Embroidery Software Support 
This support page is intended for dealers and customers who have purchased their software from TEXMAC Inc. 
Self-Help: Resource Library
for Learning Stitch & Sew
Watch & Learn Videos    

Digitizing: The basic steps using the 2 most important tools - the Freehand tool and the Column tool to trace shapes for fill and satin stitches.    

Lettering with Stitch & Sew - learn about what you can do with Stitch & Sew's auto-lettering tools.    

Editing 1 with Stitch & Sew:  Learning to edit stock designs (i.e. expanded .dst designs) with Stitch & Sew:    

Editing 2 with Stitch & Sew:  Learning about the .CHE format and how it makes editing easier.

Lettering With Stitch & Sew
3-Letter Monograms With Stitch & Sew  
Stitch & Sew & makes 3-letter monogramming easy with specialized monogramming fonts. 2 styles (3-Letter Diamond and Oval Monogram) come standard with Stitch & Sew 1.5.  The current Stitch & Sew 2.0 also adds 2 styles of automatic side brackets, and the Plus! level upgrade includes additional monogramming fonts "Monogram" and "Monogram Script".  Also note that regardless of what level of Stitch & Sew software you have, you may purchase any additional fonts you wish.  See the section below on "Buying New Fonts".
Character Map Diagrams for Stitch & Sew 1.5
To set up 3-letter monograms in Stitch & Sew 1.5, follow these steps, using the reference chart below for the right-side letter.
1.  Click on Lettering.
2.  Choose a monogram font, like Oval Monogram or 3 Letter Diamond.
3.  Type the left letter using that letters lowercase key on your computer's keyboard.
4.  Type the center letter using the capital letter for that character on your computer's keyboard.
5.  Type the right side letter using the corresponding key based on the chart below:  For the left and right characters, choose the specially-mapped keys that correspond to that letter for the left or right side. 

6.  Bracket characters can also be typed if included in the font.  In Stitch & Sew 2.0, if using the
     Monogram dialog box, simply select an end bracket from the drop-down on either side, if the selected
     font has any available, they will appear in that drop-down.  In Stitch & Sew 1.5, use the character
     maps as shown below to find which keyboard characters to type to get the end brackets.


3-Letter monograms with Stitch & Sew 2.0
In Stitch & Sew 2.0, with Studio and Studio Pro levels, a convenient dialog box is available when clicking on the Monogram Input button next to the font selector dialog box.  There is no need to know the special characters using the charts shown above.
Buying New Fonts for Stitch & Sew  
It's now possible to purchase new fonts from Stitch & Sew from Compucon's website, www.embmarketplace.com.  Over a hundred fonts are listed there including some additional monogram fonts (NOTE - existing Stitch & Sew fonts are there, so take care before purchasing that you don't already have the fonts yourself.)   
Controlling Trims and Jumps in Lettering in Stitch & Sew
To be honest, the tools for controlling trims and jumps between letters (and, inside some letters) in Stitch & Sew are just the tools for controlling trims between sections for lettering OR digitizing.  But we've placed the information here because it's such a popular concern, especially for new users of Stitch & Sew and embroidery in general.  
First, A Word from the Experts: Fight the urge to tell the machine to trim between every letter!  We've heard the reasoning in class, and in tech support calls, over and over: "I want to provide the best quality embroidery for my customers, and I don't to hand them something with little stitches connecting the letters."  We couldn't agree more.  But visit any location where top-quality embroidery is on display, and look closely at the lettering: in most cases, it's been created in a way that the letters are close together.  And, upon closer examination - it can be seen that the little connecting stitches (jumps) are left in place!  Of course, in cases where letter spacing is greater, the lettering is trimmed.  Here's why connecting stitches are left in place, where possible, by experienced digitizers and embroiderers:
    a. Trims take time: each trim costs around 5 or 6 seconds - which isn't much by itself.  But 10 unnecessary
         trims in a 500 piece run adds 8 hours onto that run!  
    b. Trims can be designed out:  In many cases, letters can be subtly spaced more closely together to avoid most trims.
    c. Reduces potential points of failure: If you're digitizing for an embroidery machine whose trimmers aren't performing 
       100%, each trim represents a potential stoppage during that run.  
Tools to Control Trims:  Stitch & Sew tries to do this automatically for you with a "connection policy" which tries to automatically insert or leave out trims based on conditions that you can set or adjust.
1. Overall Trim Control: Use the Global Connection policy from Design . . . . Connection Policy.
2. Local Trim Control: in  the Object List (Block List), you can control whether trims appear between sections by selecting a block, right-clicking on it and choosing "Edit Connection".  You can override the global connection policy at that particular connection by modifying the LOCAL connection policy at that point, forcing or denying a trim.
 Training Workbooks    
Provided below are the training workbooks used by TEXMAC in Stitch & Sew classes.  These help explain practical fundamentals of embroidery stitch theory, lettering, and digitizing to help give you a good foundation to do quality digitizing in Stitch & Sew.
     Workbooks for Stitch & Sew 2.0  

Stitch & Sew 2.0 Learning Workbook
This workbook is the same as the workbooks for Stitch & Sew 1.5, except that it has been updated for Version 2.0, with new appropriate images, tools and steps for the new version.  Both sections (basics & lettering, and digitizing, are combined together in a single PDF file.
     Workbooks for Stitch & Sew 1.5
The training workbooks for Stitch & Sew 1.5 is divided into 2 sections as 2 separate PDF files you can download and print:

Section 1 of 2: Basics and Lettering
This workbook touches on program basics, embroidery/software stitch fundamentals.  If you're just starting out in digitizing/embroidery, it is highly recommended that you read/follow this guide first before looking at section 2 below, which is on digitizing.. 

Section 2 of 2:  DIGITIZING LOGOS
This section helps you work through the process of digitizing a logo, no matter how simple or complex.  The rules described in the workbook apply universally to the full range of embroidery digitizing.  Understand the concepts below and how to apply them, and you're on your way to becoming a professional-quality digitizer:
     Topics Covered in These Workbooks
      These workbooks cover the topics shown below.  By learning the significance of each, you'll find yourself with the right
       kind of foundation to understand what quality embroidery is and how to get it yourself.
  Part 1 of 2:  Basics and Lettering
If you're just getting started in digitizing/using software to create custom files for your embroidery machine, focus on this section first.
1. KEY FUNDAMENTALS about embroidery stitch theory - understanding these basics will keep you out of a LOT of trouble.  Pay attention to why stitches have a maximum and minimum stitch length.   What happens if you exceed those limits?  Try to learn the consequences.  Then, try to understand the 3 fundamental stitch types - Satin, Fill, and Running stitches.  How do those 3 types relate to the maximum and minimum lengths for stitching?  What is the difference between the 2 key fundamental file formats - expanded (DST) format and the condensed (CHE) format.
2. GETTING TO KNOW THE PROGRAM WINDOW: Learn and understand why the Stitch & Sew program contains the features that it does.  When you're finished, ask yourself these questions:
- What 4 modes can the program be placed into?  What certain things can be done ONLY in each particular mode and why?  (4 modes - Digitizing, Lettering, Editing, & General Operations mode)
- Why are there so many different ways to view a design in Stitch & Sew?  What is the purpose of each?  Understand not only the views in the main design window (redraw mode, realistic mode, and filters to view only satins, fills, needle points, etc) but also the Block List.
- Learn why it's important to be able to view a design at different zoom views, and be able to see at-a-glance how big or small each part of a design is.  Close zoom for more exact editing & digitizing.  100% view to assess the design overall.  Understand why the Grid tool is useful at the default 10mm (.4 inch) size and why it's also equally useful to view a design at the 1mm (.04 inch) size.  
- Understand the Embroidery Settings Dialog Box - and why its special adjustments are available at only certain times (and never available in a .DST file)
3.  ALL ABOUT LETTERING.  Get to know how to create lettering.  It's easier to create than digitizing custom logos, so it's a good place to start your digiziting career. Plus, you can do a lot of embroidery for customers using only the lettering part of Stitch & Sew without having to learn to digitize.  Furthermore, what you learn about lettering applies later when learning to digitize custom logos and art, or in digitizing your own lettering.
- Learn the basic steps for creating lettering.  When choosing fonts, understand why some fonts are better in certain situations (i.e. sizes) than others.  Try the 3-letter monogram fonts, the multi-colored fonts, and the decorative fonts.  Learn 2 different ways to arc lettering using the Frames control.
- Understand the difference between satin and fill (step satin) lettering and when to use each.
- Embroidery Settings for Lettering: Now that you know how to create something and put stitches on it, understand why it's necessary to adjust the settings for different types of fabrics and different sizes of lettering.  Learn how, in Editing mode, you can add a running stitch or satin stitch border to just about any lettering.
4.  FINISHING UP A DESIGN:  Learn train yourself to perform these steps when finished with every design:  Apply Fabric, Center Design, and Optimize Design to help your sewing go more smoothly.
  Part 2: Digitizing
This section helps you work through the process of digitizing a logo, no matter how simple or complex.  The rules described in the workbook apply universally to the full range of embroidery digitizing.  Understand the concepts below and how to apply them, and you're on your way to becoming a professional-quality digitizer:
1. WORKING WITH STOCK DESIGNS (or EXPANDED [DST] DESIGNS IN GENERAL: Even experienced digitizers find it useful and time-saving to rely on stock designs or hire a digitizer on occasion.  Learn in this section the types of editing and clean-up you can do to these types of designs.
2. KEY DIGITIZING (DRAWING) TOOLS:  One of Stitch & Sew's greatest strengths is its easy-to-learn drawing tools.  Learn:
- How the drawing tools work in general.  Learn how to build shapes click-by-click, how to adjust a shape as you go (no need to be an artist!) and using the CTRL key to change between corner and curved points. 
- The Freeform Tool  Create some shapes with the Freeform tool.  Understand how to create both Open and Closed curves and why each is important.  Learn to realize how the Freeform tool is used primarily to create "blocks" of fill (step satin) stitches.
- The Column Tool.  Understand how the Freeform tool builds shapes vs. the Freeform tool.  Understand why it's better suited for satin stitches than the Freeform tool is.  Learn that you can build both satin and fill (step satin) stitch blocks with the Column tool.
- Understand more about stitch blocks.  Once you understand that each logo is created in sections called "blocks", next understand that the blocks sew in a given order - and that planning the sewing order carefully can make the difference between a poor design and a quality design (poor sequencing can result in longer run-time, reducing your profit, and also more-frustrating post-sew processing like cutting jump stitches)   Why is it important to understand to set the Entry and Exit points of each stitch blocks carefully?  Also understand how you can control the angle of the stitches and other settings with each block and what that does to the look and quality of your digitizing.
3.  DIGITIZING FUNDAMENTALS:  Once you understand how to create stitch blocks using the Freeform and Column tools, learn how to break down designs and logos, whether simple or complex, into shapes or blocks of fills and satin stitches.
- Get these important bits of information for each job:  It's important to get (1) quality artwork from your customer, (2) the finished (embroidered) size that your customer needs the design sewn and (3) the type(s) of garments/fabrics that the design will be sewn on.  Image quality, finished size, and garment type can drastically afffect digitizing strategy and the way a design is created. 
- Start off by evaluating the design when importing it into Stitch & Sew:  Use the Import Image dialog box to import the image to the correct size.  Understand the kinds of problems you might have if this isn't done.  View your imported image with a 0.4 inch grid, then a 0.04 inch grid to make important decisions about how the design should be broken down into different pieces (blocks) and what type of stitches are appropriate for each "block" or design element.
- Carefully plan the sewing sequence, block-by-block, and where to place the Entry and Exit points for each block : When creating lettering, the sewing sequence and the Entry and Exit points are programmed automatically.  When digitizing yourself, you set this manually (although Stitch & Sew automatically sews each block in the order that you create them).  Understand how sequencing carefully to eliminate unnecessary color changes, trims, and jumps makes a design run more efficiently (to cut down on produciton time for large runs) and cleanly (eliminate unnecessary, ugly jump stitches criss-crossing a design).
- Understand what happens where stitch blocks overlap, sit on top of, or sit adjacent to each other:  You'll quickly learn that whatever you create can sew a little differently than what you see on the screen, due to the effects of the stitches sewing on different types of fabric (lettering often sews more narrowly, or squares become rectangles, circles become ovals, or gaps appear between sections). Once you learn how stitches behave on fabric, and what they do when layered on top of each other or adjacent to each other,  you'll better be able to control the finished look of your digitizing.
4.  FINISHING UP A DESIGN:  Learn to train yourself to perform these steps when finished with every design:  Apply Fabric, Center Design, and Optimize Design to help your sewing go more smoothly.  While we mentioned this in the Lettering section, these 3 steps are important when outputting ANY design in Stitch & Sew.
5.  DON'T FORGET TO SAVE IN CHE FORMAT AS WELL AS DST FORMAT:  Learn train yourself to perform these steps when finished with every design:  Apply Fabric, Center Design, and Optimize Design to help your sewing go more smoothly.  While we mentioned this in the Lettering section, these 3 steps are just as important when saving any designs.