Last week I introduced you to Silhouette Studio’s Quick Access Tool Bar, or “QAT” for short. There are many options in the Quick Access Tool Bar, all of which can also be accessed via menus, shortcuts, and individual panels, but having them readily accessible via the QAT is a real time-saver – it’s one of my favorite features! In my last post I discussed the Fill, Line, and Text options along with the Scale, Move, and Align Tools. This week I will cover the remainder of the options which allow you to quickly group/ungroup, arrange, weld, offset, duplicate, and delete objects and then I will touch on how the QAT displays even further options when tools such as the knife or eraser are selected.
Silhouette Studio Version 4.1 – Quick Access Toolbar (Part 2)
Grouping is a means of combining multiple objects into a single unit that can then be manipulated (selected, moved, filled with color, scaled, offset, etc) all at once, but it does not affect cutting in any way. The Group option will be greyed-out in the Quick Access Tool Bar unless multiple objects are selected. There are three ways to select multiple objects:
- Click and drag. Using a mouse, click in an area of the workspace that is outside the objects you want to select (this can be above, below, to the left, or to the right of the objects). Holding down the mouse button, drag the cursor until all of the desired selection is enclosed within one large bounding box. (I usually begin at the upper left and drag diagonally to the lower right.)
- Shift-Click. Press and hold the SHIFT key on your keyboard and click with your mouse on each object that you want to select until all are enclosed within one large bounding box.
- Select All. From the Edit menu, choose “Select All” (shortcut: CTRL/CMD + A). All objects in the workspace will be selected, including those in the grey holding area.
Once the objects are selected, click on the Group icon in the QAT to combine all objects into a single group.
Grouped objects can be easily ungrouped as well. When a grouped set of objects is selected, the Ungroup option will be available in the Quick Access Tool Bar. Clicking on the Ungroup icon will release the group back into individual parts. If multiple groups of objects are nested within a larger group, it will be necessary to click on Ungroup multiple times in order to completely separate the entire group.
Note: If you are trying to select multiple objects using the click & drag method but not “catching” all the objects within a large bounding box, check your Preference settings. Open the Preferences menu and click on the Tools icon. Under “Selection Tools” make sure “Select shapes touching drag box” is the option set for “When Drag Selecting”. For more information on setting Silhouette Studio tool preferences, see Silhouette Studio Preferences: Tool Options.
When two or more individual parts of a design overlap, it’s helpful to think of them as a stack of objects, with “front” indicating the top of the stack and “back” referring to the bottom of the stack. The Arrange Objects tools allow you to place each individual object where you want it to appear in the stack.
- Bring to Front – places the selected object at the top of the stack
- Send to Back – moves the selected object to the bottom of the stack
- Bring Forward – moves the selected object one layer up in the stack
- Send Backward – moves the selected object one layer down in the stack
(All examples below are based on the original order of the layers.)
Weld & Offset
The Weld tool is used to combine multiple shapes into a single shape. Any overlapping shapes can be welded together, but welding is most often used with cursive fonts to eliminate the cut lines between overlapping letters. Once text has been welded, Studio views the new shape as an image, which means the text is no longer editable. Unlike grouping, there is no option to “unweld”. If, after welding two or more objects together, you are unhappy with the results, your only choice is to use the Undo feature to return your design to its pre-welded state. Keep in mind that once you have closed the file, you will no longer be able to use the Undo feature.
Clicking on the Offset tool in the Quick Access Tool Bar opens the Offset panel, where you can choose from either a regular or internal offset, enter the desired offset distance, and specify round or square corners.
Duplicate & Delete
The Duplicate and Delete tools are rather self-explanatory. To use either of these options, simply select a single object, group of objects, or multiple objects and click on the desired icon. The Duplicate icon will make a copy of your selection and place it slightly to the right of the original selection. The Delete icon will…you guessed it…delete the selection.
Point Editing, Eraser, and Knife Options
Up until now, each of the QAT options I’ve discussed are displayed when the Selection tool is active. The Selection tool is located at the top of the column of Document Tools shown on the left side of your screen in Silhouette Studio and is indicated by an arrow icon.
Among the other tools in the column are the Point Editing tool, the Eraser tool, and the Knife tool. When any one of these tools is active, the QAT will display options unique to the active tool. Each of these tools, and their related Quick Access Tool Bar options, will be discussed in more detail in future posts.
I hope you’re steadily becoming more comfortable with Silhouette Studio Version 4 and no longer fearful of updating your Studio software. If you’re NOT comfortable, what are some of the roadblocks you’re facing? Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook because I’d love to help. And keep visiting my blog for more posts on not only Silhouette Studio Version 4, but more of the really wonderful things you can do with a Silhouette machine!
Until next time,
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Looking for other posts in this series? Here’s where you can find them:
Lycia is a lifelong crafter whose goal is to help others find value, confidence, and joy in whatever they create. She geeks out on using technology to supercharge craft projects with Silhouette Studio, Design Space, Glowforge, sublimation, etc.! Lycia teaches these skills and more through online tutorials and videos as well as in-person classes at both the local and national levels.