The following is a compilation of the common technical terms and acronyms that people use when talking about Cricut, Design Space, and Cricut crafting projects. This list cannot be reproduced, republished, or distributed in whole or in parts without the written consent of the author, DelleKreations. Contact us if you need this consent or if you see anything that is incorrect or unclear. We are continuing to expand this by adding more illustrations and information links, so check back often and subscribe below. Also, we just stocked our store with craft supplies including vinyl, transfer tape, and tools. They are imported and reasonably priced. Please allow enough time when ordering as delivery could take weeks.
When using the Cricut Design Space Mobile App, some of the functions used to modify or customize the design are grouped in a higher-level Function icon called Actions. When you click Actions icon, it will provide you with a choice of commands: Group, Ungroup, Attach, Detach, Weld, Slice, Flatten, Unflatten, Duplicate, Isolate, and Hide. The Actions icon is not available in the computer (desktop or laptop) version of Design Space. Instead, the commands are listed as individual icons on the bottom left of the screen.
The Attach tool has two functions in Design Space. It helps to hold your cuts in the same position relative to each other on the cutting mat as on the Canvas. Also, it helps you to fasten a write or score layer to a cut layer. To Attach, add images and text to the project and arrange as desired. Select the images you would like to cut in a specific arrangement. Generally, attach by layer or color, as shown in the example below.
Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances using UHF radio waves. Bluetooth technology is one way to wirelessly connect your Cricut machine with your computer or mobile device. Click here to connect via Bluetooth.
Calibration is required for Print and Cut. It is also required for Cricut Maker before your first cut with Knife Blade. Calibration helps your Cricut Maker machine recognize the Knife Blade Drive Housing so that it can execute the best cuts on your materials. Click here to learn more about Cricut Calibration.
Cricut is a brand of smart cutting plotters or computer-controlled cutting machines, designed for home crafters. Crafters use the machines for cutting paper, felt, vinyl, fabric and other materials such as leather, matboard, and thin sheets of wood.
Cricut Access is an auto-renewing paid subscription product that gives you access to the Cricut Image Library of 100,000+ non-licensed images plus thousands of projects & hundreds of fonts. Images, fonts, and ready-to-make projects that are included in Cricut Access will appear with the Cricut Access logo (this logo shown below will appear whether or not Cricut Access is active on your account).
Cricut Design Space
The cloud-based Cricut design software that is required to use any Cricut machine. The software allows you to browse thousands of images, ready-to-make projects, and fonts in the Cricut Library. It also allows you to import your own design or create or modify designs. It can be downloaded from Cricut web page or downloaded from your App Store. Learn more about Design Space here.
The Cricut Contour tool is one of the five basic design tools that allows you to work with image design layers inside of Cricut Design Space (the others are Slice, Weld, Attach, and Flatten). The Contour tool allows you to hide a portion of an image layer by removing any unwanted cut lines. Think of it as an “on/off switch” for cut lines. The Contour tool allows you to hide portions of an image by showing or hiding individual cut lines within that single image.
The example below shows that through contour function, I was able to create the multi-colored design on the right using the original all black image on the left.
Learn more about Contour here
The Curve tool in Cricut Design Space is used to bend your text into a circular shape. The Curve tool can be found in the Text Edit bar at the top of the Canvas, between the Alignment and Advanced tools. Learn more about curving text here.
Cutting at a precise and accurate scale is what smart cutting machines like Cricut are made for. The machine will cut different materials such as paper, cardstock, vinyl, leather, and thin sheets of wood at specified cut lines, as identified in the design. Cut is one of the Cricut Design Space Function under Line Type. The layer will be cut with a blade.
Decals are the end product when you cut paper or vinyl materials in Cricut according to a designed image or text for transfer onto another surface such as fabric, wood, or ceramic.
Debossing is a technique of imprinting a design into a surface so that it is indented. Debossing in Cricut creates a crisp, lasting imprint by using a tiny roller ball allowing it to glide over your material rather than dragging. Learn more about Debossing here.
As a noun, a design is generally a set of specifications for the construction of a product. In Cricut term, if could mean an image or images, text, symbols, a combination of these, and their placement or organization. The action verb design means to create the specifications.
Detach separates attached layers so they are no longer connected and will cut, draw, or score independently from all other layers. See also Attach.
Draw is one of the linetype functions. The layer will be drawn with a pen.
In Cricut Design Space, the Duplicate tool allows you to copy and paste an object in one step to create multiples of the same object.
Embossing is the process of creating a raised design image on paper, cardstock, and other materials against a raised background. See also Debossing. Embossing in Cricut can be done using the Scoring Stylus or using an Embossing tool (pen tool).
Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface, such as metal plates, wood, or acrylic, by cutting grooves into it. Cricut Maker allows you to use an Engraving Tip to add personalized design such as text or monograms on a variety of flat materials, such as Acetate, Aluminum Sheets (0.5 mm), Faux Leather, Foil Acetate, Foil Poster Board, Leather, and more. Learn more about engraving here.
Firmware generally refers to any permanent software programmed into a read-only memory. For Cricut, Firmware is the software installed in your machine that tells it how to run. Occasionally updates improving machine performance or adding features may be released.
Click here for more information on updating your machine firmware:
In Cricut Design Space, flatten turns any image into a printable image, merging all selected layers into a single layer.
Font is the combination of size (width, optical size), weight (thickness), and style (slope, cursive, use of ligatures or swashes, etc.) of text letters and characters. It is also referred to as typeface. To specify the font in Cricut Design Space, start typing in a text box, then select the font on the font bar on top of your Canvas. Use any font that you have in your computer system, fonts in Cricut Design Space/Access, or externally sourced fonts (such as purchased fonts or free downloaded fonts). Some fonts within Cricut Design Space are free, while some require additional payment before being able to use a project that used that font. Learn more about using fonts in Cricut Design Space here.
Group / Ungroup
A command that enables you to bunch multiple layers, images or text together. This is helpful to do when arranging your workspace so that all of the elements you are working with stay together when you move them and does not affect how images are laid out on the cutting mat. You can also ungroup a set of layers, images, or text so that they move and size independently from one another. Group multiple layers, images, or text together so that they move and size together on the Canvas. This will not affect how images are laid out on the cutting mats. Ungroup a set of layers, images, or text so that they move and size independently from one another on the Canvas. For text, selecting "Ungroup" once allows you to move and resize each layer of text independently, but keeps the letters grouped together. Selecting "Ungroup" on a single layer of text will allow you to move and resize each letter of text independently.
Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)
HTV a specialty vinyl that can be used on certain fabrics/materials to create designs. It is a thin, flexible vinyl with an adhesive backing that is activated with heat. It comes in roll or sheet form with an adhesive carrier sheet so it can be cut, weeded, and placed on fabric.
Infusible ink is a type of ink transfer that becomes one with the material itself, unlike the vinyl or HTV process where the design material is attached on top of a base material. The results are bright, beautiful, seamlessly smooth transfers that never flake, peel, wrinkle, or crack. The Infusible Ink system includes Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets in a variety of solid colors and patterns and Infusible Ink Pens & Markers to design your own transfer sheet. It is basically a simplified and more affordable form of sublimation.
JPG is a widely used compressed image format for digital images. It is the most common image format used in digital cameras, digital publications, and on the Internet. The degree of compression in JPG file is adjustable; up to a compression ratio of 10:1 can be used without losing significant details. That results in smaller file size which allows sharing and storing of images easier. In Cricut Design Space, jpg images need to be cleaned (removing background and cleaning cut lines) at the time of uploading.
Any image you use in Design Space can have one or more layers. This allows you to customize the design such as by adjusting the size or color of a layer. Design Space has many tools to help you customize your images. The Layers panel gives you access to features such as Group, Ungroup, Duplicate, Delete, Slice, Weld, Attach, Flatten and Contour. In the example below, the design has two layers.
Linetype in Cricut Design Space includes: Cut, Draw, Score, Engrave, Deboss, Perf, Wave, and Foil. The current Linetype of each layer of your design will be listed in the Layers panel for reference. To learn more about Linetype and the different selections of Linetype, click here.
Mirror (an Image)
A necessary step before you cut any heat transfer vinyl design (HTV). All images that have been mirrored will appear reversed when cut. .
The act of creating an equal distance border - at any distance of your choosing - around the border of a design. Offsets can be used to make a border for a design or text and even to thicken fonts for easier cutting and weeding. You can also create an internal offset which creates an offset at the selected distance inside the design rather than around the outside.
Perf is one of the linetype selections specific to Cricut Maker. It means perforation and you will need a perforation blade for this to work. Use Perf and Perforation Blade to create evenly spaced perforation lines for clean, even tearaways. It's the perfect tool to make tear-out booklet pages, raffle tickets, homemade journals, or for any project that demands a clean, easy tear. Click here to learn more about the Perf tool.
PNG stands for “Portable Graphics Format”. It is the most frequently used uncompressed raster image format on the internet. PNG images can be displayed and used with transparent backgrounds, making them suitable for cut and print designs for Cricut.
Print then Cut
A feature in Cricut design software which allows you to use your home printer to print a design and your cutting machine to die cut your design. Sometimes, complex images are easier and quicker to print into a printable material such as printable vinyl or cardstock, than to cut and layer with multi-colored or multi-dimensional images. The layer is set to Print Then Cut. Any multi-layer image may be changed into a single-layer printable image using the Flatten feature.
Vinyl that can be sent through your inkjet/home printer. You can print on it from DS and then have your machine die cut it, also called print and cut function. Comes in heat transfer and adhesive varieties. Printable vinyl – vinyl you can put through your inkjet or laser printer (make sure you use the correct type for your printer!!) usually used with Print and Cut function in Design Space.
Marks that are printed on printable vinyl when using the print then cut function. These marks are then read on your Cricut when cutting inkjet printable vinyl.
The act of removing the area of the vinyl that would normally be left behind. This technique is mostly used when creating stencils.
Score is one of the linetypes in Cricut Design Space. It basically adds dashed lines that Cricut recognizes as a Score line, instead of a cut or draw line. Scoring refers to the process of making a crease in paper or cardstock so it will fold easier. Basically, a paper score is a ridge that is indented into the paper where the fold line will occur. When specified as the linetype on a design, Cricut will score the layer with a Scoring Stylus or Scoring Wheel.
A flat too with dulled edges used to smooth or secure and flatten vinyl, decals, or transfer tape.
Split two overlapping layers into separate parts. The slice tool creates new cut paths from two images, resulting in three or more completely new shapes. Each of the new shapes will show up in the Layers panel as individual layers.
A tool used to help remove small pieces of vinyl or paper from the mat.
Sublimation, or dye sublimation printing, is a process that uses a special (sublimation) printer, special inks, and special paper to create a design to put on a variety of blank products. You then use a heat press to transfer the design onto a specially coated product blank. This process involves transforming sublimation ink from a solid (print on paper) to a gas (vapor), without going through the liquid phase. The ink gas then gets infused in the transfer product, and when it cooles, it turns back into a solid print on the product. The process results in vibrant colors and the fabric stays soft, unlike ironed on vinyl prints or screen-printed designs.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
SVG is an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics. SVG images and their patterns and designs are defined in XML text files (the same type of language used to create web pages). So, while we see "a picture," developers actually see strings of text, numbers, and symbols that make up the image. This makes these images searcheable, and they can be indexed, scripted, and compressed. SVG images can be created and edited with any text editor, as well as with drawing software.
Learn more about using existing images in Cricut Design Space here.
Learn more about uploading SVGs into Design Space here.
A thin, waxy sheet that can be used when ironing HTV. A Teflon sheet should always be placed between an iron/heat press and HTV to protect your iron or heat press.
Templates allow you to visualize and get a general idea of how your final product will look like once you cut it. In Cricut Design Space, Templates are found in the left sidebar menu in Cricut Design Space, second from the top. There are many types of templates, and each of them represents where your final design will be placed. This tool is very useful because it takes the second-guessing out of the picture. It helps you visualize the proportion and color match of your design with your project material.
Aside from images and symbols, Cricut Design Space allows you to add text to customize or personalize your projects. When using text, you can use any system font installed on your computer or added fonts that you can get from outside sources. Texts can be also be varied in size, color, and placement. When using a desktop or laptop, the Curve Text feature is also available.
More information on adding Text into your Design can be found here.
Text Spacing and Alignment
To look right, which could vary depending on the type of font and your desired look, letters in your text design can be spaced and aligned as needed. Cursive fonts, for example, are better used when letters touch (the other letters next to them), then they can be welded and weeded properly. In Cricut Design Space, letter spacing can be adjusted using the Letter Spacing tool. Alignment allows you to keep the letters aligned at a reference point (center horizontal, center vertical, bottom, top). To learn more about Text Spacing and Alignment, click here.
Text font size needs to be adjusted to suite the overall design. The size of design text can be adjusted in Cricut Design Space by using the drag and drop arrow in the corner of your text box, or by using the size panel at the top of your workspace. You can also select an actual font size in the same menu. Learn more about Working with Fonts here.
See Curving. Click here to learn more about Text Curving.
Transfer tape is the sticky material that is used to transfer adhesive vinyl from the carrier sheet to the surface of your project. Iron on or heat transfer vinyl comes with built in transfer tape.
Unflatten separates layers from a single printable image into individual layers.
Unzip or Extract File
Files that have been compressed or zipped need to be unzipped (or extracted) prior to use. In Windows, to unzip a single file or folder, open the zipped folder, then drag the file or folder from the zipped folder to a new location. To unzip all the contents of the zipped folder, press and hold (or right-click) the folder, select Extract All, and then follow the instructions.
The open eyeball icon (see below) indicates that the layer is visible on the Canvas and will cut, draw, score, or print.
Click the icon to hide the selected layer. Hidden layers will not cut, draw, score, or print. Clicking the icon again makes the layer visible on the design screen.
The process of removing unwanted material from your cut material, such as vinyl. The cut lines put around a design to make the weeding process easier are called weeding lines.
In Cricut Design Space, Weld tool joins multiple layers together to create one object, removing any overlapping cut lines. Welding is also necessary step when cutting cursive letters. To weld text, move letters close together so they touch, then weld, so they can be cut as one piece instead of individual letters. Welding can also keep your images and fonts together as you have designed them before pressing cut. Caution: Unlike other Design Space tools, welding cannot be undone once you have saved a project.
A compressed file. Large files can take up a lot of storage space and can be more difficult to transfer from user to user. Zipped files take up less storage space and can be transferred to other computers more quickly than uncompressed files. It is usually a folder with files inside. To use zipped files, you will need to unzip (or extract) the compressed files. See also Unzip.
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