Top 8 Embroidery Software Programs: Unleash Your Creativity

35 Models Considered
70 Hours of Research
6 Experts Interviewed
235 Reviews Analyzed

Even the best embroidery machine is pretty much useless in the absence of a top-quality embroidery software. There is a large selection of embroidery software available out there, but it can often be difficult to choose the right one, mostly because different brands of embroidery machines use different software. To choose the best embroidery software for your particular needs, you need to pay attention not only the features it comes with, but also to the compatibility of the software with your machine. The choice becomes even more tricky when you’re looking to purchase software that you can use on multiple embroidery machines.

With embroidery machine software, you can choose from a wide selection of embroidery designs and patterns, as well as design your own for complete personalization of your embroideries. You can also digitize various designs you may already have in other formats, so embroidery software is surely something you need to have if you want to take the next step into the creative world of embroidery, whether for fun or business purposes.

Top 8 Embroidery Software Programs Review 2019

To make the selection process easier, we spent days researching the best embroidery software on the market, looking at multiple factors such as what and use it for, file formats compatibility, and operating system compatibility. Below you will find a comparison table outlining the main features of the software that made it to the top, together with detailed reviews of each of the software. In the end, have a look at our buying guide that summarizes everything there is to know about purchasing the best embroidery software. Now, let’s have a look at the ones that made it to the top.

Image and Rating
Name and Features
Price
10
Editor's Choice
Embroidery software will a variety of editing features, compatible with Windows and Mac
9.8
2. BuzzEdit v3 – Embroidery Design Editor
Best Embroidery Software for Automatic Borders
Best Embroidery Software for Automatic Borders
Software for Windows with basic design editing functions
9.5
3. Embrilliance Essentials, Embroidery Software for Mac & PC
Best Embroidery Software for Beginners
Best Embroidery Software for Beginners
Includes monogramming and design editing features, suitable for Windows and Mac
9.3
4. Amazing Designs Digitize N Stitch Software
Best Software for Converting Clip Art
Best Software for Converting Clip Art
Convert clip art to embroidery, cross-stitch and appliqué designs
9.1
5. BuzzSize Embroidery Design Resizer
Best Embroidery Software for Resizing
Best Embroidery Software for Resizing
Increase design size up to 200%, compatible with Windows
9.0
Budget Pick
Features a wide variety of lettering and monogramming functions
8.8
7. Amazing Designs LETTER IT!
Best User-Friendly Embroidery Software
Best User-Friendly Embroidery Software
Lettering software with circle, vertical and path text options
8.7
8. Amazing Designs Monogram It
Best Stand-Alone Monogramming Embroidery Software
Best Stand-Alone Monogramming Embroidery Software
Monogramming software, compatible with Windows

Features
  • Compatible with: Mac OS & Windows XP
  • Use for: creating and editing designs
  • File formats: ART, ART42, ART50, ART60, CND, CSD, DST, EMB, EXP, EXP+, HUS, JAN, JEF, JEF+, PCS, PCM, PES, PHB, PHC, PHD, SEW, SHV, TAP, VIP, VP3, XXX, Designer 1

Extra features: includes Level 1 and Level 2 software, includes a wide range of stitches

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Our best all-around choice is the StitchArtist Level 3 Digitizing Embroidery Software created by Embrilliance. This program is compatible with PC and Mac computers and allows you to create machine embroidery designs from scratch, something that comes in very handy when you’re looking for an embroidery software to use for commercial purposes. You can start creating your designs by using some of the existing artwork incorporated in the software or simply by drawing with stitches. Many of the users who reviewed this product like the way you can control the shapes and set the properties of the stitches to create designs that are completely unique.

According to the manufacturer, StitchArtist has been designed for ease of use and the digitizing process reflects this. Even though this software has a learning curve that many have found rather steep, this tool allows you to concentrate on your designs by taking the difficulty out of the software. You can find numerous videos and tutorials online, which complement the instruction manual provided. Once you get the hang of it, sky is truly the limit when it comes to creating completely custom designs for your customers.

This software comes in three levels, suitable for different skill levels. If you are a hobby embroiderer wants to create stitches that look professional without breaking the bank, Level 1 includes everything you need to create appliqué designs or for unifying various elements for design compositions. Levels two and three are designed for production for those who are looking to create more sophisticated designs or who use the software commercially. StitchArtist 3 is a rather pricey proposition on enthusiasts, but the embroidery designs you can obtain with it are second to none.

Pros
  • Highly customizable designs
  • Available for both PC and Mac
  • Instant stitch generation
Cons
  • Price
  • Difficult to master

2.

BuzzEdit v3 – Embroidery Design Editor Best Embroidery Software for Automatic Borders

Features
  • Compatible with: Windows 7/ 8/ 10/ Vista/ XP
  • Use for: embroidery stitch editing, basic digitizing and customization
  • File formats: compatible with all formats

Extra features: automatically creates borders and wreaths, stich editing, auto-hooping

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This powerful embroidery software and stitch editor is compatible with Microsoft Windows 10 and earlier and is one of the best choices out there for those who are interested in embroidery stitch editing. With the help of this software, you can easily add, delete, or move stitches while also being able to digitize objects to edit them further. Users love the appliqué function of this editor that allows you to finish your designs in one step, as well as the Continuous Border Wizard that allows you to create continuous borders with perfect alignment every time.

One of the best reasons to purchase the BuzzEdit v3 is the fact that you can use files in just about any format and save your designs in various formats as well, which are compatible with many of the embroidery machines available on the market. Moreover, this software allows you to enlarge your designs and shrink them to obtain the perfect size with just a couple of clicks, while also letting you change colors and print out your designs in their real size.

BuzzEdit v3 has a print worksheet function that lets you select the threads and colors with ease. Moreover, it features a Wreath Wizard, which coordinates label designs and wreaths and sorts the colors automatically to save you time.

Pros
  • Compatible with all formats
  • Superb embroidery stitch editing
  • Design resizing feature
Cons
  • Not compatible with Mac

3.

Embrilliance Essentials, Embroidery Software for Mac & PC Best Embroidery Software for Beginners

Features
  • Compatible with: Mac OS & Windows XP
  • Use for: monogramming and basic design editing
  • File format: ART, ART42, ART50, ART60, CND, CSD, DST, EMB, EXP, EXP+, HUS, JAN, JEF, JEF+, PCS, PCM, PES, PHB, PHC, PHD, SEW, SHV, TAP, VIP, VP3, XXX

Extra features: resizes with automatic stitch recalculation, spiral text, text enlargement

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The Embrilliance Essentials, Embroidery Software for Mac & PC lets you control the editing process in detail, while allowing you to overlap your design and resize your creations with automatic stitch recalculation. Most of the users who reviewed this software reached the conclusion it is very easy to use even if you have never used this type of software before, even though you may need more than just basic computer skills to operate it.

The software is available for both PC and Mac and is easy to connect to a computerized embroidery machine. According to numerous reviewers, this is one of the best embroidery software out there for removing under-stitching. The software is ideal for adding monogramming and basic design editing, which makes it an excellent choice for beginners.

The powerful text formatting function of this software allows you to add lettering in monogram, circle, and multi-line modes. With this software, you can even spiral your text, something that is not often available with other types of software. You can also colorise your designs or you change just one of colors in your design. Merging designs is easy with this software, because it includes an entire library of stock elements and shapes that you may include into your creations. Another thing that many users love about software is the fact that it comes with many levels of “Undo” functionality, which means that you can step back through changes with ease.

Pros
  • Compatible with both PC and Mac
  • Easy to follow simulator
  • Easy to use even for beginners
Cons
  • Requires some computer skills
  • Price

4.

Amazing Designs Digitize N Stitch Software Best Software for Converting Clip Art

Features
  • Compatible with: Windows 7/ 8/ 10/ Vista
  • Use for: converting clip art to embroidery designs
  • File format: BLF, CSD, DST, EMD, EX, HUS, SHV, JEF, PCS, PCM, VIP, PES, SEW, XXX

Extra features: also creates cross-stitch and appliqué designs, includes 301 icon designs, 40 built-in appliqué shapes

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Suitable for both beginners and enthusiasts alike the Amazing Designs Digitize N Stitch software makes it very easy to turn your favorite scanned images or clip art into unique embroidery or appliqué designs. This software allows you save outline files for outstanding editing results and is easy to learn and use for beginners, while still offering numerous advanced features for the more experienced users.

Thanks to the auto-digitizing features of this software, you can automatically convert all kinds of artwork and images into your choice of applique, cross-stitch, or a combination of embroidery designs. The software comes with over 300 icon designs and almost 200 decorative stitches and you can choose from a variety of borders to suit your project.

The Amazing Designs Digitize N Stitch Software features the Magic Wand function that allows you to instantly apply an appliqué to just one portion of your design or the entire thing, which allows for increased flexibility. Many users liked the detailed built-in help section of the software that makes it easy to master its features and techniques. With the Realistic Design Preview, you can visualize any of your finished projects against a fabric image or a background color. Finally, the software saves your files in a variety of formats that makes it compatible with various types of machines such as Janome, Singer, Elna, Viking, and more.

Pros
  • Easy to master
  • Superb auto-digitizing features
  • Realistic design preview
Cons
  • Not compatible with Mac

5.

BuzzSize Embroidery Design Resizer Best Embroidery Software for Resizing

Features
  • Compatible with: Windows 98 to Windows 7
  • Use for: resizing your designs and basic design editing
  • File format: ART, ART50, ART60, CND, CSD, DST, EMB, EXP, HUS, JEF, JEF+, PCS, PEC, PES, PHC, PHD, SEW, SHV, VIP, VP3, XXX

Extra features: resize from 50-200%, adjust density, automatic stitch recalculation

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The BuzzSize Embroidery Design Resizer is the best option available on the market for those who are interested in design resizing. With this software, you can resize your designs easily while also being able to adjust the density of the stitches. The software calculates the number of stitches automatically so you can get the best possible results without hassle.

One of the features that many users like about the BuzzSize Embroidery Design Resizer is the fact that they are able to resize their design instantly from 50% to 200%. You can also resize the entire design or just one colour at a time to specific dimensions. Moreover, the software has the ability to maintain the original fill patterns and you can also rotate your designs to any angle for enhanced visibility.

The BuzzSize Embroidery Design Resizer has a realistic 3D preview window and a sew simulator, so you can get a good idea of how the design should look before actually stitching it. This software is available as a stand-alone program, but you can also use it in combination with other tools such as with BuzzEdit V2 for enhanced capabilities.

Pros
  • Instant resize
  • Maintains the original fill patterns
  • Automatic stitch recalculation
Cons
  • Not enough capabilities as standalone

Features
  • Compatible with: Windows 7/ 8.1 /10
  • Use for: lettering and monogramming
  • File format: PES, PHC, SEW, JEF, HUS, PCS, DST, XXX, EXP, SHV, VIP, VP3, ART

Extra features: use for 4″x4″ and 5″x7″ hoops, 25 lettering fonts & 5 monogramming fonts, merge designs

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An easy-to-use software suitable even for those who have never used an embroidery machine before, the Brother Initial Stitch Embroidery Lettering & Monogramming Software includes a variety of useful editing tools such as reshape, resize, flip, centre, and align tools. One of the reasons many users love this software is the fact that it is compatible with most brands of home embroidery machines and is very easy to master in just a couple of hours.

The software lets users review their designs on a variety of background colors, and you can also choose your own imported fabric to see exactly how the design would look before stitching. Compatible with PCs running Windows 7 and later, this software comes as a prepaid download, so you will need an Internet connection to redeem the activation code and download the software. You can use this software with any model of Brother embroidery machine, as well as with machines from other brands that use the file format specified in the manual. Many users mentioned that the budget friendly price makes this software attractive for beginners, and that you get a lot for your money since it features 25 built-in lettering fonts and five monogramming fonts.

Pros
  • Easy to learn
  • Works with all Brother embroidery machines
  • Multiple editing tools including resizing
Cons
  • Not compatible with Mac
  • Requires Internet connection for activation

7.

Amazing Designs LETTER IT! Best User-Friendly Embroidery Software

Features
  • Compatible with: Windows 7/ Vista/ XP
  • Use for: lettering and monogramming
  • File format: BLF, PES (1, 6, 7, 8, 9), JEF, VIP, VP3, Elna EMD, SEW, PCS, Singer EMD, XXX, CSD, DST, EXP, SHV, HUS, PCM

Extra features: 35 fonts to choose from, circle, vertical and path text options

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This software is a feature packed program that allows you to customize all types of embroidery designs. Many of the users who tested it mentioned that the software has all the functionalities you may need to create eye-catching designs for clients. You have up to 35 fonts to choose from and you can create single line or multi-line texts. One of the best things about the Brother Initial Stitch Embroidery Lettering & Monogramming Software is the fact that it is easy to use for all skill levels and it comes with all the instructions you need to get started right away.

While it is not available for Mac computers and for PCs running Windows 10, the Brother Initial Stitch Embroidery Lettering & Monogramming Software has the ability to import alphabet design collections and give you realistic previews of your embroideries before actually stitching them. The software allows you to use path text, circle text, and vertical text layouts as well. Many users mentioned that the software is a budget friendly toys for those who want a program that allows them to customize various types of embroidery projects without spending a fortune for spending too much time learning the ropes of a complex software.

Pros
  • Multiple fonts to choose from
  • Suitable for lettering and monograming
  • Supports multiple file formats
Cons
  • Not compatible with Windows 10 or Mac

8.

Amazing Designs Monogram It Best Stand-Alone Monogramming Embroidery Software

Features
  • Compatible with: Windows 7/ Vista/ XP
  • Use for: monogramming
  • File format: BLF, PES (1, 6, 7, 8, 9), JEF, VIP, VP3, Elna EMD, SEW, PCS, Singer EMD, XXX, CSD, DST, EXP, SHV, HUS, PCM

Extra features: comes with 25 monogram frames, 39 embroidery designs, 24 monogram fonts and 2 appliqué fonts

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The Amazing Designs Monogram It software is the best choice on the market those who are interested in creating unique monograms in a variety of fonts. According to many of the users who tested the software, you can easily watch how your monogram will sew out thanks to the Draw Bar feature. This software comes with 39 built-in embroidery designs and 25 built in monogram frames. It is compatible with PCs running Windows and or earlier and requires a CD-ROM drive for installation.

This is one of the few software on the market that allows you to merge embroidery designs with monograms while also allowing you to rotate, resize, color advance, flip horizontal and vertical and more. With this software, it is very easy to customize your embroidery project even if you don’t have a lot of previous experience. You can select a background color or scan your own fabric to use as a background in order to see how your embroidery will look like before stitching it. Moreover, you can view all your embroidery design thumbnails in the browser of your computer for easy access. Many users mentioned that the software is very easy to use, and it doesn’t have a very steep learning curve. Amazing Designs Monogram It comes with all instructions you need to get started right away even if you don’t have previous experience with embroidery.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Perfect for monogramming
  • Endless customization options
Cons
  • Not compatible with Mac

Buying Guide

Without effective software, you may not be able to use all the functions of your embroidery machine. Even though many of the embroidery machines you can purchase these days come with their own library of designs and built-in software, you may quickly find that those designs are not quite enough for those who are highly creative. If you require embroidery digitizing software, you may find it rather tricky to choose the best software for your needs. Below is a buying guide that will help you make an informed choice.

Advantages of choosing top-quality embroidery software

One of the main benefits of having a top-quality embroidery software installed on your computer is that you are no longer limited by the designs offered by your embroidery machine when it comes to unleashing your creativity. Even though the designs that come built in embroidery machines might be enough for people with embroidery as a time passing activity, if you are serious about your hobby or if you are doing embroidery commercially, you need software that does more than simply storing some designs and stitches. For example, you may need a program that allows the use of scanned images so you can create the exact designs your clients want. Some of the most powerful software programs for embroidery allow you to create complex designs by yourself.  Finally, you may need software that allows you downloaded images from specialized websites.

Features to consider when choosing embroidery software

540_001As you would expect from any kind of computer software, there are multiple features to consider when choosing the best digitizing software for embroidery machines. Some of the most essential factors to look at before deciding which software would work best for you include its compatibility with the operating system of your computer, whether it is a suitable choice for commercial embroidery, the format uses for uploading and downloading files, as well as the price range to make sure it is within your budget.

Operating system compatibility

Many of the embroidery software products available on the market are compatible with both Windows and Mac computers, but you need to check on an individual basis to make sure your preferred option will work on your computer. You may find that many of the low priced and by the choices out there are only compatible with Windows computers.

Even if you are looking for embroidery software that works on Windows, you need to make sure the software is compatible with your version of the operating system.

Key functions

Brother Luminaire Innov-is XP1 Sewing, Embroidery, & Quilting MachineSome of the key functions you need to look for when shopping for the best embroidery software program include the ability of editing and creating designs as well as the existence of a monogramming and lettering function. If you want to create your own designs or edit your own creations or designs that you have downloaded from the Internet, you need to make sure the software you choose has the capability to edit and resize everything according to your needs. If you are looking for quality software to use for monogramming, you should make sure that the one you choose has all the text patterns you may need or special functions such as Spiral Text that you can find in Embrilliance Essentials or Circle Text that you can find in LETTER IT!. However, if you only need a simple resizer, you don’t need to spend a fortune on complex embroidery software – a simple resized such as the BuzzSize resizer would do.

Formats

Because different embroidery machines use different formats to import and export design files, you need to make sure that the software you choose can handle the formats used by your particular machine.
You need to make sure that the embroidery machine has the ability to read the files created by the software, and also check whether you are existing designs you may have in your collection can be read by the software as well.

Commercial embroidery software vs. home-use

Depending on whether you use your embroidery machine at home as a hobby or as part of a business, you may need different features and functionality from your embroidery software. For example, our best all-around choice, the Embrilliance StitchArtist Level 3 Digitizing Embroidery Software for Mac & PC is a wonderful choice for those who are looking for a wide variety of functions and features that may optimize their designs used in a commercial way. However, the same software maybe a bit too much for someone who only uses an embroidery machine as a hobby, not only when it comes to price, but also because it may take a lot of practice to master the software. A simpler solution such as the Embrilliance Essentials, Embroidery Software for Mac & PC would be a better choice for embroidery enthusiasts.

 Price range

Embroidery software varies in price from under $100 to over $700, so it’s important to keep in features and functionality you need before deciding what kind of money are you willing to spend on this type of program. As a rule of thumb, you should not skimp if you are planning to use the software commercially, but you shouldn’t overpay for a software with complex functionalities are a home user who is highly unlikely to use all of them.

Free embroidery software vs. paid:

brother-luminaire-innovis-xp1-sewing-and-embroidery-machine-[4]-7207-pYou can find free embroidery software online and many users decide to use that first before buying dedicated software. However, keep in mind that paid versions of software offer better customer support and instructions, and you also benefit from getting all future updates. This is particularly important for those who are using the software commercially. You should also remember that a free application might not be a suitable choice for all your needs, with many free versions of paid software allowing you to access just the basic features to get a taste of the product. Generally, paid software is the way to go for both home users and professionals because it offers more functionality and better options, together with working smoother and allowing access to responsive technical customer support.

FAQ

The digitizing software you purchase does not interact with your embroidery machine, which means that you need to know what kind of files your machine can read before making a purchase. You should check the formats the machine reads by having a look at the manual provided by the manufacturer. If you have a collection of existing designs that come in multiple formats, it would be a good idea to make sure that the software you choose can read them all.

Resizing and aligning embroidery designs is not an easy task, as you need to change the stitch properties and change the settings of the underlays to avoid distortions. Depending on the software you use, you may need to complete one or more steps for digitizing and resizing.

Most of the times, you can use embroidery software on multiple computers, which comes in handy for businesses or families who want to share the program. Check with the manufacturer beforehand to confirm, though, because sometimes usage is limited to a single computer.

Again, this depends on your embroidery machine. Some models allow a direct connection to your computer, where you can import and edit the designs. Others require the use of a USB flash drive. In any case, you need to make sure the formats are compatible with the software.

Not all software allows you to split designs, and this is often a feature that you find on higher-end software, such as out top choice, the Embrilliance StitchArtist Level 3.

Our Verdict

No matter what type of software you need, it’s important to look at all the features and functionality it provides before making the choice. If you are looking for a complete solution that works well for professionals and enthusiasts alike, our top choice is the Embrilliance StitchArtist Level 3 Digitizing Embroidery Software for Mac & PC, which features a multitude of options while being available for both PC computers and Mac. Those who are looking for a more budget friendly solution that still delivers most of the functionality of our best all-around software may have a look at the BuzzEdit v3 – Embroidery Design Editor, which is one of the best choices out there for automatic borders. Finally, if you are looking for the best embroidery software for beginners, the Embrilliance Essentials, Embroidery Software for Mac & PC as everything you need to get started right away without hindering your creativity.

10/10 Total Score
Embrilliance StitchArtist Level 3 Digitizing Embroidery Software for Mac & PC - Editor's Choice
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