{silhouette tutorial} grouping, ungrouping, and why they matter!

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I’ve received so many e-mails recently, asking questions about how to do certain things with the Silhouette, and how it works.  I really love getting these questions, and I’m always happy to answer them, but I thought it would be a good idea to start posting some basic Silhouette tutorials, so they can be kept here on file for reference anytime.
Today I’m going to talk about grouping and ungrouping.  This is a skill that you will really want to utilize, and will save you a lot of time.  It’s easy to do, once you know how!!
When do you need to group and/or ungroup, and what does it mean?
Okay, take a look at this Christmas tree from the Silhouette online store.


This tree is made up of lots of little pieces. When you download it from the online store it’s one solid image, but let’s say you don’t want it to say Merry Christmas, or you don’t like so many polka dots.  Well, you can change that by ungrouping the image, erasing what you don’t want, then grouping it again.
When you download some images from the store, sometimes they’ll come in multiples–two, three, or even more together.  Again, when you download it and open it in your Silhouette software, they will ALL be one image.


See the set of two frames–“ornate frames”? What if you only want to use one of those frames, and not both?  How do you separate them? I’m going to show you how!!
Step 1: Double click on the frames, and it will open a Silhouette file. Click Edit > Select All. This will highlight everything on the page so we can ungroup it.
Step 2:  

Click on Object > Ungroup. Now not only are each of the frames separated, but each piece of each frame is separated. If you try to move one of the frames now, the whole frame wouldn’t move–only the piece you actually clicked on.

Step 3:  To delete the frames you don’t want, use the cursor to highlight them, then use the backspace key to remove it.  Repeat for everything you want to remove.  You can highlight and remove more than one thing at a time, but I usually do it in sections.

Step 4:  Once everything is deleted except the frame you want to keep, you need to group it back together, so it’s one solid image once again. Edit > Select All, then Object > Group.  Done!

This frame is the one I used for the crayons wipes case & clipboards that I made for my kids, and I added a monogram in the middle of it.  This is another time grouping will come in handy!
Let’s say you do the same thing, then want to move the frame and monogram up to the corner of your page for printing–to save space, vinyl, and leave room for other items you might be cutting at the same time. If you move it without grouping it, you’ll have to move each piece separately, and hope you can get the monogrammed centered correctly.  This is a bigger image, so it might not be too bad, but when you’re working with smaller pieces, it can be a big deal.
I used the text tool (left toolbar, “A”) to create an “m”, dragged it into the circle, then sized it to where I wanted it.
Now repeat what we did earlier to group them together:  Edit > Select All, then Object > Group.  Easy peasy.
And this was the end result! (Click here for original post.)
I hope this helped open up some Silhouette possibilities for you!  I will be doing more of these tutorials, so if there is something specific you would like me to address, please let me know, and I’ll see what I can do.  ☺

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About Simply Kierste Design Co.

Kierste is a blogger who shares her love of all things DIY. She is the mother of six, and focuses on simple ideas and projects to make a house a home! When she's not chasing around two sets of twins, a teenager, and a baby, she's working on a project, training for her next race, reading one of her favorite books, or baking something with chocolate in it.