Capturing Images for Silhouette – part #2 – On a Macbook


Hi!  Yesterday’s post was on Capturing Images on a PC  — so that you can bring them into Silhouette Studio.  If you missed it, simply click on the link & it will take you there!   Today, we are going to talk about how to do the same thing on a Macbook!  For a variety of reasons, I work on both a PC and a Macbook — so I’ve become pretty experienced at capturing images on both computers.

Sometimes, I want to use an image in Silhouette Studio that I cannot save in a format that will import into Studio.   This is especially true  for machine embroidery, or even Print & Cut.  So, when working on my Macbook, I can create a screenshot that saves as a png. image – in MAC OX v10.6 or later.  (If you aren’t sure what version your computer is, go to the Apple icon in the top left toolbar – click on the drop down menu and select “About this MAC”.)    And that is a format that Silhouette Studio can read.    At that point, I can trace or print what is on my screen in Studio.  (The PC saves as a jpg. — which also can be used in Studio.)  

Capturing the Entire Page — If you need to capture the entire screen on your Macbook, simply press the Command, Shift & 3 key — You will hear a camera clicking sound, and the image will be placed on your Desktop.

Capturing a Portion of your Page – If you want to capture only a portion of your page (like for Machine Embroidery files) – then simply press “Command” + “Shift” + 4 —  At that point Crosshairs will appear on your screen.  Drag your cursor around the area you want to capture.   Press ESC (Escape) to Cancel.  Again, you will hear the camera clicking sound, and the image will appear on your Desktop.   Here is an example of how I captured a monogram in my embroidery software.

  • First, I opened the Monogram in the Embroidery Software.  Note that all grid and hoop markings are turned off, and the design is NOT selected.  (Don’t want to capture those boxes.)    I also have this in 3D view – to give a cleaner image.   (This happens to be Embrilliance, but it will work the sam in any embroidery software.)
  • Monogram in Embroidery softwareNext, I pressed Cmd + Shift +4 so that the cross hairs would appear — and drag around my monogram.
    Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 10.32.22 AM

    Selected area to Capture

    At this point, I hear the Camera clicking sound & the selected image is placed on my Desktop.   Note: If you want to copy it to the Clipboard of your computer instead of the desktop – Select “Command” + Shift+ Control + 4.    This allows you to paste directly into whatever application you are using — in this case Silhouette Studio.

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 10.32.28 AMAt this point, you can simply paste the image into the Silhouette Studio software to trace – Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 10.43.50 AM


Once the image has been traced, then you can delete the original image & you will be left with just your cut file!   Now, I’m going to be 100% honest with you — NOT all embroidery fonts & designs will turn out with this nice and clean of a cut file.  Depending on how it was digitized or how “bumpy” the edges are — you may get jagged lines.  At this point, you can simply use your edit points to clean things up a little.    But this particular font traced beautifully — and I think it would make an awesome vinyl cut file!  So, you could match your embroidered bathroom towels to the glass etching or vinyl soap dispenser! A very cool way to use your captured image!

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 10.48.46 AM

Another cool tip for capturing images on your Macbook – -If you want to capture a particular menu without its title- -simply open that menu to reveal its contents, then press “Command” + “Shift” + 4 and hit the Space Bar.   A little Camera icon will appear.  Drag that Camera icon over the menu to highlight it & then click.  It will capture the image of just the menu!

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 10.55.54 AM

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 10.55.46 AM


So there you have it!   For all of your Macbook users — you are ready to start “clicking” your images & importing them!   Hope you found this helpful!  If so, please Pin or Share on Facebook!  Until next time – -Hugs, Terri


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  1. Just want to say thanks for your tutorials! I used yesterday’s post to help with a small project in my quilting software. So you see, they have many applications :o)

    • Thanks, Kim — so glad you found the tutorial helpful! And you’re right – -it has lots of applications. You can capture information for tons of reasons — a recipe on a page, a project for the future – so many things! Thanks again, Terri

    • Kim – -So glad you find it helpful! And you’re right — these techniques can be used with all kinds of projects! Terri

  2. I appreciate your tutorials and would like to save them on my iPad in .pdf form. Do you know if this possible and how I can do this?
    You have best detailed instructions.

    • Thanks so much!! I’m really happy that you find the tutorials helpful. No one had ever asked me about saving the tutorials on the iPad – so I had to check it out! And, its super easy! At the end of each blog post, there is a button that says “Print Friendly”. When you click on that button, it generates a Print Friendly copy of the post. Then you have a the option to “Print”, “PDF” or “Email”. When you click on “PDF”, it generates a PDF file — Click on Download – and then click on “Open in iBooks”. When I do that – it opens & saves it into the PDF Collection in ibooks! Its awesome. Let me know if you have any trouble this this! Terri

  3. Nancy Babb says

    Hi Terri, thanks for the info! I just wanted to share that this is also a font that can be purchased by Brian Bonislawsky in case folks like the font but don’t have a need for the sewing files.

    I am NOT an affiliate, I just really love Brian’s fonts, and I have been collecting them for years.

    Please delete if you feel this is inappropriate.