by butterflyluvr26 12 Jan 2008

Hello, I was reading previous Q&As regarding digitizing software and find it's recommended to learn manual punch first verses auto punch. Can you please tell me the difference of the two.


by celticlady1031 14 Jan 2008

I've read everything here and now I have a massive headache. Auto...Manual...Pfaff...Janome... ???? It can all be so mind blowing. I'll take some asprin and keep plodding through.

astrostitcher by astrostitcher 15 Jan 2008

With manual punching do you use a graphics tablet to pen in every stitch or do you work with objects? How to you manually punch a big filled area? I've only seen Pfaff/Viking 3D.

cutiepie by cutiepie 15 Jan 2008

Astrostitcher, manual punching can be done with a graphics tablet and pen, a mouse or even a track ball. It all depends on what you feel comfortable using. I have been using a mouse for so long that I rarely use my graphics tablet. What you do with the digitizing is to set "stitch points" which are basically an outline of what you want stitched. Depending on the tool you select, you will have a single line, a satin stitch, or a complex fill. There are settings for each tool to adjust the density and stitch length, and you can use different fill patterns for the complex fill (depending on what your program offers). There is a LOT to learn, which is why it is important to have a good tutorial/support system going for you.

by freida 13 Jan 2008

Hi, Brother offers a free trial on their digitizing software PE-7. You might want to give it a try. It offers both auto and manual punch. I use the manual and will probably never go back. Manual is more refined than auto. Auto is perfectly depends on your taste. Here's the link
Happy digitizing and sewing! Freida

1 comment
butterflyluvr26 by butterflyluvr26 15 Jan 2008

Thanks, for the info. I will try the free trial as you suggest. I have a Brother machine and use the Ped Basic to transfer my designs.

by marjialexa Moderator 13 Jan 2008

Butterflyluvr, learn manual punch, for all the reasons everybody said. They are great explanations. Just my experience, I have a Janome 300E, and my DH bought the Digitizer Pro software (and a laptop to put it on) to go with it. The Janome dealer supports the machine, gave me lessons on the machine, lessons on the software, and I can take any lesson they have for free because I purchased my products there. I wish I could put Super Stitch Sewing and Vacuum in a box and send them to you all as a dealer, because I've heard so many dealer horror stories. DH spent a lot on the software, more than the machine, but there is nothing to add to it, it is complete. It even has a 'design gallery' function that will read the zip files and show you what's in them without unzipping them. I don't know what kind of machine you have, but do your research before you lay out $ for software. I didn't, of course not, why would I do that, I didn't even know home digitizing software existed; but I really, really lucked out with this dealer who did not take advantage of us being so ignorant. She sold me only what I needed, not what she needed to sell to make the payment on her BMW. Lots of luck to you, stick with learning, it's really worth the trouble.

butterflyluvr26 by butterflyluvr26 13 Jan 2008

Thanks, for your input. Exactly,I'm researching to make the right purchase. I didn't realize there was auto and manual until I read the Q&As from the community.
I do appreciate all the responses and it's been quite helpful. I have sent your first flower to you.

marjialexa by marjialexa 13 Jan 2008

Thanks, which machine do you have, by the way?

butterflyluvr26 by butterflyluvr26 15 Jan 2008

I currently have a Brother SE-270D. This is my first embroidery machine and really enjoy it! I've just started machine embroidery a year ago. I'm amazed at what we can do now with's great!

by jrob Moderator 13 Jan 2008

I stand in awe of all of you who do your own digitizing. It gives me a headache to think about it, and I am thankful that there are sites like this so I don't have too. ;)

mops by mops 13 Jan 2008

Actually it is fun, although time consuming. And the cut and paste functions can come in so handy. Still I am an avid collector of designs and quite happy to have a membership.

butterflyluvr26 by butterflyluvr26 13 Jan 2008

Thank You, for your reply.

marjialexa by marjialexa 13 Jan 2008

Yes, Jrob, it's fun, once you learn. But Mops is right about time-consuming: I have spent 20 or more hours on one design, when I get the bug to have something 'just so'. But I'm an artist & computer geek, as well as being disabled & having time to fool with it when I'm in bed some days. Neat to say "that's MY design" when somebody asks where you bought it. But I would still not be without the membership here, EVER. Just love her digitizing style.

by mops Moderator 13 Jan 2008

Ravyn's answer is exhaustive, I can only add my experience. My software has as added extra autopunch. It's nice for simple things in a hurry. But as a rule the results are inferior to doing it yourself.

butterflyluvr26 by butterflyluvr26 13 Jan 2008

Thanks again, I'm trying to learn as much as possible before I make a purchase of any more software.

marjialexa by marjialexa 13 Jan 2008

What do you have, Mops? I found the same thing with mine, definitely inferior results. Except my Janome program does have Word Art, which will auto digitize certain alphas already in the program, or do TrueType fonts (little shaky there), the pre-done alphas work well, they're just 'normal' fonts, not the fancy stuff you find here. Flower to you.

mops by mops 14 Jan 2008

I've got Husqvarna/Pfaff. It has amongst other things QuickFont, which is something like your WordArt I guess. I don't think there is not that much difference between the Pro edition of the programs, except the ones for industrial use maybe. The consumer friendliness may vary, but once you know your own program you don't want to switch and start learning again (though that may be a muck quicker thing than the first time around. What I find quite disappointing is digitizing photographs.

marjialexa by marjialexa 14 Jan 2008

I almost got a Viking/Husqvarna with the Digitizer, but it was an all-in-one embroidery/sewing machine, and the Pro version was quite expensive. Also, the dealer was not as familiar with the software as my Janome dealer is, but it really seemed like a nice machine & program. I thought I was going to be able to do photos of our dogs & cats, but that doesn't work well on mine either. Way too many colors, then if you reduce colors, looks like a paint-by-number. Probably why people use rayon thread for these, more tiny color variations.

by cutiepie 13 Jan 2008

Quite simply, autopunch is a computer program that takes the art and decides how the design should be made. Manual punch, the digitizer takes the art and decides how the design should sew out. Manual punch is a whole lot more involved, and has a much steeper learning curve, but the results are SO much better that it is worth the time it takes to learn.

cutiepie by cutiepie 13 Jan 2008

If you would like more details, let me know. =]

butterflyluvr26 by butterflyluvr26 13 Jan 2008

Thank you for the info. Now I need to ask this to make sure I'm understanding. The software I purchase should have the manual punch? Do some programs have both?

marjialexa by marjialexa 13 Jan 2008

Yes, some programs have both, my Janome Digitizer Pro can go from fully auto, to fully manual where you set stitch length, underlay, type, everything, or it can go anywhere in between. Cutiepie can probably explain better than I can. Hope you're doing OK with those twins, Cutiepie. A flower, and hugs.

by ravyn 12 Jan 2008

Manual punch is definitely the way to go. For a good visual comparison, showing the differences, go to

Basically, manual punch - the digitizer is fully controlling all the stitching, setting stitch angles, densities, sewing order, etc. You're doing it yourself, not just some program running an automated process & coming up with what it thinks is right. Auto-digitizing software might do a decent job sometimes, but it simply cannot work as precisely as a person doing the digitizing manually. Every design will have it's individual aspects that need to be taken into account when digitizing, and "automation" can only go so far, it can't factor in every little 'quirk' that may need to be done a specific way.... Not that it can't still do alot, but IMO, "automated" digitizing is never as precise & well-done as a design done manually by a good digitizer. I think some people use the automated software as a starting point maybe, then go in & tweak the design manually to make improvements/corrections/etc. But if you know how to digitize manually, then you can always go to an automated system if you choose to - but if you don't know the basics of manual digitizing, you're going to be 'stuck' with whatever output the auto-digitizing software gives you & you won't know how to 'fix' any problems. Ugh, bad explanation - I'm sure someone else can explain much better - but that page I mentioned above points out some of the differences.

cutiepie by cutiepie 13 Jan 2008

Naw, you did a good job of explaining. A flower for you!

butterflyluvr26 by butterflyluvr26 13 Jan 2008

I agree with cutiepie...great explanation and I too have sent you a flower. I have a better understanding of the two and will visit the page you mentioned.

marjialexa by marjialexa 13 Jan 2008

Good job explaining! I'm one of those 'tweakers', every once in a while I take leave of my senses, auto punch, then spend more time 'fixing' the design that I would have to do it manually in the first place. Sometimes I leave my brains in my other jeans, lol. Flowers to you.