Be aware there is no official technical support on how to use Silhouette Studio V4 yet...but I am here to help you and it's honestly pretty easy and not that scary!
That being said, at this point I would go so far as to say I am hesitant to encourage you to take the free update for the simple fact there is no support. But...since I know some of you will anyway and others are just curious about what Silhouette Studio V4 looks like...I'm here to show you!
The newly updated version of the Silhouette Studio looks completely different than previous versions of the software. It includes the biggest changes in look and layout to Silhouette Studio in years and includes some new features - and more Silhouette Studio V4 features are expected.
New Features of Silhouette Studio V4The biggest changes to the free version of the software are the use of magnetic floating panels, the tracing tool, and changes to the layout. Silhouette America has said more changes - including Object to Path - will be added in future versions of Silhouette Studio 4.
The update to Silhouette Studio V4 from V3 (or even V2) is free and available for both MAC and Windows users from the Silhouette America website. If you have have Designer Edition, Designer Edition Plus or Business Edition they will go with you when you update to V4.
When you go to download Silhouette Studio 4 beta, you'll get a pop up box that warns you about the lack of support for the beta version along with the acknowledgement that Silhouette America takes no responsibility for problems that occur with your library and more during the download. It also includes instructions - that are not accurate for those on V3 Cloud versions of Studio - on how to back up your existing Silhouette Studio library. Here's how you can back up and export your Silhouette Studio library if you're using the Cloud version of Silhouette Studio.
To get started with Silhouette Studio V4 there are a few things you should know. I will, of course, share in depth Silhouette Studio V4 tutorials on all of the new features, functions and changes on Silhouette School blog, but this one should be considered an overview to get you familiar with the new version of the software.
Silhouette Studio 4: Changes to Software LayoutThe first thing you'll notice when you open Silhouette Studio 4 is that it looks completely different. Access to the Studio Library and Design Store have moved to the top menu alongside a 'Design' tab that opens the work area.
The "Send" tab, also along the top right, is where you'll prepare to send the file to cut- including everything from picking the material type and blade to cut.
The one thing I do think is pretty confusing and I honestly don't see the reason for the change is the verbiage on the cut window. Cut, Cut Edge, and No Cut have been re-named.
Silhouette Studio V3 vs V4 'Send to Cut' Options
Ignore Line (V4) = No Cut (V3)
Tool 1 (Outline) (V4) = Cut (V3)
Tool 2 (Welded) (V4) = Cut Edge (V3)
This is a software change that, as a Beta tester, I have previously (and repeatedly) reported as confusing and unnecessary. I am still hopeful that if others using this version of Silhouette Studio V4 Beta find these options confusing, Silhouette America's software developers will revert back to the much more obvious cut options of: Cut, No Cut, Cut Edge.
The left sidebar is significantly shortened by the removal of some of those tool icons along with the collapse of several others.
For example, all of the drawing tools are now collapsed under one tab: The Draw a Rectangle tool. If you click the little triangle to the right of the Draw a Rectangle tool you'll find the other drawing tools for drawing an Ellipse, Rounded Rectangle and Polygon. Previously each had it's own tool icon.
The same goes for the line and freehand drawing tools - they are all now in a drop down menu under the Draw a Line tool.
Open work area tabs that used to appear along the bottom of the work area, are now found along the top. (1) Click each different tab to go to that work area.
If you click the + you can add a new work area. (2) When you click the + you'll get a pop up window that asks what type of work area you'd like to begin. Choices including a card template, a blank work area, pixscan, rhinestones, print and cut set up and more!
Pick the one you want and it will automatically open in a new work area with the template! (3)
New Silhouette Studio 4.0 Tool Bar Icons and the Use of Floating PanelsAlong the right sidebar you'll find most of the tools that were previously along the top and bottom tool bars. Not only are they in a different locations a few of the icons themselves have changed slightly....and many of them condense several tools under one tab.
For example, the former tool icon for the "Align Tool" (now called "Transform") now contains the Align tool, but also shares the same panel with the Scale, Rotate, Move and Shear tools. Click on any of the five icons along the top of the Transform Tool Window to access the other tools.
When you click the tool bar icons, the tools will now open in floating panels in Silhouette Studio.
In Studio 3 and previous versions, tools were opened in a window on the right side of Studio. The window could not be moved and it was not possible to open more than one tool window at a time.
The use of the floating panels in Silhouette Studio 4 allows the user to open multiple windows at a time. The "magnetic" panels can easily be moved around the work area, snapped together and closed or collapsed as necessary.
Let's take a look at the specific tool icons because there are some significant changes.
The Page tool is now where all the Design Page Setting functions can be found along with the Grid tool, the Registration marks window, and the Weeding Lines tool (Business Edition Only). (1)
The icon that looks like a paint pallet now has all of the Fill tools including Fill Color, Fill Gradient and Fill Pattern - all of which were previously given their own tool icon. (2)
Below that, the Line Style tool will open up a panel that offers both Line Color and Line Style. Each were presented as their own windows in earlier versions of Silhouette Studio. (3)
The most significant changes are found in the Silhouette Studio 4.0 Trace tool which now offers additional functions including Trace by Color and Magnetic Trace, along with the removal of the High Pass Filter box and the yellow tracing area.
The Shader Effects icon is different, but the tool panel remains the same. The Replicate, Modify, Offset, Nesting and Rhinestone icons look slightly different than Silhouette Studio V3, but the windows are familiar. The Text Style tool remains the same with the exception of the addition of a Spell Check tool.
So with all that being said...I wanted to take a second to let you know that 99% of what you already know still applies! Silhouette Studio still does all the same stuff - and a little more! Content in all of my Silhouette School tutorials, ebooks, ecourses, and video classes is still all relevant. Sure there are a few changes to the placement of the tools..but the process of how you use the features and functions of Silhouette Studio whether you're using V3 or V4 remains the same! And I think we can all agree...that's a big relief!
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