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Stitch Buddy software for Mac Users
Pinning topic of Stitch Buddy embroidery software for Mac OS Users
SandiMacD
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Date: 6/20/14 10:12 AM

I think I read that moderators would be able to pin an embroidery software brand topic so that it will not become lost over the years and require extensive searching. I hope this becomes a pinned topic for Stitch Buddy software.

Mac computer users that do not want to run virtual Windows have few choices- Stitch Buddy (SB) was first to the market and remains a terrific value for simple editing. It holds special appeal for novice embroiderers because of its low cost and simple interface which get them up and stitching out their first personalized embroidery file in an hour or so.

Today Matthias has integrated another set of enhancements- most notably making thread color changes easier by splitting or combining at a stitch point selection.

Some of the things I enjoy most about SB is that he has kept the cost low ($49) for years, he integrates improvements as a Free Upgrade to registered owners (instead of charging for extra modules) and is responsive to support requests. When end users need a file type or a tool he works diligently to create it. Today we are getting some new features!

Here's the full set of today's release of StitchBuddy v2.8 for Mac enhancements:

- The color list includes previews for each thread's usage
- The stitch-order of threads can be changed
- Threads can be split or combined, e.g. for monograms
- The canvas size is fixed
- Selections can be converted between regular and jump stitches
- The scroll performance is enhanced

StitchBuddy v2.8 is a free update for registered users. Here's a
Video showing the enhancements in action.

I hope other Mac users will use this SB topic thread to include their impressions of SB and how it compares to other native Mac embroidery software.
Sandi Dickenson

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runnerchicki
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Date: 6/20/14 10:48 AM

I have both Embrilliance and Stitch Buddy. I have only two issues with SB so far: 1) it does not recalculate stitch density when resizing a design and 2) it does not save any design that was created in PES above 1.0. Since I have a Babylock Ellisimo that is an issue for me. Sure I can save into another format, but usually I just use Embrilliance for any modifications other than thread changes. I feel Stitch Buddy is superior in that aspect.

It IS a great value at its price point and I am hoping that future updates will correct the two things that I find lacking.
-- Edited on Today at 10:50 AM --

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SandiMacD
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Date: 6/20/14 1:37 PM

Hi runnerchicki- Thanks so much for adding your thoughts! I also have an Ellisimo and use Embrilliance Essentials. It sounds like you may have bought the entire suite.

Embrilliance Essentials does not adjust for density so instead my workaround is to buy a smaller design and resize it larger as I don't (at this time) want to buy the Embrilliance Density Repair Kit for $138. I would be in heaven if SB added density adjustment as an enhancement or upgrade module.

I don't find it a problem to use SB to export a PES file for my Ellisimo but I am not an advanced user. I know the PESv6 and PESv8 files hold more information about threads but I pretty much select my colors visually from what I have on hand so a regular PES SB export is just fine. If I did want the more complex PES version I can bring it into Essentials and have that program export it.

I have spoken to Matthias in the past about BL PESv6 compatibility and at that time BL held proprietary format rights on the PESv6 and was not willing to disclose to him the coding information he requested in order to create that file type export.

One nice advantage over Embrilliance Essentials is the ability to capture a single stitch or use the rectangle to select, cut, copy, paste or delete the stitches. That is probably my most used SB tool!

Another thing I love about SB is the way it integrates with Finder to access and display my embroidery files.

I cannot use the Merge command with Essentials to bring them into my Design Page. I can only Open them onto a new Design Page- which means I have 10+ open that I have to copy over to the Design Page I am editing in.

This is because Essentials can only merge designs stored on my laptop or stored on my USB attached device.

I have thousands of files stored on my home networked server (a converted Mac Mini). With SB it is a simple matter to open all the files I need from the server and have them display in just the one active window pane. SB also recalls and opens the most recent folder which makes it even easier.

While I find Essentials to be a useful program, SB seems to offer quite a few more advantages to me right now.
-- Edited on Today at 6:05 PM --

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Pyrose
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Date: 6/22/14 0:48 AM

I can add this topic to the embroidery software topic I already pinned.

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Jennifer
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wendyrb
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In reply to SandiMacD <<


Date: 6/22/14 5:31 AM

Thanks for creating this new thread and posting this new SB development. The video makes it seem so simple and straightforward. I have a few very basic questions.

* Is Stitch Buddy a Stitch Editor? Is an example of this when Matthias breaks apart "Stitch" and "Buddy" to make them different colors? He deals with the jump stitches between the now 2 different colored words that originally would have been the same color. I'm not 100% sure exactly what he did and will watch the video again to see if I can grasp it.

As you can see, I am unfamiliar with the term "Stitch Editor". I need to learn what it means exactly or what it implies in terms of ease of use, flexibility, tricks, or roadblocks with no work arounds, etc. in a program. As you say in your second post

Quote:
One nice advantage over Embrilliance Essentials is the ability to capture a single stitch, rectangle or lasso selection and cut, copy, paste or delete the stitches. That is probably my most used SB tool!
I also read in the Linee G blog that I linked earlier today about Fonts, she says that Embroidery Works is a Stitch Editor while Embrilliance is not. Am I connecting the dots correctly here, or no these are 2 separate things I've gotten confused? I'm trying to learn what the Stitch Buddy features, original and newly added really mean to me in terms of editing.

The color sequence control is very nice to address in software. Regrouping things of the same color, that don't overlap, to stitch one after the other is better to nail down in the design file. I'd rather not have to remember to make those changes at the machine on the screen while embroidering. One less thing to potentially do wrong, for me anyway, to eliminate re-threading the same color again.

If I try Stitch Buddy, I'd need practice moving designs from there to Embrilliance Essentials and saving to VP3 for my Pfaff. That's not one of the files on Stitch Buddy. Tomorrow, I'll spend time at my computer cleaning up and clarifying my embroidery file system. Hubby said he would help me sort thru and sort it out. I feel like the Sorcerer's Apprentice- things have gotten away from me a little bit! Boy, there's a lot to do and learn before embroidering anything not built in to the machine.

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Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

SandiMacD
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Date: 6/23/14 7:04 AM

Wendy, I just dove in and embroidered tons of woven items for charity pretty unconcerned about editing anything.
I had fun. I only ran into problems when I tried to embroider on knits. First I thought it needed special types of designs, then that I wasn't stabilizing correctly and after the Craftsy classes I learned about how software can help. Problem is I dont want to pay $1400-2500 for that type of software.
So I am trying to wrap my head about what features I have in the software I own that might help me. And decide if I really need to invest in more.

As to your SB vs Alpha Ticks, I dont own AT so can only go by the manual and what I find online. I need to wrap my head around your question and try to come up with an answer.

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SandiMacD
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In reply to Pyrose <<


Date: 6/23/14 9:12 AM

Thanks so much!!

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SandiMacD
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Date: 6/23/14 11:26 AM

Replying to wendyrb:
Is Stitch Buddy a Stitch Editor? ...I also read in the Lindee G's blog …she says that Embroidery Works is a Stitch Editor while Embrilliance is not. Am I connecting the dots correctly here, or [are] these are 2 separate things I've gotten confused?

I'm trying to learn what the Stitch Buddy features, original and newly added, really mean to me in terms of editing.

========================
Here's my take. There are no clear definitions. As a novice I thought that software fell into 2 types-editing and digitizing. Then I learned there were viewers, organizers and converters. I took it for granted that all basic Editing Software contained viewers, organizers and converters because SB came with those features built into it. SB was my first downloaded embroidery software, I had no other experience to compare.

Soon after getting SB, Essentials came on board. They needed beta testers so I volunteered. Since Mac's Finder pane was using SB' integrated features to view and organize, I did not realize that Essentials was 'missing those features'- at least not on my Mac. I was confused as to the purpose of Thumbnailer. Then when I loaded Essentials on my PC (to beta test it) I could not 'see' my embroidery files. It was then I understood Thumbnailer's purpose- to let me view and organize my files in the My Computer pane.

So if you do not have SB and need to see your files you need to purchase the Thumbnailer- module (add-on).
[NOTE to PC Users reading this - Finder in Mac OS = My Computer in Windows, its how you browse for files.]

Anyway, SB and EE have been my 2 main software programs since 2009. After purchasing and demo-ing lots of software, I have come to realize there is crossover. And sub-categories (like editing designs and editing stitches). And what exacting is meant by Editing Stitches? It seems to vary with software.

My opinion is that SB is a crossover. It does edit stitches-in this case the *newly added* version can convert a regular stitch to a jump stitch and add a tie off to a jump stitch. But SB isn’t a comprehensive stitch editor. For example, it cannot covert an area of pattern stitches to another type of pattern stitches.

I would not call SB a digitizer even though it offers a way to ‘mimic digitizing of stitches' that are already in a design. It can delete and create single stitches and groups of stitches to form new stitches by using capture, copy & paste or delete. It captures a stitch or a selection of stitches by thread color, rectangle or clicking on a single stitch. This is something the ORIGINAL version offered-or at least as far back as 2009 when I bought it. But is does not have a feature to create (digitize) stitches to fill in an area.

Now for Lindee's comment. Embrilliance has 4 modules, it is not just one integrated program. Embroideryworks has 2 modules. So I find it hard to generically compare Embrilliance to Embroideryworks. Which is why I am comparing their MODULES (in the other thread).

The first module of *Embroideryworks* is called *Embroideryworks Everyday*. I would NOT categorize it as a Stitch Editor. Or at least the demo I downloaded does not offer me any Stitch Editing features- the user can't isolate a stitch or change it in any way.

But others may argue that there is a Stitch Editor feature because the program does automatic adjusting of stitch counts during resizing.

How does resizing in Embrilliance and Embroideryworks (editing stitches) compare to SB? Well SB does not edit the stitch count in a significant way. That is why resizing in SB is limited to more than 15% (and recommended to not go above 10%). Essentials and Embroideryworks Everyday are able to go above those limits because they "edit stitches" by adding or removing them.

In one example, SB removed 1 stitch when I resized a .jef file down by 15%. It added 3 stitches when I upsized it by 15%. The other programs added 178 stitches when I upsized that same design file and subtracted 260 when I downsized it.

So I may want to use SB if I am upsizing a dense design to stitch out on knits BECAUSE SB will not increase the stitch count!! How well this works on the outlines stitches I don't know. I suspect they are lengthened to compensate.

I don't have DRK so using SB may be a good work around for now to let me reduce stitch density. I might also try using Essentials to size down and reduce the stitch count and then bring that file into SB and size back up to the original (but with less stitches.) Have I lost you?

The second module of *Embroideryworks* is called *Embroideryworks Advanced*. It DOES have a Stitch Editor feature of changing pattern fills- which is what Enthusiast does (I think). It also can isolate, capture and modify a stitch or a pattern of stitches.

I haven’t yet completed my comparison research of Embrilliance Enthusiast to Embroideryworks Advanced. As soon as I do I will post it to the COMPARISON THREAD.
-- Edited on Today at 6:09 PM --

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SandiMacD
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Date: 6/23/14 11:57 AM

Wendyrb- an answer to what’s going on in the video with regards to breaking apart the single color word “Stitich Buddy” into "Stitch" and "Buddy" to make them each a different color.

You can do this in Alpha Tricks because it gives each letter unique properties. You can do this in Essentials too because it treats each letter as a separate design file. Even if you group and save it as a file, Embrilliance modules retain the .be file which lets you make future edits, like color changes.

Stitch Buddy is slightly different. If you retain the original file of ungrouped letters, then you can change each letters’ color. You would do a File—Save As.

BUT- if you do a File- Save and overwrite your ungrouped letters into a design file (as grouped letters). SB does not retain the information to undo it back into single letters- there is no .be “working file type” in the SB software.

So if you have a design- either by purchasing a grouped of words or by creating file containing words, this new SB feature will let you add stops to change the thread colors. And it also works for a NON LETTER design.

Lets say you want to make a color change within a design. Alpha Tricks only manages fonts, not designs (unless they were built using fonts). Essentials does not let you select a stitch within a design to modify it.

With SB you are able to isolate (select) a particular stitch and turn it into a jump stitch. Now that it is a jump stitch you can add a ‘tie off’ function to it. That means you can change your color of thread and not have a loose stitch that will unravel over time.

In your case you would save it as .jef and open it in Essentials. Now Essentials will read the coding that you have a tied off jump stitch and are changing thread colors. You would use Essentials to save all that coding into the file type that your machine uses. (I forgot which format you need.) Of course, if you buy Enthusiast I think you will get this same feature. (I really need to finish my evaluation of that module!)

For you, using Essentials with Alpha Tricks is the best way to go for lettering. For designs, you can use Essentials to change the colors of each item in the Object Tree. But if you want to add a thread color change within the middle of an item displayed in an Object Tree it's not possible. With SB you can make that thread color change anywhere in the design! But that may not be a feature you need.

There may be other applications from this SB enhancement that I am missing- perhaps others will chime in.
-- Edited on Today at 12:23 PM --

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SandiMacD
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Date: 6/23/14 2:48 PM

MORE ON how Stitch Buddy handles Stitch Editing.

SB has its own way of modifying (editing) the stitches in embroidery design files.

I had a difficult adjustment to Essentials because the Object Tree was a foreign concept to me. It does offer some inherent benefits - as long as the selection that I need to modify is selectable as an Object Tree item.

SB takes a different approach. It doesn’t group a collection of stitches into an object or item. SB treats each stitch as an element that can be modified.

This opens up a whole new way of stitch modification (editing). Each stitch (or selection of stitches) can be deleted, copied, repositioned, rotated, resized and flipped. When copied, the stitch (or selection of stitches) can be inserted from the clipboard. It will appear in a slightly offset location to support additional modifications more easily.

In Essentials, if you want to reposition part of your design you are limited to capturing and moving only the stitches containing within an object. With SB, you can reposition a group of stitches that you define by using a mouse click, rectangle selection or thread color. Or you can reposition a single stitch.

The rectangle will capture all stitches with a start and end point inside its area. The thread color option will capture all stitches between two color changes (between the jump stitches). It is wise to use the Underlay View to verify whether the additional underlay stitches under your selection have been captured because of variations in how it was digitized.

There is one stitch type that SB will create- a basting stitch around the design. You can specify the distance to the design and the stitch length. You can select a portion of the basting stitch and modify it as you would a design file stitch.
-- Edited on Today at 4:04 PM --

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