7 Best

Digitizing Softwares

of October 2023

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A Guide to Selecting Embroidery Digitizing Software

Yehudah Posnick

Embroidery can be done the old-fashioned way, either by hand or with an embroidery sewing machine. An embroidery machine will typically be a mini-computer in its own right, with a touchscreen menu to select options. It will come with built-in designs and sewing stitches, as well as allow you to download even more designs from the Internet. You may also be able to insert more project ideas by means of a USB stick. But, if you want to create your own designs, instead of just using preinstalled ones, you’ll need digitizing software to go along with your embroidery machine.

There are several companies that produce digitizing software. Some companies, such as Brother, make embroidery machines as well as digitizing software. They also market levels of complexity to their software, depending on whether you intend to use the program just as a hobby, or for serious professional work. (Besides having many more features and options, it will also be more complicated to learn.)

We’ll go through some of the offerings in the Best Reviews Guide List of embroidery digitizing software packages. You’ll find offerings that are appropriate just as a hobby or to expand your creative ability, as well as software for an embroidery business. You’ll be amazed at the crafts options available!

Types of Digitizing Software

There are two main types of digitizing software:

  • Auto-digitizing software, which takes an image file from your computer and converts it into an embroidery design automatically. This can give you results quickly and without a lot of effort. But auto-digitizing may miss details in the original, giving you unsatisfactory results. An example of auto-digitizing software is the Buzz Tools Buzz-2-Stitches Auto-Digitizing Software. It allows you to embroider an illustration or photograph in a cartoon style, or as an outline only. You also can use it just to embroider text.

Buzz Tools Buzz-2-Stitches Auto-Digitizing Software

  • Manual-digitizing software, which allows you to select the details of the embroidery, such as the layers of threads and stitch counts. Since you have more control over the embroidery process, there is less of a risk of the machine skipping stitches. Also, you may find that you’ll have to manually digitize an image file that was automatically digitized, to get exactly the result that you want.

Here are some of the most popular offerings of manual-digitizing software on the market nowadays:

  • Embrilliance’s “StitchArtist” software: The company Embrilliance created the StitchArtist software, which comes in three levels, depending on the quality of work that you desire, as well as your skill level in digitizing images.

    • Level 1 is for hobbyists who want to create embroidery stitches without having to master complicated software. This level gives you a limited set of stitch types and properties that allow you to create a project without any unnecessary tools.

Embrilliance’s “StitchArtist” Software, Level 1

    • Level 2 includes the functions of Level 1 but includes options for more sophisticated designs and more complex tools. You should purchase this if you intend to embroider things like corporate logos on uniforms and the like. Level 2 offers you a greater number of stitch types and properties.

    • Level 3 is intended for embroidery for commercial use, such as for someone who runs a business that produces embroidery on demand. Level 3 has features to let you “inflate” and “deflate” shapes, as well as use style sheets and the “Magic Wand” tool to create your own outlines. It also has more stitch options, as well as a more complete set of vector tools.

    • Upgrades: If you already bought StitchArtist Level 1, then purchase the Level 2 Upgrade, rather than buying Level 2. You can only install the Level 2 Upgrade if you already purchased and installed Level 1. There is also the upgrade from Level 2 to Level 3, which is intended for production digitizing and graphic artists.

Embrilliance’s “StitchArtist” Software, Level 2 Upgrade


Comparison of the capabilities of Embrilliance's StitchArtist Levels

  • Buzz Tools BuzzXplore 4 Software: This is a more affordable software package than Embrilliance’s StitchArtist series. It allows you to organize a collection of embroidery designs, letting you save only the most preferred format. You can also change the thread colors on a particular design and rotate the design you have selected.

Buzz Tools BuzzXplore 4 Software

  • Brother PE Design Plus Software: This offers you 287 built-in embroidery designs, 35 fonts, applique features, and basic digitizing and editing capabilities.

Brother PE Design Plus Software

What reviewers say

Here are some customers’ impressions about the digitizing software that they purchased:

  • Good even for someone with no prior experience: One customer who bought Embrilliance StitchArtist Level 1 said that he was able to get started after just looking at a few quick tutorials online. The Embrilliance website has a wealth of introductory videos. Also, there are trial versions of digitizing software, so that you can see how you manage it before making a purchase.

  • More specialized software packages: There are more specialized digitizing software packages, such as Embrilliance’s Enthusiast Embroidery Software, which is intended for embroidering on fabrics such as towels, fleece, fur, and heavy knits.

Important Features

Here are some tips to help you select the best embroidery digitizing software:

  • Embroidery-only machines: There are machines that are only for embroidery, as well as embroidery machines that also serve as sewing machines. Whether you select an embroidery-only machine, or one that can also function as a sewing machine, make sure that it hooks up to a computer, either by means of a USB cable or wirelessly. One example that can hook up to a computer in both ways is the Brother PE545 Embroidery Machine.

Brother PE545 Embroidery Machine

  • Software compatibility: The digitizing software that you purchase will be installed on your computer, so make sure that you’re running an operating system that is compatible with the software that you purchase. Embrilliance has been selling their StitchArtist software since Windows XP SP2 up through Windows 10, so it should work on any Windows computer. You can also use it on a Mac computer running OSx 10.58 and up.

  • File formats: Another concern is that the digitizing software that you buy is able to read all of the embroidery file formats. Companies such as Brother, Janome, Viking, Pfaff, and Bernina each require particular file formats for their machines. Check that your computer’s digitizing software can save your projects in a format that’s compatible with your embroidery machine.

Final Verdict

We looked at some of the digitizing software offerings in the Best Reviews Guide list. Whether you’re entirely new to using embroidery software, or you’re able to produce professional-quality projects, there’s an embroidery digitizing software package available for your needs!

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