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  • Writer's pictureHolly

What is an SVG, and How do I Use it?

An SVG file, short for scalable vector graphic file, is a standard graphics file type used for rendering two-dimensional images on the internet.

You have probably heard of JPG and PNG in terms of images. JPG and PNG are raster graphics. They store information in little squares or pixels otherwise referred to as Bitmap. The "squares" or "Pixels" form the graphic or image.

You will generally find raster graphics work well for very detailed images like photogformats, the SVG format stores images as vectors. A Vector is a type of graphic that is made up of points, curves, lines all based on mathematical formulas. You will find SVG and PDF vector files on the internet. because of the use of points, lines, and curves when resized these images retain their quality.

Generally, images on the internet will be either Raster (JPG or PNG), or Vector images (SVG or PDF)

So, for using images for cutting machines because of the way the information is stored in the file for the image, SVG files keep their quality when resized. This is important because we want to be able to resize our images for our software and various uses.

Many designers will start with a JPG and convert the JPG to SVG using software and the trace function. All of our cutting machines can use the SVG format. The brand of machine and software will dictate how the SVG is used and at times converted to the machine format. This is why we need the software designed for our machines to send designs to the machine for cutting.

  • An SVG can also be referred to as a digital cut file. In the Cutting machine world, digital cut files (or SVGs) are used most commonly with the Silhouette and Cricut cutting machines.

For Example:


The only file type that the Brother Scan N Cut cutting machine recognizes is FCM. So when using an SVG file you must convert it to FCM to cut. The Brother Canvas software will read an SVG and convert it to the FCM format to send to the machine.


The Studio Basic edition of the Silhouette Studio software will only read DXF files. You can import jpg or other formats, but to cut them you must save them to the native format DXF. It will have a .studio extension

Upgrading to the Designer Edition gives you the capability to import the SVG files directly and cut them. So you would open an SVG file and then could send it directly to the machine to cut with Silhouette Studio Designer Edition.

NOTE: To save files as SVG and export them from the software, you will need Silhouette Studio Business Edition.


It is a little easier for Cricut users since there is only one version of the software. regardless of the machine. Using an SVG in Cricut Designs Space is as easy as importing and sending to your machine.

NOTE: If the SVG you received has not been saved in a compatible format for Cricut you may need to resize the design. Just be aware if you receive a file that is very large or small, you may need to measure your project and size accordingly.

If you have Silhouette Studio Software, you may want to see this video. It covers using SVG in the Designer Edition.

If you are using other software and feel limited when designing, you may also want to watch this video.




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