PE Design vs Embird

I have recently purchased a Brother LB-6800PRW and was unaware that I needed a digital converter to convert my photo’s to .pes or .dst which are the two formats that my machine takes. I was told that I need to purchase either PE design plus or PE design next. After looking into these programs, I realized how expensive they are! I have seen and heard several people talking about Embird and how it is very similar if not better than the other two. I am trying to figure out if I can use Embird to convert my formats of my photos and use with my machine? I really look forward to your response!

You can definitely use Embird to convert your photos to PES files. You would need the basic Embird program, along with the plug-in Sfumato Stitch.

You can download the latest version of Embird (and any of the plug-ins) and use the program free of charge in trial version for up to 30 days to test the features prior to purchasing registration.

To download, or for more information, please go to this page of the Secrets website.

Margaret Hardwick-Smith

Customer Support
at Secrets of Embroidery

16 thoughts on “PE Design vs Embird”

  1. Hi – embird is a great program it enables you to convert files to any embroidery format you choose. It also lets you organise your files and print out icons with thread colours shown. I have used it for 11 years now and I am currently using an old version of embird on windows xp. I also have pe design version 5. It is a very expensive program and difficult to use. Depending of what you are wanting embird would be a great place to start. It can be purchased online relatively inexpensively. I am currently looking at upgrading my version.

  2. If only I had known about this website before I had bought Palette 9 – it is very expensive!


  3. I am new to machine embroidery and recently purchased a Brother, it came with PE-Design Plus. I can’t figure out how to outline numbers (two colors). I would like to know if Embird will do this?

  4. In Embird you would need to own Font Engine in order to add outlines automatically to your text or numbers. This option is not available with Embird alphabets in Editor but it is with Font Engine. However if you own Embird Studio then you can automatically add outlines to both Embird Alphabets/Numbers and with Font Engine.
    I downloaded the manual for PE Design Plus and it appeasr that you can only use the text/numbers included with the program. You cannot import and use True Type Fonts. This is very limiting and you cannot add outlines to text and numbers. However I own PE Design V8 which is very similar to PE Design Next. In V8 you can add outlines to numbers and text. It looks like either Embird and Font Engine would be your best bet for adding outlines or perhaps Embird Studio. I hope that helps.

    Carolyn Keber
    Embird and PE Design Tutorials

  5. IMHO, Embroidery Programs are being kept artificially high by a number of things. They are (not every issue) Not available for trial so you cannot tell if it will work for you. They are keeping some people in the money and have removed too much from some others. (I am the voice of experience). They insist that they are the ONLY full featured software and you won’t know until you buy, again, no trials!!!

    I have spent a LOT of money because I believed the sales persons. Once they have you in their sights, you better be good at leaving them behind. I am embarrassed by the amount I have spent.

    Embird does everything the high priced programs and has a large number of advantages.
    1. You can get started for under $300, where as the others are a set price of (often) $5,000 and UP!
    2. You can get your pieces one or two at a time. That makes Embird a great place to start and grow.
    3. You can test EVERY THING before you buy. Some parts are not fully functional (the fonts only give you ABC) but you know what you are getting.
    4. You don’t have to buy things you won’t ever use.
    5. Upgrades are usually around $20. The other guys want in the upper hundreds of dollars. I see it all the time, they want a minimum of $500 and UP.
    6. Truly commercial variety software costs in the area starting around $15,000. That would be if you have people working for you and 2 or more multiple head machines.


    Don’t get me started on machines. . . .

    Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

  6. Pat, the avid embroider, please tell me your opinion on embroidery sewing machines. The price range is extensive. I am currently looking at the Brother-Laura Ashley Innov is 5000, The Ruby deluxe (I found it to be a little difficult to thread) and the Brother 2800d (I like disney designs for the grandkids clothes). I also looked at Babylock and haven’t checked out Janome. I am afraid to buy something this expensive from Ebay with no returns. What embroidery/sewing machine would you recommend.

  7. I just purchased the Brother Laura Ashley machine. I sewed on it at the dealer and am reading manuals first as I always do. The one thing I think I will enjoy (since I am a graphic artist) is the My Custom Designs feature, you can draw and digitize on the screen with the included stylus. It is like PE Design 2.5 only you have to draw freehand or use the straight line or circle features to draw. I own a Pacesetter 6500 which I bought on eBay, so I am already familiar with the My Custom Stitch feature which is only available on Brother machines. Babylocks are made by Brother, but thy don’t come with My Custom Stitch. I also love that I don’t have to remove the embroidery unit to sew. The machines are getting bigger and heavier and not so easy to cart around, so hopefully after the classes I get with my purchase, I can leave it set up and just enjoy using it.

  8. Hi could you tell me exactly what the 750e is capable of doing other than just sewing the normal patterns that are built in or downloaded from the web?
    Thanks Bel x

  9. Hi. I am looking for some advise on software. I have looked at many of the PE Design 10 infos. It seems to be user friendly and I like the new pluses with it. I currently have Viking Ruby and old Viking software. The new version is outrageous!! I am at a point hat I have to upgrade. I have purchased some etsy embroideries recently. I have noticed that a lot of them have designed the embroideries on PE Design software. So, here is my question….What formats can output on PE Designer? Can I design on PE Designer and output a .hus or .vp3 format? Please help!

  10. We bought a brother inovis v5 and the brother pE design next software.
    Very expensive items.
    The machine is superb, But the design next ISO complicated, hole sewing is one to make you scream out loud, they do not explain what formats you can and cannot use, JPEG, bmp, pes jef arghhhhh its soooo silly.
    We just want a book that says exact prompts, but it is too technical, we are not new to this, but we paid so much money, and once they got it they became a shadow and disappeared into the bank to put my money in.
    if you buy a machine, spend (not money) time searching the best options.
    £4000 and we still have not worked this out yet.

  11. Has anyone checked out SewWhat Pro. I just downloaded the trial software and I am stumbling through. Very affordable. I am new to embroidery. The PES Design Plus came with my machine. When I read the features I thought it seemed pretty robust, but every project I have done so far I have had to compromise the design. For example, the outline of letters (as someone else mentioned). Also when I try to convert a .jpg or .bmp file I get a big gray blob. I am sure it’s operator error, but I still haven’t figured it out. 🙁

  12. I have the basic Embird for re sizing designs and such but I’m wanting to learn to digitize and I have downloaded the free trial version of Embird and PE Design. Is there an auto trace in Embird? There appears to be one in PE Design but the stitch type is limited and I don’t think I would like the limitations I am hearing about in PE Design but I am not good at tracing the images I have practiced on. :+(. Any suggestions? I need easy. I really only want to make my own appliqués.

  13. Obviously a very pro-Embird site but for sure Embird is not as easy as PE-Design when it comes to photo-stitch embroidery designs. I only do photo stitch designs and because I’m colorblind PED does color conversions for me based on the thread type I choose. Embird is a very, very manual process when it comes to photo-stitch designs and a very difficult option to use with this software.

  14. I have had a baby lock ellure for many many moons. It came with Palette Version 5 which worked fine for me at the time. I had somethings happen in life that prevented me from being able to use my machine for a while leaving all of my software out of date and basically unusable to date. I have searched and searched for a solution and no one seems to be able to help me. I have Windows 10 on my computer and I have learned that my older software will never be able to run on my new computer so I am thinking the best thing to do would be to find a new program. Can I use Embird to design monograms then transfer the saved files using my palette?

  15. re: Stephanie Smith’s response: Did your Palette Version 5 come as a separate program with your machine (one that you had to install)? If so, are you interested in selling it? I have PE-Design ver 4 and am looking for a full version of Palette 5 or 6 that also includes the USB card reader that comes with it. My version 4 requires a parallel and serial port and I want to move it to a laptop that has neither.

  16. Stephanie, try “Compatibility Mode” on your Windows 10 PC to get your old software to run on Win’10.
    Debra, Have you tried an cable adaptor which is cheap compared to the other options?

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