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Best File Type for Silhouette When You Don't Have Designer Edition

If you're using the basic free version of Silhouette Studio you are somewhat limited in the file types you can use - specifically from outside sources.

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That leaves a lot of users wondering what the best file type is to import when the. studio file is not an option.

.Studio designs come into Silhouette Studio with the cut lines on and ready to cut.  That makes them  the easiest file type to work with in Silhouette Studio hands down. However, because the .studio and .studio3 file format is proprietary it can not be sold by anyone outside of the Silhouette Design Store.

Of course that can limit your options as a crafter as there are many places to download free cut files and buy Silhouette designs, including our sister site So Fontsy. The most common file type, the industry standard and the easiest non-.studio file type to cut is an SVG. However, basic Silhouette Studio can not import SVG files.  It can open JPEGs, PNGs, and DXF files.

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Both JPEG and PNG files that are imported into Silhouette Studio need to be traced to create cut lines.  DXF files, however, do not. They come into Silhouette Studio with the cut lines on and ready to cut making them the best file type option for users who do not have Silhouette Studio Designer Edition or higher.

NOTE: Several recent versions of Silhouette Studio have a bug that causes DXF files to come into Silhouette Studio with extra edit points and unclean lines. If you are experiencing this issue V4.1.206 is the most current version of the software without this bug.
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Cut file designers have recognized this and many now include the DXF file type when offering or selling designs.  On So Fontsy the designers will list the file types included with the purchase right in the description. Some will even include it on the product photo.

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Designers usually zip all of the file types together into one folder so after you make a purchase and download onto your computer, unzip and then look for the DXF to open in Silhouette Studio.

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Even with the DXF import ability in basic Silhouette Studio, I would still highly suggest you make the one time $25-$30 investment in Silhouette Studio Designer Edition at the very least so you have the option to import SVG designs which are much more widely used and can also be cut with Silhouette CAMEO without tracing.

You may also want to consider a higher Silhouette Studio upgrade to allow you open and import even more file types. You can view of a list of which file types open in which upgrade version of Silhouette Studio here.

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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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