by Janus48 16 Nov 2014

This subject has probably been covered before but maybe it's time again because of comments about lost or damaged dongles. What do you have for software and at what level do you use it. (Beginner to Pro?) If you could buy something else, would you? Tell us your likes and dislikes.

Thanks for all your input.


by Janus48 18 Nov 2014

I want to thank all of you for your comments. It is really wonderful to have so many people..from all over give this much help. I will probably keep using my 5D for a while but there will come a time soon when I need a new computer and I think then I will have to consider a new program for embroidery as well. It is just very difficult to justify the prices for some of this software. But at least now I'm going to be looking with more knowledge...thanks to all of you. And I hope this has helped others as well. What a great site !!!!

1 comment
mops by mops 19 Nov 2014

I still have 5d pro installed (as well as 6d) and 5d quilt, both are compatible with the windows 8.1 I have as operating system.

by asterixsew Moderator 18 Nov 2014

Janus48 you have gained some excellent answers and much food for thought for anyone who is looking to get softwear for embroidery. My PE design was part of the package when buying my machine I think reading all that has been written and from following the any comments here for ages that should I be buying again I would go for Embird as once the start up costs have been made there are no expensive shocks when upgrading and there is no dongle to misplace or not have with you when wanted

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by noah edited 18 Nov 2014

I have 5d husqvarna and just lately got 5dextra it is still in the box .There is no teacher for me and i would rather sew then get frustrated reading things.I learn better by pictures ,or someone showing me.

Last year a cutie talked me into buying sew what pro. and i use it lots cause it is more easy to understand i love how it will convert the whole alp. at one time but one day ******It don't cost anything to dream right??hugs Carolyn

kazza by kazza 18 Nov 2014

Hi Carolyn, your 5D and 6D software is capable of converting multiple designs at the one time with notes attached in the conversion program. Husqvarna's web site has some really good tutorials which would help you to get to know the product you have better.

noah by noah 18 Nov 2014

thanks will go look hugs Carolyn

mops by mops 19 Nov 2014

Install your 5D extra, it works just like 5D Embroidery but has a few extra wizards that are self-explanatory. No need for a teacher, honest!

by sewtired 18 Nov 2014

I bought HV 3D extra when I bought my machine. I have a couple of add-ons, but I never upgraded as the upgrades were pricey and I found out there were other fish in the sea. This post is really what I needed to start looking for something else. 3D has wizards for auto digitizing with minimal input from the user, but the results are rarely satisfying. One of my add-ons is a stitch editor where I can change bad digitizing stitch by stitch which is extremely tedious, but effective. It is great for combining designs and lettering though and has a feature for split designs for my largest hoop. I don't have the cross stitch or photo stitch modules. The support I get from HV is ads and instructions for 6D. My son is my computer tech support.

I saw a demonstration of Generations software, again pricey, but it looked like you could easily do real digitizing (not wizards). Does anyone have any experience with it? I am just an amateur

Thanks for asking this question and thanks for all the responses.

by airyfairy 17 Nov 2014

When one talks of embroidery software, there is so much out there. I imagine that if one wants to learn to digitize, one has to get a more fancy program. I only started machine embroidery fairly late in life so the only investment, apart from my machine has been SewWhatPro which allows me to do all the things I need/ want to do. Like Jofrog I am a great supporter of this software. Thank you for this post - it has been a most interesting read.

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by dragonflyer edited 17 Nov 2014

I have both Janome MBX 4.5 and Palette Next/PE 9...I love the Janome does not do well for Pes formats...there are some problems! I do not like the Palette Next/PE 9...too many steps to achieve the same results as the Janome MBX...Janome uses a dongle and the Palette needs a big box...truthfully, if I had to do over...I would go with Embird...I have Basic Embird for editing and such and the Iconizer which allows me to see a picture of the designs in the folders and I couldn't live without it...but I would go with the Studio for digitizing...pretty much free upgrades and no dongle and reasonably priced...and you can purchase the different add programs (fonts, cross stitch, etc) as you can afford them...I have heard good things about Floriani software, but it is expensive!

by lbrow 17 Nov 2014

Like several others I have had Embird now for 8 yrs with all the upgrades. As Sue says I have only scratched the surface especially with the studio part. It meets my needs and customer service is great along with all the others who have it and are ready, willing and able to help in time of troubles./Lillian

by mrskiki 17 Nov 2014

I use Husqvarna Viking 4D and love it. I am probably a mid-level user, meaning I too have not even come close to using all this program's capabilities. Since I am a MAC user, I also have a program I use quite often called Embrilliance which you can buy in modules as you want or need. I love it as well, not as powerful as the 4D, but no dongle and easy to use. Good customer support too. Hugs. Nan W

by baydreamer 17 Nov 2014

I have Embird Studio , for my needs it allows me to due everything I need too, Cut and Baste / scrapbooking with embroidery
I sometimes think that I would like to digitize my own designs but the time needed to due them correctly and the stitch outs , are just to labour intensive for me. I have purchased designs from sites who really have no right even selling them they are so poorly done.
I have decided if I need something digitized I just ordered it by someone on the web. Now the few times I have done this , I still have spent hours doing stitch outs , it can take up to 4 try's to get it to my satisfaction. I am a very picking with stitch outs, I have thrown items away if I don't like the look of the stitching, a major problem is everyone standards are different in what is acceptable . Mine are very High!

1 comment
lbrow by lbrow 17 Nov 2014

Couldn't help but chuckle as I read your comment. I remember when I was new at this and got every free design I could grab. Most of those freebies "back yonder" got deleted, they were so poorly digitized. I spend a lot of time editing even now on designs something that Embird allows you to do because like you my standards are high

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by lique edited 17 Nov 2014

I have the bernina pro software and find it extremely easy to use, but after 10 years I am still learning as there are soooooo many things you can do with it. I have never used any other software so I can not compare. The dongle is just a permanent feature in my computer, so I can not lose it or will not break as I hardly ever take it out.

by spendlove Moderator 17 Nov 2014

I read what everyone had posted here before I bought Embird 3 years ago. I haven't regretted it for a minute and I have great fun with it. So far, though, I have only touched the top of the iceberg of what it has to offer!
Embird has good customer service and updates are free or low cost.
I would not consider buying machine brand specific software.
There is always someone around this forum who can help with specific problems as well - I couldn't have got this far on my own. Martine particularly has been a fabulous mentor.

by graceandham 16 Nov 2014

Floriani Total Control-U, no dongle and free upgrades forever. This last is a huge feature, as many companies really stick it to you on upgrades. Support is excellent. Would not change! I'm probably a mid-level user, not much of a digitizer, but lots to do with it otherwise: resizing, changing formats, combining, adding text to designs, combining several designs into a big hoop for stitching out FSL on one big piece of stabilizer rather than lots of little ones, It reduces stitches as you shrink a design, which most programs do not do! Beautiful fonts built into the program. It is not machine brand specific, which I think is another big plus. You get 4-5 free designs each month as a user - about four years up so far (you get the older ones, too) just a little extra.

by mops Moderator 16 Nov 2014

I have been using Husqvarna software since 1998, always the Pro versions, upgraded from System 5 to 6D. I don't mind the dongle, it is their way to prevent illegal sharing. What I do mind is their lack of support for use of older machines. I have a perfectly working Iris that needs an embroidery card and is just the thing to take to classes (or to children or friends to do some sewing there) but 6D does not have a possibility to communicate with the card reader/writer and there is no driver to work with Windows8, so using the older 5D is no option. It makes the embroidery unit of the Iris quite worthless.
The update from 5D to 6D cost €1000, I don't want to count up how much I have spent on Husqvarna/VSM software in total, it will be a staggering amount.

In 2008 I bought Embird and I paid €20 for an update since then, all other updates including the new one were free. And guess what, most of my digitising is done in Embird. There are no wizards as the VSM software has, but you are able to do things the way you want without the frustration wizards offer.

mops by mops 16 Nov 2014

And as for the question about the level, I think I can say without boasting that I am a semi-pro.

lbrow by lbrow 17 Nov 2014

You are way more than a semi-pro in my book Martine/Lillian

airyfairy by airyfairy 17 Nov 2014

And in my book too.

by katydid 16 Nov 2014

I am totally a Bernina girl and I would never put down another software. Go for what makes you comfortable. I will admit that I have not up graded machines but keep current in latest software. I love my old Berninas!! Kay

by crafter2243 Moderator 16 Nov 2014

I do not know your machine but personally I would never purchase anything requiring a dongle unless I had too. I have been working with DESIGNER GALLERY for at least 6 years for most of the basic, like changing Format, resizing, changing colors, remove colors etc.
EMBIRD lets you download free trials and has different modules that you can add as you need them.
I am not sure if your machine will only work with the program you have. Like I said I do not now anything about it. Good luck with it all

by jofrog2000 16 Nov 2014

Answers would depend on what you do with your software, and would expect with a new one. Digitizing goes more expensive while doing some editing is another level.
I am using SewWhat Pro for editing, lining up letters, and a few other things. Very affordable, constantly being upgraded, super support from the yahoo group. And there is a free trial period for their products. Check them out.
I have Studio products from Designer's Gallery, where I resize, change color, and density. If I ever have extra money, I will get further products from them.
Both have no dongles to care for.

by asterixsew Moderator 16 Nov 2014

Its almost midnight in the UK so this is a little technical for me at the moment. I have PE 8 design which I am quite happy with. I use it for various things but do need to get to grips with it in a greater detail but at the moment time is not on my side. I use it a lot for working with fonts. I am improving my knowledge on the need to know basis rather than this is lesson 1, 2, 3 etc. What do you have or is this a question to find out what others use with a view to buying your own? Lastly it does have to have a card reader attached to my laptop to work

Janus48 by Janus48 16 Nov 2014

I have Viking 4D-Pro. Thought I was buying top of the line...which it was for a little while. Next thing you know...they go to 5D and 6D and of course wanting you to spend thousands more. And now I've been told that Windows 8 won't mesh with 4D so of course it's time for a new computer. This is maddening I tell you! Is there a good program out there that does not need a dongle or card reader etc? And what do users really love and why?
Before I spend another cent I want to know what I'm getting into. Oh..and how is the tech support?

katydid by katydid 16 Nov 2014

I have had Bernina software from day one, and yes, later versions do use a dongle and I guard it dearly. I think it is a security thing to keep people from sharing software. Kay