How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio

Howdy!  You all know I’m completely obsessed with my Silhouette Cameo.  100% in love.  In the words of every 90’s Valley Girl, like totally, for sure.  I think I need a manicure…. (anyone else remember that jingle?)

I mean, my Cameo is involved in nearly all my crafty creations.  It’s just so darn powerful and easy to use!

One of the things that I love about it is how user-friendly its software, Silhouette Studio, is.  And the Text Tool packs quite a punch!  Yep, she’s little but she’s mighty, and while you might *think* you know all there is to know about it, allow me to provide you with the 411 on this beauty.  You just might learn something!

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

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How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio

Adding Text

First things first: you gotta know just how to add text before you can jazz it up, amiright?

This is super simple.  To add text to your design in Silhouette Studio, first click on the Text Tool option located on the left menu bar (it’s the capital A with a bracket next to it).  Next, click anywhere on your cutting mat to create a text box.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll notice that the Text Style Window opens up on the right side of your screen.  This window can also be accessed anytime by selecting the capital A option from the top menu bar.

(On a side note, I’m using Silhouette Studio Business Edition, so my menus may look a little different from yours if you’re running a different edition of the software, such as the Basic or Designer Editions.)

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Here are allllll the options available in the Text Style Window. You can change the font, styling, alignment, size, character and line spacing, as well as kerning…lots of fun things to play around with!

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Once you start typing, the text box with be a bright neon green and your text will show up in white with a red outline.

{For this example, I’m using a pretty script font from Silhouette Design Store called Yellow Daisy.}

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Welding Text

One of the most basic functions to know when designing projects with text that I use all. the. time. is how to weld (you can also weld images too).  This is especially helpful when using fonts that are cursive and have overlapping pieces.  When you weld, you connect them so everything cuts or sketches appropriately.  Otherwise all those overlapping parts will be cut too….not good.

To weld a word or phrase, just select your text box, then you can either right click and select “Weld,” or from the top menu bar, go to “Object > Modify > Weld”.  That’s it!  Easy as can be.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

You can see what welding does in the simple animation below.  Notice how the overlapping bits between the a and y, the t and o, and the g and o become connected and smooth….they’re now welded!

One super important thing to point out with welding though: once you weld a word, it can no longer be edited in any way.  It basically gets turned from a text box into an image.  This is why you see the individual boxes forming around the separate pieces, as well as why the Text Style Window defaults back to Arial.

Tip: Since welding strips all the font information, I often create a separate text box with the font’s name and move it off to the side of my cutting mat. That way if I ever want to use that same font in another project or if someone asks for the information, I’ve got a handy note waiting!

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Like I mentioned, welding a font causes any overlapping pieces to become connected, and once welded, all the separate pieces get boxed individually.  If you’d like to keep everything together, just select all the pieces then right-click and choose Group, or go to “Object > Group”.

This will group everything into one piece, which you can see by the single large bounding box.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Curving Text to a Path

Another way to spice up a text design is by curving text to a path.  Because let’s face it, always having everything in a straight line gets boring!

To start, either draw a shape using any of the drawing tools from the left menubar, or you can even open up a shape from your library or by importing it.

For this example, I used the Draw an Ellipse Tool and drew an oval.

Note: I know I just went over how to weld, but curving text to a path can only be done with editable, NON-WELDED text.  That means if you want to weld and also curve your text, hold off on everything you just learned about welding!  You can weld after curving, but not before.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Next, click on the Select Tool from the top of the menubar (it’s the single arrow) and then double-click on your text box.  This will bring the neon green box back, and you’ll also notice the little black and white circle with crosshairs on the left of the box.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Move your cursor over this circle (your cursor will change to a tiny crosshair and arrow), then click and hold your mouse.  While holding, drag the text box down towards the image until it snaps into the shape of your image.  It has now curved to that image’s shape or path.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

From here, you can adjust the text in several ways.  You can click and hold that tiny circle and crosshair again and move the text box around the image until you’re happy with its placement.

You can also select the little oval on the gray bar that is now appearing to the left of your text and play around with it.  Sometimes this can be tricky to select (once again, your cursor will change), but zooming in often helps.

You can move it down the bar to squeeze the characters closer together….

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

….or move it up the bar to space the characters out.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The text can also be curved to the inside of an image too.  To do this, just select the circle and crosshair again and drag the text box down/around until it snaps into where you’re wanting it to be placed.  You’ve got lots of options!

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

In this example, I’ve got a cursive font with overlapping bits. I’ll therefore need to weld it to not only connect everything, but to also ensure that the text stays in this new curved path.

If I were to delete the oval first, it would delete the path, and the text would snap back into the straight line (boring!).

So, I got to welding.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Once the text was welded, the oval can be deleted and the text retains its new curved shape.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

If you’re using a font that is not cursive, and therefore doesn’t have any overlapping parts, you’ll need to do something a little bit different since welding won’t help.

Just select the text box and right-click then select Convert to Path (or go to “Object” > “Convert to Path”).

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Then you’re able to delete the image and keep your text looking fancy!

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Adding Special Characters

Some fonts come with special extra characters or glyphs that can be used to enhance the words or phrases.  I really like cursive fonts that have lots of swirly, twirly options!  They’re just so darn pretty.

Since instructions for font installation and adding extra characters into Silhouette Studio vary depending on if you’re using a PC or a Mac, I’ll skip over that stuff.  Yes, I know it’s pretty important for this section, but that would be way too much for this already long tutorial!

If you want to swap out characters for fancier ones, first select your text and ungroup everything by right-clicking and selecting Ungroup, or go to “Object” > “Ungroup”.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

This will separate all the words into individual letters and characters, and each will be surrounded by its own bounding box.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Paste your new desired character into Silhouette Studio.  It may first appear as a rectangle (and you may have to zoom way out and hunt for it), but don’t worry!  If that’s the case, just find your font’s name from the Text Style Window and it should automatically convert it to your selected character.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Next, select the individual character that you want to remove and delete it, then move the new character into position and resize/align as needed.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Here’s how my phrase now looks with the original W, y, t, and g swapped out for fancier, swirlier ones!  It’s much more interesting now, no?

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Sketching

You can also use the Sketch Window from the top menu to give your text some really neat effects.  These are fun options to play around with for use with sketch pens (of course!) as well as Print & Cut projects.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Filling Text

Another simple option for fancying up text is to simply fill it with something.  This is really handy when designing mockups or with Print & Cut projects.

One such filler can simply be a solid color, which you can access by clicking on the Fill Color Window from the top menu, then choosing a color on the right.

There are lots of preselected colors available under the Basic Options (and also an eyedropper tool if you want to select a specific color from an image), or you can open up the Advanced Options to choose any color of the rainbow.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

You can also use the Fill Gradient Window and fill the text with colorful gradients.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The Fill Pattern Window is also a neat option to play around with to fill text.  Silhouette Studio comes installed with dozens of patterns, and you can also import patterns of your own, such as digital scrapbook papers.  The Advanced Options has several fun tools that can jazz up each pattern as well.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

If you have Silhouette Studio Business Edition, you have another powerful tool available.  The second tool from the right in the Business Edition toolbar transfers the properties of one shape to another selected shape, or in our case, text.

To do this, first open up an image from your library or import one.  I chose the colorful lotus flower design that comes with every Silhouette Cameo.

Next, select both your text AND your image (so both have gray bounding boxes around them), then select the eyedropper tool from the second menu at the top left.

NOTE: A kind reader let me know that this option is also apparently available without the Business Edition….it’s in the bottom left menu of the Designer Edition of the software too!  Man, I recently just upgraded to the Business Edition after having the Designer Edition for two years and I NEVER knew I had that tool available!  I’m kicking myself now for not trying to unleash the full power of my machine….

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Moving on….

Then click anywhere on your image (what you want to fill the text with).  In this example, once I clicked on the lotus flower, all of its colorful goodness got transferred and filled the text!  Pretty cool, huh?

This particular pairing leaves some of the text unfilled as is, but fear not!  There are options to play around with to ensure all the text gets filled.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Just go back to the Fill Pattern Window from the top and open up the Advanced Options.  From here, you can play around to your heart’s content!

You can see below what scaling (or zooming in/out) does to the text.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Using the Pan Pattern option is also a lot of fun.  Just click on the option from the menu (it will become highlighted), and this will bring back the little circle with crosshairs (remember it from the Curving Text to Path section above?).  Click and hold this circle, and drag your mouse around until you’re happy with how the image/coloring looks in your text.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Adding Offsets

The final option we’ll be talking about in this tutorial is how to add offsets to text.  Offsets are basically just a fancy way to say outline or border.

Once you open the Offset Window from the top, you’ll see that you can do two different types.  An Offset creates an outline around the outside, while an Internal Offset creates one on the inside.

Offsets can be added as pretty design elements, and they’re also helpful when cutting out small words or letters that have super thin, delicate pieces (like all the swirls I love so much!).  Sometimes, adding a really thin offset around a word can help it cut smoothly in vinyl or paper.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

First, select your text, then choose which type of offset you want.  From there, you’ll be able to choose whether you want sharp or rounded corners, as well as adjusting the distance of the offset.

They can be thin….

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

….or thick.  Lots of options!

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

After hitting Apply, the offset will then be added, and if there’s no overlap, each section will get its own gray bounding box.  You can group everything together if you’d like.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Just like with the actual text as was discussed above, offsets can be filled as well with colors, gradients, or patterns.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

You can also change the line color and/or thickness, including choosing None to make it transparent.  Once again, this is handy for mockups.

How To Use the Text Tool in Silhouette Studio | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

And there you have it!  The 411 on Silhouette Studio’s Text Tool. :)

 

If You Enjoyed This….

Make sure you check out my Project Gallery for all of my Silhouette creations as well as lots of other fun goodies!  Don’t miss all the FREE Silhouette cut files I’ve shared so far too!

FREE Silhouette Cut Files at WhereTheSmilesHaveBeen.com!

 

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Stay crafty!

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About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky toddler and his mini-me infant brother, and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. I (try to) spend their nap times getting my craft on and I blog about my creations and adventures in parenting at Where The Smiles Have Been. My loves are all things DIY, especially Silhouette projects, wreaths, & personalized decor. And ice cream....definitely love me some ice cream.

Comments

  1. Christine-
    I would LOVE your help! I am brand new to using the Silhouette. I have a huge project for my daughters volleyball and I’m struggling. I have 7 different sayings or words that the coach wants put onto volleyballs. For example: teamwork, play to win….My problem is I don’t know how to get these to cut as words. I don’t want it to cut out each individual letter and then I have to stick them on the volleyballs to make them a word. I’m not sure if this even makes sense but I would love any insight that you could provide. Thanks so much

  2. Michelle Kregel says:

    Christine-

    I am trying to put onto volleyballs that I cut out using the Silhouette. The coach has asked me to make these small volleyballs with words or sayings on them. I can’t seem how to figure out how to connect the word. For example teamwork. I want it to cut out as 1 word not each individual letter that I have to stick onto the volleyball to make the word team. I have 7 different sayings that the coach wants done. I am so frustrated! Do you have any advice for me on if this even be accomplished? I’m not sure what I wrote even makes sense… :( Thanks for any help that you can give me.

  3. I need to spend a weekend playing with all the features and watching tutorials on my silhouette. I have been using it for almost two years now and I am sure there is a lot I still don’t know that can be done with it!! When you use the pretty watercolor what do you do with the design after you make it??

    • Hey there, Sheena! I know what you mean….the Silhouette is so powerful! I’m sure there’s tons of stuff I don’t know about either, and I’ve also had mine for two years. As far as this example I showed with the watercolor flower, you should just be able to delete the image and the text will retain the pretty properties from the image. Have fun experimenting! :)