Missing Designs in Silhouette Studio

Five people purchase the same design. They all open the SVG file in Silhouette, but the design imports differently for all five of them. Why is that? This is due to the individual import settings on each of those purchaser’s computers. Silhouette has default settings for three file types, SVG, DXF, and GSD. The default settings for a file can often result in a design appearing ‘missing’ upon opening it.

Let’s focus on one possible scenario for importing and how to change those default settings to prevent these issues in the future. You purchased a design to add to a shirt for your preschooler, but when you open it in Silhouette, your mat appears empty. There is no design anywhere even though the file opened fine with no errors.


Perhaps your design opened off the mat. Zoom out a bit so your mat becomes smaller. Do you see a design anywhere? If not, the design may have imported off the mat with no colors (transparent). Try selecting anything that is in the file by pressing the Ctrl button on your keyboard, plus the letter ‘A’ on a PC (use the Command button on a MAC}. Does anything appear selected? In this case we see that something with the dimensions of 7.558 inches x 10.356 inches is selected, but it has no color.


Let’s try adding some color to that object so we can see if that is our missing design. Click on the Fill Color icon and then choose a color. In this example, black is selected. Yay! That is definitely our missing design.


But, you notice that some detail cannot be clearly seen because the design overlaps in spots. The lines and the numbers on the ruler cannot be seen and some words are overlapping. To get a better view of the design, let’s make the fill color transparent, and then add some color to the lines in the Line Color window instead. Much better!


Easy enough, but this can be prevented. You just need to edit your default import settings, so then when you import a DXF or SVG file, they all import the same way without having to search for a ‘missing’ design. Click on the Edit option in the upper left hand corner, and then select Preferences.


A large window will appear on the right hand side of your screen. Select the Import Options drop down, and you will see your default import settings for SVG, DXF, and GSD files. You should make sure that all three of the following are selected for each file type: Fit to Page, Make White Lines Black, and Join Lines Into Polylines.


Now all your files will import the same way every time! Crazy about this preschool design? It is available here: