Blog on Manual Punching vs autodigitizing.

A person who creates an embroidery design is known as an embroidery digitizer or puncher. A digitizer uses software to create an embroidery design by manually “punching” (placing the stiches) which the digitizers knows will sew well for the portion of the design he or she is punching, in an order which will sew continuously, to eliminate as many jump stitches as possible. These files retain important information such as object outlines, thread colors, and original artwork used to manually punch the designs. This is known as an “object based, editable design”. The digitizer/puncher can edit and make changes to this design. The Digitizer can then convert his or her design into a Stitch file for the various machine formats but maintains the object based file so that any desired changes can be made.

Software vendors often advertise auto-punching or auto-digitizing capabilities to sell to people who do not know how to Manually Digitize. This software purports to have the computer generate a stitch file, which generally is NOT satisfactory whatsoever as it mixes stitches, stitches are often jump around in their sewing order and sews out in the wrong order. The design cannot be edited or fixed or changed because the computer generates a “stitch” file. When a file is a stitch file, it does not contain “object based editable information, rendering editing difficult or impossible and therefore if the customer wants changes, no changes can be made. An auto-digitized design requires a vector based photograph or clipart in order for the computer to generate a stitch file.
If a high quality embroidery design is essential, then industry experts highly recommend purchasing solid object based designs from reputable digitizers.