Color Discharge

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AcuDesign Test Project

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If you recall, I was working on a real project while at the same time exploring AcuDesign. I imported a design, edited colors and stitch order. Duplicated the design, rotated and merged with a 2nd design before exporting a VP3 file for use at the embroidery machine.

AcuDesign has an icon for centering the design both horizontally and vertically. That would have worked had I been satisfied to stitch one towel per hoop. Since I wanted to stitch two hoops, I manually moved and centered the files. I was uncertain that I had placed my design exactly where I wanted in the hoop. OK there are various methods for aligning designs to stitch out precisely where wanted. I decided just to ‘check’ the file with Embird. Sure enough, the files were not centered nor were they placed at the right distance away from the hem. I corrected that in Embird and trotted off the stitch my towels.

Nearly ruined the first one. My Design Ruby humped and thumped. Activating the scissors every few stitches. Also requiring that I ‘clean threads’ from beneath the plate.  I stopped without having finished a single motif.

There are known issues with converting files. Those of us who are end users can’t really tell you why or even how it happens but every machine embroidery editor will add or delete stitches in the process of converting. I suspected that Embird was the source of my issues and it may have been responsible for many.  I added the trim function. Trim doesn’t merely activate the scissors. It somehow adds a stop which consists of 3 stitches in the same place intended to create a knot.  I know this, because that’s one of the settings I specified in Embird.  I’ve made several changes to Embird’s defaults that work nearly all the time. I’ve used multiple designs from this digitizer without issue.  Not really sure why Embird doesn’t like this file but I could see it adding stitches.  Just to be sure AcuDesign hadn’t contributed, I started over with the original file still on my PC.  Same wacky results. Sadly, that particular design won’t work with my equipment. However, I’m inclined to believe it’s not the digitizer, but rather Embird and VP3 issues.

Now impatient to get this project done, I selected a similar design (different digitizer), rotated, changed colors and stitching order, duplicated and positioned in the hoop as I desired.  All while using Embird at my desktop computer. I remember coaching individuals that just didn’t want to switch to new software, new methods. This is a perfect example of why. I spent nearly a week getting the first design ready for stitching. Had this one ready in about 15 minutes.

Umm, stitching took 4 days.  Part of the 4 days was spent removing threads from under the plate. Rethreading the machine. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. My Ruby needs a trip to the tech. She was due 2 years ago but I’ve been traveling the other direction and spending all my money on the skin cancer issue. It’s winter. I wont’ be making that long trip to Sioux Falls just for a servicing especially since I have another machine, the PE770 sitting in its box.

I think AcuDesign worked well. It has it’s limitations and I’ll probably always need to check things in Embird. So the Flash drive may have been an unneeded purchase as I can always copy the file to a plain old thumb drive after I’m finished in Embird at my desktop PC. The stitchout issues were probably a combination of Embird and my Ruby. It will be interesting to try to stitch the design again after getting Ruby back from repair sometime next spring.

AcuDesign: Combining(Merging) Designs

One of the things I do most in Embird is merge designs or parts of designs.  With Embird you open the first design then select “file->merge” to add a second or third. I was hoping AcuDesign would allow me to tag/select two designs and open both at the same time. Nope.

Here’s my current  situation. I have created the exact the border design I want to stitch on my FTT’s. I could take that design to my Ruby, add a basting stitch, position my towel and stitch away. But that’s an awful lot of stabilizer wasted. Even using a smaller hoop won’t save much. There is a way to maximize the use of the stabilizer and that’s by embroidering multiple FTT’s in the same hoop. Placement is a concern. I want to be sure I’m stitching out the design centered and approximately 1.5″ above the bottom edge. Also, I don’t hoop towels. Gave that up when I first discovered sticky stabilizers.  So for me to embroider towels, I stitch out a placement line, align my towel up next to that and then place a WSS  topper on top the towel.  I use WSS all the time but it’s especially important on towels to keep the stitches from disappearing into the fabric.  I want the WSS to stay in place, not drift or fold so I create a basting line box about where the design will stitch out. With towel in hoop and WSS on top, I run the basting stitching.

I use this procedure so often that I have digitized  a hoop with the placement and basting stitches already created.  I imported that into AcuDesign

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I need to merge or combine my 2 existing designs, 13INFTTC and the Cedfunkyborder. How? Well remember I said that you duplicate anywhere by copy and paste? That’s what we’ll do here.

I open my CED design  just edited and saved.

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I click the Hand/Select icon first, then the All button which places the selection block around all my objects. Then I click the Copy icon at the top right. NO don’t click paste now. We don’t want to paste it in this screen, this hoop we want it in the other hoop.  There’s no way of knowing, you just have to take it on faith that AcuDesign has placed a copy of design into the IPAD’s memory.  It’s waiting for use anywhere.  Where do we want it? I touch Done (top screen left), then exit.  Back at the Manager I touch my placement and baste hoop to open it and pinch so I can see the entire hoop.

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NOW  click Paste. Like that both designs are in the same hoop.

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I think this is slick. Maybe even easier than Embird. I may have to see if Embird has a similar function. But there’s an issue. The hoop has turned pink indicating that something is not inside the hoop. It’s my just pasted design.  It needs to be rotated to fit. I touch the purple buttons once which activates the rotate functions. Then touch and hold on the upper left  corner …

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…pulling to the right until the design has flipped/rotated to a vertical position.

Note: you can use any of the 4 corner buttons. I rotated in this direction because I want the Red object to stitch out closest to the towel hem.  I know that I will be stitching the Right set first. Then adding a 2nd towel  and stitching the left set.  I know that I will be placing the towels hems above the placement lines and letting the bulk of the towel hang over the embroidery arm.  I don’t like the bulk of anything under the harp.  Too much possibility for traping it under the hoop and embroidering it. 

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Rotating did not go well for me the first few tries.  Oh it rotated fine but I could not stop at just the right point to be perfectly vertical. Oh how I miss those Embird icons. I did get it right, eventually. Which makes me think this may be one of those skill things so  I will continue to work with rotating in AcuDesign.  Once rotated, I touched and held  the center of the design and moved/drug the design to where I wanted it within my basting box.  Satisfied, I touched the Copy and Paste icons at the top creating a duplicate of the upright CED border and then touched and held to move the duplicate border to the basting box on the right.

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I exported this design to Dropbox. My plan is to export to my SanDisk Flash but I didn’t feel comfortable about the positioning. I knew I wanted to check it in Embird.

I downloaded the now vertical and duplicated border from Dropbox onto my PC and opened with Embird. I know how I want this lined up.  I’ve already measured my towels. They have a 1/2″ selvage hem. I want the border to stitch out about an inch above that. I confess that I spent about 10 minutes further editing in Embird both pinpointing the designs placement vertically and horizontally and I also changed the placement of my   basting objects.

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Before saving and exiting Embird, I also added trim codes. I don’t know if AcuDesign adds those codes.  I want them. If I discover the codes are never added, I will always be finishing in Embird. I don’t mind a few minutes at the big PC especially if I get to spend the bulk of my selecting/editing time in my easy chair with AcuDesign. In fact, I anticipated that I might have to plan on some editing either in Embird or my embroidery machine because of AcuDesigns known limitations.

AcuDesign: Editor: Color, Thread

It’s not always necessary for me to change the hoop color. I’m glad to know that I have that feature when I need it, but I’m most anxious to get onto changing the thread colors. Starting at the Manger Menu again and touching my CED design

BTW, I’m not sure if this is a purchased or free design from CinDesEmbroidery Designs.  She has a fabulous (IMO) selection of designs;  all reasonably priced or FREE. This design is several years old and yet still trendy.

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opening the Editor

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Before proceeding to the Color menu, I’d like to point out a few things on the pic above about Edito. The green arrows are pointing to 2 purple/magenta lines. Both lines have little numbers along side which indicate  how long and wide/tall the design is. Handy information that is!

Look towards the top of the stack of icons to the right and find the Hand.  (Reminds me of the Pillsbury TV commercials).  That is the Select Icon.  I can’t really create the best tutorial with color selections because I don’t fully comprehend the selection tool. It doesn’t work the way I expect. It doesn’t work like the other selection tools I’ve worked with. I’d take pix and ask for help except that the touch marks I make for selection convert into boxes. the touch marks disappear before I can snap a screen shot. I’m sure as I work more with AcuDesign and even spawn a few searches,  I will learn most if not everything this Select tool does. For now,  take my tutorial with a grain of salt. Please understand that AcuDesign is more powerful than my illustrations.

So let’s get back into editing my thread colors for my project i.e click the Color Pallet icon

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While I occasionally change the hoop color, I nearly always change thread colors.  I have color preferences  for clothing and home dec. On those rare occasions I embroider for someone else, I take their color preferences into consideration. Once spent several hours with DH editing the colors of a bird because he insisted the default-while very lovely to my eyes-was WRONG. (Yep big letters.) Anyway, once you touch the Pallet icon the left hand side expands into the Color Menu. At the top is the Fabric selection (discussed in my previous post). Just below that a scrolling list of the thread colors specified by the current design (Design Thread Colors).  Skip the next row of icons for now. Following that is a big scrollable list of thread spools. I’ve already set my preferred threads to Marathon which can be updated by clicking the middle icon of the row we skipped

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To change my designs colors, I need to work in that bottom scrollable list.   Even knowing that the physical thread color will not be exactly the same,  I like to see them on-screen.  I’ve yet to find a time when what looked good together on the screen didn’t look good together when stitched.  But I have found that the color on-screen was not exactly the color I wanted and after  test stitching, was replaced with my desired thread color.

As I said, not real skilled here with the selector.  I used the rubber tip of my stylus and touched the object I wanted a to be a different color. Then scrolled through the Spools touching each of the reds until I found my desired thread color 2182. A couple of things to note here:

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When I touched the object in the design on the right, nothing happened. No check mark. No bells. Whistles.  I touched it several times and finally decided to take it on faith that a selection had indeed taken place.  When I scrolled through list and selected  a color lots of things happened.  On the left, the thread name and number changed in the thread menu below the fabric selection. So AcuDesign is saying this object in this stitch files now uses this color. Next row  displays the name of thread, color and the color number in what was a blank rectangle. In the Spools a little check mark appears in the bottom right of the spool. (I’ve almost covered the check mark with my big blue pointing arrow). In the screen above, I’ve  finished selecting in turn each of the objects  I wanted to be red and then selected the desired red color in the Spools. Try as I might, I never figured out how to select all 3 objects and change their colors at the same time.  It might be because the 3 objects were 3 different colors. It might be I’m just dumb. Also note on the right side at the top, along the Clothes Line, that each of the objects has also changed colors. (Ummm clothes line is a subject for a whole post.)

Selecting thread colors was a little frustrating for me because of the way I work. It’s a case when prior knowledge holds you back or at least slows you down. As usual,  I started with my project, the FTT’s, and matched thread colors to my FTT’s.

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I noted the color numbers and then came to AcuDesign to change the colors of the digitized design.  In Embird, I pop up the color selection, search by number and in nano seconds have the color selected. I’m also able to select and change multiple objects at the same time;  in Embird. In AcuDesign, I’m not that smart. Adding to my frustration, the only way to identify the color name and number is by touching the spool.  When the spool is touched, that 3rd row changes from a blank rectangle to information about the thread

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While I found my first color 2182 quickly, I touched nearly every blue icon trying to find 2266 and the color on the screen is definitely not the same as in my  FTT or the matching spool:

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I’ve yet to discover an order i.e. number or  color name in which the spools are arranged. Hopefully, that’s something I can come back later and correct.  As with the red, I had to touch each object I wanted to change to blue, then scroll the Spools to select thread blue. One good thing, after I found ‘my blue’ the first time. It had the little check mark in the lower right of the spool. I was able to more quickly locate the ‘right’ blue by scrolling down to the spool with the check mark. Which brings up another point. When I selected the next object, the Design Thread Colors and Spools menus scrolled to that objects color. Not sure if I like this feature or not. But I have the colors selected for my design.

Before I go, I mean close this post, I want to point out this is time when I rearrange stitchout order. I’d rather thread my machine 2 times than 7. Which is what would happen if I stitched this design out now. So I want to rearrange my objects to so they stitch without me changing back and forth. Turns out, this is an easy-peasy task. Along the top of the Editor window is the Clothes Line so called because it appears that each object is attached to a clothes line with clothes pins.  Stitchout will take place in the same order as the objects are pinned to the Clothes Line. To change, touch and hold, then drag to the new order. Sorry, this is not something for which I could take a screen shot. It’s almost cute and accompanied by sound. You’ll know.  I was not able to touch and hold multiple objects (think I’m just not smart enough, yet) So I touched the 2nd Red object and moved infront of  the last red object.clothesline01_resize

Touch, hold and move the first red object in front of the 2nd red object.  My objects were now all in the stitching order I desired.

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I clicked the < at the top of the Editor Menu and returned to the Manager where I verfied that my design had been saved in “My Designs” and I still had the original in “Imported” categories.

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I think it’s a really great feature for AcuDesign to assume if you made changes, you’d like to keep them. Saving the changes but not replacing the original. There are times I really make a mess of things. Even the Undo button is too much trouble. It might be nice if AcuDesign were to ask “Y/N Do you want to save a copy?”. But for every person like me who thinks that would be a great idea, there’s another person who says “For heavens sake, just make the copy. How can I turn that question off?”  I do like that AcuDesign is automatically making copies.  I wouldn’t buy a different program just because AcuDesign doesn’t confirm the save.

 

AcuDesign: Color Editor, Fabric

I’ve decided to start a project while continuing to explore AcuDesign Editor. It’s sort of a break from just ‘book learning’.

I’ve chosen to embroider some finger tip towels (FTT).  We use these towels as napkins. We’re pretty casual at dinner time. We stop our other activities and keep the evening meal together but in what I suspect has become an American tradition. We eat in front of the TV. Yep that’s right, we fix a really nice meal then set up our TV tables and settle down for our version of ‘dinner and a show’ (dinner + Netflix).   We’ve switched from paper napkins to FTTs because FTT’s cover a large area. Oh and they’re good for wiping down the trays when dinner is over.

On a recent trip to WM, I found this colorful set of 4. Once home I matched embroidery threads.dscn6943_resize

Color is not my forte. Frankly, I struggle with it. I would not have put these 4 colors together on my own. Some designer for WM did and I admit, I had to have them.   I often start my projects by matching my embroidery colors to the colors in my fabric. It is a sure method of color success. Most likely, the designer has already done the hard work of trying many colors, shades and tints to arrive at the color combination that appealed to me.  Why not use what someone else has worked hard to develop? (Although, I do know people for whom color is intuitive. They don’t work at it at all.)

I’ve already been playing with this design in AcuDesign.

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I realized with a change of color and maybe duplicating that it would work nicely as a border on our FTT napkins.

I opened AcuDesign. Switched to Manager and then touched (the already imported) CED design to open Editor. Once Editor was opened I touched the Color Pallet icon:

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One of the functions that’s valuable to me, is checking my color thread color selections against the color of the fabric.  In Embird, I can change the background color but not the fabric texture. Touching the ‘Fabric’ box in AcuDesign produced a list of background fabrics AcuDesign has available for use

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That list scrolls down. There are quite a few textures. But I left my fabric selection at Linen. I’m not sure how much help changing the fabric texture is going to be for me. Fabric is selected  by touching it. The menu then shrinks back to the single representation at the top. Below that is now displayed the colors you can choose:

fabriccolor_resize So at the top, circled in red, is the fabric. Below is the list of thread colors currently selected. In the bottom is another scrollable list of fabric i.e. background colors.  I didn’t realize this was the fabric color selection at first. The change between thread color selection and fabric selection is slight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.It’s easier to see the difference between Thread and Fabric when the two menus are placed side by side

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Fabric ——————————————-Thread

They’ve actually tried to make the Thread Color menu look like spools of thread. I suppose the Fabric Color menu could be fabric swatches. Another clue for me was the menu just above these colors. The Fabric menu is preceded by “Janome Needle”.  Thread by “Marathon Polyester” (my default selection).

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But I was slow on the uptake. I didn’t realize AcuDesign had displayed colors for fabric.  I tried to search “changing the fabric color” through Safari (IPAD’s equivalent of Google) but didn’t get any useful references. Finally tried the ? (help) icon again. Expanded the first result to this:

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I have to admit, ? gave me more information but not enough for my specific question “how to change the fabric color in AcuDesign”.  I wish they’d shown a picture of the fabric colors and circled the fabric color selection menu.  But all’s well that ends well and eventually I realized when I was in the Fabric Color Selection menu and chose a yellow which approximates the color of the yellow FTT above

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Fabric texture is an option that many people have asked from Embird and never get. AcuDesign is definitely superior in having provided many options. The only thing better would be the option to scan and use your own fabric.

However when it comes to Fabric Color selection, Embird takes the cake. Embird offers a color wheel to make the selection. I can put on the screen an exact-to-the-eye color match.  With AcuDesign I had to choose something ‘close’.  My fabric is not quite this bright

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Hoop————————–Fabric and Thread

Close, but not exact.  Through the miracle of cropping, resizing and uploading through various media and devices, the colors look closer on my screen above, then they did when working on the IPAD holding the real fabric up next to the screen.  But, I think it is close enough to work with.  I almost wish I’d bought 2 sets of towels, one for testing color combinations through stitching.

Before I leave the Fabric Color selections I want to address this block of information

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I haven’t found where “Janome Needle” is set. Telling me to use a Janome Needle sounds like more needless advertising by Janome.  Perhaps they were trying to clue me that we’re in the Fabric options? Touching that block doesn’t produce additional information. The ? (help) function doesn’t highlight it so that it can be selected for more information. Possibly this will be a future enhancement. For now, it does nothing for me. The next icon over, the (pallet plus thread spool), produces a scroll box of the Threads for which AcuDesign has imported the color tables. If you don’t have Marathon Polyester, you can select one of the many thread companies in the box.

Touching the icon to the far right (Envelope with Thread Spools) opens to

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The list, in use order i.e. how the emb machine needs to threaded, of the threads.  I was able to edit this list before adding my email addy and clicking send. However, while I can change the list, it doesn’t change the thread selected in AcuDesign.

After clicking ‘Send’ sure enough it shows up in my mail box. I can see this might be handy. There are many times when I center my design in the hoop and do not need a template to place the design for stitching. All I need is a color list. I can get a color list from Embird, but this is easier.  Especially since I don’t need to print it out. I can take my IPAD with me and read the email at the embroidery machine.

You know, this really seems like enough/too much pics for one post.  I’m finishing this post here and will start another to talk about changing thread color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AcuDesign: San Disk Flash

Taking a pause in exploring the Editor to play my San Disk Flash wireless drive.

Besides my basic distrust of free internet sites, I also wanted to streamline the process of getting my design to my embroidery design.  I ‘bit the bullet’ and purchased the 32GB San Disk Flash shown above for about $24.  Prices fluctuate.  As I’m writing this I see the 64GB is only $28 and yes I would have bought the larger capacity even though I don’t think I need it. I plan to use this only for embroidery; machine embroidery.  My digitized designs take less than 8GB.  That’s nearly a 35 year collection that fits in 8GB.  I’m sure the 32 will do fine plus I’ve noticed that the embroidery machines seem to identify and load designs faster when the capacity of the drive is smaller. I appreciate faster working technology..  But I digress… I envision

  1. Copying all my designs onto the San Disk Flash
  2.  AcuDesign reading the Flash
  3. My doing a little editing using AcuDesign Editor
  4. Saving the edited design to Flash
  5. Carrying Flash to my Embroidery machine which reads the file and stitches out my design.

Will it work that way?

I plugged Flash into my PC for charging.  The instruction say to allow 2 hours. I came back the next day.  It’s just habit with me to get new technology and plug it in overnight for charging.  When I cam back to my Win8 PC, I use the File Explorer to locate the disk and then copied some embroidery files from the PC to Flash.  No pics of this process because I’m using standard Windows procedures. If you’re a Windows user, you should already know these procedures. If you’re an Apple user, your procedure will be slightly different and truthfully, I’m not the one to be guiding you.  I’m a babe when it comes to the Apple ways of doing things.

Thankfully the files transferred rapidly and I retired to my easy chair with Flash in hand.  I looked up the user’s manual using Safari on my IPAD and followed instructions to download the San Disk Connect Wireless app. In order to use Flash I had to connect to it through Settings->WIFI selecting Others and scrolling through the list until I found the SanDisk Flash <MACaddress>.   Opps as in real life, I forgot to mention to powered on Flash by pushing on the side button.  Neither, the app nor the IPAD can see Flash if it is powered off.  So I powered on Flash, navigated to Wifi->Others->SanDisk and connected immediately. Relaunched the SanDisk Connect Wireless app which found, connected and started a slide show with tips for using Flash. Glad to see my embroidery files and I also noticed that picture files were iconized.  I didn’t include photos because this paragraph concerns itself with standard IPAD and maybe Apple procedures. You should know these things from your previous experience with other apps.

It’s at this point that I launched AcuDesign. The drive is a waste of money to me if I can’t use it with AcuDesign. So I opened AcuDesign and the Manager.  I rarely even pause at the Splash Screen although I am aware there are icons/functions on that page. On the Editor I click the Import Icon

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When the Import windows opened, I clicked San Disk Flash

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The first time through, it cranked for a few of seconds making me wonder if this was going to work? or did I buy the right San Disk Flash?  But in less than 30 seconds a file directory of my Flash was displayed

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Knowing where I had saved files, I touched the ‘BrotherRussia’ to open that subdirectory and scrolled down.  I have both subdirectories and single files. I already  know that I can ‘drill down’. I want to know if AcuDesign will read and retrieve files. To my delight, individual files and their icons appeared

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I touched the Rose at the top (DO13_10_02.pes) which places a check mark in the far right column

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and then touched Download at the bottom, right corner of the screen. You think it’s going to download, right? No now, just like with DropBox, it gives you a chance to organize the designs being imported on the next screen. The design will automatically be placed in the Imported category. By clicking the arrow in the far right hand column

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all the categories are displayed for selection

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I touched flower. I’m not sure I’ll be using this particular feature beyond sharing it in my posts. Typically, I choose a design. Edit it. Stitch it out and when my project is done, I move the file except for the original to a “Completed or Archive” subdirectory on my PC. My PC has a 500GB hard drive and I have a Terra back up drive. I expect that I will import files to AcuDesign. Save what is needed onto the Flash and delete anything on AcuDesign. But for now, just realize that AcuDesign can be used as a manager for all your embroidery files and that AcuDesign will store a copy in as many categories as you would like.

Once I had completed my category selections, I touched ‘Save’ at the top and when this screen appeared, I touched ‘Done’.

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I double checked that my file had been imported in both the All Designs and Flower, Import Categories.

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A little Manager hint here.  I’ve been playing and importing lots of files. I’ve filled up the Imported row in All Designs. I didn’t immediately see my design. First I clicked on “View More” (circled in red)

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..then AcuDesign expanded and displayed my new file. Another very good reason for my deleting files after I’ve used them could be that they always readily display. No extra click on “View More” and slight delay.

A real pleasure was exporting the file to Flash. Then taking Flash to my embroidery machine to plug into the USB port.  AND IT WORKED!

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My embroidery machine had no issues reading and importing the design from Flash into her memory.

Right now, I’d the process is a little different than I expected.

  1. Copying all my designs onto the San Disk Flash
  2.  AcuDesign will import the file(s) from Flash
  3. My doing a little editing using AcuDesign Editor
  4. *Exporting the edited design to Flash
  5. Carrying Flash to my Embroidery machine to read my edited file and stitch out my design.

There are a number of management options I’m still considering. For example, I could  leave all my files in DropBox instead of copying them to the Flash drive. In which case, I would import designs from DropBox, edit and export to Flash. I could continue with my original plan to copy all the files onto Flash then delete the files from DropBox and even delete my DropBox account.  But then what happens if Flash dies? (USB drives are famous for self-termination). I’m still learning AcuDesign so not ready to make lasting decision just considering possibilities.

**Exporting  to San Disk Flash is the same process as  exporting to DropBox except select San Disk Flash instead of DropBox. Also the Flash subdirectory is not preset i.e. hard coded. For easy, fast retrieval,  I’ll be leaving my edited files in the root of Flash.

 

 

 

AcuDesign: Stitch Out Simulation (SewSimulator)

Embird calls this the Sew Simulator. AcuDesign places this icon on the page

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and lets you figure out what to call it. It’s  there above the Hoops and Color  icon in the Editor.

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When clicked or touched

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The design disappears. In its place is a picture of the typical embroidery machine needle and foot. Note on the far left the menus has been augmented with a couple of new icons. The bottom icon toggles between ‘show the foot” as above or, use cross hair. Either one is positioned at the point where the needle pierces the fabric and making a stitch.

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Above that is a number, a turtle, a dot which slides vertically (up and down) followed by a rabbit, and an arrow pointing right at the top. Touch the arrow  and the stitch out begins before your very eyes, with sound! Yes it emulates the sound of your machine stitching. That number near the bottom, just below the turtle, is the stitching speed which in this pic is 600 stitches per minute.  It goes as low 100 SPM. The grey circle slider above the turtle can be touched and held to slide upwards and increase the SPM.  You can also click above or below the slider to change the stitching speed. AcuDesign can simulate stitching all the way up to 10,000 SPM. Fortunately AcuDesign automatically silences the noise.  I think at a certain point the stitching would sound like a train rolling through my house.

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I don’t think I’ve ever had or seen a machine that stitches at 10,000 SPM, but the simulation can be helpful when I want to speed through the design. Especially since I haven’t found a way to jump through. With Embird, I could click on colors and some tick marks and move forward without watching as each stitch is set.  Don’t seem to have that option with AcuDesign. So far I can start, speed up, slow down and pause/stop. But not jump from object to object.

Note in the screen above that the right arrow at the top has changed to the standard icon for stop, i.r. the two vertical lines ||.  Giving you the capability of stopping or pausing anytime you like.

The pinch and scrunch finger gestures still work but the Search icon (looking-glass) in the Editor menu across the top of the screen adds some additional functionality. Touch the search icon and

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Choose photo realistic or not. It’s a toggle. Touch once photo realistic on. Touch again off.  I like the photo realistic depictions however in Embird that would horribly slow down my computer on certain pages. In Embird I have photo realistic turned off as default.  So far photo realistic has no effect  on the speed with which my IPAD and AcuDesign work. Unless I run into problems later on, I plan to keep AcuDesign in the photo realistic mode.

Also in the Search Menu below the Photo Realistic selector

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is a Zoom slider.  It works like the gestures of pinch and scrunch but you touch and slide it back and forth. I also found that touching to the right or left of the circle would change the Zoom level. So another way that you can step back and look at the big picture

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or zoom in and count threads. file-dec-15-6-15-34-pm_resize

Once you zoom out and back, the quickest way to return to normal is clicking the 1:1 icon

The icon with the heart? I’m not quite sure what it is just yet. The Search Menu is available in all the Editor Function pages. the Heart Icon didn’t change anything when I clicked it just now. That maybe because I’ve done something that conflicts with it or it maybe ‘turned off for Stitch Simulator’ by AcuDesign.  I just don’t know.  This is one of those places I’m sure I’ll be back to correct  my post.

Another cool tool available in all the Edit pages is this odd-looking ruler in the lower corner of the screen. (I’ve drawn a red X to point it out).

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You touch that and roll it out anywhere

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I’ve set my default to ‘inches’  back there on the Manager page by opening the  Gear icon. So my ruler measures in inches.  I can measure the entire length or width of the design or I can measure each object.  I really do find this handy. So many times I want to know the size of my design or a portion of it. Often Buzz Explor and Embird (my other 2 embroidery programs I’ve used for years) will measure the hoop, rather than the design. Or they measure the whole and not the parts.  Plus I’m always switching back and forth between inches and cm’s. I speak inches natively. CM’s have to be thought about and converted.  I do have work arounds in Buzz Explor and Embird, but I much prefer AcuDesigns ruler. It is much handier for me.

That’s all I’ve learned out the stitching simulator. I’m sure I’ll be back correcting this post and the others too.  I’m working my way through with few outside references. Personally I don’t find the Help function helpful.  (“?” icon in the upper right corner top of every page). I’ve quit clicking on it. I seem to be learning more useful… stuff by clicking, touching and trying.

 

AcuDesign: Editor: Hoops

I use machine embroidery programs mostly to look at my designs while choosing which to use for the upcoming project and edit my existing designs.   Relieved to know that I can pull designs in and out of AcuDesign,   I’ve turned my attention to the editing portion of AcuDesign. Since there isn’t  a new title at the top of the screen,  I’m calling it the Editor.

I should mention again, that I’m sharing as I’m learning. There may be other options; other and better ways to do the same thing, and even options I haven’t discovered. For example, I’ve learned that I can only find Export in the editing menu.  That may not be true across the board. I may have found one route for exporting files but there may be others. So take my ramblings with a grain of salt. Don’t be surprised if you find something different and easier than what I’m sharing.

I got into Editor by accident. Just touching one of my imported designs, “CEDfunkyborder” on the Manager page poped me into Editor.

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My design’s name replaced “AcuDesign” in the title. See? No intuitive way to know what Janome named their modules.  I recognize that these modules have separate functions from each other. To identify them, I’m making up names.  To me, I’m in the Editor. I’ve already explored the Export function to my satisfaction. Now I’m looking at the other icons/functions. I immediately wanted to know more about the Hoops. Clicking on the Hoops icon (inside the grey field on the left side, I’ve circled it in orange);  opens another menu with buttons.

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Well there’s a heck of a lot of info visible on the page, so I cropped the page to the buttons I want to explore with you:

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When the Bottom Left button is touched a list of manufacturers (I use the term loosely)  for which AcuDesign has been configured expands to:

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The default was set to Janome. I have two embroidery Brother Machines (the Dream and PE770) as well as the Husqvarna-Viking Designer Ruby on which I plan to do my most of my stitch outs.  I clicked on the Husqvarna-Viking to make it my default.

Clicking on the button to the right (in the pic it says Designer Diamond) produces a list of individual machines for which AcuDesign has included specific hoops.

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A similar list appears for each manufacturer that you select on the left. Click on your machine and then the list of hoops which have been configured replaces the list of machines.

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Back on the Machines list, at first I selected Designer Ruby. The hoop display was missing the Royal hoop. The one I use the most. I opened the machines list a second time and selected the Designer Diamond because I know these two machines are nearly identical. There are some differences in memory and built-in stitches. But otherwise they are the same under the hood. OK I take it back, the Diamond has one hoop that cannot be used on the Ruby and there are other differences just none that really matter when selecting hoops.  Viking had to make something different to entice buyers to spend an extra 2K on the Diamond.

Since I use the Royal hoop very often, I wanted to be able to easily select that hoop.  My Ruby will read many file types. So I could have stayed with either the Janome hoops or selected Brother hoops or chosen one of the other manufacturers and machines. Really at this point the difference is in the size hoop displayed on the field.  You could select by hoop size if you could figure out what size the hoop represents.  This may be something I investigate later and even find useful. For now, I’m just really glad to be able to select my hoops and I’ll show you why.

Back at the top of the hoops menu

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I’ve circled “Midsize Hoop -Husqvarna). AcuDesign confirms or maybe reminds you that you selected this hoop to work in. Way over to the right which I circled in blue is 90 and a curved red arrow. This is a rotate icon. It rotates the hoop 90 degrees, 1/4 turn, each time it is clicked. Although the hoop is being rotated the effect at the Emb Machine will be that the contents, the design will be rotated. I find that’s useful when my item be be embroidered needs to be hooped in a certain direction; either for ease of hooping or to get the bulk of the fabric out of the work space.  Here I’ve clicked twice ( rotated twice) which places the hoop upside down.

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When I clicked once my design was too big to fit. AcuDesign warned me by changing the grey back ground to pink

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AcuDesign would not let me keep it this way. When I returned to the Manager, instead of saving it discarded my change. Of course the only change I made was rotating the hoop so maybe more changes need to be made before AcuDesign would accept the hoop orientation with the design being too large.  I wondered if there are options for fixing the too large design. Well, I could select a bigger hoop size. The Royal, for example would have worked.

fittohoop

See the icon I’ve circled in red?  I thought it was the “Fit-To-Hoop” function. Which enlarges or shrinks a design to the size of the hoop. I clicked it,  AcuDesign cranked a few seconds and displayed this screen

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and then back to the way it was to start with:

I probably have to explore this some more.

Before I leave the Hoops menu, let me say that pinch and spread gestures work here just like they do everywhere so you can get a good look as if stepping back a few feet by pinching your fingers together on the screen

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or in close enough to count the threads of the linen background.

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I’m sure I’ll learn more as I use this program.  I plan to update this page with any new functionality I discover because I use my blog as an electronic journal. That allows me to put all the info about a subject in one place. I find that helpful. YMMV.

AcuDesign: Exporting Files

For the IPAD and AcuDesign to be valuable to me, I have to be able to bring files into the IPAD (import), make minor changes (edit) and save the files where they can be used by my embroidery machine (export).  Export may be last in the list, but it is no less critical. I have to be able to do all 3 functions or  the whole process is a loss. So I played around in AcuDesign manager and editor but briefly. Certainly I haven’t pointed out or even tried all the icons visible in the screens I’ve uploaded.  I was, after all,  anxious to get onto Exporting.

I found immediately that Export was a powerful function. By that I mean there are many options during the Export process that aren’t available even during Import.  (And Yes I was successful!)

First thing was creating a specific place to hold my exported files. This may not matter to someone with two or three maybe even 10. But I have thousands of files in DropBox. Even more on my PC.  It’s crucial that I know where, exactly where, my files will be. So I fell back on one of my crutches and created a ThisProject folder. It’s a temporary area for me to drop files into either when I’m deciding what I want to do or while I’m editing.  I never work on originals. Always copies. So I knew I wanted such an area in DropBox to hold my edited-ready-for-embroidery files. Previously in AcuDesign I hadn’t been able to manage DropBox. i.e. I really hadn’t been able to move files around; create or delete directories. Generally it seemed that whatever was in DropBox when I opened Import was going to be like that.  I wanted to play with AcuDesign not DropBox.  So to create this holding directory called “ThisProject”, I opened the Dropbox App from the IPAD Desktop. I added a folder to dropbox\apps\artistic called ThisProject.

I’m not going to describe in detail how I modified Dropbox; how I added a folder there. It is pretty standard file management commands.  If you don’t already understand how to do that, it might be a good idea to open a DropBox account and play with DropBox for a few days.  I’m meaning that kindly. Like Importing, Exporting files is a complex process that is dependent upon the hardware and softwares you use.  DropBox is not AcuDesign.  DropBox is a separate software that you need to know at least the rudiments if that’s how you plan to import or export files.

Once my ThisProject subdirectory was created (and replicated to the internet), I set about exploring how to export.  I could not find the export icon

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until I touched a file in he Manager which opened Edit mode

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The it (Export icon) pops up into the upper right hand corner next to the ?(help)

Clicking that icon, opens a new menu titled Format.

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I scrolled down the list delighted to find VP3.

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My primary embroidery machine is a Viking Designer Ruby.  I wanted the VP3 format because that it will clip threads.  One of the major headaches of embroidery is the bird’s nest of jump stitches that must be tidied up.  Having it automatically done is a Godsend IMO.

There are 2 options at the bottom that I have unselected for now. I’m not sure how I’ll use the “info design PDF”.  It’s one of those things I’ll have to create, print and play with.  Also not creating a zip file. I would if I had a slow internet connection or if I was creating an image, the embroidery file and the PDF.  Then again, I’ve got really good bandwidth and speed. I may not find zip files helpful.  I could find that I resent having to stop and unpack a zip file before I can use it.  But moving on…

I touched the VP3 which causes a Convert screen to pop up

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Um, yes! That’s the design I want to put out on ThisProject. So I touch send. Which pops up a now familiar menu on which I touch Save To Dropbox

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The next screen didn’t immediately show as an option the “ThisProject” folder I had just created in Dropbox.  It showed folders I’d previously used at my IPAD. But it did allow me the option of Choose a Different Folder

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and after some standard navigating files and folders, I selected ThisProject where I had created it Dropbox\apps\artistic. It (I’m not sure if AcuDesign is projecting these screens or the IPAD, or  if Dropbox has opened a ‘hole’ and pushing the screens to me) returned to the original Save To Dropbox screen with a new option, ThisProject

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Uploading and SAVED!
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BTW, that pops up and disappears pretty quickly. Also, I captured the screen when playing with picture options at the top of the Format.  I have, really and truly uploaded the actual VP3 embroidery file:

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Above is a screen shot of my Dropbox.

 

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Oh my, I hope I got all this correct.  I took pics twice. Once before writing my post and then during my post as I checking for accuracy.  There good still be something not quite right. As I said, the Export procedure is very powerful. Lots of options. Lots of things that can go wrong.

 

AcuDesign: Importing Files via Wireless Drive or DropBox Methods

My first real concern was accessing my massive set of embroidery files. I want to work with the files I have on my new device, the IPAD Pro tablet. To do that I have to get them onto the IPAD and somehow inside my embroidery app, AcuDesign.

My initial plan was connecting my Toshiba Wireless drive; accessing and editing the embroidery files on that drive and then saving to the SD card already installed in the Toshiba drive.  I would then take the SD card put it in a thumb drive adapter and plug it into the USB port of my embroidery machine.  It would be easier, I thought, to do than to describe.

Indeed, it was easy to wirelessly connect the Toshiba to the IPAD.  I turned on the drive (I keep it powered off when not in use), downloaded Toshiba’s app from the Apple Store and launched the app. There are several ways to access the drive through a tablet.  Since I don’t use the Toshiba every time I sit down with my tablet, I chose to open settings, WIFI and choose the drive from the list of networks. This was as easy and seamless as had been on the Android tablet for which Toshiba was originally purchased. The Toshiba app let me walk all over the drive using the IPAD. Open files, PDF’s and even make edits. Warning, Toshiba’s app is not very powerful, but it is enough for what I usually do.

Satisfied that IPAD and Toshiba were good buddies, I tried to access Toshiba through AcuDesign.  The procedure should be

  • Launch AcuDesign
  • Click on the Import Icon (right side, near the top)
  • Select type device (something wireless like the Toshiba).
  • Navigate the drive to find desired file
  • Double Click desired file to open.

No joy. Nope. It would appear  AcuDesign has been hard-coded to access only

  • Dropbox
  • Airstash
  • SanDisk Flash
  • TP-Link
  • Smartbox
  • iUSB port
  • iUSBport2

I’m a babe when it comes to Apple and IOS.  But I know that a well coded Windows or Android program will access a Device Manager app and display the devices  connected to your tablet or pc. It’s dynamic i.e. it creates a new list every time of all the available  devices you can use.  I’ve not seen a hard-coded page like this in years, decades even.  This hard-coded list of devices could be a fatal flaw and most certainly will be a headache for developers as it must be continually updated. It will be a source of frustration, annoyance, dissatisfaction for the end users and may even cost the company sales. As an end-user, your choices are to acquire one of the options above or not import any files (just buy, buy, buy from those same files you’ve already said you didn’t like). I do think that AcuDesign will continue to receive negative feed-back as long as this situation lasts.

To my sorrow, AcuDesign, never once acknowledged that my Toshiba Drive existed let alone hosted my valuable collection of embroidery files.

Perhaps I will get smarter in the future and find another solution, but for now I needed to find an alternative. I chose to go with Dropbox to have something immediately and free. (Sorry to be so cheap  but for this project and the sole reason for purchasing an IPAD,  I’ve already paid $850 for the device and another $50 for the app.  How much more do I have to spend before I can edit designs on my IPAD?)

I went to my PC to create my Dropbox account. Not hard or time consuming process.  They really didn’t ask many questions and I saw no mention of securing the account with my first-born. Just saying, some of these end-user agreements are pretty demanding.

While one of my subdirectories, Vintage, was uploading to my drop box, I installed the DropBox app onto my IPAD from the Apple Store. I’ve read I may get some extra storage space which motivated me to get the app.  Oh and install at my PC first.  (Confession:  I am a data junkie. I can always use more storage space.) Once again, getting an app from the store is simplicity itself. Because I knew what I wanted, I did a search on the app name “DropBox” .  Verified it was an IPAD version. Click Get. Twiddled my thumbs for 8 seconds and opened my app. Oh this is so good. I can remember so many years of installing programs/applications. So much wasted time.  I’m pleased with how fast I can get needed software and how easy it is to install not to mention that most apps are priced very low or free.

Then I configured AcuDesign for DropBox.  I’m glad to say, the programmers figured someone, like me, might not do this in the preferred order i.e. DropBox account first then install Dropbox app, then install AcuDesign app.   In AcuDesign and up at the top towards the right side is a gear icon. Click that to make configure settings also setting you didn’t make or made incorrectly during installation.

  • Icloud was enabled when installed AcuDesign.
  •  I enabled Dropbox adding the email and password associated with my Dropbox account.
  • I left “restore” for Purchases figuring when hard drive space became an issue I’d figure it out.
  • I changed the Measurement System to US.  Just easier for me to wrap my head around.  I even have a worksheet in which I’ve listed my hoops in metric and then converted to inches.
  • I left Sound at its default but I’m glad to know I can come back here and shut it down if AcuDesign gets too noisy.
  • To my delight Marathon Polyester was listed among the Thread Palettes. I left 2nd and 3rd choices at NONE.
  • I changed my Name to sdBev that’s how I’m known on the internet.
  • My Packages is something that AcuDesign auto-updates. They list all the packages you purchase from their store and also the category “Imported”  No need for action on my part.
  • Cellular Data I turned off.  AcuDesign will always be in use on my WIFI.
  • Also turned off Download all designs .  I’m still antsy about the storage space I will need.  I prefer to download my designs as I need them, at least for now.
  • Under VIEW I turned on Show status bar.  Not sure what that does, so for now it’s on until it proves to be an annoyance.
  • Cutters I didn’t mess with.  I have a cutter, the Cameo Silhouette. But it’s a few years old. Does not have WIFI and I haven’t connected it to the network. No use bogging down the embroidery app with useless information. Or so I thought.

Closed the Gear box ( just tap the icon a second time) and tried to access Dropbox through AcuDesign by

  • Clicking the Import icon (looks like an arrow pointing to the lower corner of a box. Located near the top and next to the ? (help) icon.
  • Click DropBox icon

Nothing.  Or nearly so. A window opens encompassing about 2/3 of the right hand side and says at the top “Choose files” below that “Directories”. I had no directories. Check the internet. Vintage subdirectory and all it’s files are there.  I switch to the IPAD desk top and open the DropBox app. Yep Vintage and all it’s files are on my IPAD.  Nothing in the AcuDesign Import window. When in doubt always reboot. Right?  I close all the apps (IPAD seems to save everything as-is unless I specifically close. ) Power off. Count to 30. Power On.  Give it a few seconds and

  • Launch AcuDesign
  • Click Import
  • Click Dropbox

Nothing there. I mean big blank screen just like woefully complained about in the Store reviews and BTW never answered.

I start searching the web for help. I used to be really good at locating information off the web.  I think all the weighting and stuff they do has made it more difficult for me to find exactly the right word or phrase to give to the search engine.  After about a half hour with Safari (IPAD’s default browser), I put my tablet down and go the PC where Chrome still resides.  Despite my recent disgruntlement with Google, I still like Chrome.  I seem to  be better at asking Chrome to find me information.  Yes really, because within 5 minutes I found and read a really nice web page that steps you through adding designs to AcuDesign from Dropbox..

Wish I’d read this page first.  I won’t repeat the info from that page here.  The author did a really good job both outlining what needs to be done and why.  I will say I wish I had created my Dropbox account before installing AcuDesign and that  AcuDesign appears to have once again taken the position of hard coding vs allowing a dynamic selection.  AcuDesign will only see and display files saved in  Dropbox\apps\Artistic  Any files  anywhere else are ignored. As in, you will see that blank screen when trying to import from DropBox.

I think this could be another fatal flaw. I’m fairly sure 2 of the negative ratings were due to the end-user not knowing where to store their files in DropBox.  A second flaw would be not having this information easy to find. I don’t recall seeing it in the Webinar. Besides many people won’t want to watch a video everytime they need to do something in AcuDesign. They’ll want to find their files without any hassle.  No matter how powerful a program may be, it’s useless if you don’t know exactly how to use it.  Saying ‘use dropbox’ is not the same as the list of instructions posted on the above referenced webpage.  I can understand why Janome doesn’t want to invest a lot into AcuDesign. Their other softwares are much more revenue generating. But I think they’re missing the boat.  There is money to be made from this IPAD app.  Money that would establish Janome as The Name for Embroidery Apps.

Sigh. I’ll get off my soap box, for now. Let me conclude by saying again, IMPORTING FILES is all about the hardware and software. My original choice, the Toshiba wireless drive didn’t work because AcuDesign is hard-coded to work with only the sources listed above.  If you don’t have one of those sources exactly, you can’t import files. PERIOD.

Dropbox method is really good. Quick, free, reliable.  The biggest gotcha is that your files must be stored in dropbox\apps\artistic  Anywhere else and AcuDesign doesn’t know you have embroidery files in DropBox.

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I haven’t edited, merged or saved files, yet.  Along with working with the SanDisk Flash (when it arrives) I think I have a few more posts.  Hope you are enjoying and even learning a little about AcuDesign.  As it stands now, I’ll still give AcuDesign a Thumbs UP, just not 5 stars.