Silhouette America released version 3 of Silhouette Studio and Silhouette Studio Designer Edition this afternoon and I managed to get it downloaded and installed before the now traditional server crash. The feature list is indeed impressive, headlined by the edition of layers to the Designer Edition (really? this is a DE feature? Even free Cricut software has layers, but I digress.) Users of the Silhouette Connect plug in for Illustrator and Corel Draw will find this new version familiar as it shares a new (but still kinda ugly) interface design and many features as well. But the new features come at a high cost, namely backward compatibility. And stunningly, SA did not create a new file extension so watch for tons of confusion in the days ahead.
This page is being frequently update so please check here and in the comments section for additional information.
Warnings for those who have updated
If you create a file in SS3 and someone with V1 or V2 tries to open it, they will get a message that an update is required before the file can be opened. You can only open V3 files in V3. Please consider marking the files you create in SS3 as such.
Note: At this point I do not anticipate problems with files in the Silhouette Online Store because those are not created in any version of Silhouette Studio.
If you use V3 to open a file that you or someone else created in V1 or V2, there are some significant issues as well:
-*the cut setting will be set to Card Stock, regardless of what it was before
-*there is no more Cut, Cut Edge, Perforate or Perforate Edge or No Cut so any of these you set will need to be re-set using a new method. Some combinations are no longer possible.
-*registration marks will be switched off and any adjustments will be lost.
-*dashed lines that were set under Line Styles will cut as solid lines.
What I really like
Nesting in the DE version – this is brilliant!
Select by color – yes!!
Adjustable pivot point in DE is now off by default, but can be activated when you need it. This is a change I asked for, then had to ask to back it out, so I am very happy about this change.
The arc tool is pretty sweet, but an option to draw a sector would have made it perfect.
SVGs are generally easier to use, especially layered ones. No more ungrouping and setting cut lines, before you can even get started.
Pasting text from the clipboard into a text box (what a novel idea!)
The foggy area outside the page is gone, making it easier to visualize designs off the mat, create tutorials, etc. Not as good as just letting us toggle the red line off, but nice.
Ability to pause between layers.
What they did not fix
*The eraser still freezes just as bad, major fail here. But the good news is at least you won’t lose your work since there is auto-save now.
*You still can not add or change keywords or descriptions of files in the library.
~*You still can not turn off the cutting red line or adjust it for a machine you do not have connected.
~*Goofy defaults like High Pass filter on under trace and offset to a quarter inch are still there.
The manual – that’s right, the same one that’s been outdated since 2012 has made its way into V3.
And of course, you still can not save as SVG (not only that but the v1.9/2.0 workaround has been greatly diminished since v3 files can’t be opened in these versions)
What were they thinking?
*Cut by color is by line color, not by fill color. This is just craziness. The work required to cut a Silh Store file or an SVG (that isn’t pre-layered) either by color or by layer is ridiculously and artificially high as you have to either manually place each piece on a separate layer or change the line color of each piece. Feature fail.
Layers are upside down. That’s right, in the layer window the top layer is on the bottom and vice versa. I wish I had a witty comment, but seriously. I am speechless.
Two freehand drawing tools – too smooth and not smooth enough. Give us something adjustable, please, our Wacoms are waiting!
Shadow tool – as in flat shadows only … the 1980s called, they want their design element back.
*PDF Import – This imports all PDFs as bitmaps that have to be traced, even if they were perfectly good vector files to begin with. Far cry from PDF import in MTC and SCAL.
Page and mat settings became even more confusing and inconvenient… not to mention buggy. Mine gets confused between Portrait and Landscape orientation sometimes (can you blame it, since Portrait is also the name of a machine?)
*Cut margins (the red line) only shows correctly in the Cut Preview, but you can not move the pieces from there. So you have to keep toggling back and forth between views to get your pieces in bounds. Why have the red line in the way on the normal view, if its not correct anyway?
“Vertical text” was added, but umm, its not what is generally meant by vertical text, it’s simply normal text rotated 90 degrees. In other software, “vertical text” means horizontal letters stacked on top of each other.
Major changes to how basic functions have to be done and not one single tutorial to be found from SA (or anyone else since no one had advance copies and authorization apparently).
What ticks me off
SA has once again removed features that we already paid for (or bought a machine with the understanding that these features were in place). Here are things we lost in V3
-*Ability to set individual objects to No Cut, Cut, Cut Edge, Perforate or Perforate Edge (you have to assign them a line color or move them to separate layers first)
-*Ability to share files with users of earlier versions
-Ability to drag a pattern into a shape (already removed from standard in v 2.7, now removed from DE)
-*Ability to set work space larger than cutting area
-*Ability to move and node edit in Cut Preview mode
-*Live Preview of file dragged over mat
-*Cut Preview no longer shows which lines will cut as dashed
-Blade advance arrows. This is a problem for Portrait users who do not have arrow buttons on their machines and so, can not reset the origin or cut multiple test cuts.
-Ability to manually detect registration marks.
-*Ability to mix Cut and Cut Edge, or Perforate and Perforate Edge, in a single document
-*Ability to select a block of text and cycle through font changes to it using the arrow keys
-*Ability to jump down in the font list using the first letter of the font
-*Dashed lines set under Line Styles no longer cut as dashed lines. (Dashed cut lines have to be selected under Cut Settings for each layer/color)
-*Inverted registration marks
-*Tool tips on modify panel (Y’all think I’m an expert, but the truth is I am lost without these)
-*Visibility of printable area
-*Hashmarks to indicate safe zones for print and cut
-Ability to open AI files in Mac version
-Number of color theme choices reduced from 8 to just 3
-*The offset button at the bottom of the screen now only makes 1/4 inch offsets instead of being adjustable as before.
Hopefully some of the above are bugs and not intentional omissions. But if not, please join me in holding SA accountable for this. I mean, what if you bought a car and a week later they came and ripped out your stereo? Update: *Asterisks above indicate items that SA representatives tell me they are aware of and working to fix.
For now I recommend that the newbies give us pros a little time to get ahead of you so we can answer your questions. For the adventurous, update but keep the old version loaded somewhere if you possibly can. You are not going to want to be learning this and adjusting your files on a deadline.
Important note: I am getting a lot of questions about how to rollback to the previous version, how to install multiple versions, how to restore your DE license, etc and I do not have the answers to these kinds of questions. Please check with the relevant forums, Facebook groups, blogs or Silhouette support for this kind of information.
Here are a couple of good videos that show SSV3 in action