PE Design / Palette / Deco Wizard
Overview of the Program
PE Design/Palette is a multi-use software program with a Reader/Writer box that is attached to your computer.
This program consists of several different parts: Design Center, Layout and Editing, File Utility, Programmable Stitch Creator, Photo Stitch
Design Center enables you to create an embroidery design from a bitmap image. Progress through each of the stages in the program as you complete your design. Finish by coloring the design in much like a coloring book image.
We have a booklet available on this website that will take you through all the stages of Design Center. It’s easy to follow and full of screenshots to help you follow the steps.
Layout and Editing
Layout and Editing has many more features to it. We are gradually producing booklets for the different parts of this program as each part warrants its own instructions.
Some of the features of Layout and Editing include
File Utility is the program where you write more than one design to your card at a time or you can install an "Original" card. This is a card that is purchased through your Dealer.
Programmable Stitch Creator
This program is used for creating your own fancy fills for use in Layout and Editing and also in Design Center.
Version 4 PE Design/Palette
Version 4 is a completely new version of the PE Design/Palette software. It is not an upgrade of Version 3.
No matter which choice you make in your upgrade, outlined below, you will need a security dongle attached to your computer to be able to run this software. The program is not accessible without this dongle. The dongle is a small security device, similar to the end of a printer cable, and it is attached to your printer port. Once attached, you can open the Version 4.
Version 4 is available in several different forms. I have listed them from the least expensive to the most expensive.
At the same time as this new version was released, a new top of the line Brother/Babylock embroidery machine has also been released onto the market. This appears to have caused some confusion as to which software is required for this new machine. Some people have thought that they need the total new package to be able to use the new machine, or that if they have existing embroidery machines, that the new software is not able to be used with these "older" machines.
However, this is not correct. I have a Brother 8500 and also the Software upgrade and dongle only. (the least expensive option) The new software works with my machine without any problem, including the new Photostitch. The only limitation is the amount of stitches that I can write to my "old"card, ie.50,000 stitches.
If anyone has the intention of purchasing the new machine, then you would still only need the first option in Version 4 outlined above, as the new machine has a floppy disc drive in which you can use a floppy straight from the computer.
However if you think you are going to be sewing designs with an excess of 50,000 stitches, and currently have the Version 3 software and Reader writer box, then you will need to go for the second option and upgrade your R/W box as well.
Version 4 has quite a "new" look to it. One of the first things that you notice when you open Design Center for the first time, is the Wizard that pops up on your screen. This is quite a nice feature and helps to get you started. You are asked what you would like to do, and then given some options to choose from. For anyone that is a beginner, this is a good help.
It is from Design Center that you access the new feature "Photo Stitch". Using a clear photograph of "our" dog, I was able to fairly quickly reproduce her in stitches. The end result was very realistic. In fact a friend thought it was a painting, not an embroidery, until she looked closer at my design. The Photo Stitch designs are fairly stitch intensive and if you are using the "older" box, care will need to be taken that you don’t exceed your stitch limit of 50,000 stitches. Photo Stitch is a very good feature and lots of fun can be had with it.
You can scan an image directly from Design Center now. The choice of File types that can be imported as images is also far greater. Design Center also has some other new features to it. You now have a choice of a Motif stitch when attributing fills to your design. As well, Stitch Attributes also has a whole new look and features, along with a "Pull compensation" feature to allow for stitch pull in designs.
Layout and Editing also has some new features to it. Motif stitch can be used as a fill and a lines can be attributed a feather stitch. The width and length of this new stitch can be altered to suit. There are many new little features where you can personalize your program to suit yourself. You can also add your own name and details to a design or file you have created so that you can refer to it at a later date.
New shortcuts have been added to the Menu Bar. Objects in a design can be grouped and ungrouped. There are new features for using True Type Fonts.
There are new features in Programmable Stitch Creator too. As well as being able to design your own Fills you are now able to create your own Motif stitches for use in the program. Edit points are easily added and deleted, making the task of creating new stitches more simple.
In summary, Version 4 is a great program for those who like to create their own designs. It has some nice new features that enable you to design quicker and easier. The best feature, in my mind, is the addition of the new Photostitch. A lot of fun can be had with this new side to the program and I really like it.
The only downside to this new Version, as far as I am concerned, is having to use the new dongle security device. For those of us with more than one computer, it is an aggravation to have to unhook the device and change it to the next computer when you wish to open PE Design/Palette. However, the PE Design/Palette Manual does state that the software is only licensed to be used on one computer. And this dongle was devised as a measure to stop the sharing of software and it will certainly work in that respect.
The Simulators that are available for previous versions of PE Design will not work with Version 4 and you must have a dongle attached to run the program.
Previous Versions of PE Design/Palette
Version 2 was sold through dealers in 1999 and then an upgrade called Version 2.5 was made available through the Internet. This version was free but you needed Version 2 to be able to use it.
From Version 2.5 onwards a feature was added to the program to allow the use of the Jumbo Hoop for the embroidery machine. This is very easy to use and allows you to do things like write words completely around the borders of quilts.
Version 3 has several new features added, such as the use of Windows True Type fonts and also the Realistic Preview which allows you to view your design as it would be sewn out. There are many free True Type fonts available on the Internet that can be downloaded and used in this program
Although the Brother/Bernina/Deco machines use the same manuals for use of these programs you must purchase the correct software for your computer. If you have Palette installed you must purchase the Palette upgrades and if you have PE Design installed you must purchase the PE Design upgrades.
If you wish to obtain free designs from the Internet or purchase designs on Floppy disks from the many designers on the Internet or your dealer, you will need PE Design/Palette to enable you to load these designs to your blank card so that you can sew them out.
There are various other "boxes" on the market which will enable you to purchase other machines cards and convert and transfer them to your card so you can embroider them, but you will still need to have PE Design/Palette to send your own designs from your computer to your card.
The PE Design/Palette program will not open on your computer without your Reader/Writer box attached. Dongles are available, (one is called PEDS), which trick your computer into thinking the "box" is attached, but you still need a box to send your designs to the blank card for your embroidery machine. Dongles are mainly used for those with two computers. They enable you to have the original program on one computer with the box, while another copy of the program is on a Laptop etc.
PE Design/Palette is a wonderful program with so many features - it makes your embroidery a lot of fun. It is a personal choice as to whether you use it just to load your designs to your card or whether you create some of your own designs with it.
It’s so much fun to create your own designs with this software and it's a great feeling to look at something and say "I did that" - it gives you a great sense of satisfaction.
by Carolyn Keber