In our previous blog post, we talked about using Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs) and images available in Cricut Design Space. But, what if you don't find what you want there? What if you find free SVGs elsewhere or bought them from Etsy or other digital stores, and want to use them in Design Space? Before we talk about the step-by-step process, here's a quick lesson on digital images and SVG files.
Types of Images
There are two main types of image files you will use in Design Space: Raster images and Vector images.
Raster Images – These are the images captured with a camera or a scanner, or those created with pixel-based programs. Pixels are tiny squares that are grouped, arranged, and colored to build images. This category of images includes the following file types: .jpg, .bmp, .png, and .gif. When you try to make this type of image larger, the image becomes pixelated, resulting in reduced quality.
Scalable Vector Graphics (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.
We'll focus this post on SVGs, and stay tuned for our post on using and processing Raster images in Cricut Design Space.
Step-by-step Process for Using Externally-sourced SVGs in Cricut Design Space
1. Download SVG files - You can find SVGs everywhere, many are free, much more are sold for minimal costs. If you purchase from places like Etsy, go to your order history or look for notification from the store, with the link to the files. Click download. This places the file into the Download folder on your computer. File packages from different vendors will come in different organization styles; here's an example of a downloaded package:
Click Browse to specify where you want the extracted files to be saved. I make a separate folder for each downloaded file, and give the folder a clear name so I know what files are in it.
3. Find the SVG file in Your File Folders
Go to the folder where you saved the extracted file, and find the SVG files. The files are not always organized in folders based on image type, but usually, the file type is displayed as HTML document.
4. Upload the SVG file into Design Space
SVG files are uploaded into Design Space as is and will automatically be separated into layers after uploading and saving. To upload, click on the upload icon on the left bar, then click on the upload image bar in the middle of the screen, as shown below.
You can then Browse through your folder, select the file, and upload it, or, simply drag the image from your computer file folder into the canvas.
5. Insert SVG file into a new or existing design canvas
Once the image is uploaded into Design Space, you can insert it in a new or existing design canvas anytime. To insert an image, click on the Insert Images button on the bottom of your Design Space screen.
The uploaded image will remain in Design Space and, and can be searched by clicking on View All.
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