Okay, you are working in Silhouette Studio and your design isn’t exactly simple. In fact your design has 357 individual pieces. So here is the question, how do you get all 357 individual design pieces in one Silhouette Studio window. One solution would be to open all of the 357 designs individually, in their own window. Then go through the process of Select All, Copy, Paste all the individually designs to one Window, and close all the extra windows.
Now 357 designs might be a little over the top and a bit of an exaggeration, but what better way to make a point.
I have a solution and that solution is called File Merge.
What is File Merge?
Why Are We Calling it File Merge?
When you are creating a design in Silhouette Studio, Cricut Design Space, Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, you are creating a digital design file. It doesn’t matter which software you are using. These are all files.
We know this because when you save the file there is a file extension. File extensions tell us what type of image it is such as JPeg, PNG, SVG, DXF, Tiff, and so on. The file extensions become important because software usually works with specific file extensions.
Silhouette Basic Edition can open DXF, JPeg, and PNG files. The Silhouette Designer Edition can open DXF, JPeg, PNG, AND SVG files. The Silhouette Business Edition can open all of those file plus EPS files.
So in a nutshell, each one of those design elements that you are wanting to use in your design that you are creating is in fact, it’s own file. Now you can understand why 357 designs might not be so far fetched. Every leaf, every flower, every tree, every image, every element that you upload to your working design, unless already consolidated in a composition, is it’s own file.
That is why we call it file merge.
Where to I Find File Merge?
At the very top of your screen in Silhouette Studio you will see a Toolbar. The Toolbar looks like this, see pic below.
In the top corner you will see the word FILE. Click on that button with your mouse. Then you will see a drop down menu. You need to look for the word MERGE. See pic below.
Notice that there is a shortcut. I don’t always take the time to learn a shortcut, but in this case the short cut is another time saver.
Ctrl + Shift + O
To use this shortcut, hold down the Control Key (Ctrl) and the Shift Key and the Letter “O” at the same time.
Using File Merge
Understanding and using File Merge can save you a tremendous amount of time.
Where did File Merge Put the File
Okay, you took my advice and you used File Merge, but where is the file? Believe me, this is a reasonable question.
There are going to be times when you are zoomed in and maybe you don’t realize it. This happens to me a lot.
The File Merge feature is going to place the file in the top corner of the artboard.
See Pic below.
Tips for Using File Merge
File Merge is going to place the Merging File on the artboard in the same exact place each time you go through the process and merge a file.
Because it is the same spot on the artboard, this could explain why I have never been able to File Merge multiple files using the Shift Selection. I don’t know for sure, but that sounds like a reasonable explanation.
With some file types there won’t be a problem with this stacking of file images in the same spot on the artboard.
For example, JPeg and PNG images, can be stacked on top of one another without any issues. These file types can be easily stacked and unstacked.
However, this isn’t the case when SVG files are being merged. This isn’t a big problem, but it is something to be aware of.
SVG files are unlike JPeg and PNG files in that the SVG files come into Silhouette Studio UNGROUPED. That ungrouping is where there can be a problem if you are not aware of the ungrouped nature of these files.
Check out the pic below.
Both January images are selected. We know this because the bounding box is going around both images.
The 1st image has just the one bounding box around it. This image is grouped. But the 2nd has multiple bounding boxes with the image. When you see an image that looks like this, that SVG image in not grouped.
There are times when you want the SVG file image to be ungrouped. This would be those times when you want to edit the SVG in some way. But that is a topic for another day.
Check out the image below. I merged several ungrouped SVG images. It is a mess and there is not way to tell where one image begins or ends. You will not be able to separate these images.
So what is the solution?
It isn’t hard. Use your File Merge; find the image on the artboard. Use your mouse and select all; then Shift + G which will group the image.
Then move the image off the artboard and you are ready merge another file. Moving the file off the artboard will help because if the the next file is another an SVG file, then it will also be ungrouped.
If you want to ungroup an image then you would use Ctrl + Shift + G.
Please note that if you are working on a Mac, then the Ctrl and Cmd keys function the same way. That is why you often hear Ctrl for Windows and Cmd for Mac.
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