listed in order of what I would consider to the most user friendly in the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software. The ability to import SVG files - a standard in the graphic design world - alone makes the one time upgrade to Silhouette Studio Designer Edition worth it.

Silhouette Studio Designer Edition Plus

Silhouette Studio Designer Edition Plus has the ability to import all of the file types basic Studio and Designer Edition can import plus common embroidery file types:

  • PES 
  • DST 
  • EXP
  • JEF
  • XXX

Silhouette Studio Business Edition

Users with the Silhouette Studio Business Edition upgrade can import all of the file types listed above in the Basic, Designer Edition and Designer Edition Plus categories plus:
  • EPS
  • AI 
  • CDR
The fact that Silhouette Studio Business Edition users can import AI files, as well as CDR, is great news for designers who prefer to design in Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.

Silhouette Studio to SVG and Other Preferred File Types

Finally, I know you're going to ask "Can Silhouette Studio export or save as (fill in the blank)?" The answer is 'no' the large majority of the time. Silhouette Studio will only allow users to directly export files as .Studio files or PDF.  If you're looking to convert a Silhouette Studio file to JPEG or PNG (or other file type) you can either export as a PDF and convert the file from there or use the Snipping (PC) or Grab (MAC) tool. Using one of these tools usually results in a .tiff file which you will then have to convert into your preferred file type.  It's no longer possible to save or export from Silhouette Studio as an SVG.

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!

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