Cross Stitch

Embird Cross Stitch is an optional plug-in for Embird. It provides a number of tools and stitch styles to create a perfect cross stitch pattern.

Manual drawing of crosses, automatic conversion from artwork, editing, outlining and lettering are all included in this software tool.

Computerized cross stitch allows you to focus on the creative aspect of embroidery. Program arranges the sewing order of crosses to optimize the actual embroidery process.

Embird Cross Stitch software allows the user to digitize cross stitch patterns with up to 400 x 400 crosses. Number of colors is limited to 254.
Manual and Automatic Mode

There are two ways of creating cross stitch patterns:

  1. Crossstitch pattern is created manually by drawing dots (crosses) either on a blank background or on an image (template, scanned chart).
  2. Crossstitch pattern is created automatically from imported background image (picture to cross stitch).

In both cases, the program automatically generates cross stitches and arranges them to optimize the sewing process. It is possible to import the scanned chart (hand graph) and calibrate it properly to fit the background of the work area, then manually draw the dots (crosses) using the chart in the background and finally compile the pattern into stitches.

Tools and Controls

Many editing tools are available for the creation and adjustment of patterns: marquee, lasso, magic wand, zoom lens, eye dropper, smooth, pencil, brush, air-brush, text, line, simple curve, rectangle, round rectangle, ellipse, star, regular polygon, fill area, clear area, etc. The pre-defined fill patterns are available, and the user can even create his/her own fill patterns. There are also some special functions like ‘clear isolated points’ or ‘ thin lines’ and ‘smooth’ parts by adding quarter crosses to corners, which allows the user to clear and optimize the cross stitch pattern. The order in which the colors are sewn can be prescribed.

Lettering in Cross Stitch

Add text to your cross stitch designs with the use of any TrueType or OpenType font installed on your PC. Choose font, color and size and create lettering in a few seconds. Crosses are automatically generated inside of characters. By choosing another command from the menu it is possible to add the outlines around all characters easily.

Cross Styles

All popular cross types are supported:

  • normal crosses
  • mini-crosses
  • elongated horizontal crosses
  • elongated vertical crosses
  • upright crosses
  • double crosses
  • French knots
  • manual and automatic outlines

Additional Features

Use full, 3/4, half or quarter crosses to create your pattern. Also, a thin running-stitch outline can be added around the pattern manually or automatically. Controls like ‘number of thread layers’, ‘size’ of crosses and ‘number of tie-up stitches’ are available to give you full control over the stitches.

Font Engine – Lettering from Windows Fonts

Embird Font Engine is a Lettering, Monogram and Clipart plug-in for Embird. It combines an embroidery lettering tool and graphics in vector file format. It creates embroidery lettering from common Windows fonts in TrueType and OpenType format. It is also possible to use it with 3rd party ready-made embroidery alphabets. Because of its vector handling capabilities, Font Engine is able to convert vector clipart or logos created with graphic programs into embroidery designs.

Font Engine has three main usage modes:

  1. Embroidery lettering from TrueType and OpenType fonts
  2. Lettering tool for ready-made embroidery alphabets
  3. Conversion of vector graphics into embroidery designs

Please note: Font Engine does not include any font or clipart. It is a conversion program.

1. Embroidery Lettering from TrueType and OpenType Fonts

Main panel allows the user to select TrueType or OpenType font and type the text you want to convert into embroidery. Next panel (Properties tab) serves to adjust size and other parameters of lettering.

Font Engine can produce plain fill, auto column (satin stitch) and motif fills and sample, satin and appliqué outlines for text.

Fill Exterior option allows the user to invert filled areas of text.

Pattern, Wave, Gradient and other effects like contour or circular fill can be applied to plain fill of text.

Font Engine allows the user to place text on line, ellipse and other baselines and also to deform it with use of an envelope.

Lettering may have single stitch, sample, satin stitch or appliqué outline.

Auto Column (satin stitches) fill of text produces lettering looking almost as if it was digitized by a human digitizer. Font Engine uses a large base of digitizing knowledge and an artificial intelligence to convert fonts into satin stitches.

Satin stitch lettering of a large size should be used with the Pattern option on, to avoid too long stitches and to add texture to a large stitched areas.


Each character in a text can be moved, rotated, skewed and scaled separately to create unique lettering effects. Use the Symmetry options for easier adjustment of lettering envelope. Many predefined envelopes are included.

2. Lettering Tool for Ready-Made Alphabets

One of the most popular ways to create embroidery lettering is to buy ready-made embroidery font (alphabet) and compose your lettering from characters in the font. This may be a tedious job if you want to align lettering on a circle or create a longer text. Ready-made fonts are delivered in stitch files, usually one letter per file. The user has to import the stitch files one-by-one and put them together to create the text label.

Ready-Made Alphabets mode of Font Engine allows the use of a convenient lettering tool with 3rd party or custom letters. It is no longer necessary to assemble such lettering manually. Simply import all letter files at once, index letters and use them in the same way as common Windows fonts. Work with text and especially the lettering layout process becomes much easier.

Ready-Made Alphabet - Imported stitch files with indexesReady-Made Alphabet - Layout of lettering

Custom letters are not limited to a single color or style. You can use any number of colors, cross-stitch patterns or anything that stitch file supports and Embird can import.

Some features like nearest-point connections or outlines are not applicable to the ready-made alphabets. Resizing is available, but not recommended as stitch file quality may decrease when the size changes.

3. Vector Graphics

Font Engine functionality goes beyond the fonts. It can convert EMF, WMF and CMX vector graphics to an embroidery file. This function allows the user to import designs from drawing programs like Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. It is typically used for logos and clipart designs.

Logo imported from EMF vector file

The embroidery process imposes additional requirements on the design, especially proper object order, connections, overlays and layers. Therefore, some editing of vector designs in Embird Studio is usually needed to produce good embroidery from these files.


Alphabets are an optional lettering plug-ins for the Embird software. They are manually pre-digitized embroidery fonts in re-sizeable format.

Scroll down this page to see the 42 Alphabets.

Alphabets contain multiple versions of each character optimized for various size range and for a nearest-point connection between the letters. They are especially suitable for the creation of small lettering. Embird allows easy manipulation of Alphabets, including arching and shaping of the text.

Embird Alphabets are re-sizeable and have adjustable parameters like density, texture and underlay type. Program computes new stitches for each text label. This approach allows Embird to optimize stitches for each individual lettering layout and settings.

Embird Editor and Manager work with Alphabets through a text tool window. The text tool allows the user to adjust the layout of lettering and apply envelope, skewing and other shaping operations. When finished, lettering is compiled into stitches and put into Embird Editor for final adjustment and saved in the desired embroidery format.

Alphabets are accessible also from Studio’s interactive lettering. When used from Studio, Alphabets produce text in a vector (outline) form that can be further edited in Studio.

Main Features
  • Characters scalable in large scale (approximately 4,5 mm – 8 cm for “a”)
  • Various underlays (center walk, edge walk, zig-zag)
  • Automatic and manual kerning of characters
  • Various types of letters connections (nearest point, floating stitch)
  • Automatic tie-ups before and after floating stitches
  • Automatic simplification of serif for small letters
  • Automatic parameters and underlays for various size of letters
  • Possibility of global change of text parameters or individual change of single letters parameters
  • Arching of text. Text can be placed on any of 7 predefined paths (circle, line, wave, etc.) with variable parameters, or user can define her/his own path.
  • Editing of spaces between letters, size of path and text, type of underlay.
  • Envelope function.

Text arching

Arching of text

Pull compensation

Pull Compensation

Random broadening

Random broadening

Automatic simplification of serifs on small lettering

Automatic simplification of serifs on small characters

Various types of underlay

Various types of underlay

Auto shortening of stitches in curves

Auto shortening of stitches in curves

Lettering with nearest point connections

Nearest point connections

Lettering with envelope

Envelope can be used to create monograms as well as to add special effects like diamond shape or bridge to the lettering.

Envelope settings

Use envelope controls to select any of the predefined envelopes or to create your own envelope. Define type of edges and optional symmetry of nodes. Move nodes in the work area to adjust the shape of the envelope.

Individual Adjustment of Characters
Individual adjustment of characters

Position, width, height, angle, slanting and distance from the baseline of each character can be adjusted individually by moving respective node control.

Parameters of Lettering
  • Type of underlay

  • Cover stitches: density, start/end dilatation gap, broadening, random broadening, pattern (7 patterns), auto shortening of stitches in curves.

  • Center walk underlay: maximum and minimum stitch

  • Edge walk underlay: edge offset, maximum and minimum stitch

  • Zig-zag underlay: edge offset, start/end dilatation gap, density, maximum and minimum stitch of zig-zag areas connection

Cover stitches patterns

Various types of cover stitches patterns

Below you can see what the 42 Embird Alphabets look like. They can be ordered from the Ordering Page. Please note there’s now only one download file for the whole Embird program including all of the plugins such as Alphabets.

The Alphabets shown above can be ordered from the Ordering Page.

Please note there’s now only one download file for the whole Embird program including all of the plugins such as Alphabets.

Iconizer – Icons from Embroidery Files

Iconizer is an optional plug-in for Embird. It displays content of embroidery files as icons or thumbnails. This capability is not limited to files displayed in Embird. Once Iconizer is installed and registered, it can work in the background of Windows Explorer or File Explorer and all programs that use standard dialog windows.

Whenever Windows needs to draw the icon of an embroidery file in any program or panel, Iconizer supplies the image of the design stored in this file. This allows you to see icons of actual designs, not just the generic icons you see without Iconizer. Iconizer is a useful tool to manage your embroidery designs in Explorer or other programs.

With Iconizer

Without Iconizer


Iconizer works together with Windows File Explorer. The principle of Iconizer is simple – normally, when you run Explorer and you are not using the Iconizer plug-in, each design file is represented by a generic type icon. Registered Iconizer shows a small picture of the embroidery design instead. This allows you to browse and sort your designs easily, because you can see the content of embroidery files while using all features of the Explorer and other Windows programs that use Explorer’s standard dialog windows.

Generic icon

“Generic” icon of embroidery file

Icon of embroidery file

Embroidery file displayed icon

Iconizer uses Embird’s library to read embroidery files. Therefore, it supports the same embroidery formats as Embird.

Using Iconizer in Explorer

File Explorer gives you access to the files stored on your computer. In the case of embroidery files, Iconizer draws pictures of their content and sends them to Explorer to display either as icons or as thumbnails. Iconizer also provides information like stitch count, design size, color number, etc., to display in Explorer’s pop-up menu.

The first step is to choose the desired size of icons in Iconizer settings. The second step is to choose the icon enlargement in Explorer. The medium size in Explorer is equal to the basic icon size in Iconizer settings. Select a larger icon size in Explorer’s View menu for a more detailed preview of designs, if needed.

Select lerge icons in Windows Explorer

Icons in the above example are too small. Select a larger size for better detail.

Iconizer does more than just display a picture of the design. It provides textual information about the design like dimensions, stitch count and so on. Also, it provides links to services like printing, editing or conversion of design in Embird software. These links and the textual information are accessible via a pop-up menu that appears when you right mouse button click on the design icon in Explorer.

Embird Iconizer running on background of Windows Explorer

Right click on embroidery file icon to invoke the pop-up menu with Embird commands and information about design.

3D Thumbnails and Color List
Icon displayed in 3D

Besides normal, flat stitch rendering, Iconizer is also able to draw 3D thumbnails of embroidery designs. This option can be turned ON or OFF in the Embird Manager main menu > Options > Iconizer Settings. It is also possible to show or hide the color list of the design. 3D drawing and color list options have no effect on small icons.

Viewing & Transferring Designs

You will need an embroidery software program to view designs on your computer. If you don’t have one, you can download and install a free trial of Embird on your computer.

Save Designs to your Computer.

If you have ordered designs online you will need to do the following:

  • Download Designs ordered from the Secrets website.
  • Unzip your design files and save to your hard drive.

If you are viewing designs from a pre-programmed embroidery card you will need to use a reader-writer box to view and transfer them to your computer.

  • Reading designs from embroidery card using Ultimate Box and Embird.

Open Designs in your Embroidery Software Program.
Generally, you can use the File menu in your embroidery software program to view your designs. Choose Open and navigate to the folder you saved the designs to.

Transfer Designs to your Embroidery Machine.
After you have saved the designs on your computer and viewed them in your embroidery software program you will need to transfer them to your embroidery sewing machine.

You will need to use the correct hardware to transfer designs from your computer to your embroidery machine. Depending on the brand of machine you have, and its age, it may need a reader-writer box and card or USB stick. Older machines may need a reader-writer box, as they can only read designs on an embroidery card, while newer machines usually have a USB port, making transfer much easier.