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How to Cut By Color: Silhouette Studio Advanced Cut Settings (Don't be Scared!)

If you've never been brave enough to click the "Advanced Cut Settings" box, today's you're lucky today!  Silhouette School weekly contributor, Becky Dykes from My Paper Craze is here to walk you through exactly how to use the Advanced Cut Settings...and why and when you'd need to!

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Have you ever worked on a project that needed two different tools or even just two different sketch pens? With Silhouette Curio it's pretty easy thanks to the dual head. But with Silhouette CAMEO and Portrait, it can become tedious and time consuming to change your cut lines, then Send to Silhouette, then change the pen and cut lines again, then Send to Silhouette... over and over until you get all the colors down? 

Today we are introducing you to the joys of cutting by color. You'll be humming "A Whole New World" soon enough, promise!

The first step is setting up your design in Silhouette Studio. When doing so, you'll want to either fill in your design with a designated fill color or change the line color to your designated color using the Line Color tool. 

How do you know which lines or designs to change?  Any part of the design you want either cut with the same settings OR drawn with the same color sketch pen should have the the same color fill or the same color line. You'll need a different color for each settings change you want to make.

For this example, I'm using sketch pens (actually colored sharpies to draw a design.)  In Studio, I filled sections of the design with the same solid color fill (in blue along the top tool bar) that it would eventually be sketched in. 

Here is my design (from the Silhouette Online Store), filled in with the appropriate colors to match my sharpies. Truth be told, the color doesn't matter, as long as you know what it represents....but coloring matching is a great way to remind yourself what color to use.

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Once my design is set up and the colors are filled in, it's time to go to the Cut Settings menu in the top right of the toolbar (in blue along the top toolbar).

Once you click to expand your options, you'll see at the very top there is an area to switch your Cut Mode from Standard to Advanced. Check Advanced. 

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Click either the layer, line color or fill color this case, I picked "fill color" because I filled my design with a solid color.  If I had changed their line colors, I would choose Line Color. We won't get into layers here, but that is an option, also.

Next, choose your cut order. I had already installed my black sharpie in my marker holder, so I kept that color first. This part doesn't specifically make a difference in my project, but it's a decision to be made (or at least observed) so you know what type of tool to load first. 

As you click on each color (or layer), you have the choice to select which material type you need. In this case, both of mine are sketch pen settings, but you can literally change these to any material in the Silhouette database (or customize settings).

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Now of course, the main question is, how do you switch out the tools in between cuts? You add a Pause, of course. If you right click on the color, an Add Pause menu will appear. Click it to make the CAMEO or Portrait pause between the first and second cuts/sketches.

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It's important to note, that the pause will appear AFTER the material you have clicked on. Here's what it looks like after the pause is inserted.

Once you double check your colors, you cut order, your material settings and your pauses, you're ready to cut. Go ahead and click 'Send to Silhouette' like normal. 

Your machine will do its thing with the first color.

Once the first color/tool is complete, the Silhouette will automatically pause for you to make the necessary adjustments (eg, change the pen color or swap out the tool).

Once you swap out the tool or change blade settings, insert it back into the blade housing and click Resume Cutting. 

If you changed material type settings in Silhouette Studio, the software will automatically update your speed and thickness settings according to what you chose. You will repeat this process for as many colors as you set up and as many pauses you added. Here's my finished project:

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Now don't get me wrong, my project wasn't some miracle of Silhouette science, but more of a test run. Can you image a sketch pen project with 5 different colors? A little advance prep with the Advanced Cut Settings could really be a time saver!

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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  1. Hi! I regularly use the cut-by-color feature but did not know about the "add pause" trick - I would always uncheck all the colors/boxes but the one I wanted to cut. This is so much neater and quickier. Thanks a lot!

  2. Brilliant.....never knew you could add a "Pause" and I can't WAIT to try this. I am new to your blog and I am thoroughly enjoying and learning so much so thanks a million!!! Tracey J.

  3. Love it and can't wait to try it! I use the Advanced for different markers/pens, but didn't know that I could add a pause. Thanks!!!!

  4. I am loving these blogs most - learning so much! Thanks for the detailed instructions.

  5. Awesome! Love your tutorials and your Silhouette Guide Book! Thanks for everything you do!

  6. What if what if the different colors don't come up. I have a split bunny design that has pink black and white and I have tried everything to print the different colors with no luck. Under advanced it only comes up as patterns not colors.

  7. What holder are you using with your sharpies?

  8. I'm a little confused. I know this is going to sound like a stupid question, but I am new to this. Do I use white vinyl so the colors show up and are the sharpies actually filling in the colors on the vinyl?

  9. this is really different thing how we have to create this kind of information, what we have to use for this.

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  10. Nice blog. Happy to visit your blog. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. I added the pause but the machine did not stop to let me change colors, it just kept going. Could I have done something wrong?

    1. Maybe it wasn't done with that color and just "thinking?" My machine does a lot of thinking.

  12. Hi, thanks for sharing such an informative blog. I have read your blog and I gathered some needful information from your blog. Keep update your blog. Awaiting for your next update.

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