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!
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.)
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 . . .
. . . or move it up the bar to space the characters out.
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!
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!
Once the text gets welded, the oval can be deleted and the text retains its new curved shape.
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”).
Then you’re able to delete the image and keep your text looking fancy!
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.
This will separate all the words into individual letters and characters, and each will be surrounded by its own bounding box.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can also use the Fill Gradient Window and fill the text with colorful gradients.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 . . .
. . . or thick. Lots of options!
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.
Just like with the actual text as was discussed above, offsets can be filled as well with colors, gradients, or patterns.
You can also change the line color and/or thickness, including choosing None to make it transparent. Once again, this is handy for mockups.
BONUS TUTORIAL: EASY GIFT BAG EMBELLISHMENT
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®)
- Yellow Daisy font (ID #106927)
- Gift bag
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.)
(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!)
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!