I hope you’re learning a lot in this series about adding your own raster images as fill patterns on shapes. If you haven’t read about Methods #1-4, then you’ll want to start here. Here in Method #5, I’m going to show you how to drag and drop an image from a folder on your computer directly into a shape on your Design page.
Tutorial level: intermediate to advanced
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Method #5: Drag and drop directly into a shape
This method is similar to the drag and drop procedures in Methods #1 and #3. But instead of putting the raster image into your library, you put it directly into a shape. It doesn’t go into the library and it does not show in your Pattern Fill panel. It’s more of a quick, 1-time method.
This works the same way in all levels of the software with a raster image. Just remember that some special file types (pdf, ai, cdr) can be opened as raster or vector images in upper levels of the software. So when you use this method with Designer Edition and up, the software is still going to ask you how you want to open it. If you are on Basic Edition, then you can’t open those file types.
Here’s how to perform this method–
–Go to the Design area.
–As with methods #1 and #3, open your computer file explorer, navigate to the folder where your image is stored and minimize this window.
–Select the pattern image you want to use.
–Drag the image toward a shape on your page. It doesn’t matter if you have shapes selected on not — just which shape you are hovering over. You’ll see it fill the shape and then you can let go of your mouse.
Drag and drop with grouped images
If you have several images that are grouped, the pattern will go into them all (this is a change from earlier software versions). The scale of the pattern is based on the size of the shape, so it’s smaller in smaller shapes. That means it may not look the same in all your pieces if they are grouped.
To make it the same, you can make all the pieces into a single compound path. Just know that that won’t work if they are overlapping one another. Keep reading this series for more tips on working with pattern scale in multiple shapes.
Drag and drop with text
When you type words in Silhouette Studio, what you are doing is creating a grouping of individual letters. Even if it’s just one letter, it is still grouped with an invisible box around it (to understand more about that, see this post).
As we learned above, the scale of the pattern is based on the size of the shape. Since a word is a grouping of letters, and the letters vary in size, the pattern may look different within a single word. Here, the pattern is smaller in the “e” and “o” than in the “H” and “l.”
To make it all the same, you need to alter the text. You can ungroup it and then make it into a single compound path. JUST KNOW THAT THIS WILL CHANGE IT FROM EDITABLE TEXT TO A REGULAR IMAGE!!! What that means is that you will no longer be able to change or identify the font or change the wording. I always recommend you make a copy of the text box before doing something like this so you can go back as needed.
When you make it into a single compound path, the software unfortunately removes the fill. So to save a step, make the compound path first, then fill it with your pattern.
Video of Drag and Drop
Here’s the video of how this method works:
Use Method #5 when you…
…want to use the pattern once only and don’t want to see it in your library or Pattern Fill panel at a future time.
…want to fill a shape with a pattern quickly.
…don’t want an extra file page to open.
…have a library that loads slowly when you first open your software. Fewer images in there means it’s ready sooner.
Up next is Method #6, which is similar to this method. But instead of dragging and dropping into a shape, we’ll drag and drop directly onto the page. As always, I’ll teach you some times you’ll want to use that.