January 31, 2009 at 10:58 am 15 comments

If, like me, you’re living in Cricut Newbie Land, and you’ve seen all those cool projects on the Internet but you’re not sure how to do them, you’ve probably been doing some reading. 

And, like me, you might find that after checking out a few forums you’re more confused than ever because there’s all this shorthand out there.  SVG.  SCUT.  SCAL.  CDS.  All you want is to be able to make those cool projects but you can’t seem to decipher the code.

 I might be able to help. 

A little. 

I’ve been doing LOTS of reading.  And distilling LOTS information.  I’ve begun compiling a glossary of all those terms we keep running across, and you can find it on another page here on my blog for your reference.  

In this post I’m specifically going to talk about Sure Cuts A Lot (aka SCAL) and the files this very cool program uses.  And trust me, if I can make sense of it, anybody can.

I’m no rocket scientist.

BTW, if you’re not using Sure Cuts A Lot and you’re not interested in using it, don’t bother reading the rest of this post.  Go check out The Frugal Crafter and her HUGE collection of stamps (and when I say HUGE, I mean HUGE…SCARY huge!)  She’s also got an awesome freebie for both CDS (Cricut DesignStudio) and SCAL users for making heart cartons — perfect for the upcoming Valentines Day.

Anyway…back to my original topic.  SCAL and what kind of files SCAL uses.  What’s a SCUT?  What’s a SVG?

In a nutshell, a .scut file is a file that’s created with SCAL.  As far as I can tell, it’s a proprietary format — meaning that it’s a type of file format only used by SCAL.  Like Microsoft Word documents have the file extension .doc, all files you save in SCAL will have the .scut extension. 

So if  SCAL uses .scut files, what’s all this we keep reading about .svg?  What is an .svg?

An .svg file is a scalable vector file.  Unlike .jpeg and .gif files which are bitmaps (the images are based on a pattern of dots), .svg files are based on geometrical formulas — in other words, they’re based on shapes, not patterns.  The advantage of vector files (like .svg) is that they can be resized and reshaped without losing their integrity.  They also often require less memory than bitmap files.

Many users of SCAL have discovered an awesome free program (yes, you heard me — free!!) called Inkscape which can be used to convert .jpeg images to .svg.  You can also use Inkscape to create .svg files from scratch.  You can then import these .svg files into SCAL.  So now not only will SCAL cut any true type font or dingbat available on your computer, you now have a wealth of shapes you can import for use.  Because of this ability, the creative possibilities for SCAL and your Cricut are infinite. 

Do you want to know the very best part of Inkscape, .svg files, and the SCAL community? 

You don’t have to be a computer genius or an Inkscape pro to fully realize the potential of your Cricut.  There’s a boatload of SCAL and Inkscape users out there who share their knowledge and their files — for free!  Yes, you heard me, for free!!!

Man, I love free!!!

In another post, I’ll include links to some of the best blogs, websites, and forums I’ve found for SCAL.  It’s unbelievable what’s available and how friendly and helpful this group of people are.  If you can’t wait a couple days for my list, just Google “scut file” or “svg file”.  You’ll be amazed at what you find.

In the meantime, happy Cricut-ing!!!


Entry filed under: Expression, scut file, svg file, Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

Creative Juices SCAL Files for Valentines Day Card

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. karen m.  |  February 1, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    THANK YOU X A KA-JILLION ! ! ! Sure appreciate all of your help. You’ve cleared up several questions in just a moments reading. Thank you again. I too “LOVE” Free!

    Happy Bugging!

    • 2. ScrapPhreak  |  February 1, 2009 at 10:29 pm

      Glad you found the post helpful!

  • 3. Kristy  |  May 17, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I ran across your blog today via Google and I have 3 words for you
    I accidently deleted my massive Cricut file last night- it didn’t go to my recycle bin and I cannot find it anywhere- so I am trying to find all (I know that’s impossible) the awesome things I had saved for future cutting and found you. You took the words right out of my head!!! Great job!! Thank you!! Your awesome!

    • 4. Lea  |  June 8, 2009 at 10:25 am

      Man! I’m sorry to hear about your deletion! That’s one of my biggest fears…that I’ll lose all my files. Hope you can recover it!

  • 5. Nora G  |  July 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    So them what files does DS use so I can have my cricut cut them. I keep seeing .cut files too.
    Thanks for the info. glad i found your site.

    • 6. lealindsay  |  August 25, 2009 at 9:49 am

      Files created in Cricut Design Studio have the *.cut extention. If you download a *.cut file, you should be able to open it in your DS and cut it.

  • 7. Nora G  |  July 26, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    who what program uses .scut files?

    • 8. lealindsay  |  August 25, 2009 at 9:44 am

      As I tried to explain in my post, there is a program called Sure Cuts A Lot. If you use this program to design, the files you create are *.scut files.

  • 9. Marieke  |  October 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you so much for the info!

  • 10. Sherry  |  December 17, 2009 at 8:00 am

    You just saved me an embarrassing e-mail to the SCAL people. So that’s what a scut file is…I was trying to change it into a svg file and my puter wasn’t having it….

    Thanks from a newbie to CRICUT (I haven’t even taken it out of the box yet), SCAL, SVG etc

  • 11. Pam Weber  |  January 24, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Can you change a scut file to svg to use with the Make the cut software?

    • 12. Lea  |  March 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm

      Unfortunately, I am the wrong person to ask about Make the Cut software. Although I am aware of its release, I have not downloaded it or experimented with it. I’m sure there’s a yahoo group out there for it, so if I were you I’d search the yahoo groups. It’s a great place to gather info.

  • 13. fertilemyrtle3  |  June 24, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Thanks so much for the info – I feel as if I could have written this post myself! I am also no rocket scientist when it comes to computers/software (in fact, I’m not entirely convinced there aren’t packs of squirrels and fairies inside computers making them run) so I have been SO overwhelmed when surfing the net looking for ideas to use with my Cricut. Heck, I get overwhelmed just trying to Google for info, much less having to decipher it all (I barely had the good luck to stumble over your post!) Now, thanks to you, I feel a little better about it all. Keep up the good work!

    • 14. Lea  |  September 2, 2010 at 9:34 am

      Dear FertileMyrtle, (and I hope that your email name refers to your gardening skills rather than the size of your family — I’ve got two crumb snatchers and the fact that I haven’t run screaming from this house has NOTHING to do with their lack of effort…but I digress….) I’m glad I posted something that you found useful. While I don’t think it’s squirrels and fairies inside my Dell, I don’t begin to understand how the damn thing works…I’m just very grateful that it does. Now maybe I can find a moment or two for creating again. I haven’t had a great deal of free time lately, and I’ve desperately missed the creative process.

  • 15. Andria  |  September 8, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Hi, Thanks for the information! It did clear many questions up for me.

    I am part of a T-shirt designing community called Threadless. Now originally I wanted to become a graphic designer. Ten plus years have gone by, and well, I am defantly out of the loop.

    Little side prodjects that I have done in the past years have been on the program, Micrografx Picture Publisher. I know, talk about how old that program is right? That being said, I have come across Inkscape. I Love it!! I am able to do the same quality of work as others in the Threadless community.

    New Problem!! I can not convert my svg. files to both jpg. and gift. in which I need to send off my designs. I don’t have the money to buy a $30.00 converter, (nor do I really even know how). Should I be using a different design program that has the quality of Inkscape that can be converted, or what should be my next step??

    Thank you very much for your time. It would mean so much to finally be able to send off my designs!!


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