Posts tagged ‘PDF’

Exporting vector content to SSDE with a Mac

Silhouette Studio Designer Edition is limited in terms of the vector file formats it can read, but by making use of an online converter, we can change popular formats such as EPS and PDF to SVG. We can also use this in conjunction with the Mac’s built in PDF generation to extract vector content from many online sources. Here’s a video to demonstrate the process.

Update: The Ideogram site now generates SVGs (just click the More Options button) so you do not need this technique for that site, but these steps are still applicable for other sites with vector PDF content.

Here are the written steps for starting with a vector PDF (this also works on a Windows machine as an alternate to “print to SVG”):

-Open or generate your printable *vector* content. (see list of suggested sources in this post)

We used Ideogram’s free online template maker for the video

-Enter your dimensions and click the Create button

-Press the Save button (disk icon). The PDF will save to your Downloads folder with the name “template”

-Go to the Misc2SVG file converter site.

-Click the Choose File button and select the PDF you just saved and click Open.

-Press the Senden button.

-Click the Download link.

-Control-click (or right click) the resultant SVG and select Save As or Save Page As.

-Enter a name and location for your file and click Save.

-From Silhouette Studio, open the SVG file you just saved.

-Click to select the SVG and then on the Cut Styles Pane click Cut. If no lines turn red, click the ungroup button one or more times and try again.

-Click the Scale button and enter 80% in the custom window. Click Apply. This will return templates from Ideogram to their exact size for cutting.

Here are the written steps for vector content that can be printed, such as from Wordle.net:

-Create your Wordle and press the Print button at the bottom of the page.

-Click the PDF button, it will pull down and then you can click Save as PDF.

-Name the file, give it a location and click the Save button.

-Go to the Misc2SVG file converter site.

-Click the Choose File button and select the PDF you just saved and click Open.

-Press the Senden button.

-Click the Download link.

-Command-click (or rightclick) the resultant SVG and select Save Page As.

-Enter a name and location for your file and click Save.

-From Silhouette Studio, open the SVG file you just saved .

-Select the SVG and on the Cut Styles Pane click Cut Edge. If no lines turn red, click the ungroup button one or more times and try again.

-Remove the background and make other edits as desired. Additional ungrouping may be necessary before you can do this.

In the video, we also drag the Wordle PDF to the mat to use for extracting colors. Select all the letters you want a certain color, then click the eye dropper and the color sample. Repeat for each color.

March 10, 2013 at 3:49 pm 4 comments

Exporting custom templates to SSDE (Win only)

While working on my tracing series, I was reminded just how hard it is to autotrace templates. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to trace them? I thought, and then it hit me. I went back to a 3 year old post here and found my answer. Here’s a video that shows the process for Windows (Mac solution and alternate Windows process here).

Update: The Ideogram site now generates SVGs (just click the More Options button) so you do not need this technique for that site, but these steps are still applicable for other sites with vector PDF content.

and here are the written steps:

-Install PDF creator (free) if you have not already. Download link here Be sure to decline any optional toolbars, etc.

-Open or generate your printable *vector* content. (see list of suggested sources in this post)

We used Ideogram’s free online template maker for the video

-Press the print button or select print from the file menu

-Choose PDF Creator from the dropdown list of printers and click Print. (don’t worry, it isn’t really going to print)

-Name the file in the top box and click the Save button at the bottom right.

-Choose a location for your for file, choose SVG from the pull down list of file types at the bottom of the window, and click Save.

-Open a new document in SSDE and choose File>Merge, set files of type to SVG or All files then navigate to the SVG file you just saved and click OK.

-If nothing is visible on the mat, click control-A to select all and look for a bounding box. Set the line color to black.

-Select all and set line width to zero (any line widths greater than zero in an SVG will double cut)

-On the Cut Styles Pane click Cut Edge. If no lines turn red, click the ungroup button one or more times and try again.

-In order to dash or separate score lines, ungroup the file and change the lines styles as desired.

This process maintains the proper size for ideogram’s templates (in PC Creator, your default ppi under Options>SVG should be set to 72) but it’s a good idea to verify size for anything that needs to be exact before you cut.
Tip:If the file is too big, try a reduction of 80% as this is another common standard.

February 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm 12 comments

New online tool has lots to offer diecutters

I stumbled across a new online tool (or rather suite of tools) today called Rapid Resizer that has a lot to offer the digital diecutting community, although we do not seem to be its market. Here are a few of the things I discovered I could accomplish online there for free (at least for now):

Free Online Raster to Vector Converter

All of our cutting programs can do their own autotraces now (wouldn’t it have been nice to have this when they didn’t!?) but Rapid Resizer offers a few tricks that your cutting software may not. Taking a .jpg input from your hard drive (.png did not work for me) it can return PDF, SVG. DXF, EPS or AI output. The really cool thing, though, is the option to centerline trace. This will be especially useful to those who do not have MTC with its stellar “font thinning” function. For example, Silhouette Studio users can input a line drawing or text and get a single stroke DXF file in return that will be be much easier to work with for drawing with pens or for rhinestone work. For example, Doodling Debbie over at Paper Pulse converted one of her favorite fonts, which she shares.

Wordle lovers can instantly turn their screen captures into a vector PDF with this, but they will lose the colors as this only returns black and white vectors.

Photo to Pattern Converter

This tool will be helpful for converting photos to cutting files for vinyl cutting, etching and stencils. Input your photo and choose manual, then adjust the slider to get the contrast you like. Then right click to save the new image or try the options under “save to any size”>preview to see if that gives you a better and/or larger image. You will most likely still need to smooth and remove some detail to make good cutfiles, but this may give you a good start, especially if you aren’t handy with Photoshop. Update: For this application, also see Stencilizer.

My Stampmaker friends will find this especially useful because after the photo is converted to black and white, a click of the invert button makes it ready to import into your stamp layout.

Other tools at this site include Free Online Stencil Maker , an online text layout tool with adjustable arching,

Print Patterns to Any Size, Convert PDF to Image (not working for me yet) and Save Ink Printing PDFs. The tools can be used together or separately.

There are also premium features on the site, and developer Patrick Roberts has generously offered my readers a free week if you’d like to explore those. Your free week will start as soon as you click here.

As for me, I still do most of my designing/converting in Inkscape with a little help from Photoshop but I love scouting new web apps. Will be interesting to see how this one evolves.

June 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm 7 comments

Free Moroccan Tile Vector

I’ve created a vector version of the digipaper in my previous post. Great for a 12 x 12 background or modify it to fit a card front, etc.

Download the SVG here

Download the PDF version here

December 20, 2011 at 10:02 am 13 comments

How to save a wordle in high resolution on a PC

Over on the Wordle Yahoo Group folks are always asking how they can save a wordle to print at a large size so I wanted to make a short video to show how. The video demonstrates the “print to PDF” technique using a virtual print driver (CutePDF Writer in this case). Printing to PDF is handy for lots of things besides saving wordles so don’t be put off by the fact that you will need to install a piece of downloaded software.

You can get CutePDF Writer at http://www.cutepdf.com

If you want to see the CutePDF install process for your operating system, check out these videos (not by me)

For Windows XP

For Vista

For Win 7

Note to Mac users
There’s nothing to install! PDF printing is built in. Just click the PDF button at the bottom of any print dialog window and choose “Save as PDF…”

October 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm 27 comments

Sentiments for the Cuttlebug Awareness Ribbon Die

If you have the Cuttebug Awareness Ribbon die (I picked one up for less than a dollar on clearance recently) then I have a free gift for you. I created 2 sheets of sentiments with guide squares that make it easy to line up the die with the printing. Here’s how:

1) Download the PDFs. This one for cancer and this one for the military.
And by request, full sheets of each of the cancer sentiments here.
Also by request full sheets of hope, love, believe and inspire.

2) Print the sheet on colored paper at 100% size (uncheck fit to page, etc.).

3) Use scissors to separate one sentiment, leaving a margin around the guide square, and place it face up on your cutting plate. (I’m using a Cuttlebug so it goes on top of the A plate and a B plate)

4) Place your ribbon die face down on top of the design and line it up with the printed square.

5) Run it through your die cutting machine with proper sandwich (I placed another B plate on top). Be sure to place plates on top carefully so die does not shift.

6) Remove die to reveal your completed ribbon.

7) Separate and repeat for each design as desired.
(All sentiments from cancer file showed in pink, all sentiments from military file shown in yellow.)

Hope you enjoy using these sentiments to make something encouraging for a cancer survivor or military person you know. As always, I’d love to see what you make. Here’s a card I did for a recent message board challenge:

October 5, 2010 at 10:36 am 27 comments

60 Free Vector Packs and how to use them

From Smashing Magazine comes this awesome listing of some of the best free vector packs available.

The Ultimate Collection Of Free Vector Packs

While the images are beautiful and many are suitable for cutting, few of them are in SVG format. Most are in EPS, PDF or AI format. Newer AI files, as well as PDFs will import directly into Inkscape. When you double click on an EPS file on a Macintosh, it will be converted to PDF automatically and open in Preview. From there all you have to do is save it and Inkscape will make it into an SVG.

Once you have imported an AI or PDF into Inkscape, click on the vector pack and begin ungrouping until you see dotted rectangles around each individual image. To work on an image, drag it off by itself or save it to a new document to do any necessary simplification, color separation or whatever. Once it has been saved in Inkscape you can then import it into SCAL for cutting.

Here’s an example, starting with one of the free vector packs from Designious.com

thumb2

We open up the EPS version and save it as PDF in Preview, then open it in Inkscape and Ungroup

picture-16

Then delete everything but the dolphin we were after and saved under a new name.

picture-21

February 6, 2009 at 6:55 am 7 comments

Customizable paper doll vectors

OK, this is a little bit of a contorted process, but if you are a paper doll fan, stay tuned. Once upon a time, there was a standalone computer program called Doll Factory from Pebble Creek Studios created so scrapbookers could print and cut out paper dolls for their pages. The product and company haven’t been heard from in years, but a demo version is still hosted on the Epson site.

Doll Factory demo download

If you do not already have a utility or driver on your computer to print to pdf, Download and install one. I use Cute PDF on my PC.

Open Doll Factory and design your doll following the very easy steps on the screen. Be sure to load up on accessories.

dollfactory1

When you are done, go to tab 5 and click on the page that shows the whole scene in color.

dollfactory2

dollfactory3

Now click Print, but instead of choosing a printer, choose Cute PDF  to save as a pdf file. It will prompt you for a file name and save location. Be sure to store it where you will be able to find it.

Open Inkscape and import your new PDF. Click OK with the default import settings. Select the entire drawing and ungroup (under the Object menu).

picture-1

You will see boxes appear around each element and you can rearrange them by color or however you like.

picture-2

As you can see from the outline view, these shapes are already vectors and don’t need to be traced.

picture-3

When you get the file how you like it, save it as an svg and import into SCAL. Once you’ve extracted all the outlines you want, just keep them stored in Inkscape files and you won’t have to go back to Doll Factory.

And there ya have it. It’s not like I didn’t warn you about the geekiness.

January 27, 2009 at 6:00 am 8 comments


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