AcuDesign: The Manager Interface

I’m thinking of AcuDesign’s  opening screen as “Manager” because I relate it to Embird’s Manager. When I’m learning something new,  I try to find similarities to my existing knowledge. No scientific explanation, but being able to ‘hook’ the new information into the existing, helps me learn faster and remember it later. YMMV, I could be weird you know.

The first screen absolutey  flummoxed me.


All I could see were these packages of designs for sale.  No wonder reviewers were asking “where are the free designs?” The Store warned that there were in-app purchases available but I too didn’t expect to pay $54.23 (or whatever) for a digital, sales catalog. What’s up with this? Oh and as also complained, the designs seemed cartoonish.   My preference is for vintage or stylized designs;  rich Crewel/Jacobean; luxurious MidEastern and Russian; Art Deco etc. I’ve no desire for cartoon pigs or mice.   When I bought the Dream Machine, I tried to talk my dealer into a discount because I knew these D designs not only had no value to me, but  used up valuable space I could use for something I liked. And AcuDesign’s  text?  First thing you get is a message to buy a text engine. Wait. Wait! We’ve just bought what we thought was application software. Now you want us to pay more designs and additional (assuming it is additional) software? Suddenly I understood why those reviewers were leaving negative comments.

However, I’d viewed the Webinar. Twice.   I looked around and found a window looking icon at the left about 1″ below the screen edge.


Click that and a list similar to  File-Explorer appears on the left.


It’s the preprogrammed categories of designs.  To the right of that are flags “Imported and “Purchased”. (I’ll get back to imported in another post). Scroll downward and the flag “Market Designs” appears.


Market Designs contains all those “Buy” packages that confused me on the opening screen; made me think I had a sales catalog upon opening AcuDesign.

I start clicking each category on the left and looking through the designs appearing on the right. Hey, the easiest way I know to learn a new program, is to start clicking things. I found that there are a number of ‘free’ designs I just might use.   I clicked on a ‘Buy’ thumb tack and saw options to buy an individual design or an entire package.


I saw package prices up to $49.99 but most were in the $9-12 range. Not bad for a package of 6 or so desgins.  I clicked on one of the “Free” thumbtacks.


Again it offers me Design Free or Package Free. Click on “Design Free” and it turns to “Download Design”.


Click that. Go back to the top of the category and under Purchased , I had a new design for use! Yeah me!


I’m not sure how many of the free designs I will download. Although there were several that caught my eye, my IPAD is limited to 32GB of which a tidy amount is already consumed by the IOS, my email and default Apple programs (plus a few I’ve downloaded). My personal embroidery collection is just under 6GB/150,000 files. I’m painfully aware that I may experience space limitations.  Downloading a file just because it’s cute? Not going to happen.

I really do like the interface. When I click on a category, the right side displays the flags (Imported, Purchased,Market), but also a decent sized icon of the design.  In the range of 1.5×2.5″ . Good sized. There’s information on the icon, name, category, number of threads, size and number of stitches.  Tap the Info thumb tack to learn even more about the individual design.  The Info page, which takes up about 2/3 of the right side, opens up with an even larger, like 3×3″ design icon. Has some standard navigation symbols like X to exit, ? to get help and arrows <-  -> to page through designs. You can open the design to edit from here or go back to the previous screen and tap the icon for editing. (Er, editing is going to be one of those topics for a future post.)

While I’m devoted to Embird, I have maintained a 2nd program, BuzzExplor, for managing my embroidery files.  Embird has very small icons inside the Manager module.  Sometimes too small to know what the design is.  Embird offers an module, Iconizer, which replaces standard Windows icons with a thumbnail of the design.  While the icon is not as large as the BuzzExplor and AcuDesign icons, Iconizer is pretty good. I don’t use it because with 100,000+ files, Iconizer becomes a resource hog that slows down my whole computer and froze the tablet.  AcuDesign is no slower for offering these larger icons. Unfortunately they’er  only that size inside the manager program. I have to admit to seeing the size of the icons during the Webinar. It’s part of what convinced me that AcuDesign could work for me.

So far, I’m impressed with AcuDesign.  I got over being stunned by all the ‘buy me’ stuff.  I’ve got to say $49.99 is a lot for an app.  The most I’ve ever paid.  I do think that Janome will continue to get negative remarks until they figure out how to let people know this is only the splash screen. Buying more, only an option for those that want more; and all the really good stuff is coming up.

I feel like AcuDesign combined the best of my two programs, BuzzExplor and Embird, in the File Management screens. Love the large icons. Love the amount of info available before opening a file (I’m never going to stitch out a design with 30 thread changes.) (10 is the number of spools on my thread rack). If I could give a word of advice to everyone, “It would be ignore AcuDesign’s first page, the splash screen.  Click on the window like icon near the top and get started. Poke around. Click some things. Have fun.” So far, I’ve not  been disappointed.