Silhouette Studio: Taking the Fear Out of Version 4 – Quick Access Tool Bar (Part 1)

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Today I’m continuing my series on “Silhouette Studio: Taking the Fear Out of Version 4” and discussing one of my most favorite parts of the Version 4 interface – the Quick Access Tool Bar (“QAT” for short). In this post I will cover the Fill Color, Line, and Text options, along with the Scale, Move, and Align tools. The remainder of the QAT options will be covered next week.

The Quick Access Tool Bar does just what its name implies – gives you quick access to the tools you need most often when working in Silhouette Studio. These same tools may also be accessed via menus, shortcuts, and individual panels, but knowing where to find them in the QAT will definitely speed up your workflow.

Silhouette Studio Version 4.1 – Quick Access Toolbar

When you first open a new page in Silhouette Studio, the only options you will see in the Quick Access Toolbar are:

1. Fill Color

2. Line Color

3. Line Style

4. Line Thickness

Once you’ve opened a design file or drawn a shape on your design page, select the design/shape and the QAT will expand to include even more options. The specific tools shown will depend on whether you have selected a single shape, multiple shapes, or text. Let’s take them one section at a time, going from left to right.


Fill Color & Line Options

The fill and line color options are the same no matter whether you have selected a single shape, multiple shapes, or text. Here is an example of the different options applied to a shape:

Text Options

When text is selected, various text options will appear along with the fill and line color options:

Scale, Move, and Align Tools

Note: depending on your screen size, you may not see all the options in the Scale, Move, and Align tool areas. If you see something similar to this:

click on the triangle in the lower right corner of each tool icon to access the additional options.

Scale Tools

Scale by Percentage – the selected shape(s) will be scaled to the chosen percentage, relative to the shape’s dimensions as originally drawn.

Scale by Specified Dimensions – the selected shape(s) will be scaled based on the specific values entered for width and height (subject to whether or not the aspect ratio has been locked).

Lock Aspect Ratio – clicking on this icon will toggle the aspect ratio between locked and unlocked. If the aspect ratio is LOCKED, the dimensions of the selected shape will be scaled proportionately. In other words, entering a value for the width will result in the height changing automatically (in direct proportion to the original dimensions of the shape) and vice-versa. If the aspect ratio is UNLOCKED, width and height dimensions can be entered independently of one another and without any effect of one on the other.


Move Tools

Move By Distance – moves the selected shape(s) to the left, right, up, or down by the specified distance

Move To – moves the selected shape(s) to a specified area of the grid. To see this tool in action, first make sure the grid is visible on your design page by selecting “Show Grid” in the grid options of the Page Setup panel (for more info on Page Settings, see Silhouette Studio: Taking the Fear Out of Version 4 – Page Setup Panel) or by pressing G on your keyboard.

  1. Using the icon that looks like this:
    Basic Edition

    or this:

    Designer Edition and above

    select a square that corresponds to the area of your design that you want to move to a specific area of the grid. (In Designer Edition and above, there are nine choices: upper left, far left, lower left, upper middle, center-middle, lower middle, upper right, far right, and lower right. In Basic Edition, the choice is limited to upper left and center-middle.)

  2. Enter values for the x- & y- coordinates of the grid. The x-coordinate corresponds to the horizontal markings on the grid and the y-coordinate corresponds to the vertical markings on the grid.
  3. Press Enter.


Align Tools

When a single object is selected, only two of the align options will appear in the Quick Access Toolbar, the Horizontal/Vertical align option and the Center to Page option. The selected object will be aligned relative to the design page.


When multiple objects are selected, a third option will be visible – the Align Centers option. The selected objects will be aligned in relation to one another.


Horizontal/Vertical Alignment – choose from six different alignment options: left, center, right, bottom, middle, or top. The reference point will be based on either the borders or the center point of bounding box surrounding the shape(s).

Center to Page – aligns an object or a group of objects to the center point of the design page.

Align Centers – aligns all selected objects relative to their individual center-middle points.


Wow! Can you believe there are so many options included in one little toolbar? And we’ve only covered about half of them! I know that finding your way around Silhouette Studio can be overwhelming at times, but I hope this post has made you feel more confident and realize that there’s no need to fear. Just take your time, learn one thing at a time, and then move on to another part when you’re feeling more comfortable. If you have questions, remember I’m here to help! Just leave me a comment below or visit me over on Facebook – and don’t forget to come back next week to discover even more about the Quick Access Toolbar as well as the other great features of Silhouette Studio Version 4.1.

Until next time,




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Looking for other posts in this series? Here’s where you can find them:

Silhouette Studio: Taking the Fear Out of Version 4 – Overview

Silhouette Studio: Taking the Fear Out of Version 4 – Page Setup Panel

Silhouette Studio: Taking the Fear Out of Version 4 – Send Panel

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