Nerd Tip: Exporting A DXF File

Use Adobe Illustrator to create DXF files for cutting with Silhouette Studio

This week’s tip isn’t tiny (it has a lot of photos) and I’m classifying it as a nerd edition in that it will only appeal to a small segment of the world – crafters who use Adobe Illustrator and Silhouette Studio software. 

The basic version of Silhouette Studio cannot open or import a native file from Adobe Illustrator (those files that end in “.ai”). Or an EPS file. Or a SVG file, or a PDF file.

You’d need to upgrade to one of the paid versions to be able to do that. And there is nothing wrong with that – the upgrade versions also come with other features.


If you already have Illustrator, you can export your files as a DXF file and you can open those in the basic Silhouette Studio version.

And it’s easy. I’m on a Mac, so your screens may look different if you are not.

In Silhouette Studio

First off, there is a change you need to make in Silhouette Studio to make this work as expected.

Under Silhouette Studio (the very left corner of the screen) choose Preferences.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

And on the far right side of the screen the Preferences choices will appear – choose Import Options

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

When the panel expands down, make sure “As Is” is selected. If “Fit to Page” is selected, then the artwork will always scale when imported. Nobody has time for that.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

You only need to do this once.

In Adobe Illustrator

Open or create your file in Illustrator. Save your file as an Illustrator file so you have it to go back to later. Convert all your type to outlines, and flatten all your layers. And then, under File, choose Export > Export As…  and a dialog window will show up.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

In the Format box at the bottom, choose AutoCad Interchange File (dxf)

The next box that pops up I just click OK. I don’t really know what these items mean, but I’ve never changed anything and it always works. One day, one of my files won’t open and then I’ll learn what these options are and I’ll create a new post.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio
I don’t change any settings here – I don’t know what they do

And you are set!

These files can be opened or imported in the basic version of Silhouette Studio.


Sunday Scrolling: May 14, 2017

Happy Animals, The Evolution of Newspapers and Kindness

  • You might want to bookmark this for those days when everything is going wrong and you are feeling puny
  • I love documentaries. And computers. And I’m old enough to remember actual paste-up rooms for newspaper production. So this 30-minute piece  on the last day of hot lead type at the New York Times was riveting. (via InDesignSecrets)
  • While bike riding through the neighborhood over the past couple of weeks, Mr. SuzerSpace and I kept seeing these signs, and wondered what it was all about.
None of the links in this post are affiliate; they are all just items that caught my eye this week.

Mother’s Day Pin

I’m not sure if it’s good if your daughter is a craft blogger or not. On the one hand, it’s super easy to get me a gift (who else would put paper and glue on their Amazon wish list?).

But it may ruin the surprise of some holidays.

Hopefully she’s too busy this weekend to see this post 🙂 .

The co-worker who received my birthday badge really seemed to like it, and I’ve had a lot of feedback from others with kids who thought they’d like one for their special day.

It seemed like a natural shift to make a special pin for Mom for Mother’s Day. Continue reading “Mother’s Day Pin”

The best (and safest) way to pit an avocado

I’m sorry I didn’t post this last week in time for Cinco de Mayo, but it was while I was looking up recipes for dinner that night that I realized, again, that sometimes the Internet lies.

Post after post, video after video, all explaining and showing what has come to be believed as the best way to pit an avocado.

I’ll link to this one for you, but you probably don’t have to see it. Using a very big knife, you are supposed to cut all around the avocado pit, creating a nearly cut in half item that needs to be twisted apart. Once the parts are separated, you are to smack the pit with the big knife to remove it.

I have several issues with this technique, but I’ll limit myself to two here:

  1. What is up with all the huge knives in the avocado videos? When ripe, you don’t need German or Japanese forged steel to force them open.
  2. I don’t know about you, but usually when I’m making guacamole, alcohol is involved. Smashing down toward my hand with a sharp knife doesn’t feel like a recipe for success (pun intended, sorry).
In my opinion, here is really the best way to pit an avocado.

Using a butter knife, cut into the avocado the normal way, cutting down until you hit the pit, and the running the knife all the way around until you come back to where you started.

Instead of twisting the pieces apart at this point, rotate the avocado and cut around the pit again, creating four quarters that are now held together by the bit.

Cutting an avocado into quarters is a safer way to remove the pit

With your hand, remove the quarter sections of the avocado, one by one.

cutting an avocado into quarters is a better way to remove the pit

The pit will stick to the last section, but enough of it will stick out that it will be easy to grip with your fingers and remove it.

Slice up the remaining quarters to use as needed, or smash them to make guacamole.

Teeny Tiny Tip: Orange Cubes

A quick trick that doesn’t require a 500-word essay

At work, we somehow wandered down a conversational path that took us from fruits we don’t like to eat (canned fruit cocktail) to fruits that are good frozen, and most of the ideas offered were ones I already knew.

Someone threw out the idea of frozen orange slices in drinks for the summer.

It was late on Friday afternoon. I was already looking forward to Happy Hour. Suddenly I couldn’t hear anything else anymore because frozen orange cubes in a cocktail just sounded amazing.

Repeated testing throughout the weekend proved that to be correct.

Two tips:

  1. Remove as much of the white part of the orange as possible (it gets weird when frozen). Supreming them is an option; I just peeled them very close.
  2. Separate the slices slightly when freezing so they don’t form a frozen orange ball.