Make a printable template from a cut file.
Recently I was asked if I could supply the cut file above in PDF format as my reader didn’t have a cutting machine but she liked my design and wanted to cut it manually with scissors. Basically a printable template was required.
I experimented with PDF converters and while I could easily convert my file to a PDF it unfortunately wasn’t usable. All the scaling was lost and it converted a few centimeters smaller than the original. Nothing that I tried made it work and when I googled it, the internet reported similar issues but sadly, had no solutions!
Now, this may not be a problem with most printable cut files, but for this particular one it was crucial that it convert the size accurately as the file was for file dividers which needed to fit a specific size folder ie: An A5 Filofax.
I suggested to my reader that she download Silhouette Studio and print it directly from there and she was willing to give that a go.
So now, I want to share the steps to convert a file within Silhouette Studio to print out for those of you who aren’t already familiar with Silhouette Studio. Hopefully it’ll help Silhouette owner Newbies too.
I’ll use my Divider file as an example.
- Download and install the latest Silhouette Studio from here
- Download and open the Cutting File (v3 version) here. It will look similar to this
- Go to Design Page Settings and check it’s set to the correct printer for you. “Current Printer” is good or choose A4 or Letter – whichever you use.
- Now go to Registration Marks and under the style Box select “Off” from the drop down menu. They are only necessary if you are using the Silhouette Cutting Machine not required for scissor cutting 😉
- All 12 months of Dividers (as per photo 2nd from top) are included in the file but only the one on the mat will print. So you can drag them on and off the mat as needed.
- But First, some prep! Drag the cursor around everything, so all the dividers are selected. Go to the Line Style Window, scroll to the bottom and check the box for “Print lines of selected shapes”. This is because the red outline is actually a cut line for the cutting machine only and by checking this box the printer will now recognize it and print it out. However, it will be faint, so the line can also be made thicker by changing the line thickness box setting to 1 point.
- Depending on the paper you are using you may like to change the line colour too. The link to the line colour settings are right next to the line Style Settings.
- Now print out on your patterned or plain paper and cut around the lines with scissors to make dividers as I have in the top picture. Use a hole punch to cut the holes.
- Optional: If you don’t want the month name printed and would like the dividers plain as below – Select the divider, Right Click, Select Ungroup. Then you can just drag the month name off to the side and even add your own text with the text tools if desired.
I’d love to hear how you get on if you try this so please leave a comment. Silhouette Studio is a fabulous little graphics program if you don’t have Illustrator or Photoshop. And if you get a Silhouette Cutting machine you’ll be really familiar with the program and be able to get right into the cutting with a great head start.
I made a banner for an online shop and discount vouchers a few years back if you’d like to peek at another example of using the program. I show some of the other functions of the software that aren’t covered in this post.