SVG Sizing Comparisons..

stbs-SVG Sizes Lesson-p11First and foremost, I only know this information from my own experiences with cutting fabric, creating svg files, and learning the various softwares. Their may be far better or more informative info out there that I haven’t found or tried.

In theory, all svg’s should be made the same, but unfortunately, they are not. Make The Cut (here in known as MTC) which is a software that I really like, does not play well with it’s svgs when opened in Silhouette Studio. Any svg made in MTC needs to be resized once it’s opened in Silhouette Studio. Silhouette of America has chosen not to fix this error and it’s definitely in the Silhouette software that this problem exists.

When you open a svg created in MTC in other softwares such as Sure Cuts Alot (here in known as SCAL), the svg opens to the correct size. If you resave that svg in SCAL, it will open to the correct size in Silhouette Studio.

I love creating my svgs in MTC, because they just make it simple to do. It is by far and away the easiest software to create svgs in from pdfs.

A video has been added to this lesson that shows exactly how to resize in the various softwares. The video is at the bottom of this comparison lesson.

At first, I attributed this error to MTC, but I believe this is a Silhouette problem at this point because over and over again in various softwares, the MTC svg has opened to the correct size.

I get that we are going to possibly play around with the svg shapes once they are in our software, but we shouldn’t have to worry about resizing unless it’s our personal choice, and we can’t know what the original software the author/writer/creator made the svg in, so you basically have to check the size each time to be sure it’s correct for your project unless the creator of the svgs lets us know what software they made their svgs in. Most svgs are made in Adobe Illustrator, because it is professional drawing software and is imho the go to software of choice for many professionals. Some use Inkscape to create the .svg and for the most part I’m going to say Inkscape is accurate, but I have had some issues with Inkscape also, when it’s brought into SSDE.

Please note, that this problem has existed since Silhouette Designer Edition v3, and still exists as of November 7, 2015, it doesn’t exist in Silhouette Designer Edition v2.

Let me show you some comparison shots:

The artwork used in these examples is by Trina Clark.

If you’d like to try this for yourself, this is the .pdf file I used to create the .svgs. I’m not giving the .svgs because the point is for you to see for yourself.

Unless otherwise noted, no editing was made to the pdfs when they were brought into the software via importing, exporting and opening.

stbs-SVG Sizes Lesson-01

This is the example pdf, imported into MTC. 

This is a pretty big difference in size, and it doesn’t occur with any other svgs than MTC svgs to SSDE v3+

The problem is also in SSDE Plus which was just released about two weeks ago a $25.00 upgrade in which SSDE recognizes some machine embroidery formats.

stbs-SVG Sizes Lesson-04

These open at the same size.

One shouldn’t have to take a MTC svg file tho and open it in another software, to overwrite the svg so it will open at the proper size in SSDE.

stbs-SVG Sizes Lesson-05

Again a slight difference when a MTC .svg is opened in Inkscape and their is no reason you would open a MTC svg in Inkscape, but I thought I’d give it a try to see how it worked out


stbs-SVG Sizes Lesson-06

pdf imported into Inkscape and as you can see here, it comes in at a closer size than MTC’s own svg size does, but is close to the size that MTC originally shows when it also imports the pdf file, the difference is so minimal in fact that one would believe this to be accurate. I sure wouldn’t think otherwise.

stbs-SVG Sizes Lesson-07

This is a svg saved from the same pdf, opened in SCAL. Like the image says, it’s not always so perfect, in fact I was somewhat surprised to see it come in perfectly, but the difference is always so minimal that the number differences are on the end of the lines, and I assume that’s because SCAL rounds the numbers off.

stbs-SVG Sizes Lesson-08

This is the same pdf, opened in MTC, saved in MTC, opened in SCAL as svg, re-saved as .svg, then opened in SSDE.

and last, SSDE itself…

stbs-SVG Sizes Lesson-02

This is the pdf opened in SSDE, nothing has been done to it as yet. It is seeing the paper size, and not really the actual size of what’s on the page itself.

stbs-SVG Sizes Lesson-03

After I trace it, and move the page out of the way, I just can’t get it to go at the size of the already made svgs. It’s close to the size, but it’s because when you trace in SSDE, you are selecting the area to trace, so to get a size that matches the already svgs would really not be easy to do. It’s not that I don’t think pdfs aren’t accurate if you open them then trace in SSDE, because actually I do believe they are, I just don’t like tracing because tracing is not accurate in giving you good lines. MTC and SCAL both get the lines right off the bat with no tracing involved.

I do not have Adobe Illustrator to try this in, or I would have put this through the testing also.

To me, the synopsis here is that as quilters, more than any other reason for using a cutting machine, we need accuracy. I believe each software gives us that, so it’s not the pdf that causes the issue, but how each software deals with the sizing when the svg is brought into whichever software you are using. Currently, I go the long route to provide accurate svgs, I make them in MTC. I could do it in SCAL, but I do not like SCAL as much and you have to separate each page of a pdf with SCAL, their is no way to just open page per page when importing pdfs into SCAL. I do all my layering, moving of the shapes, and such in MTC, save it as a .svg, then open it in SCAL, re-save it with the 72dpi checked and click ok, I then open it in SSDE to cut with.

SSDE has more cutting options than what MTC gives for the Cameo, so I still use SSDE for cutting the actual files when I use my Cameo.

I will add here if you have the Brother SNC machine, SCAL is the only cutting software to currently offer the .fcm format you need to put on the USB stick. So you don’t have to go to Brother’s Canvas website.

However, everything on this page is also the same with MTC svgs and sizes with Brother’s Canvas software, if you open the svg in Canvas that’s made in MTC, you will also need to resize it. If it’s made in SCAL or saved from MTC in SCAL, it will open in Canvas accurately.

So, take the test, you tell me, how did yours go.

The following video shows some of the comparisons above, but also exactly how to resize in SSDE, MTC, and SCAL
Added February 2016


4 thoughts on “SVG Sizing Comparisons..

  1. I do think it is a challenge for what should be a common file format (e.g. SVG) should open the same size, no matter what software is used. Very interesting and helpful. I’ll certainly be more careful and try to play with this too. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Well, as you have found out .svg is not an exact “language” rather one with dialects. There is no industry standard so each program maker makes a choice which engine/translator they want to use which is why they are not always easy to transfer between programs. SVGs have only been around since late 90ties and there are different versions of it just like you have different .doc versions. Currently as far as I know version 2 is being worked on so perhaps in another 10 years time we will have another version but of course it is up to the different software developers to decide to use the same version. Exactly the same problems you encounter with .svg you can experience with .dxf
    I only know Inkscape, Silhouette, TurboCad and Embird SVGs and I’m always checking when skipping between programs if the size is acurate. It is just one of the things you have to accept I think if you use different programs to do the same thing. We all have favourits when it come to designing. Did you know btw that Inkscape can save in different SVGs?

    1. I didn’t know that Maga, and I get that nothing is probably as accurate as it can get, but I have tested and tested the formula between saving in MTC, to SCAL, to SSDE and can open every time with accurate sizes. I did hear that Adobe Illustrator svgs also open to the proper size in SSDE and I know that Silhouette knows about this issue because I’m not the only person who’s written over and over to have it fixed. I think that if they come into a quilters market, one where Heatnbond isn’t used, they need to give quilters more accuracy and a way to insure that svgs opened from all softwares are accurate. Not every pattern designer is aware of the issue MTC causes with the size difference and that size difference is large enough that it does actually make a difference to the cutting of the shapes of fabric. Designers who sell patterns with svgs and not take that svg to SCAL or perhaps other software first to resave the svg to whatever type the svg is, need to add the sizes to there patterns if they are going to provide a .svg file and especially one that’s created in MTC.. I also believe that just because it’s a Silhouette issue, doesn’t mean MTC doesn’t have a part in it, because it’s definitely the svg type saved. On the MTC forums, they told me to resize the svg by some number like 125% in MTC so it would open properly in SSDE, but if I do that, I still run into the issue that other softwares will see the svg as to large. So there in lies the problem. Why do other .svgs open either perfect or nearly perfect in SSDE, but MTC open so differently only in SSDE and not other softwares.

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