So far, I’ve avoided the Silhouette cloud by staying in my happy little pre-cloud V3 of Silhouette Studio. However, the new features in V4 are just too tantalizing to ignore, and the time is rapidly approaching when I should switch to using V4 in my tutorials for y’all. So, I’ve spent the last week or so jostling Silhouette software between two computers, experimenting to try and get my non-cloud library to play nice with V4. Right now, I’m straddling the two versions.
As part of that process, I loaded up the Silhouette Studio software onto a second computer, exported my library from the first computer, and then imported it into the second computer. Now… exporting and importing a library is a simple process in V3: File > Library > Export Library on the old computer, and then File > Library > Import on the new computer. Out of one, into the other, super easy. What I didn’t know is that there is something I should have done before exporting. And skipping that step mangled my library.
Before exporting your library V3.6 or earlier—whether for a regular backup or to prepare to update to a more recent version of the Studio software—you must reindex your library to make sure it’s properly cataloged. If you don’t reindex before exporting, you could find that your files have been renamed and reorganized after you import the library again, with nothing where it once was.
Here’s how to reindex the Silhouette Library V3.6 or earlier:
In Silhouette Studio…
- Go to the ‘Edit’ menu (PC) or ‘Silhouette Studio’ menu (Mac)
- Select ‘Preferences’
- Select ‘Advanced’
- Select ‘Reindex My Library‘
And that’s it. Your library has been reindexed and you’re ready to export.
When you RESET your library…you’re resetting the library back to the original software installation settings…in other words you end up with an empty library. Your design files are completely removed. They are lost and gone forever (unless you have them in a backup folder somewhere else).
When you REINDEX your library…you don’t lose anything. Your files remain safe and sound in the folders and subfolders you’ve stored them in. The software simply does some internal catalog housekeeping to straighten things out behind the scenes. When the reindexing is complete, your library will look like nothing has happened. It has, though, it just all happened out of sight.
The Studio software installed just fine on the second computer, but the library import was an Epic Fail. Yes, “Epic Fail” deserves those capital letters.
The folders and subfolders I’d set up were all still there (Yay!), but the files within were all mixed up (OMG). Here’s what the first two rows of files were supposed to look like:
I had renamed my files so all the airplanes were together, all the angels were together, all the arrows were together, etc. I had also added CU to file names I had commercial license to use, and added an S to files from the Silhouette Store.
My digital patterns were similarly organized. In subfolders for Dots, Stripes, Gradated, Textures, etc., I had changed each file name to start with its color, so every subfolder started with all the blacks, then blues, then browns, and the rest of the colors following alphabetically. Here’s a screenshot of my Gradation subfolder. You can see how this arrangement would make it really easy to choose a gradation of a specific color.
After importing, my library was a jumbled mess. For some reason, I didn’t take a screenshot of it—I was too busy hyperventilating, apparently ;^) —but imagine if you will… Most names (95%?) had been changed to either “Untitled” or back to the original file name from when I downloaded the file. As a result, my poor airplanes, angels, and other files were randomly scattered throughout the library, and my patterns were no longer organized by color.
When you have 800+ files in a folder, finding what you need when things are randomly organized… Ugh, my heart sank at the thought of how much time that would take.
Reindexing the library after importing didn’t fix things…even though the Silhouette Studio manual said reindexing would resolve library corruption issues. No, the library had to be reindexed *before* exporting to *prevent* the issues, instead.
Once the new software version replaces the old one—as happens when updating—there is no old version to go back to to reindex and export again. If this happens, you’re hooped. The only option is to start from scratch and rename everything again. Luckily, I was able to go back to V3 on the first computer, reindex the library, and load that version onto the second computer, so my story has a happy ending. Lesson learned.
It’s surprising how much of a secret this is. I read a lot and follow a lot of Silhouette blogs, but no one had advised to reindex the library before exporting. Silhouette America says nothing about it on their software update page or in the manual. So how is one to know? I happened to trip over a link to it in a footnote to a Silhouette America blog post. The link led to a page that I haven’t been able to navigate to through other parts of the website. Strange, strange, strange. But once I reindexed my library and imported the indexed library, everything was back to normal.
Hope your journey to V4 isn’t as exciting as mine.
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