Resizing Digital Embroidery Design Files
One of the “newby” assumptions I made when I first got my Brother-PE770 Embroidery Machine was that any and all PES design files would work with the machine. Brother (and Baby Lock) embroidery design files are in the PES format and I quickly figured out that all machine brands have their own format. So I went blindly along buying cool PES design files. However, when I attempted to transfer those files into my machine using the USB drive, the machine couldn’t “see” the files. They simply wouldn’t show up on the screen. “Whaaaat? Where the heck are they???” Commence hair pulling…
I went digging through the User Guide and it only mentioned that the hoop size on the PE770 was 130mm x 180mm. OK…so? What it DOESN’T say (Brother, please take note) is that files larger than the hoop size cannot be used on the machine. Maybe they think it’s intuitive? I dunno but I was very frustrated until I figured it out. So the files had to be resized. I’m a techy kind of girl so it shouldn’t be a problem, I’d need some software – and I didn’t want to pay for it. 🙂
Well. I’ll just say that not all embroidery software is created equal. There’s a lot of freeware out there and some of them are very good at some things, and not so good at others. And most are a real PITA to use. What I came to require was 1) The software should resize without screwing up the stitch density or making the design all wonky; 2) The code shouldn’t look like it was written in Windows 98; 3) It would actually work on Windows 7; 4) It needs to be user friendly; and last but not least, 5)It should be FREE! After much searching the interweb, lo and behold in an embroidery user forum the search was over: Welcome Wilcom TruSizer!
This software is so up-to-date (I’ve already received software updates from the company…for the Free version no less!) and it’s very user friendly. It looks and operates just like Word in Microsoft Office so it’s super easy to use. And check THIS out! They also offer a mobile version – for free – so you can resize images on the go! Ha! How cool is that? It downloads very cleanly without any hidden malware/spyware (frequently found in freeware) or extra advertising crap. It puts a handy icon on my desktop too. Mind you, it’s for “resizing” only. While limited in scope, it’s VERY good at what it does.
The rest of this post is image heavy because I’ve written IT tech manuals before and if you don’t show every single step, I’ve found that users tend to get lost and then my email blows up with nasty-grams saying “YOU DIDN’T SAY TO…or YOU LEFT OUT A STEP!”. So sorry if you’re up-to-speed with the whole File/Save As concept. No insult intended.
I’m making my feline-loving friend a wall hanging for her birthday from the Cats Meow collection from Lunch Box Quilts. After dropping a significant amount of cash on this collection, I discovered that nearly all of the embroidery files are sized bigger than my hoop size so my machine can’t see them. So I had to resize them all. I’ll show you how I resized Felix – a very cool cat! To see the details in the images below, click on them and they will be big enough to see everything clearly.
After downloading the software from the link in the company name above, double click on the TruSizer icon on your desktop. No, my home screen isn’t screwed up. I wanted to hide some icons from y’all. 🙂There’s a single splash page you have to click through. Click OK.To get your original “too-big” file, go to the menu in the upper left corner and click File/Open.Then navigate to where you have your embroidery files stored on your computer. Note that the software defaults to the .EMB format. If you don’t change the format to PES, it won’t see your files.
When you click the down arrow by the EMB File Type, a ginormous list of possible file types pops up. I highlighted the PES file format.Then I navigated to the original Felix file and clicked Open. Isn’t he cool? Once the image shows up on the screen, you have to Select the image by clicking on it. Once you do, you’ll see some little handle boxes around the image. Under the main menu bar, there are Property boxes. See how the height is more than the allowable 180mm for my machine? (highlighted in blue below)
I changed my height to 180mm and hit Enter. See how he resized perfectly. No distortion at all.
When I save my files, I do a “Save As” so I don’t destroy the original file and then give it a unique name so I can tell the original from the new. So then in the upper menu go to File/Save As and go through the routine of changing the .EMB file to your file type.
I normally use the new dimensions in the file name so I can tell it will fit in my machine and differentiate it from the original.So back to the embroidery machine I go to retrieve Felix.The image below is from before the resizing and it couldn’t see Felix. There’s 9 files on the USB stick, but it only sees 8.