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Exporting a Silhouette .Studio File as PDF on PC

Exporting Silhouette Studio designs as PDF is something that's necessary at times - most often for remote print and cuts, printables, and sharing.  I've shared on Silhouette School previously how to export as a PDF on a MAC, but today Silhouette School weekly contributor and house PC expert, Becky Dykes from My Paper Craze, is here with details on how to export a .studio file as a PDF on a PC.

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The ability to save Silhouette Studio files as PDFs is a great too to add to your crafting toolbox as it allows you to share designs created in the software with virtually anyone.   That means you can save your print and cut documents to be printed at a copy center, such as Staples or Office Depot, and still be able to use you Silhouette to cut the shapes out using the registration marks.  And that's exactly the example we are going to use today.

Since Silhouette Studio for PC does not automatically have the ability to save a file as a PDF, we actually turned to a third-party free software provider, Bullzip

Download and install the PDF printer software on your computer (your computer should prompt you accordingly after downloading) Once installed, you may need to restart your computer.

Bullzip is a third-party software provider and while we use their product regularly and have had the software installed for a significant length of time with no problems, always use your own judgement and exercise caution when installing software on your computer and consider using virus protection software.

After installation, start up your Silhouette Studio software and open the file you wish to convert or save as a PDF file. For this example, we are using the printable superhero birthday party invitations

Don't forget to turn on your Registration Marks and observe the safe print and cut areas. These will still apply when you are saving as a PDF document.

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Before we work on saving the PDF, you need to save the file to your computer, NOT YOUR SILHOUETTE LIBRARY, as a .studio file. To do so in Silhouette Studio click File > Save As > Save As. Name the file. From this point don't move or change anything on the design. 

Now we're going to save again - this time as a PDF.  Again, in Silhouette Studio, go to File > Print (or ctrl + P for a shortcut).

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Once your Print function window appears, you should see Bullzip PDF Printer as a choice in your Select Printer area. You'll choose Bullzip PDF Printer (it should highlight when you click on it) and then click Print.

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After the Print function takes place, a Bullzip PDF Printer window will appear where you can Create the PDF File. As you can see, Bullzip can save in many different formats, including JPEG and PNG. For this purpose, we want to choose PDF.

After selecting the PDF format, you'll also see two additional options. The first is to select the file destination (or the place that your file will be saved after the PDF is created). I typically save to my Desktop and move the file from there. 

You can also change the File Name at this time (Bullzip defaults to "document"). The next option is to tell your computer to either open the PDF file or to open the file location folder after the PDF is created. Neither of these two options are critical to the PDF creation, so it's personal preference if you choose either of these.

After making your selections, choose Save. As you can see above, I selected to Open the document after creation, so my PDF automatically opened in my PDF viewer. Here's what it looked like:

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See that it saved the registration marks? If I were to upload this file to a commercial printer, the document would print exactly as it shows on the PDF. This means that you can then bring the printed copies home, place them on your Silhouette cutting mat, open the .studio version of the file that you saved on your computer and cut on your Silhouette. 

Of course, PDFs are fun anytime, so you don't necessarily have to save with the Registration Marks. I enjoy creating PDF files for things like Birthday Boards, water bottle labels, banner pieces. Really anything that I want to send for printing or enlargement, or share with others as a printable.

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. Does this method of saving to a PDF preserve it as a vector and in high resolution for detailed printing? Thanks a bunch for your great tutorials!

  2. I'm using a mac. When I try to save a file to pdf, I lose parts of the text in the conversion. Is there anything I can do?

  3. I tried this from a PC using Bullzip. The PDF is created but there are no cut lines. Is there a way to get the cut lines to show in the PDF that I missed?

    1. i make the lines black and than i set it on 0,2 thickness in style.

  4. Thanks so much I have been trying to find a way to do this for ages.
    works perfect on my PC windows 10.

  5. Hi I just go into print and in my list of printers is the microsoft PDF printer, select that and save to a PDF file the I can use the document

  6. Is this just used for print and cut files or can I do this for cut files too?

  7. "files as PDFs is a great too to add to" FYI "too" should be TOOL :) not being picky, just helpful as I had to read it twice to make sense and realize it was a typo. lol XO LOve your stuff. Have learned a lot! Thank you.


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