All Things Text Tool | Silhouette Studio® Tutorial

All Things Text Tool | Silhouette Studio® Tutorial

Hi friends! I’m Christine, and this is my very first tutorial as part of the Silhouette Design Team.  I’m so excited to be here!

 

Today I’ll be going over some of the amazing things you can do with the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio®. Adding words is just the beginning—there are lots of different ways to jazz up your text to enhance any project!

 

 

ADDING TEXT

 

To add text to your design in Silhouette Studio®, first click on the Text Tool option located on the left menu bar (it’s the capital A with a bracket next to it). Next, click anywhere on your cutting mat to create a text box.

 

Once you’ve done that, you’ll notice that the Text Style Window opens up on the right side of your screen.  This window can also be accessed anytime by selecting the capital A option from the top menu bar.

 

(On a side note, I’m using Silhouette Studio® Business Edition, so my menus may look a little different from yours if you’re running a different edition of the software.)

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Here are all the options available in the Text Style Window. You can change the font, styling, alignment, size, character and line spacing, as well as kerning—lots of fun things to play around with!

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Once you start typing, the text box will be a bright neon green. For this example, I’m using a font from Silhouette Design Store called Yellow Daisy.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

 

WELDING TEXT

 

One of the most basic functions to know when designing projects with text is how to weld (you can also weld images too). This is especially helpful when using fonts that are cursive and have overlapping pieces. When you weld, you connect all the parts that overlap so everything cuts or sketches appropriately.

 

To weld a word or phrase, just select your text box, then you can either right click and select “Weld,” or from the top menu bar, go to “Object > Modify > Weld.” That’s it!

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

You can see what welding does in the simple animation below. Notice how the overlapping bits between the a and y, the t and o, and the g and o become connected and smooth. They’re now welded!

 

One thing to point out with welding though: once you weld a word, it can no longer be edited in any way. It basically gets turned from a text box into an image. This is why you see the individual boxes forming around the separate pieces, as well as why the Text Style Window defaults back to Arial.

 

Tip: Since welding strips all the font information, I often create a separate text box with the font’s name and move it off to the side of my cutting mat. That way if I ever want to use that same font in another project or if someone asks for the information, I’ve got a handy note saved and waiting for me!

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Like I mentioned, welding a font causes any overlapping pieces to become connected, and once welded, all the separate pieces get boxed individually. If you’d like to keep everything together, just select all the pieces then right-click and choose Group, or go to “Object > Group.”  You can also use the shortcut “CTRL + G” on a PC or “CMND + G” on a Mac.

 

That will group everything into one piece, which you can see by the single large bounding box.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

 

TEXT TO PATH

 

Another way to spice up a text design is by curving text to a path. Because let’s face it, always having everything in a straight line gets boring!

 

To start, either draw a shape using any of the drawing tools from the left menu bar, or you can even open up a shape from your library by importing it.

 

For this example, I used the Draw an Ellipse Tool and drew an oval.

 

NOTE: I know I just went over how to weld, but curving text to a path can only be done with editable, non-welded text. That means if you want your text to be curved AND welded, hold off on everything you just learned about welding! You can weld after curving, but not before.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Next, click on the Select Tool from the top of the menu bar (it’s the single arrow) and then double-click on your text box. This will bring the neon green box back, and you’ll also notice the little black and white circle with crosshairs on the left of the box.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Move your cursor over this circle (your cursor will change to a tiny crosshair and arrow), then click and hold your mouse. While holding, drag the text box down towards the image until it snaps into the shape of your image. It has now curved to that image’s shape or path.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

From here, you can adjust the text in several ways.  You can click and hold that tiny circle and crosshair again and move the text box around the image until you’re happy with its placement.

 

You can also select the little oval on the gray bar that is now appearing to the left of your text and play around with it. Sometimes this can be tricky to select (once again, your cursor will change), but zooming in often helps.

 

You can move it down the bar to squeeze the characters closer together . . .

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

. . . or move it up the bar to space the characters out.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

The text can also be curved to the inside of an image. To do this, just select the circle and crosshair again and drag the text box down/around until it snaps into where you’re wanting it to be placed. You’ve got lots of options!

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

In this example, I’ve got a cursive font with overlapping bits. I’ll therefore need to weld it to not only connect everything, but to also ensure that the text stays in this new curved path.

 

If I were to delete the oval first, it would delete the path, and the text would snap back into the straight line (boring!).  Welding to the rescue!

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Once the text gets welded, the oval can be deleted and the text retains its new curved shape.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

If you’re using a font that is not cursive, and therefore doesn’t have any overlapping parts, you’ll need to do something a little different since welding won’t help.

 

Just select the text box and right-click it, then select Convert to Path (or go to “Object > Convert to Path”).

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Then you’re able to delete the image and keep your text looking fancy!

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

 

ADDING SPECIAL CHARACTERS

 

Some fonts come with special extra characters or glyphs that can be used to enhance the words or phrases. I really like cursive fonts like Yellow Daisy that have lots of swirly, twirly options! They’re just so darn pretty.

 

Since instructions for font installation and adding extra characters into Silhouette Studio® vary depending on if you’re using a PC or a Mac, I’ll skip over that stuff. Yes, I know it’s pretty important for this section, but that would be way too much for this already super long tutorial! All the fonts in Silhouette Design Store are guaranteed to work in Silhouette Studio®, but double-check each font’s page for details on use and/or tutorials for accessing extras.

 

OK, back to the tutorial!

 

If you want to swap out characters for fancier ones, first select your text and ungroup everything by right-clicking and selecting Ungroup, or go to “Object > Ungroup”.  You can also use the shortcut Ctrl + U on a PC or Cmd + Shift + G on a Mac.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

This will separate all the words into individual letters and characters, and each will be surrounded by its own bounding box.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Paste your new desired character into Silhouette Studio®. It may first appear as a rectangle, but don’t worry! If that’s the case, just find your font’s name from the Text Style Window and it should automatically convert it to the selected character.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Next, select the individual character that you want to remove and delete it, then move the new character into position and resize/align as needed.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Here’s how my phrase now looks with the original W, y, t, and g swapped out for fancier, swirlier ones! It’s much more interesting now.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

 

SKETCHING

 

You can also use the Sketch Window (available in Designer Edition and above)  from the top menu to give your text some really neat effects. These are fun options to play around with for use with sketch pens (of course!) as well as Print & Cut projects.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

 

FILLING TEXT

 

Another option for fancying up text is to simply fill it. This is really handy when designing mockups or with Print & Cut projects.

 

One such filler can simply be a solid color, which you can access by clicking on the Fill Color Window from the top menu, then choosing a color on the right.

 

There are lots of pre-selected colors available under the Basic Options (and also an eyedropper tool if you want to select a specific color from an image), or you can open up the Advanced Options to choose any color of the rainbow.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

You can also use the Fill Gradient Window and fill the text with colorful gradients.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

The Fill Pattern Window is also a neat option to play around with to fill text. Silhouette Studio® comes installed with dozens of patterns, and you can also import patterns of your own, such as digital scrapbook papers. The Advanced Options has several fun tools that can jazz up each pattern as well.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

If you have Silhouette Studio® Business Edition, you have another powerful tool available. The second tool from the right in the Business Edition toolbar transfers the properties of one shape to another selected shape, or in our case, text.

 

To do this, first open up an image from your library or import one. I chose the colorful lotus flower design that comes with every Silhouette CAMEO®.

 

Next, select both your text and image (so both have gray bounding boxes around them), then click on the eyedropper tool from the second menu at the top left.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Then click anywhere on your image (what you want to fill the text with). In this example, once I clicked on the lotus flower, all of its colorful goodness got transferred and filled the text! Pretty cool, huh?

 

This particular pairing leaves some of the text unfilled as is, but fear not! There are options to play around with to ensure all the text gets filled.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Just go back to the Fill Pattern Window from the top and open up the Advanced Options. From here, you can play around to your heart’s content!

 

You can see below what scaling (or zooming in/out) does to the text.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Using the Pan Pattern option is also a lot of fun. Just click on the option from the menu (it will become highlighted), and this will bring back the little circle with crosshairs (remember it from the Curving Text to Path section above?). Click and hold this circle, and drag your mouse around until you’re happy with how the image/coloring looks in your text.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

 

ADDING OFFSETS

 

The final option we’ll be talking about in this tutorial (yes, we’re almost done!) is how to add offsets to text. Offsets are basically just a fancy way to say outline or border.

 

Once you open the Offset Window from the top, you’ll see that you can do two different types. An Offset creates an outline around the outside, while an Internal Offset creates one on the inside.

 

Offsets can be added as pretty design elements, and they’re also helpful when cutting out small words or letters that have super thin, delicate pieces (like all the swirls I love so much!). Sometimes, adding a really thin offset around a word can help it cut smoothly in vinyl, paper, or other material.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

First, select your text, then choose which type of offset you want. From there, you’ll be able to choose whether you want sharp or rounded corners, as well as adjust the distance (or thickness) of the offset.

 

They can be thin . . .

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

. . . or thick. Lots of options!

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

After hitting Apply, the offset will then be added, and if there’s no overlap, each section will get its own gray bounding box. You can then group everything together if you’d like.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Just like with the actual text as was discussed above, offsets can be filled as well with colors, gradients, or patterns.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

You can also change the line color and/or thickness, including choosing None to make it transparent. Once again, this is handy for mockups.

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

BONUS TUTORIAL: EASY GIFT BAG EMBELLISHMENT

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Now that we’ve discussed a lot (but certainly not all) of the fun things you can do with the Text Tool, I thought it would be helpful to show an actual project that was made with some of these options.

 

A good friend of mine was recently promoted, and since we’re both tea drinkers, I decided to surprise her with a jar of her favorite blend. This Print & Cut project was a super simple way to jazz up a plain gift bag that I had laying around the house!

 

I used the final example from above to create a Print & Cut project that included several embellishments to the text: special characters, welding, filling with properties from another shape, and adding an offset.

 

You Will Need:

  • Silhouette CAMEO®
  • Lotus flower design (free with purchase of Silhouette CAMEO®)
  • Gift bag

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

HOW TO USE PRINT & CUT

 

The Silhouette makes creating and cutting your custom designs a snap. All it takes is a design to print and cut.

 

(1) Turn on your registration marks—otherwise your Silhouette won’t be able to read the cut job.

(2) Print your design with your personal printer. (I printed my design on a sheet of Printable White Adhesive-Backed Cardstock.)

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

(3) Place printed-off design on mat and load into your Silhouette.

 

(I’m using the Silhouette CAMEO®. And we just moved into a new house, so while my craft room is still a work-in-progress, I’m forced to craft on the floor!)

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

I used the default cut settings suggested by Silhouette Studio® for Adhesive-Backed Cardstock.

 

  • Blade: 4
  • Speed: 3
  • Thickness: 29

 

(4) Send your project to your CAMEO.

 

A few moments later, you’ll get the perfect sticky Print & Cut words!

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

 

 

Stay crafty!

 

 

All Things Text Tool: Silhouette Studio Tutorial

Designs Used:

Products Used:

Printable Adhesive cardstock

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15 comments

  1. Excellent tutorial, Christine! I love how much we can do with text in Silhouette Studio!

    1. Thanks so much, Kelly! Silhouette Studio is pretty awesome! 😀

  2. Very helpful tutorial – thanks!

    Question: When doing text to path, is there an easy way to center the text on the shape rather than what I’ve been doing which is moving the text manually? Sometimes, once I delete the shape, my text doesn’t look right because I didn’t have it perfectly centered.

    Thanks!

    1. Hmmm, Dawn. I’m not too sure there is an “easy” way to ensure the text on a path is completely centered before actually finalizing it. There have been many times where I’ve had to undo a few steps and start over after realizing my design was off-centered….very frustrating! I’ll have to play around some and let you know if I find anything useful!

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words (and the awesome hashtag), QuiltShopGal!

  3. Thanks for this great tutorial! I really appreciate learning the ins-and-outs of using my Silhouette Cameo. It may be “basic” to many users, but I needed it and would welcome further tutorials. Great job!

    1. Hi Lisa! I’m so glad you found this helpful! I actually learned quite a bit while writing this tutorial too….when you really start to play with all the tools and their various options, it’s amazing what you can learn!

  4. Christine, you rock! I thought there was not much I did not know about the software but you found a big one! The Transfer Properties is not exclusive to the Business Edition! The tool is just hidden on the Designer Edition on the bottom of the screen by the weld button. I honestly never paid it much attention but this has just blown my mind!!! It works not just for color but for all properties… drop shadows, font styles, you name it. I’ve been playing for the last hour and can’t believe I had this amazing tool all this time and didn’t even know it!

    1. Wow, Karen….I just got the Business Edition about a month ago, but I had the Designer Edition for nearly two years and NEVER knew that transfer properties option was available there either!! It is so fun to play around with! 🙂

  5. Thank you, I just got my cameo this week and have been pulling my hair out! Im so confused 🙁 But this at least answers a couple of my questions.

    1. Hey Donna! I was really intimidated by my Cameo at first too. My advice is to just play around with it! Read everything you can online for tips and tricks then just give it a go. I’ve had my fair share of project fails, so don’t worry about messing up. Good luck! 🙂

      1. Thanks Christine, Its been better lately, I bought the book “The Ultimate Silhouette Guide” its been helping..only thing I cant figure out is the damn offset and making fonts bigger..but I will get it eventually lol

  6. I’m ne to using Silhouette and I’ve been able to create curve text this evening and wanted to print design out on paper to see if it’s what i want. However when I send to printer I get a blank piece of paper. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Did you thicken the line? Lines won’t print, unless you thicken them.

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