MUST READ: Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are answers to questions about accessing and utilizing this course that will help you as you work through the course. This page should be your FIRST stop when you have a question, as 99% of the questions you will ever have are answered here. If you cannot find an answer to your question here, scroll to the bottom to learn how to get more help. Thank you!
Q #1: I lost my password. How do I get in?
A: Request a password reset at https://sso.teachable.com/secure/152016/users/pass...
Q #2: I can't get the videos to play. How do I solve this?
A: Some students report issues playing the videos on the iPad. If you have issues, click on the video box anywhere near the start arrow and it should work for you. Clicking on the start arrow arrow itself seems to be an issue.
Q #3: I'm on a Mac and I when I try to install Inkscape, I'm told it is from an unidentified developer. What do I do?
If you have this issue, locate the Inkscape item in your Applications folder, hold down the Control key, and left click on Inkscape. You'll get a similar window telling you it is from an unidentified developer, but this time you can click the Open button. Once you do that, Inkscape will install.
Q #3a: I am using Inkscape v1.0 and it behaves differently from what you show in this course. What do I do?
Inkscape JUST updated and I have not yet had time to properly compare the brand new version to the lessons in this course. Please be aware that currently this course may not 100% inline with the new version. If you choose to use version 1.0, please understand that there may be some differences until I can update the course for it. If you don't want to worry about this, go back to the previous versions to learn. Thank you for your patience!
Q #4: When I try to download an SVG, it just displays it for me in a browser. How do I get the SVG file?
A: Look for a ZIP file of the SVG linked at the bottom of the lesson, and download that instead. Also, be sure you open the SVG from within your illustration software. I also recommend you review the SVGs Made Simple pre-training unit that begins here: https://jennifermaker.teachable.com/courses/cut-above-course-how-to-create-svgs-cricut-silhouette-upload-sell/lectures/3413601
Q #5: When I try to download an SVG, it just shows up as a Chrome HTML file. Where is the SVG?
A: Sometimes SVG files can appear in your Windows File Manager as Chrome HTML. The file is still an SVG, but your computer doesn't recognize it as such because it's not associated with an SVG-related program on your computer. You can either ignore this and continue to use and upload this file to your illustration and design software, or you can follow these directions to associate it:
1. On Windows 10: Right click on the Microsoft icon on left corner of the task bar (4 rectangles or windows sign)
2. Click on Settings > Apps > Default apps > Set Your Default Programs > Choose default apps by file type
3. From the Name column on the left, scroll down until you see .svg and .svgz
4. You will notice that the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files have been associated with Google Chrome, Firefox or another browser or program or it might say Choose a default.
5. Click on the Default Program that is currently there and a box will pop up allowing you to Choose an App.
6. Click on the Program you want to use (either Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.)
7. If the program you want to use isn't showing up in Step 6 above, click on the bottom option which is "Look for an app in the Microsoft Store". The Microsoft store should open. Click on the magnifying glass and search for the program you are looking for and download it from the app store. After downloading, go back and close out settings and try again from Step 1.
8. Wait for 15-20 secs, (could be longer if you have many many files to be reset).
9. Go back and open any file which was previously acting funny and Voila! it is all set and you are back to the normal world!
Q #6: I don't see the same things in my software that you show in your videos. Why is that?
A: You probably have the latest version of your software installed, which I highly recommend. Currently, we are using Inkscape 0.92.4 and Illustrator 23.0.1. Please upgrade so that you have the same options as I do. And don't be fooled into thinking Inkscape 0.91 must be similar to 0.92 -- they came out two years apart. Also be aware that there is a NEW Inkscape version that just came out, but we have not yet had time to properly compare the brand new version to the lessons in this course. Please be aware that currently this course may not 100% inline with the new version. If you choose to use Inkscape version 1.0, please understand that there may be some differences until I can update the course for it. Thank you!
Q #7: My Document Properties window isn't appearing, even though I select it from the menu. Where is it?
If you can't see that window, you may have clicked the "Iconify this dock" button in the upper right corner. If you do that, it moves the window over to a line of vertical text at the right side of your screen. Go look for that text (circled in red in the image below) and click it to open it back up.
Q #8: When I open a window or dialog box, it is really small and I can't see any of the options. Is something wrong with my software?
A: No, it's just that your monitor resolution is likely higher than Inkscape anticipated and it's showing you a much smaller box than what you really need. To make the box or window larger, click and drag the lower right corner outward, then let go of the mouse when it is the size you want.
Q #9: How do I save my SVG file?
A: In Inkscape, go to File > Save As and choose "Plain SVG" from the dropdown menu at the bottom, then click the Save button.
In Illustrator, go to File > Save and choose "SVG (svg)" from the dropdown menu at the bottom, then click the Save button.
Q #10: When I click "Save" or "Save As," I don't see PNG as an option.
A: In version 1.0 of Inkscape, go to File > Export PNG Image...
In some versions of Adobe Illustrator, you'll find the PNG option in different spots. Try these:
File > Export > Export As
File > Save for Web and Devices...
File > Export > Export for Screens
Q #11: Why is my PNG so small after I export it?
A: The PNG will export at the same size as your image on your Canvas. Also, if you have a high resolution monitor, it will appear smaller than you'd expect. It's not an issue.
Q #12: Why is my PNG blank after I export it?
A: If you create your design off the canvas (the page rectangle), it will not be included in the export. To fix this, click and drag your design onto the canvas then export again.
Q #13: How do I upload my PNG to the Facebook group?
A: First, go to the Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/cutabovelab/. Now click the Add Photo/Video button-link near the top of the page, highlighted in yellow below:
2. Click the Upload Photo/Videos button-link in the next screen, highlighted in yellow below:
3. Find the PNG file you saved, click it, and click Open.
4. In the next window, you can say something about your image, then click Post (both are highlighted in yellow below):
Also, here is a recording of a live video that shows how to upload to our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.anderson.marx/vi...
Q #14: I don't like to use Facebook. Do I have to join the group?
A: No, you do not. You can complete this entire course without using Facebook. However, please note that we only provide general feedback and assistance in our CUT ABOVE Lab Facebook Group (If you request to join, when asked for the secret passphrase, please type VECTORAMA)
Personalized and private assignment support and review is available via email for our Gold and Platinum students.
Current Gold and Platinum students -- get details here.
If you’re interested in upgrading to Gold or Platinum - get details here.
Q #15: When I upload my SVG to Cricut Design Space, it's all black. What happened?
A: Most likely this is because your objects stroke color is set to black. So if you have a black stroke and no fill color, Cricut Design Space will use the stroke color you set for the fill color too. And since it uses black for the outline of all objects, it appears as though you see nothing but a black box. Everything is there, but you can't see it because it's all black on black.
Q #16: When I upload my SVG to Cricut Design Space, it's HUGE! What happened?
A: Usually this happens when your Inkscape document's scale gets set to the wrong size, which isn't anything you've done wrong. It can happen when you change your Display Units in File > Document Properties. To fix this issue, open your SVG file in Inkscape, go to File > Document Properties, make sure your Display Units are in inches (change it if necessary), your document size is something reasonable, and then click "Resize Page to Drawing or Selection," and save it. (If you do not see the "Resize Page to Drawing or Selection" you probably have an older version of Inkscape installed. Update to the current version.) If it comes out too large, you'll need to resize everything on your canvas to an appropriate size. To prevent it going forward, watch this recording of a live video I did about it: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.anderson.marx/vi... I also recommend you use the "new-design.svg" file as a template for all new documents to avoid this issue, too. I attached this file at the bottom.
Q #17: When I upload my SVG to Cricut Design Space, it's TINY! What happened?
A: This seems to be a similar issue to the "too huge" problem I just mentioned, but with a different fix. Open your file in Inkscape, go to File > Document Properties, and make sure your Display Units are set to "in" and your Scale is set to "1.00000." If they aren't, change them following the instructions in the video linked above. If they are correct, click the "Resize page to drawing or selection" button in the Custom Size area of the Document Properties, save your SVG, and upload it to Design Space again. (Note: If you do not see the "Resize page to drawing or selection" button, it means you are using an older version of Inkscape. Please update before continuing.)
Q #18: When I am designing, my objects keep sticking together or moving weird. It's hard to move them around. What gives?
A: Chances are likely you're having an issue with Snap, which is a feature to help you align objects. Click the "Enable Snapping" button in the upper right corner of your Inkscape window to turn Snap on and off.
You can also change your Snap settings in Inkscape by going to File > Document Properties > Snap. There are additional settings at Edit > Preferences > Behavior > Snapping. To turn off Snap in Illustrator, go to View > Snap to grid/guide/point (there are three different options)—select any of those options to turn them on or off.
Q #19: When I am designing, I can create objects, but as soon as I click off them they seem to disappear. What is happening?
A: This usually means your shape tool or pen tool has no color. To change this in Inkscape, go to Object > Fill & Stroke and make sure you have a color selected for either Fill or Stroke. Also make sure your opacity is not set to 0 or 0% (there are two places this appears — one is line A and the other is the Opacity line). To change this in Illustrator, go to the drop-down Fill and Stroke menus in the bar above your canvas and make sure a color is selected.
Q: When I draw a shape in Inkscape and set its fill to a solid color, I cannot see it.
A: You may have the opacity of the color set to zero. Select your object, go to Object > Fill & Stroke, click on the first tab (Fill), and check what numbers are in the A line and in the Opacity lines. The A line should be at 255 and the Opacity should be 100%, like this:
Q #20: Every time I create a new object, my tool reverts back to a different color or style. I want it to stay the same. How do I do this?
A: In Inkscape, go to Edit > Preferences > Shapes > (the shape tool you are using) and make sure it is set to "Last used style." The Pen Tool can be changed at Edit > Preferences > Pen.
Q #21: When I copy and paste in Inkscape on my Mac, I get pixels instead of my vector object(s). What gives?
Copying/pasting on Inkscape on a Mac doesn't behave the way it should out of the box. This is because it is using an XQuartx X11 wrapper to run Inkscape for you. If you copy and paste in Inkscape on a Mac, it will actually pixellize your object. You can usually tell when this happens because the object gets a weird white background even where there shouldn't be a background. We do NOT want pixellized objects. To fix this for all future copy/pasted objects, select the XQuartz icon in your Dock, go to XQuartz > Preferences > Pasteboard, and uncheck the "Update Pasteboard when CLIPBOARD changes." Now when you copy and paste an object, it will not turn it into pixels.
Q #22: Is there a way to save various Inkscape settings, like the letter-inches-grading and snap settings, so that it doesn't have to be redone every single time?
A: When Inkscape starts up, it checks to see if there's a file called default.svg and, if there is, it loads it and whatever document properties are set in that default file. This only applies to the Document Properties and not the options set in Preferences.
To set this default.svg in Windows 10, use this tutorial: https://logosbynick.com/inkscape-default-template
To set this default.svg file on Mac, use this tutorial: https://eastmanreference.com/inkscape-default-document-properties-and-canvas-size-tutorial
Q #23: When I click on an object with my Selection Tool, I don't get a box around it with handles for resizing or rotating. Why not?
A: You may have accidentally turned your bounding box off in Illustrator. Go to View > Show Bounding Box and it should reappear.
Q #24: I have a question that is not answered here. How do I get help?
A: Please review the appropriate Unit Question threads in the Lab to see if your question has been asked and answered, and if not, please ask your question there. Here are the links to each Unit Question Thread:
Unit 1: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cutabovelab/permalink/191889098097927/
Unit 2: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cutabovelab/permalink/142611459692358/
Unit 3: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cutabovelab/permalink/144218532864984/
Unit 4: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cutabovelab/permalink/145928629360641/
Unit 5: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cutabovelab/permalink/147460102540827/
Unit 6: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cutabovelab/permalink/149737618979742/
Unit 7: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cutabovelab/permalink/150784342208403/
Unit 8: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cutabovelab/permalink/153133441973493/
Please allow 72 hours for a response (though we usually respond MUCH faster). Please note that it is VERY important you post your question in one of the question threads, as there is no guarantee we'll see it if you post outside of a question thread due to the way Facebook works. If you do not get a response within 72 hours, please post in the thread again.