43 Silhouette Studio Terms You Need To Know

Hello Silhouette users! I thought it would be fun to write a quick post on all of the most important Silhouette Studio Terms that I see used every day. Sometimes when you start a new craft it can be like learning a foreign language. So here is my rundown of the most important Silhouette Lingo to get you up to speed on what we are all talking about.

Pin for later 43 silhouette studio terms you need to know weed vinyl
Pin for later!
Term Meaning of Silhouette Studio Term
Active Cut Area This is the area of your canvas/media. Anything outside of this area will not be cut. If you have a shape that goes over the edge of the media, the Silhouette will cut the part shown over the media.
Auto blade The Cameo 3, Cameo 4 and Portrait 2 all have a cutting blade that will automatically adjust its settings.
Blade Level Is the amount of the blade that is sticking out from the blade housing. This goes up 0.1mm at a time. For example 4 on the blade level settings is 0.4mm, 8 on the blade level setting is 0.8mm. 
Canvas This is the area of your media set in the page set up panel
Card stock Paper with a weight of between 135gsm to 300gsm (50lb to 110lb)
Carriage The moving part of the Silhouette or Portrait machine that holds the blade housing.
Compound Path A set of lines where the inner lines/shape creates a void in the shape.
Crop Part of the modify panel. When three or more overlapping shapes are selected, pressing the crop button will delete all the space that is not overlapping.
Cut lines These show up as red lines on the design screen and slightly thicker red lines on the send screen. This is where your Silhouette or Portrait will cut. If you have no cut lines showing the machine will not cut.
Cut Job When you press ‘Start’ in the Send panel all of the information that goes to the machine is known as the ‘cut job’.
Cutting mat/carrier sheet This is the mat that you load into the machine. It will have one sticky side where you place the media you want to cut (vinyl, cardstock, paper etc).
Decal The vinyl shape that has been cut.
Dual-carriage A carriage with space for two tools.
Edit points The dots on the lines in the shape. You can change the shape of the line or curve by editing these points.
Force/hardness This is sometimes called thickness in older machines. This controls how hard the blade or tool is pressing down on the media. In general the denser the material the more force is needed.
Group/ungroupThis is the ability to group or ungroup shapes together. So they can be moved or resized as one shape. Ungrouping means that the shapes can be moved independently of each other.
Group shapes together using the group and ungroup tools
Group shapes together using the group and ungroup tools
Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) This is a type of vinyl that can be used to create designs on fabrics. It has an adhesive backing that needs high temperatures to ‘bond’ the vinyl to the fabric. Once bonded the vinyl should remain in place when washed or ironed.
Layering Organising shapes together that are going to form different layers of the project. 
Load Media The action of placing media into the machine either on a cutting mat or on its own (some media can be loaded without a cutting mat if they have their own backing – see manufactures instructions).
Mirrored Image This function is used when designs are cut from HTV. All designs must be mirrored before cutting or your design will be backwards!
Nesting The action of fitting your shapes into the smallest space possible to get the best use out of your media.
Offset The act of creating a boarder, external or internal, that is an equal thickness all the way round. This can also be used to thicken fonts or text.
Passes The number of times the machine will cut the cut line.
Print and cut The action of printing out your design and then cutting round it like a die cut.
Printable vinyl Vinyl that can be used with a home printer to create designs.
Registration marks These marks are printed on all print and cut projects. The cutting machine uses them to accurately cut round the printed design. 
Reverse weeding This is where the vinyl is moved on to transfer paper before it is weeded and is then weeded from the back of the design.
Scraper The tool used to scrape excess vinyl, paper or fabric from the cutting mat.
Sketching The tool in Silhouette Studio that tells the cutting machine you will be using a pen/penholder tool with the design.
Seasoning your mat When mats are new, they can often be too sticky. Seasoning your mat is when you rub a cotton cloth or t-shirt over your mat to reduce the stickiness of the mat. This will help prevent your media from tearing on new mats.
SVG A type of scalable vector file that can be read by paid versions of Silhouette Studio.
Trace A function in Silhouette Studio that traces raster files (JPEGS, PDFs etc) and creates cutting files from them.
Text to Path Making text curve around another shape. If you’re looking for great fonts then give font bundles a try! Here’s one of my favourites and its free right now (affiliate link)
Transfer Tape Low tac clear or opaque tape that is used to transfer vinyl from its carrier sheet to the surface of your project.
Vinyl Thin glossy or matte plastic material that is used to make decals
Version The number of the software you are using.
Weeding Removing unwanted vinyl from your vinyl project.
Weld When two or more shapes overlap ‘welding’ them will cause them to join into one shape where they overlap.
For more information on the weld tool see my blog post on it here
Zip File A compressed file that will need to be unzipped before you can use the files in Silhouette Studio.
631 A type of vinyl that has a matte finish and is generally used for indoor projects.
651 A glossy vinyl that can be used for outdoor projects.
813 Oramask Vinyl that can use used specifically for masking and stencilling.
951 Vinyl that can be permanently adhered to a surface.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully now you will be able to get started knowing all the most used Silhouette Studio Terms. If you have any others you think we should add leave a comment below!

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