The Best Digitizing Software For Embroidery Machines: Reviews For You!
Are you looking for the best digitizing software for your home embroidery machine? You’re in the right place.
We've covered embroidery programs already, and those are different from digitizing ones.
Here, we review four popular digitizing software packages. And point you to the best for your skill level.
Why do you want embroidery digitizing software?
When you’re choosing the best digitizing software, you to need to keep the following questions in the forefront of your mind. Otherwise, you might end up wasting your money on software that isn’t right for you.
Is it that you’ve run out of free or purchasable patterns to buy or what you want is not available?
Do you have the time to learn this software or do you want to be up and running in next to no time? If the latter, maybe you should be outsourcing the work so you can start producing without delay.
Remember the software is not cheap. And it takes a while to come up to speed.
Are looking to use the software as a hobby or to enhance your design skills and start a business?
What type of embroidery work do you to want to use the software for? Do you want to turn any of the following into beautiful designs?:
- Your favorite photos?
Or do you want your design flair roaming free to create any design you like?
How much do you want to spend? Base prices vary based on the complexity and sophistication of the software. Prices also change when offered as a special. To aid your decision, we’ve categorized the software and their price range as follows:
- Entry Level for Beginners - Under $250
- Intermediate Level - $250 to $500
- Advanced Level - Over $500
- Professional and most advanced Level- Thousands of dollars
Do you want to start simple? And upgrade later to a higher level version of the software? When you’ve built your knowledge and experience base?
Make sure the software you buy can operate on your PC or Mac.
Check whether your embroidery machine can import the data format produced by the software.
We’ll review each of the software packages with these questions in mind. You can check off each of the factors as you make your decision.
Remember too you will need a scanner. Or someone to provide a scan file to import for conversion by the software into a digitized design.
What’s the best digitizing software for embroidery machines?
Brother PE-Design Plus
PE-Design Plus is an intermediate level software package.
Digitizing software creates a digital stitch format from a scanned image. In the PE-Design Plus software, the PhotoStitch™ function does this.
This software package does not have the bells and whistles of the Brother PE-Design Next. But it places few limits on what you want to design. It provides a range of functions that allow you to:
- Execute almost any self-design.
- Merge your design with the many built-in designs.
- Import scanned images (including photos) and create a design file with little effort.
You can watch it sew on screen with the simulator. And you can view a realistic image as you edit the design.
The key features of the PE-Design Plus include:
- Designs for single-needle machines with a hoop size up to approximately 8”x 12.”
- 100+ built-in embroidery designs.
- 35 built-in fonts.
- Three region sewing stitches (satin, fill, and programmable fill).
- Plus 2 line sewing stitches (zigzag and running).
- An ample number of built-in embroidery designs.
- It helps to create your designs.
- Cannot use on a Mac computer. Some people on Amazon mentioned it otherwise, but I've confirmed it from Brother support.
- A limited number of sewing stitches and lack of monogramming, small and true type fonts.
- With the price, you’re paying you’re being short-changed on the number of sewing stitches.
Brother PE-Design Next
The PE-Design Next is a step up in capability from its Design Plus sibling. So, it is for the advanced user.
Crucial extra functionality found in the PE-Design Next includes:
- In addition to PE-Design Plus single needle machine compatibility, it also designs for multi-needle machines with a hoop size up to approximately 14” x 14.”
- 800+ built-in embroidery designs.
- 100 built-in fonts including true type, small and monogram fonts.
- Ten region sewing stitches (Satin, Radial, Fill, Spiral, Programmable Fill, Concentric Circle, Piping, Stipping, Cross, and Motif).
- Gradation and color blending. So, you can create any visual effect you like.
- 7 line stitches (Motif, Zigzag, E/V, Running, Candlewicking, Stem, and Triple).
- Stamp pattern.
- Point editing, circle copy/mirror copy, and stitch pattern editing.
- A name drop template to create different names with the same layout.
All these extra features expand your design horizons. Customize your operations with the new quick access toolbar to improve your efficiency.
And the linking function allows you to link more machines (four PR-1000 machines and PR-650 machines) to a single computer with queue functionality. It opens the door to starting your own business.
- A high number of embroidery designs.
- Links to machines for commercial use.
- Cannot use on a MAC
- It's a versatile machine that exports files in many different formats. It may take some time discovering it's full potential. But it's worth it. If you’re going into business. You won't regret buying it.
Amazing Designs - Digitize N Stitch
The price of Digitize N Stitch makes it an excellent entry point for the beginner. It’s even better when you get a free 30-day trial of the complete product.
The program accepts any of your favorite uncomplicated clip art or scanned images. It then converts them to stitches.
Only a few clicks to create unique applique, complex fill, cross-stitch, and embroidery designs. There’s no limit on your design creativity.
If it’s your first time using embroidery digitizing software, don’t worry. The simple step-by-step wizards help you from the start to the finish of the creation process.
And the design preview function means you get a realistic image, though not perfect, of the look of your finished project.
You have plenty of built-in designs with:
- 301 icon designs.
- 40 built-in applique shapes.
- 188 decorative applique stitches.
You can combine different designs into one.
And control the order of stitching which is essential when you want to stitch over an existing part of your embroidery.
But, you can’t go that one step further and resize or rotate any of the designs you’ve imported.
Also once you click the finish button on your design that's it. You can’t go back and make one more tweak. It can be annoying. You either have to start again. Or buy the editing program Edit N Stitch. But that means another $200.
You do need to have MS Paint installed on your computer. And the program is only compatible with Microsoft Window.
And you have no control over the type of stitch it converts to with an imported file. Sometimes the conversion is not uniform. You can have different stitches used for the same object in an image. Not ideal.
- Free 30-day trial to test if the package matches your needs.
- Easy to follow step-by-step wizards.
- Cannot resize or rotate imported designs.
- Pay extra for an editing program.
- Cannot use on a MAC
- Excellent affordable program for beginners.
Embrilliance StitchArtist Levels 1, 2, and 3
As the product description suggests, there are three versions of Embrilliance StitchArtist. Level 1 is for Beginners. Level 2 for Intermediates and Level 3 for Advanced users.
It is crucial to know from the outset. You cannot use this program for automating a design.
It is not an auto-digitizing program. You cannot customize an existing design.
So, if all you want is to create designs from scratch, this is the software for you. StitchArtist does it all. No need to buy any additional programs.
You control the shapes, set the properties and stitch type, and StitchArtist generates the stitches. Just click a button when you change your mind.
Creating designs with StitchArtist is simple. Unlike other software, you don’t have to keep switching modes. There’s one mode for doing everything.
Use the single mode for sizing, editing, drawing, setting stitches, rotating, sequencing and setting the properties of design elements.
Level 1 comes with 12 stitch types. Level 2 adds another 12 varieties of stitches. And finally, Level 3 has another five stitch types.
The number of methods and properties available for each level are equally as impressive. For Level 1 there are 21, including Spline/Bezier, Auto Sequencing, and Color Sort. Add to this another five in Level 2 and sixteen in Level 3.
So, the number of stitches, methods, and properties increases through the Levels. It means you can progress at your own pace without being overwhelmed.
You can move from being a hobby embroiderer designer at Level 1 to more complex and sophisticated designs at Level 2.
Finally, Level 3 is for the ultimate in designing whether you’re still creating designs for home or are working commercially.
You become experienced at each level before progressing to the next. You don’t have to learn a new computer program interface at any stage.
When you upgrade from Level 1 to Level 3 or from Level 2 to Level 3, you will pay more than if you buy Level 3 outright.
At beginner Level 1, you can’t import a photo, clip art, or any other image to create a stitch file. You are limited to digitizing the art that's included in level 1.
And it doesn’t come with any built-in embroidery designs.
- No limitations on creating stitch designs from scratch.
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.
- No new learning curve when you upgrade to Levels 2 and 3.
- It's not a photo-to-stitch tool.
- It provides a smooth pathway from beginner to advanced levels for all self-design projects.
Winner of the best embroidery digitizing software:
Best for the beginners?
If you are a beginner, choose Digitize N Stitch by Amazing Designs, (Check availability Via Amazon). It has some intermediate skill level features too.
Best for the intermediate?
If you want to progress through to an advanced level, choose StitchArtist Level 2 (Check availability at Amazon).
Best for the advanced?
Again, you can’t go far wrong with StitchArtist Level 3 (Check availability at Amazon). It is the right decision from both from a price and a functionality viewpoint.
Best for the budget?
Choose StitchArtist Level 1 (Check availability at Amazon). Make this choice whether you want to progress through to an advanced level or not.
Best for the Mac/PC
StitchArt by Embrilliance is the only software package that is compatible on the Mac. Remember though you cannot import images. It’s all about self-design.
Don’t want to import images? StitchArt at any level is the best buy.
Only want to import images and add your customizations? Keep your investment lowish and choose Digitize N Stitch by Amazing Designs , (Check availability via Amazon).
Hopefully, you have found this best embroidery digitizing software review helpful. If we've missed your favorite program, let us know in the comment below.
Update: Before you go, there is one more.
Janome Digitizer MBX V5
Janome offers the Digitizer MBX v5. They developed it in collaboration with Wilcom International, the industry's top embroidery software developer.
It means you have an easy-to-use program with all the features you need to create any design of your choosing.
A beginner won't find it too hard to use. But at a price of around $1000, only an advanced user would likely stump up the cash.
It is an auto-digitizing program. So, you can import any image, including clip art and photos. And have the stitches generate automatically. Or you can use the imported image as a background and add your custom design touches.
Your customization can include creating layouts or borders and adding lettering or motifs. And there are many tools to create designs and styles, such as trapunto, carved stamping, applique, ambiance quilting, cutwork, buttonholes, and motif stamping.
There are 10 Stitch types, 11 stitch fills, and three stitch effects.
The software has a full suite of editing capabilities. You can edit design objects and individual stitches. As well as reshaping, resizing, and rotating objects, you can add or remove stitch angles.
There's the Stitch Player, which simulates a design stitch out on the screen. And you can view the stitching and color sequence in slow motion.
The Freehand Embroidery feature lets you create designs with a hand-drawn appearance. Achieving this through conventional digitizing methods is difficult. The Freehand Embroidery tools operate with a mouse or WACOM pen.
Digitizer MBX5 tightly integrates with the CorelDRAW® Essentials software package. You can create vector designs in CorelDRAW® and click to convert to an embroidery design. It does mean you have to pay about an extra $80.
· Can import images and edit to create your designs.
· Many options are available to customize existing designs.
· Create designs with a hand-drawn appearance
· Vector designs require extra spending on CorelDRAW®.
· Not compatible with a Mac computer.
It provides auto- digitizing on imported and customized designs and allows the creation of new self-designs.