Frequently Asked Questions
TOP TEN QUESTIONS
The Top Ten Technical Support Questions
Please read through these notes to see if they answer your question. There is also additional information on other issues in our website Frequently Asked Questions section:
If you still have questions or are having difficulty we will be happy to provide additional technical support, but please take the time to describe your problem in detail. Contacting us to say that our product “doesn’t work” or that “it won’t let me open the files” are too general to provide a basis for us to try to help you.
For continued support, please provide information on which of our products you are having trouble with, how you purchased it (download or physical product) which embroidery software program you are using, which embroidery machine you have, and any error messages you are receiving.
We are happy to provide technical support for our own products but do not provide support for embroidery software programs sold by other companies, embroidery machines, or basic computer skills.
All of our products require installation to your computer, and include an Installation Wizard. The procedure is simple, and progresses through a series of installation screens. You will know the installation has been completed when you see a screen that says that the designs have been successfully installed.
If you want to preview the installation process:
TOP 10 TECHNICAL SUPPORT QUESTIONS
1. I CAN’T OPEN THE DESIGNS
Did you run the installation wizard and install the designs to your computer?
If you try to open the installation file with your embroidery software program, or put one of our Mini-CDs or CDs directly into your embroidery machine you will not be successful.
The designs need to be installed - double-click on the downloaded file icon, or follow the directions on the product label to start the included Installation Wizard.
ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE NOTE: Our download products are distributed as .exe (executable) files. There is at least one anti-virus software provider - Computer Associates - whose software changes the filename extension from .exe to .efw. If this happens to you, the .exe file can be restored to original functionality by changing the file extension back to .exe. You can also disable this anti-virus scan feature. Consult your anti-virus technical support department for more details.
2. FOLLOWING A SUCCESSFUL INSTALLATION, I CAN’T OPEN THE FILES THROUGH “MY COMPUTER” OR “WINDOWS EXPLORER”
The design files that are installed to your computer are just like any other stock design of a dog or a car, but in this case they are letters of the alphabet.
Unlike applications or programs (e.g. Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, etc.) which create start-up icons and entries under Programs on your computer, files need an application in order to open and view them.
If you add new files to your computer, then on first-use open My Computer or Windows Explorer and double-click on one of the files, you will see a Windows screen which asks you to select an application for these files from a list. Most embroidery software programs (e.g. PE Design, Viking Customizing Plus, Embird, etc.) will not appear on this list.
You are seeing this screen because your computer doesn’t yet “associate” a particular software application with these files. In effect, the computer is telling you “I have no idea what do you want me to do next.”
You will not encounter this problem if you open your embroidery software program first, then use it to open one of the designs by going to “File”, then to “Open”. Your embroidery software program is now “associated” with our files, so in future if you use My Computer or Windows Explorer and double-click on one of the files your computer will automatically launch the embroidery software program and display the design.
3. I CAN’T FIND THE FILE THAT I DOWNLOADED FROM YOUR WEBSITE
We get calls and emails from customers who report that they purchased something from our website, and that Our site sent the design “somewhere” on their computer and now they can’t find it.
We don’t control the location for downloaded files on your computer - you do. When you initiate a download from our website you will see a screen that tells you where the file will be going. Your computer will choose the location that you used for your last download from the internet. If this isn’t where you want our installation to go you can choose a different location.
If you have downloaded a file from our website and cannot remember where it went, you can easily find it by going to Start, then searching for the filename. Our filenames start with a five-digit number (e.g. 04102) You will find the filename listed in the confirmation email that was sent to you immediately after your website purchase.
If you cannot find the file it may be simpler to go back to our website and redownload your purchase. For security, our download product links are active for 10 days after purchase.. During that time your download order can be redownloaded using the link in the confirmation email that you received.
As a courtesy, we will resend download links without charge for up to 30 days from date of purchase. Please contact us by email, or by phone at 845-358-5546.
After 30 days, you can purchase Extended Download Service for $4.95 per order.
4. I CAN’T FIND THE FILES THAT I JUST DOWNLOADED
As explained on our download page, this is a two-step process. Step 1 (downloading) involves transferring an installation file from our website to your computer. The installation file for each of our products contains a built-in installation wizard. Step 2 (installing) involves double-clicking on the file icon for the product(s) you purchased. This will start the installation wizard with a welcome screen, followed by a few other screens, and finally concluding with a screen that says the installation was successful.
If you can't find the installation file (Step 1), see #3 above. Assuming that you may be thinking about about Step 2 - the installation wizard asked you to choose from three storage location options. If you choose the Advanced option you can browse to any location on your computer, or to an external drive, etc. The embroidery files will be in whatever location you chose. If you choose "Store on C" (which most do - it is in the middle on the screen, between "Store on Floppy Disks" and "Advanced") the designs will be stored in a folder on your C drive (your harddrive) called "embroideryarts" which is automatically created by the installation wizard - see also #6 below).
5. THE INSTALLATION WAS SUCCESSFUL, BUT I CAN’T OPEN THE FILES WITH MY EMBROIDERY SOFTWARE PROGRAM
Following a Welcome Screen and a Licensing Agreement, the Installation Wizard shows a screen that asks you to choose from a list of 7 embroidery formats (Note: the Installation Wizard writes a file to your computer’s Registry, so on subsequent installations of our products you may not see this screen because your computer remembers the format that you chose in the past.)
Did you choose the correct format?
We get technical support messages from customers who breeze through the installation procedure, clicking “Next” as quickly as possible without reading any of the screens and wonder why the designs are installed in .csd format when they wanted something else (Answer: ..csd is the first of the 7 formats, listed alphabetically, and will be the format installed if a different format isn’t selected)
We also hear from customers who have no idea what format they need and have chosen one at random.
The question of embroidery formats is a virtual nightmare for design companies and embroiderers alike. In recent years the number of embroidery formats has grown past 20, propelled primarily by home embroidery machine manufacturers, many of whom introduce a new format (or license an existing commercial embroidery format) each time they introduce a new machine. There is little if any technical difference between them, and in the rare instance where a new format adds a technical improvement - for example, the ability to split large commercial designs into smaller parts for home machines with small hoops - the improvements don’t affect our designs.
We support 7 different formats. Since some home machines use existing commercial formats, it’s important to know which format you need. We have a list of our 7 supported formats and recommended formats for various machines:
If you have chosen the wrong format during installation we can provide instructions for reversing the previous installation.
6. THE INSTALLATION WAS SUCCESSFUL, AND THE CORRECT FORMAT WAS CHOSEN, BUT THE FILES CAN’T BE OPENED WITH MY EMBROIDERY SOFTWARE PROGRAM
With your embroidery software program open and running, if you go to “File”, then to “Open” you will notice a drop down-menu (a small downward-facing arrow on the right of the line just below the box for Filename) that allows you to choose the File Type.
Are you looking for the correct File Type (format) ?
If this choice is set to look for .pes format and you are trying to find .exp format files your designs will seem to have “disappeared.”
Are you looking in the right location?
In our installation wizard procedure there is a step for choosing a storage location for the designs. Most of our customers choose "Store on C:" The wizard is designed to create a folder on your hard drive (C: drive) called "embroideryarts" when this option is chosen. The wizard first checks to see if this folder already exists from a previous installation of one our products - if so it creates a new sub-folder for the new designs. In this manner a library of our designs is created all in one storage location.
Some of our customers create a folder themselves to store the download (.exe) files on their computer. They might name this folder "Embroidery Arts", for example. This may cause confusion when trying to find and open the designs themselves. Our installation wizard always deals with a folder name that is all lower case, no spaces ("embroideryarts").
Having a folder to store downloaded installation files is a good idea, but you may want to call it something noticeably different.
7. I CAN OPEN AN INDIVIDUAL DESIGN, BUT I CAN’T COMBINE ADDITIONAL DESIGNS - THE FIRST ONE DISAPPEARS AND IS REPLACED BY THE SECOND ONE
You are attempting to “merge” or “combine” more than one design into a new combination. If you go to “File” then to “Open” you will always get only one design onscreen.
This is because the function to add an additional design to the screen has a different name. Unfortunately, there is no common terminology from one embroidery software program to the next. Some call this “Merge”, some “Insert”, “Import”, and some require you to copy and paste.
We have a Tutorials section on our website for some software programs:
If we don’t have a tutorial for your software, consult the manual or help files, or ask the company that you bought your embroidery software from to explain this procedure to you.
8. I WANT TO ENLARGE (OR REDUCE) THE SIZE OF THE DESIGN
All embroidery designs (including ours) can be resized. Resizing requires special software, or is a feature of a digitizing and editing program. There are at least a dozen inexpensive stand-alone resizing programs, so resizing designs can easily be accomplished as you require it. If you would like us to resize our designs for you, we would be happy to provide a quote. Please email us.
9. I DOUBLE_CLICKED ON THE INSTALLATION FILE AND FOLLOWED THE SCREENS, BUT I WASN'T ASKED TO SELECT A FORMAT.
We offer downloadable multi-format products. Unlike some other embroidery design sources, which ask you to choose a format when you order, we offer one installation file for each product which contains the option to install in one of 7 format choices (see # 5 above).
Our installation wizard is designed to record the format choice that you made on first installation of one of our products - either a free design or a purchased product. The wizard assumes that you chose correctly, so it's not unusual for the format choice screen to be skipped over on subsequent installations. If you chose .dst previously you will get .dst format on each installation. If you feel that you have chosen incorrectly in the past please contact us for more options.
10. MY COMPUTER CRASHED AND I LOST THE FILES THAT I PURCHASED
We strongly recommend that everyone back-up their data - there are reasonably-priced external hard drives and back-up software that make this process painless and can be set to automatically back-up data overnight, etc. Restoring all of your applucations, data, and preferences is significantly more trouble than backing up what you have now.
If you have the original Mini-CDs or CDs of our products, or the original installation (.exe) file that you purchased and downloaded from our website, you can easily reinstall the designs.
If you purchased less than 30 days ago, we will resend download links without charge. Please contact us by email, or by phone at 845-358-5546.
After 30 days, you can purchase Extended Download Service.
DIDN’T FIND ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTION ?
There is additional information on these and other issues in the FAQ section on our website:
Is this for machines only? I don't have an embroidery machine, but would like patterns for hand embroidery
We sell digitized designs for computerized home and commercial embroidery machines. Our designs are not available as patterns or in any other form.
--Posted by: Pam Hatkowski at January 10, 2005 07:01 PM