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Frequently Asked Questions



1. Introduction

1.1. What are the different levels of DesignShop?

1.2. I want to upgrade to a higher product level. How do I do this?

1.3. What is the current version of DesignShop?

2. The DesignShop PC

2.1. What are the minimum system requirements for DesignShop?

2.2. How do I set up my embroidery network?

3. General Operation

3.1. When first turning on some Windows 2000 or Windows XP computers and immediately attempting to open DesignShop, a “Dongle Not Found” type of error message is generated. This will continue to happen for about 120 seconds. What is the solution to this problem?

4. DesignShop Workspace

4.1. I am working on a large design, and I cannot see all of the design in my workspace. How can I fix this?

4.2. How do I display a fabric graphic as the background in my workspace?

5. Working with Files

5.1. What embroidery file formats does DesignShop support?
5.2. What graphic file formats does DesignShop support?

6. Editing

6.1. General Editing

6.1.1. I am sewing a stock design, and it seems like it is packed full of stitches. Is there a way to get rid of some of these stitches?

6.1.2. I have clicked an input method (such as complex fill) but I don't want to digitize right now. What do I do?

6.2. Color Properties

6.2.1. Will the design colors that I see on the screen be the colors that are sewn out?

6.2.2. How do I change the colors of my design?

6.2.3. How do I use the step through colors tool?

7. Lettering

7.1. How do I add lettering to a design?

7.2. How can I get the best results when doing small lettering?

7.3. I'm trying to use a 2 (or 3) color alphabet, but there are too many colors in my lettering. How do I make this alphabet look right?

7.4. How do I sew lettering from the center out?

7.5. How can I improve sew quality when using a script alphabet?

7.6. I am sewing a monogram on a towel. The fibers on the towel keep showing through the stitches of the monogram. What can I do to help solve this problem?

7.7. I am sewing a name on a knit Polo Shirt. The edges of the letters seem to sink into the fabric. What can I do to make the edges look more crisp?

7.8. Sometimes when I arc my lettering, the lettering disappears from my workspace. How do I find my letters?

7.9. I'm using 3 inch letters in one of the standard Melco alphabets. When I sew it out, the satin stitches are loose. I think the stitches are too big, but when I try to make them shorter by changing the width, it makes the letters narrower instead of the stitches. How can I fix my lettering?

7.10. When I try to open the Alphabet Code Sheets in the Design Shop Help File, nothing happens or they do not open. How do I open them?

8. Cap Designs

8.1. Is there anything I should keep in mind when selecting/setting up a cap design?


1. Introduction

1.1. What are the different levels of DesignShop?

The following DesignShop product levels are available. This list also provides a brief overview of what features are available in each level. The feature availability is described in detail throughout the DesignShop manual (and HTML Help system).

  • DesignShop Lite (Lettering, Limited manipulation of designs, such as scaling)
  • DesignShop (Lettering, Manipulation of designs, Editing, Digitizing)
  • DesignShop Pro (Lettering, Editing, Digitizing, Auto-Digitizing)
  • DesignShop Pro Plus (Lettering, Editing, Digitizing, Auto-Digitizing, Vector File Support)

1.2. I want to upgrade to a higher product level. How do I do this?

If you are a U.S. customer, you can call 1-800-877-4272. If you are an international customer, please contact your local distributor.

1.3. What is the current version of DesignShop?

Version 5.07.038 Release 081004.0 Part Number 32923

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2. The DesignShop PC

2.1. What are the minimum system requirements for DesignShop?

  • PC with a Pentium II 300 MHz or higher processor (Pentium III 450 MHz or higher recommended for levels higher than DesignShop Lite)

    If you plan on installing AMAYA OS and DesignShop on the same PC, a Pentium III 850 MHz or higher is recommended.
  • Microsoft Windows 98, Windows Millennium, Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional, or Windows 2000 operating system.

    If you plan on installing AMAYA OS and DesignShop on the same computer, either Windows 2000 or Windows XP is highly recommended.

    Note: Non-western languages (such as Polish, Czech, Japanese and Russian) require Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

  • 128MB of RAM
  • Super VGA video adapter and monitor configured for 1024x768 resolution or higher, video driver set to High Color or better for Windows 98 / Millennium; 32768 color or higher for Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000. If you want to change the settings of your screen resolution, please click on the Start button of your Windows taskbar, followed by a click on Help. Do a search for display, resolution.
  • USB or Parallel port for DesignShop security dongle
  • CD-ROM drive (required for Design Shop installation, 16X is recommended)
  • Two or three button mouse (3 button mouse preferred)
  • Internet Explorer 5.1 or greater

2.2. How do I set up my embroidery network?

Melco has created a Networking Guide to help our customers with this process. Click the following link: http://www.melco-service.com/Pages/TidBits/Network/Default.asp to access this guide.

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3. General Operation

3.1. When first turning on some Windows 2000 or Windows XP computers and immediately attempting to open DesignShop, a “Dongle Not Found” type of error message is generated. This will continue to happen for about 120 seconds. What is the solution to this problem?

Windows 2000 and Windows XP search for a network connection when a computer boots up if there is activity on a network connection device in the computer. If an AMAYA OS computer has a HUB, switch etc. connected to the computer and it is on, a live connection is detected and Windows will then try and determine what type of a network is connected to the computer. This is an automatic operation. During this period of approximately 120 seconds, Windows suspends loading of certain drivers. The driver used for the detection and operation of the Dongle is not loaded during this period of time. To correct this issue and allow the Dongle Driver to load more quickly, perform the following steps.

Windows XP:

  1. Click on Start->Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel double click on Network Connections to open it.
  3. The Network Connections window will list the LAN connections available in the computer. There may be more than one; identify the connection used by the Melco software; left-click to select this connection (it will be highlighted).
  4. On the left hand side of the Network Connection window click on “Change settings of this connection”.
    A Local Area Connection Properties window will open. This Window has 3 TABS; select the General TAB. The window will display the clients and protocols for setup within Windows for the networking connection selected. There will be a check mark next to each item in the list. Click on these check marks to de-select and turn off all of these items. When all have been de-selected, click OK to apply the changes and close the Local Area Connection Properties window.

Windows 2000:

  1. Click on Start->Settings->Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel double click on Network and Dial-Up Connections to open it.
  3. The Network Connections window will list the LAN connections available in the computer. There may be more than one; identify, then double-click the connection used by the Melco software.
  4. Click the Properties button in this dialog.
  5. The window will display the clients and protocols for setup within Windows for the networking connection selected. There will be a check mark next to each item in the list. Click on these check marks to de-select and turn off all of these items. When all have been de-selected, click OK to apply the changes and close the Local Area Connection Properties window.

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4. DesignShop Workspace

4.1. I am working on a large design, and I cannot see all of the design in my workspace. How can I fix this?

You need to increase the size of your workspace (default size is 10 x 10 inches). To change the workspace size, right-click the project name in the Project View, then select Properties from the popup menu. Increase the width/height (e.g., 16 x 16 inches) of the workspace area so that your design will fit. Then click OK.

4.2. How do I display a fabric graphic as the background in my workspace?

To display a fabric on your screen, right-click on any existing color box in the Color Palette and select Properties to display the Color Properties dialog box. Click on the Graphic Background tab.

You can now select a fabric file that will be displayed into the background of the View Window. To display a fabric, click the Browse button. Navigate to the DesignShop Fabrics directory (usually C: Program Files directory/Melco Embroidery Systems/DesignShop/Fabrics). While in this directory you will be able to see thumbnail images of the graphic backgrounds/fabrics. Select a fabric from the list and click Open.

Click Apply to immediately see the fabric on your screen. If you want to turn off the graphic background, check (left-click)) the box next to No Graphic Background.

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5. Working with Files

5.1. What embroidery file formats does DesignShop support?

Commercial Formats

Home Formats

  • Graphics Files (DesignShop and higher product levels)

  • Melco Project Files (*.ofm)

  • Melco Condensed Files
    (*.cnd)

  • Melco Expanded Files (*.exp)

  • Melco 3.5 Inch Floppy (non-DOS, regular & hi reliability)

  • Tajima DOS (*.dst)

  • Tajima Lo & Hi Density Floppy (non-DOS)

  • ZSK Floppy (non-DOS)

  • ZSK (DOS) (.zsk)

  • Barudan FDR / FMC Floppy (non-DOS)

  • Barudan FDR / FMC (DOS) (*.fdr / *.fmc)

  • Brother/Babylock/Bernina (*.pec)

  • Brother/Babylock/Bernina (*.pes)

  • Janome / Elna Files (*.sew)

  • Janome Files (*.pes, *.jef)

  • Pfaff Files (*.pcs)

  • Pfaff Macintosh (*.pcm)

  • Poem/Singer Embroidery Files (*.csd)

  • Singer (*.xxx)

  • Husqvarna Vicking (*.hus)

  • Oklahoma Embroidery .oef (read only)

  • Elna (*.emd)

  • Viking D1 (*.shv)

  • Great Notions Condensed (*.gnc) (read only)

5.2. What graphic file formats does DesignShop support?

Format Acronym
Format Description
Extension
BMP
Windows (and OS/2) Bitmap
.bmp
JPEG
Industry Standard Compressed Format
.jpg
PCX
PC Paintbrush Format (ZSOFT)
.pcx
TIFF
Tagged Information File Format
.tif
EMF
Enhanced Metafile
.emf
WMF (read-only; can only open--not save-- files of this type)
Windows Metafile
.wmf
CDR up to version 9 (read-only; can only open--not save-- files of this type)
Corel Draw
.cdr
EPS (read-only; can only open--not save-- files of this type)
Encapsulated Postscript
.eps
DXF (read-only; can only open--not save-- files of this type)
Drawing Exchange File
.dxf

Please note that you need DesignShop or higher to open graphic files in DesignShop (the DesignShop product level can only open bmp files; vector files can only be opened in DesignShop Pro+).

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6. Editing

6.1. General Editing

6.1.1. I am sewing a stock design, and it seems like it is packed full of stitches. Is there a way to get rid of some of these stitches?

Make sure you don't have any part of the design selected, and then select Edit->Scale Factors. By adding 10% to these numbers you can increase stitch length and density. This takes out stitches globally so you shouldnt see much change in the look of your design, but sewing quality may improve.

6.1.2. I have clicked an input method (such as complex fill) but I don't want to digitize right now. What do I do?

You are in digitizing mode. (This explains why your workspace moves as you move your mouse). To return to edit mode, press the ESC key twice. Pressing the ESC key once erases any points you have digitized, and pressing it again returns you to edit mode.)

6.2. Color Properties

6.2.1. Will the design colors that I see on the screen be the colors that are sewn out?

No. You will need to set up the desired colors on your embroidery machine.

6.2.2. How do I change the colors of my design?

When you open a design in DesignShop, the default color palette will be used as the design colors. You can, however, change these colors and save your changes.

Right-click any color in the color palette and select Properties from the pop-up menu (you can do this from the Color Palette toolbar or from the Palette tab in the Project View). Once you are in the Color Properties dialog, you can change all of the colors in your design. The box next to displays the number of the color on the palette that you are currently changing. You can use the up and down arrows to move to the desired color on the palette. This is very useful because it allows you to change all of the colors at one time instead of having to double-click on each one to change them. The current color is displayed in the color box below. The name of the currently applied color and its graphical representation display on the top half of the box. If you choose another color, it will be displayed on the bottom of the color box (until applied, then it is the current choice on top).

If you save a design as an ofm with any Color Palette changes, the Color Palette changes will be saved with the design.

6.2.3. How do I use the step through colors tool ?

If you would like to have one color displayed at a time in the View Window, to show the order of sewing for example, you can use the Step Through Colors tool (displayed in the second box of the Color Palette) to step through the colors in the design. This tool only steps through hidden colors. Therefore, if you want to walk through all the colors in the design, hide all the colors in the design, then repeatedly click the Step Through Colors tool to display the colors one at a time.

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7. Lettering

7.1. How do I add lettering to a design?

To add lettering, click the Lettering toolbar button (or select Insert->Lettering). Then left-click anywhere in the View Window to display the Lettering properties page.

7.2. How can I get the best results when doing small lettering?

      When doing small lettering, Underlay (centerwalk) must be positioned accurately down the middle of the columns. Walk stitches that are too long can cause stitches to show. The default stitch length (affects underlay) for lettering in the DesignShop software is 25 points, and for lettering under 1/4" this is too long. For lettering under 1/4", use a setting between 15 and 20 points for the stitch length. Walk stitches that do not have enough pull compensation can also cause stitches to show. Decreasing the letter width does affect the pull compensation and reduces the amount of open space inside letters like A and e. If you are using EDS IV or DesignShop, see the Alphabet Code Sheets in the HTML Help files for the particular alphabet being used. There is an explanation on the use of the keyboard lettering at the beginning that should be read. To access the code sheets, select Help->Help Topics in the Help pull down menu, or press F1 while in any Melco embroidery software product. Then click on the Alphabets button to access the code sheets. Each code sheet provides a 3D view of the characters and a chart of all the European or extended characters available in each alphabet.

    • Nice Small Font: Micro Block
    • Pull Comp (Width) 110%
    • Density 4.8 - 6.0
    • Primary Underlay: None (already has enough digitized in the letters)
    • Letter Width:100% (This "stretches" or "shrinks" the letter horizontally)
    • Short Stitches Off

7.3. I'm trying to use a 2 (or 3) color alphabet, but there are too many colors in my lettering. How do I make this alphabet look right?

With this type of font you may want to adjust your color wrap. Right-click one of the colors on the Color Palette and select Properties. Then click the Options tab. The color wrap is set at 50. This needs to be changed to a 2 or 3. This will limit the number of colors on your palette and make your font look just how you want it.

Please note that if you set your color wrap to 2 (or 3) to fix your lettering, and then insert a design, that design will only be 2 (or 3) colors.

7.4. How do I sew lettering from the center out?

All you need to do is right-click the lettering and select Properties from the pop-up menu (or double-click the lettering). Then choose the last button under Letter Stitch Order. Your text will now sew center out.

7.5. How can I improve sew quality when using a script alphabet?

Using Auto-Density with script fonts is recommended. This allows the density to increase when the letters become thinner, reducing the number of thread breaks. Try using a center-walk underlay instead of an edge walk. Because of the varying thickness of the letters, an edge walk will tend to show. Try increasing the column width of your lettering; this will help your letters fill out a bit.

7.6. I am sewing a monogram on a towel. The fibers on the towel keep popping through the stitches of the monogram. What can I do to help solve this problem?

      Use a topping, such as SoluFab. Try using a zig-zag underlay. This will mat down the nap and make the top stitches look more clean.

7.7. I am sewing a name on a knit Polo Shirt. The edges of the letters seem to sink into the fabric. What can I do to make the edges look more crisp?

Try using an edge-walk underlay. This will help hold the stitches up around the edges, making the letters look more crisp (please note that this may not work for thin lettering, as the edge-walk may stick out on the sides of the columns).

7.8. Sometimes when I arc my lettering, the lettering disappears from my workspace. How do I find my letters?

Click the Fit Window zoom tool . Your letters should automatically fit back in your screen.

7.9. I'm using 3 inch letters in one of the standard Melco alphabets. When I sew it out, the satin stitches are loose. I think the stitches are too big, but when I try to make them shorter by changing the width, it makes the letters narrower instead of the stitches. How can I fix my lettering?

Go to the column tab in the lettering properties box, and change your stitch type to a column fill by selecting Fill in the Stitch Type pull-down menu. Then set your density, stitch length, and partitions to achieve the look you want. (Please note that this will increase your stitch count). Hint: Use the 3D button to help you preview the effect of these settings.

By the way, the Width (Pull Compensation) setting for satin stitches is designed to change the width of the columns that make up your letters, so when you change it, you should see the individual letters change. If you set it to more than 100%, the letters will be wider; set it to less than 100% for narrower letters.

7.10. When I try to open the Alphabet Code Sheets in the Design Shop Help File, nothing happens or they do not open. How do I open them?

  • Using Windows Explorer go to the C:\Program Files\Melco Embroidery Systems\Design Shop\Help folder. There should be a file in the folder called alphabets.pdf. Double click on it and it should open. If the License Agreement for the Adobe Reader software opens, accept the agreement and let it open the Alphabets.pdf file. If this works, then try it again from Design Shop Help System.
  • If Outlook Express or Outlook is opened before Design Shop, the operation to open Adobe Reader and display the Alphabet.pdf file can be inhibited. Ensure Outlook or Outlook Express is not open when trying to view the Alphabets from the Design Shop Help.
  • Make sure you have run all new available Microsoft Critical Updates. To do this, go to www.microsoft.com. Click the Windows link under Product Families, then click the Updates link.

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8. Cap Designs

8.1. Is there anything I should keep in mind when selecting/setting up a cap design?

When selecting a design to sew on a cap, keep in mind that the embroidery field size of the cap limits the design size you should use. The maximum height of the embroidery field is 2.75 inches (70 mm) on the largest available cap. If the design you are sewing contains lettering (lettering underneath a design), make sure that lettering elements are sewn first, then other design elements (that is, try to sew from the bottom up). For designs to be sewn on six panel caps, set up the design to sew from the center out. On six panel caps, set up the design so that you complete as you sew (complete one design element at a time). (Movement from one side of the cap to the other may cause registration to suffer.)

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Suggestions about improving the FAQ site can be mailed to editor@melco.com
Last updated: September 2004

 

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Last modified: Friday July 02, 2004.

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