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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Janome Artistic Edge cutter Review: Part 3

I'm glad you decided to come back and join me for the third part of the Janome Artistic Cutting Edge Simple Cut Software overview and review. Yesterday I went over the types of files that it will import, Drawing and Stitch modes, and the cutting dialog box. 

Yesterday, I introduced you to the File and Tools drop down menus. I'll go through the remaining drop down menus so you can see their functions.
Under the edit menu, you have all the good tools you are used to in any other basic cutting program. You've got Transform, Cut, Copy, Paste, etc. 
Under the view tab, this helps you set up what your interface will look like--whether you want grids or rulers to show, whether that be in inches or metric. Also notice the sequence manager in this drop down menu. The sequence manager basically helps you order the layers and separates your thread color changes, or different color papers and when to cut them. There are a lot of options under the view menu to customize how you interact with the program.
The window tab just helps you know what projects you have open at the current moment. 

The last tab in the upper tool bar is help. Use it often. The help menu is a great index to show you how to do things in the program. It's how I learned what I'm showing you.

Now we'll go over the functions of each of the align buttons. The Align toolbar looks like a series of lines. The little pictures are great visuals to tell you what each button does. I've also screen captured the flyout descriptions of what each of the align buttons do. This is an essential part to a drawing program as these tools are indispensable. 
Now that you are familiar with the top menu bar tabs and the align toolbar, I'll show you what each tool in the main side tool bar does.

1. You'll use the rectangle selection tool to choose anything in your design. Click and then drag from one corner to another spot and release to make your selections.

2. This is your basic Edit tool. It will allow you to select and move nodes (those are the little dots along the line that make curves or corners.)

3. know what this does.

4. An easy to use measurement tool...I suppose I could just call that a ruler...right?

5. Slow redraw simulates the embroidery process so you can see the placement of every stitch. You can adjust your speed, and with the controls in the pop up window that comes up when you click on the tool. 

6. Create Bezier shapes, this is like the pen tool in other programs.

7. This is your crystals tool! Yeah! Yes the software can help you fill shapes with perfectly dispersed crystals, you can choose from the common crystal sizes too, in order to create a perfect template. 

8. This is your rectangle shape can also be switched to your circle/elipse tool, as well as a few others. To access the additional choices, click on the little black arrow in the corner of the tool button which will release a flyout menu with a few choice. You can also size your rectangle or circles using the measurement boxes above the drawing area. 

9. This is your type tool. Your options for font name and size will appear above your artwork when you click on this tool. 
10. Create Rectangular/Circular Array, helps you create a group of objects in an orderly fashion. You start with one object, then it can repeat it around in a circle or fill a square, at a set angle. (you can create some fantastic snowflake type designs this way.) These are your choices when clicking on the tool. See the tool options above the control the number of copies, and the spacing. The flyout menu gives you the option of changing from a rectangle to a circle, or other shape.
11. Autoborder (in other programs it might be referred to as offset path--or something similar.) Basically, if you click on this while an object is selected, you can choose 
12. Auto-sequence control is what you use to create your layers for the order that they will go in your embroidery design, or your paper colors for changing paper on your cutting mat. If you select Advanced, it will break down your shape into a different color for each layer. See below the box that says, "Run Optimizer Once."
This is an example of a more complicated design and how the auto sequencer can come in handy.

So my opinion on the software, is that there are a lot of options for someone who wants to integrate their sewing and cutting projects. The extras are just bonuses for those who would simply be cutting paper all the time--but having them there, may open up the options for a great hobby in the future. 

The feature-rich program comes with the price of a steep learning curve; but the payoff is the ability to access functions that aren't available in any other cutting software. 

In the next segment, I'll show you how the cutter works with an appliqué project. It will be fun to show you the machine in action. 

--Samantha Walker

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