When you begin with Embird, you download and install the current version. As 24 May 2010, this is Embird 2010.(1) From our Tutorials page, you will soon be able to download and print instructions that will walk you through installing Embird software step-by-step.
To use any Embird software beyond the initial trial period, you must register Embird Manager and Embird Editor. A single registration fee applies to both of these applications. The remaining applications are referred to as "plug-in applications" or simply "plug-ins". Manager and Editor will run without these plug-ins, but the plug-ins will not run without Manager and Editor.
When you installed the software for Manager and Editor, you also installed the following plug-ins - Iconizer, Cross Stitch, and Font Engine. However, you must pay a separate registration fee and receive a password for each of these applications to remove the trial period restrictions.
The Embird Alphabets plug-in is also packaged in this installation file. You don't pay a registration fee for the Alphabets software. Instead, you download and install any of several pre-digitized alphabets, and pay a registration fee for each alphabet you intend to use in creating or editing designs.
The brief descriptions below tell some of the most important capabilities of each application. You can scroll down to read them, or jump to the description of a particular application by clicking the application's name in the description above.
Two other plug-ins are in a separate download, called "Studio".
Embird Manager is primarily a file-management system to help you find and organize your embroidery-related files. It also serves as a "switchboard" program,with buttons that can launch other Embird applications and some supported third-party software such as Thred.
It will convert files from one design format to another (such as from Brother’s PES format to Viking/Husqvarna’s HUS format), and will output information in a variety of useful formats. Examples of such information include thread lists for a design, graphic images of a (simulated) sew-out of the design, and sheets of thumbnail images of designs you can use as a sort of “catalog”.
Manager also can load the designs into most embroidery machines that connect to your computer. It can copy or move designs to any storage media on your computer, such as floppy drives, hard drives, compact disks or USB drives.
In Manager, you can change the colors of a design, but for other editing functions, you need to use Editor.
Embird Editor is intended to allow the embroiderer to edit existing design files, not to create designs from images or imagination. Nevertheless, it is a powerful and efficient application that gives you substantial control of how your finished design appears.
If you purchase a registration for Alphabets or Font Engine plug-ins, then you can insert text into designs in Editor, and manipulate the characteristics of that text to personalize or enhance the appearance of your designs.
If you purchase a registration for Font Engine, then you can also import and automatically digitize vector graphics (2) files.
Iconizer is a file-management tool that helps you to quickly find and access your embroidery-related files by operating with Windows or Windows Explorer. When you view folders containing embroidery design files, Iconizer creates icons that are small images of the actual designs, instead of viewing a generic icon that only identifies the file type. It will also render most image files (such as JPG and GIF) as image-icons. You can adjust the size of the image-icons for your convenience.
Iconizer also adds capabilities to the Windows popup menu (which appears when you right-click on the file icon). The menu will show a thumbnail image of the design and key information about the design such as stitch count, number of colors and dimensions. The menu will also include a "Convert" option which will open Embird Manager and activate its conversion function to change designs from one machine format to another.
Additionally, Iconizer will edit the Windows file association registry for the embroidery design formats you select. This will allow you to double-click on an embroidery file's icon to open that file in an Embird application.
Cross Stitch is used to create designs that resemble manually cross-stitched embroidery. Designs may be up to 400 crosses by 400 crosses and up to 254 colors.
The user can create a design manually, by outlining shapes and areas of color, using an imported image or cross-stitching chart as a guide. If desired the Cross Stitch software can automatically create the design (autodigitize) from an image for the user to edit.
Stitches are placed to imitate all of the techniques of manual cross-stitching, including mini-crosses, elongated crosses, upright crosses (like this + instead of this X), French knots, half-crosses, quarter-crosses,and straight-stitch outlines.
The digitizer can create text by selecting a True-Type or Open-Type font, and typing the desired text. Cross Stitch will fill the outlines of the letters with cross-stitching to create the desired shapes.
You can combine Embird Cross Stitch designs with other types of design elements if you desire a more complex design.
Font Engine enables the embroiderer to create embroidered lettering by typing text, setting characteristics of the lettering (dimensions, stitch density, fill pattern and more), then inserting it into either Studio or Editor. There, it may be combined with other elements of a design, or further edited.
Font Engine will create lettering from any Windows-compatible True-Type Font (.TTF file format), or Open-Type Font (.OTF file format). This means that by registering Font Editor, you gain the ability to create lettering from the many thousands of fonts that are available for free or sale on the Internet. You can also use dingbats fonts - fonts that contain small symbols or pictures instead of letters.
Not every font works equally well, but with a little experimentation - or advice from a more experienced Font Engine user - you can find fonts that will meet your needs with few problems. You can overcome these problems by editing the lettering in Studio or Editor, if needed.
If you have registered Font Engine, you will also have the ability to create designs automatically from vector-graphic file formats (2) (such as CDR, WMF and EMF graphic files). This works more efficiently in Studio (Digitizing Tools), but also works in Editor.
(1) If you registered an older version Embird® and need to re-install it for some reason, older versions are available for download at http://www.embird.com/sw/embird/oldfiles.htm.
(2) Vector-type graphics files store image information with mathematical descriptions of the size, shape and color of areas of the image. Font Engine® can use this information to create "embroidery objects". This process is often called "auto-digitizing".
* The following are property of the Embird company: the hummingbird logo, Embird® brand name, application names Manager®, Editor®, Iconizer®, Font Engine®, Alphabets® and Cross Stitch®. Stitched With Grace is an independent distributor of Embird ®software.
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