How To’sday | Silhouette Trace Tool

Posted by Melodee Cloud

For you Silhouette owners that haven't had the chance to explore your options much beyond basic cutting then today you are in for a treat! Stephanie Umpleby shows how to use the Trace Tool feature opening up an entire new way to use your beloved Silhouette machine.

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So, you have a Silhouette. And you have an image in your head that you want to cut. But, you can’t find it in the Silhouette store. What do you do? Well, it turns out you can trace almost anything and then have the Silhouette cut it! You can open any image into the Silhouette, and then use the trace feature to make it something the Silhouette will cut (or cut and draw). Here is how!

First you have to find and save the image onto your computer. I normally save things as .jpg as it is opened by almost any program. Then you have to open that file in the Silhouette. The “default” is only to open Silhouette files, but you can select "All Files" from the drop down menu.

Once you have opened the file, you need to open the trace menu. Trace is one of the buttons on the top right of the screen – to the right of offset.

Once you have the menu open, you need to click on the “Select Trace Area” button. This will allow you to “grab” the image you want to trace.

When you select the area to be traced, the trace lines will show up in yellow. If everything looks good, then select “Trace.” In this case, I don’t want “trace outside edge” because it would only trace the rounded square and not the swimmer or wave. You can do the “detach” option, but normally it isn’t any more work to just do Trace.

Since I just did trace, the next thing I had to do was slide the original image over and check to make sure I liked the result. Once I confirmed I was done with the initial image, I deleted it.

In this case, I wanted to edit what was traced. There were extra pieces I didn’t want to cut, so I need to “Release Compound Path.” Once I did this, I was able to select the extra pieces and delete them.

Then I used the Silhouette to sketch out my page. I like to do this because it helps ensure that I have the right size for everything. Here is the finished sketch and finished page.

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Stephanie, thank you for sharing your tutorial with us on this lovely How To'sday.

Don't forget if you have an idea that you'd like to share, whether it be easy or hard, big or small, we'd love to feature you on a How To'sday. Please send your idea with photos and images to, and we will add you to the line up!

Have a great day and be sure to check in tomorrow for our November guest sketcher. Hmmmm. Who will it be? :)

Topics: How To'sday, Scrapbooking, Layout


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