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Gallery Connection March 2010

Last month I gave you a preview about Designer’s Gallery MonogramWorks, an exciting new program which has occupied my full attention around-the-clock for the last several months. If I were a composer, this would be an opus.

This program was conceived as a lower cost alternative, and as an important monogramming supplement, to the other lettering products on the market. Naturally, as we went along, features and ideas got added to the program design. The folks over in DG Marketing asked you to identify your wish-list, added them to our own, and came up with a list of things that we knew you’d love in this program. Then we figured out a price you’d love, which is half of what you expect. Finally, it was my job to bring it to reality.

If I may brave a momentary loss of humbleness, “Mission accomplished!” We think this is one of the most useful programs we’ve ever released here at Designer’s Gallery, or anywhere in the world of embroidery; it is very easy to use, and it is reasonably priced.
Now that it’s complete, I’d like to go into some detail for you: 


One of the most important things embroiderers want to do is combine design elements together. MonogramWorks (MGW) lets you combine as many designs as you want. You can move them around, rotate, mirror, stretch, align and center them. If you have one of the Designer’s Gallery Studio programs, you can even interact with MGW and your cataloged files directly.

The next thing that most designs need is to be resized with stitch recalculation. MGW has built-in sizing with +/- 25%, which is typical for many projects. If you also own SizeWorks, MGW can resize down to 50% and up to 250%, just as in SizeWorks itself. In fact they use the same technology.
Another thing that many of us need to do is to adjust colors and/or threads for our designs. There are 24 thread brands that MGW can make use of. And because it stores a working file, with the extension .BD, those colors can stay with your design regardless of the embroidery format you use, such as .DST, which has no color information in it. And it saves both files in one easy step, just in case you tend to forget.
How about being able to watch a design stitch out with a simulator? That’s been a great DG component ever since I created it for ColorWorks, and we’ve used it a lot in our programs. One feature that makes our simulator so nice is the ability to grab the slider control onscreen and sew (or unsew!) directly to any point within the design. It can be instant gratification!

We’ve also added some nice designs, such as appliqué shapes and frames, to complement your designs and monograms. There are some great features of these designs, which are in the working format, including default, minimal and maximal sizes. This means that the designs will scale with stitch recalculation, but within limits if needed, so that the integrity of the design holds up. Users of our Interactive Designs will understand, as these working designs are ‘cousins’ of those designs.

Ease-of use is very important –maybe our raison d’être here at DG. MGW is super easy and it is obvious how to use it without reading the manual (which is also included!) And for more particular users, MGW has windows that can be moved and docked. One of these is a dockable ‘Overview window’ which lets you zoom, click and drag center of the view, and shows your view and hoop. It’s so easy to navigate around the design page with this, and it’s never in the way. Other great user features are things like: Double-click on the status bar to switch metric and inches; scrollbars that don’t send you to infinity and beyond; tabbed multiple design pages; drag-and-drop and/or copy-and-paste from Windows Explorer; hotkeys for zoom levels (1-9 and 0 to Hoop); one main toolbar with large icons; and no ‘Apply’ or ‘Generate’ button – it all happens ‘live’.

Okay so now that the secondary stuff is behind us, how about the lettering? What’s it do?

• MonogramWorks comes with 44 pre-digitized interactive monogram fonts. Other fonts and designs are on the way in the form of reasonably-priced font packs.

• You can create as many lines of text as you want. The fonts are created one line at a time because of the unique capabilities of the monograms.

• Letters tie off individually, and trim when the machine can do so. No loose stitches.

How it works:

1. Click the ‘ABC’ button on the toolbar to add a monogram. 

Create Text Tool 3
2. Next, you type in a line of text in the box and hit ‘Enter’. This text can be a 3 letter monogram or a name or a sentence; whatever you like. 
 Properties MGM Tab
3. You can select the font from the list, which contains a small picture of the fonts for your reference. Notice that some fonts are multi-color. The button labeled “?” will reveal the characters available with the font selected.

4. Quick Styles are common monogram layouts, and this choice can save you time in moving/sizing the letters independently. quick style selection

5. Sewing Order can be set so that letters can sit on top of each other in whatever order you specify. A common example of this is the ACB order, which puts the center letter of a 3-letter monogram on top.

6. Monograms can be given an italic look, or even a left-handed look, by adjusting the slant control, and spacing between the letters can be adjusted uniformly using the space control (You can also adjust individual and rest-of-line spacing using the handles on the letters).

7. The lettering can be enveloped for additional shape or personalization. 


8. The stitches are controllable for each monogram. You can adjust density, compensation and underlay. There is even an overlap feature which lets the letters remove hidden stitching behind overlapped areas within a monogram. 

properties stitch tab

9. You can colorize the letters individually or even switch the design to a favorite thread brand.
 Thread Dialog
10. The letters can be resized dramatically! And because they’re pre-digitized fonts, they calculate their stitches as you create and adjust the design. We’ve put our interactive technology inside the fonts. For example, as you increase the size of the letters they will automatically switch from a satin stitch to a satin-fill stitch; Not a fill, which only goes one direction, but a satin-fill which still follows the curve of the letter. But, if you go small, the fonts automatically compensate the width of the satin stitch so that you can go even smaller, up to 30% smaller, than you would be able to otherwise.

11. The individual letters can be adjusted too! Click on the center green square in a letter to select it. Now you can colorize it, mirror it individually, size it, even squish or stretch it. Also you can rotate it – and this is the fun part – using the handles in the center of the letter you can adjust not only the selected letter, but all the letters after it too! So you can create a staggered pattern, or even rotate the rest of the line as if you were going around a corner!  
 Additional Letter Controls

Top Letter Handle
Well, there you have it. A monogramming program that does everything we could think of. And it’s easy enough for everyone. Even you in the back. Yes, you!

Happy Monogramming!


Posted in Brian's Articles and News 10 years, 2 months ago at 8:06 pm.

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