This is lesson 3 of my series for beginner Silhouette users, where I cover things to do even before you get your machine. To start with Lesson 1, go here. I do definitely recommend starting from that lesson.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click the link and purchase something, I receive a small commission. You pay the same price. This helps me to be able to keep my business going and provide more tutorials. I will always be honest about my opinion of any product.
Why create an account?
As a new Silhouette user, you’ll want to set up an account with Silhouette America right away . You do this to—
–make purchases in the Silhouette Design Store.
–buy products on the Silhouette America website.
–register your machine for warranty purposes.
–get your code for your free 1-month basic subscription to the Silhouette Design Store. This applies to the Cameo 3 and Portrait 2 only. The other machines come with a physical card in the box for this. Be sure to check the information on the Silhouette Design Store BEFORE you add this code to your account. Once you do, you have to use it up within 30 days. It’s a use it or lose it thing, so you’ll want to know more about the Silhouette Design Store before you set up that trial subscription.
Setting up an account is something you can do before you even get a machine. One great reason to do this is to start downloading free shapes from the Silhouette Design Store (I’ll show you how). You can set up an account either on the website or in the Silhouette Design Store. You just have to do it one place – the account email and password you set up will work both places as it’s the same account.
Once you do get a machine, you can then skip several steps in the setup process and get cutting sooner.
How to set up your account on the Silhouette America website
The Silhouette America website is where you can purchase physical products, download cards and software upgrades. It’s also where you can browse a database of FAQs, download software and firmware updates, contact Customer Support, find links to the blog, and more. We’ll talk about the website more in detail later, but here’s how you can set up your account there —
–Go to the Silhouette America website.
–Click on “Sign In” in the upper right.
–Look under the sign in boxes and click on “Sign Up Free.”
–Enter your information for name, email and password. Also choose your country and currency preference. It’s important that you input your country as this will affect your ability to purchase physical products on the website. Keep the box “Send me newsletters…” checked. This is the way you stay informed about sales and such (you may have done this already). Check the other boxes and do the “I’m not a robot” test.
–Click “Create Account “and you’re done.
The My Account page on the Silhouette America website
This is where you can change your name, email address or phone number. It’s a good idea to put your phone number in as it could be needed for order issues.
Here you can see orders you have placed for physical products. This is where you’d go to check the status or find tracking information.
This shows the address that will be used to ship orders of physical products you purchase on the website.
My Credit Cards
Since you have one account for both the Silhouette America website and the Silhouette Design Store, credit cards you set up here will work for purchases made on either site. You don’t have to add a credit card to your account, as there are other ways to pay. The only time you must keep one on your account is when you purchase a subscription or join Club Silhouette paying monthly.
Gift Card Balance Lookup
Gift cards can be used to make purchases on the Silhouette America website. That includes physical products, software upgrades, download cards and pre-paid subscriptions (keep reading these posts to learn about all of those). Gift cards are added in the cart during a purchase. This section of the account page shows you how much is remaining on one you’ve already added.
This is basically a frequent shopper program for physical products. We’ll discuss it in detail later, but this is how you choose your preferences for Club Silhouette.
Silhouette Studio, ModelMaker and Connect Keys
This is a very important section to know about. If you purchase any of the software upgrades, the Silhouette 3D software, or the Silhouette Connect plug-in, you get a unique 16-digit code. You then apply that code in the Basic software to unlock the upgraded features, or in the ModelMaker software or Silhouette Connect plug-in themselves for those applications. If you ever change computers or lose those extras for any reason, you have to apply the code again in the software. So, you need to know what that code is. It’s listed here, as well as in your Silhouette Design Store account page. It also shows how many installs you have left, as you can use the upgrade on up to 3 computers at once. This last bit of information is NOT listed in the account page of the Silhouette Design Store.
Unredeemed Trial Subscription Codes
When you first purchase a Silhouette machine, you get a 1 month subscription to the Silhouette Design Store. It’s basically a $25 credit that you have 30 days to use after you’ve applied it on your account. With the older machines, it was a card in the box with the code on it. Nowadays, when you do the setup for the Cameo 3, you get a code number instead during the setup process. If you’ve gotten the code but haven’t used it yet, you’ll see info here.
It’s very important to register your machine, as that’s what sets up your warranty. This is just a spot where you can check to make sure you did and see the date you did.
How to set up an account on the Silhouette Design Store
The Silhouette Design Store (SDS) is the place where Silhouette America sells cut images, printable patterns and fonts that can be used in the Silhouette Studio software. When you purchase a design, it is recorded in your account and is yours to keep forever.
There are 2 ways to access the Silhouette Design Store (SDS)—
–from the link in the Silhouette Studio software. This is the easiest way to get designs you purchase directly into your library. Click on the tab labeled “Store” in the upper right corner of the software.
–through a regular internet browser. This is useful when you have not yet downloaded and installed the software, or any time you have access to an internet browser but not your computer. For example, you can browse designs on your smartphone while you sit at your child’s soccer practice. You can complete the purchase, then the next time you open the software and have an internet connection your library will sync with your account and download any newly-purchased designs.
To set up an account in the SDS–
–Go to the SDS in either of the 2 places just mentioned.
–Click on “Sign In” at the top right.
–Click on Sign Up FREE at the bottom.
–Input your information for name, email, password and currency. If you haven’t already done so, check the box to sign up for the newsletter. Click Sign up to complete the account creation.
The Account Settings page on the Silhouette Design Store
Change My Account Info/Preferences
This is the spot to change your name or email address, set language and currency for the SDS, set preferences for notifications and emails, and change your password.
This shows you all the designs you have purchased through the Silhouette Design Store.
My Download History
This is a list of each of your orders from the Silhouette Design Store, listed chronologically. If you click on the order number, it will bring up a list of all the images you purchased in that order. From that page, you can recover the order (not really needed anymore with the use of the Cloud) or print a receipt for the order.
Purchased Design Licenses
When you purchase designs in the SDS, some have the option to purchase a commercial license. That license gives you permission to sell items made with that design. If you don’t purchase that license, or one is not available, you can only make items for personal use. This page helps you keep track of designs for which you have purchased commercial licenses and what level of license it is.
My Credit Boost History
Credit Boost is one way to purchase designs in the SDS for a lower cost. We will discuss it in more detail later, but this is where you can view information on any times you have purchased Credit Boost credits.
Recover All Downloaded Designs
With the arrival of the Cloud in version 3.8, this is very rarely necessary any longer, but it’s still here for those who for some reason cannot use a Cloud version (yep — we’ll discuss the cloud later).
Add a Download Card to My Balance
You can buy a download card in a specific amount to add to your SDS account. It’s like a gift card, but for designs instead of physical products. This is the spot where you add it to your account. It’s then saved on your account and each time you purchase designs the cost is deducted from the balance – just like a gift card you use at any store.
Redeem a Promotional Download Code
Silhouette sells starter kits of various types. Each kit includes a set of pre-selected designs that work well with that product. For example, the Rhinestone Starter Kit come with 25 designs that are basically sets of circles in the correct size for standard rhinestones. This is where you enter the code to add those designs to your account and library.
Manage My Credit Cards
Add, delete or edit credit cards on this screen.
Manage Cloud Devices
You can keep your library of designs on up to 5 devices at the same time, including computers and mobile devices. This helps you keep track of how much Cloud storage you have and how much you’ve used, which devices are using your Cloud account, if each device is active or not (if you change computers, you can deactivate that one so you still have your 5), the last time that device was synced, and allows you to deactivate a device.
Silhouette Studio Keys
As described above, this is where you can find the numbers for any software upgrades you have purchased. It only shows the key numbers – no other information. Click the blue arrow at the right to expand this portion of the menu.
There is also an area in the Silhouette Design Store to set up your preferences for notifications. These notifications are in the SDS itself and usually pertain to sales on images.
To set up your notification choices–
–Sign into your account.
–Go to the Account Settings page.
–Select “Change my Account Info/Preferences.”
–Scroll down to the area for Notifications and Emails.
–Choose your options.
Subscription purchase receipts – checking this will send you a receipt by email each time you purchase designs.
Free Shape of the Week notifications – to get a message reminding each week to check out the free shape.
Forward my notifications by email – to get an email as well as the notification in the SDS. This is helpful if you don’t remember to look at the SDS frequently.
Each time you visit the SDS, look in the upper right corner for the envelope icon. That’s where you access your notifications. If there are new notifications, you’ll see a number in the upper right corner of the envelope. Click on the icon to see the list of messages. The messages stay until you delete them.
Start getting free shapes
Free Design of the Week
Each Tuesday, there is a new free design in the SDS. I recommend always getting these, even if it doesn’t look like something you will use. There are often elements that can be used in a completely different way. For example, turn a strip of grass upside down to use it as icicles. Or use a star from a 4th of July design for the top of a Christmas tree. Here’s how to get these–
–Look on the home page of the SDS for “Free Design.” Click on it.
–Once you’ve navigated to it, add it to your cart. You can even include a Commercial Use License (more on that in our next lesson).
–Click on the cart icon in the upper right to view the cart.
–If you are not signed in, you will need to do this first. Then scroll down and select “Check Out.” Type your password and click “Continue.” The free shape will download into your library. If you are purchasing on a web browser rather than in the software, the next time you open your software and sync your library the design will download. You can also print a copy of your receipt or view your download items from this page.
The software needs permission to access the internet, so by installing the software and starting to get free shapes you make sure all of that is working correctly. If you have any issues with this, check this FAQ on the Silhouette website.
I recommend looking around some in the SDS, but not spending a lot of money purchasing designs right away. You will want to get some experience with the software and machine first so that you know what kinds of designs to look for. We’ll look at the SDS in detail in our next lesson.
Other free designs
There are a few designs that are always free. To find these, click on the word “Designs” at the left to expand the drop down menu, then on ALL DESIGNS at the bottom.
Now look for the “Sort By” area.
Set that to Price: Low to High. The free ones will be the first ones in the order now.
Or, you can scroll all the way to the bottom of the page under “Site Links” to select “Free Designs.”
In December, Silhouette will often run a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway. That means there’s a new free shape every day for 12 days. Make sure to watch for this.
Now that you have an account, it’s time to get to know the Silhouette Design Store better. That’s our next lesson.
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