Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Curving Text in Embird using Embroidery Alphabets

I get the question almost daily, "How do you create the name curved around an applique shape?" Curving text around objects is really easy using Embird. In this post I'll show you how I do it with an embroidery font on my computer. I will be doing a separate post on curving text using Embird Font Engine.

This may not be the ONLY way to do it, it is just the way that I've used over the years to get my text curved around my desired shape. Also, Embird is not the only software that will do this, it just happens to be the one that I use. BTW, I am not endorsing or associated with Embird in any way :)


Start in Embird Editor screen and open the applique design that you would like to add text to.

Next, you will merge the text letters. Click the "Merge" icon or click "File" "Merge" which brings up the Merge Files dialog box. Navigate to the folder which contains the alphabet that you are bringing in. Click on the first letter of the text you want to bring in. Now, holding down the Ctrl key, click each letter that you want to add until you have all the desired letters highlighted. It should look like the pic below.

Click OK. Now your letters are placed into your design, all 'dumped' into the center of the design on top of each other. Now you will separate and align them onto a straight line by clicking and dragging each one separately into a straight line. You can do this anywhere on the screen for now as we will move the text later when we get it curved. (The alphabet shown is Applique Market "Madeline" font.) Now your design should look something like this:

Now, group just these letters by selecting them in the boxes on the far right of your screen. Click the first letter, then while holding down the shift key, click the last letter, and they should all be selected and you should see a box around the entire word.

Now right-click on the word box. This will bring up a long pop-up menu. Scroll down to Set (about 1/3 of the way down). While you are hovered over "Set", another pop up appears. Scroll over and click "Set Envelope". This will bring your letters into a new screen. If you are not already, click the "Layout" tab at the top left of the screen. Your screen should look like this:

This is where you will set the shape for your text to curve around. At the bottom left you will see "Baseline", the default is "Line". Next to "Line" is a small down arrow. If you click here you will see the Baseline options, Circle, Wave, etc. These different baselines can be used for different angles. For the football in this example we will click "Circle".

Now your text is curved around a circle like this:

Now you will tweak the circle to be more of the shape of a football. Under the baseline you'll see "Width", "Height" and a "Keep Ratio" box. Uncheck the "Keep Ratio" box and decrease the "Height" number until your circle is more of an oval. Now using the tiny squares under each letter, you can move each letter closer together or further apart to get the look you want. Use the first square on the line to move the whole word together around the oval shape.

In this area you can use the other boxes to raise a letter up or down or tilt it, etc. There are tons of ways here to tweak your word, also by changing the 'Envelope' setting, this is something you should play around with a you'll find lots of ways to manipulate your words! Also, we won't need it for this example, but you can move the text to the inside of the circle or oval by checking the box "Place on the other side". That's a helpful tool at times also.

For this example, I moved the word around to the right of the oval and moved each letter a little closer together for a better look since this is a script I wanted them touching. After you tweak your letters they should look something like this:

Now click OK. Your word is brought back into your design, 'dumped' into the center of the design. Now be careful here as your letters are still separate, but are grouped together into a box. If you click on the box you can move them around as a whole, if you at any point click outside the box, they will be ungrouped and you'll have to group them again.

Now this part is where you'll have to make a few tweaks if necessary depending on several factors...your design size, text size, text angle, etc. This is what my example looks like at this point:

I'm going to click on the box around the word and move it over to the football. After I get it over to the football, I'm going to click the "Rotate Mode" icon (left side toward the top) and rotate the entire word box to a better angle on my football. After you finish rotating be sure to reclick the "Select Mode" icon (left top) so that you are off of Rotate Mode. All of this must be done while the letters are still selected in a box. After these two tweaks it looks like this:

Alright I think we have something here! Now I am happy with my curved word. So, I am going to join my word together by pressing Ctrl + I (shortcut for join). Now I can add more designs or words or just save my file and begin stitching.

If at this point you are NOT happy with your word, you can rotate each letter individually if necessary or you can go back to Set Envelope and play around with the settings in there. Once you do this a few times you'll get comfortable with the sizes and angles and you'll find it's quick and easy. Much quicker than explaining in this post!

I hope you'll give this a try to add some different looks to your appliques!

Applique Everyday!


Graphic Design by Polka Dot Dandy