This article offers advice on selecting the appropriate digitizing software for your embroidery operation.
By Ed Levy
Not everyone uses Adobe Illustrator, so what happens if you use CorelDRAW or another graphics program? You have plenty of plug-in options in CorelDRAW. You would traditionally do your work in CorelDRAW and then switch over to the embroidery side and have your image more automatically digitized for you. You’d return to CorelDRAW to edit the graphic and then switch back again to digitizing. One key issue to look for here is a program that keeps your CorelDRAW artwork in sync with the finished embroidery. Any changes you make to the embroidery should be reflected on the CorelDRAW side and vice-versa. Another benefit is the ability to view both the CorelDRAW graphic and the embroidery graphic at the same time. Figure 2 illustrates integration between CorelDRAW and digitization.
You have many other options when it comes to a traditional digitizing system that operates on its own merits and without integration with a graphics program. Here’s a list of key questions to ask when determining which system is best for you. None of these directs you to the most expensive or least expensive software. They’re intended solely to guide you in selecting the software best fit for your organization.
Is there an upgrade path? An upgrade path allows you to start with features and functionality that you can use right away and then grow into more advanced features as your skill level grows. Make sure you won’t be penalized for upgrading in smaller steps.
Is there a charge for maintenance releases? No software will ever be entirely bug free, so be sure that you won’t have to pay to receive each fix that comes from the developer.
What are the training options? Find out how many training centers are located throughout the country. Look for on-site training and online training. The combination of the two ensures that you not only can receive proper instruction on how to use your software, but that you also have the ability to have your ongoing questions about the software answered in an online session, which eliminates the need to travel.
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