Adjusting 3 Letter Monograms Created in Silhouette Studio

Happy New Year!
 I’m so excited to be writing this from my studio in my home — after 2 months of living in a lovely Homewood Suites!  For those of you who don’t know, when we returned from the All Things Silhouette Conference in November, we opened the door to a burst pipe, running water & a flooded house.  So, for the last 2 months, we’ve been dealing with ServPro, insurance adjustors & restoration contractors.  But, I’m happy to say that we are home & the house looks better than ever!  Silver lining to all of this is fresh paint, some new furniture & upgrades!

So, I’m back in my office & back in the saddle with tutorials & classes!  This past week, my husband and I celebrated our 42nd anniversary!!  (Yikes!  That’s a long time!)   And since we spent most of the day digging through soggy boxes in the basement, I decided to make a little something for our house.  This Lazy Susan is one that I bought from Ikea, sanded, stained & stenciled.   (Now, this is not a wood painting tutorial – but on monograms.)fullsizerender-28

However – I’ve always struggled with 3 letter monograms with my name.   T’s and J’s just don’t always look right in a monogram.  So, I have come up with a little “work around” that I wanted to share with you today!

For this project, I am using the font “Monogram Full Vine” that I purchased in the Silhouette Design Store. I selected this one because it wasn’t too “girly” – and I wanted something a little more casual!  screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-9-38-10-am

When using this font, you use Lower case letters for the right & left monogram letter, and Uppercase letters for the center.  So, for example, for my monogram, I type Lowercase “f”, Uppercase “J”, and Lowercase “t”. Then, here is what you get!  The vine frame is automatically applied when you type the Center Uppercase letter.   (The file comes in small – I’ve enlarged it & filled with black color — so its easier to see in the picture.)



So, as you can see — its not really very pleasing to the eye.  This is because the J is centered the exact same distance from the T and F — but its an asymmetrical letter.   So, even though it is equally spaced from both side letters, it looks off center, because of the hook of the J.

So, in order to be able to adjust & move the letters around, I needed to click on the file to select it — then right click & select “Ungroup” from the drop down menu.


When you do this, the F and T (lower case letters) become “ungrouped” from the Center J and vine frame.  But the Center J and vine frame are still connected together.  (Remember, the vine was applied when we typed the Uppercase J?)  So, those need to be ungrouped from one another.  But this time, you need to click on the J and select “Release Compound Path”.




Now, notice above that when we “Release the Compound Path” — EVERYTHING is ungrouped or separated — even each dot in the frame.  Now this is ok – you just have to be careful when you are moving the letters around, not to move or misplace some of the other elements of the design.

At this point, I simply select the center J – and begin moving it slightly until I feel it looks more centered between the two outside letters.  I just use the keyboard arrows to slightly nudge this until it looks appealing to me.   Then, I select the 3 monogram letters and group them.  (You can do this by selecting the 3 letters & using a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl or Cmd + G.)   Once they are grouped, move the 3 letters out of the way — and select all of the vine frame — and group it back together.  This ensures you won’t lose any of the frame elements.


Now, you have two design elements — the vine frame & your monogram.  (You could use this frame with another monogram or single letter at this point).   But, we want to put these back together — so select both the grouped frame & the grouped monogram & open the Align Window – and select “Center”.  This puts the monogram in the center of the frame.   At this point, you can group the two elements together.



That’s it!  You are now ready to cut your stencil, vinyl — or whatever else you are planning to do with this monogram!  This same technique can apply to any monogram letters that seem off to you, and can be used with any of the Circle Monogram fonts in the Silhouette Design Store.

Just a reminder — Registration is open for the June 2017 All Things Silhouette Conference – -and filling up fast!   We have so many new classes, instructors & vendors — join us in Peachtree City, GA this summer!  

Until next time — Hugs,

terri johnson creates signature




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  1. Thank you for the tip. I always forget to regroup when I release a compound path and then have to start all over again!

  2. Shari Jamieson says

    So glad to hear you’re back home and have a fresh start for the new year. I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles with the visual vs.actual center; especially with those darn J’s!

  3. Thanks so much for your wonderful tutorials! You explain everything step by step…exactally what I need!! Looking forward to more!!


  1. […] Sometimes I also use the “Space Horizontally” feature in the Align window – but since letters are not symmetrical, they don’t alway look pleasing to the eye when they are spaced evenly.  For more about that, check out a previous blog post on adjusting them. […]