Silhouette Studio Software Comparison Chart

Complete list of features available in each Silhouette Software editions available, where to get the best price, and answers to some common FAQs.

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Which Version of Silhouette Studio is Best?

If you have been wondering which version of Silhouette Studio you should get, check out the chart below for the features of each level of the software.
Please note that Business Edition is not just for people who use their machines for a business or have a business. It is the upgrade I most recommend and can be used by anyone who wants to unlock all the features of Silhouette Software.
Sometimes people buy it who don’t even have a Silhouette. Because it is very powerful and easy to use, some people use it to create SVGs to sell or to use with their Cricut.

If the text in the features column is blue, it means it links to a video or written tutorial about that feature. Click the link to learn more.

Is Silhouette Software Free?

The Basic (Standard) Edition of Silhouette Software is free for anyone to download and use, even if you don’t have a Silhouette machine. All updates of the software are also free. You only want to download the software directly from Silhouette America. Here is a link to Silhouette America website to download the software.
You will also find the upgrades available there to purchase.
See my chart below for a link to get the upgrade for almost half off. The places I recommend to buy the upgrade license are legitimate resellers of Silhouette Software Upgrade License Key.

You can download the Basic Silhouette software to any computer or Mac that meets at least these minimum system requirements. It is better if you can exceed the minimum requirements if possible because your software will run faster and be less likely to crash when launching the program or designing.
There is no limit to the number of computers you can download the free Silhouette Studio Basic (Standard) version. You just log into your Silhouette account to sync your Silhouette Library if desired.

Do I need internet to use Silhouette Software?

No, not to use the Silhouette Software. You do need internet to download the software. Once the software is downloaded to your computer you do not need internet to operate the software, open files in the software, or even send files to cut.

If you need to update your software, you will need internet. Software updates are recommended to make sure you have the latest and greatest version. Sometimes they are required for the software and machines to work properly.

Silhouette Software Update vs Upgrade

Software Updates: Occasionally, Silhouette America will update the Silhouette Software. Just like updating apps on your phone, this is usually to add new features, allow the software to work with new or updated machines, or to fix bugs or problems with the software. These updates are always free and available directly from Silhouette America website.
If you encounter problems with the software after updating you can uninstall the software and install a legacy version of the software. Click on the text at this link that says Download Legacy Versions.

Software Upgrades: These are the paid versions of the software that unlock features in the software. See the chart below to see the difference between each level of software upgrade.

There are three levels of software upgrades. These are the paid upgrades. You get them by purchasing a license key and entering it into your software. Go to Help in the top menu and click on Upgrade Silhouette Studio. Enter your license key.

Designer Edition
Designer+ Edition
Business Edition

If you already have an upgrade and want to go up to the next level or all the way to Business Edition, click here to choose the step up you need.

The license keys can either be purchased as physical cards (like a gift card), or sent digitally via email. Make sure the one you are purchasing is the one you are expecting.

There are license keys for each of the three software upgrades as well as options to upgrade in steps.

For example. You can purchase a license key to go from Basic to Designer Edition and then if you decide you want to upgrade to Designer+ or Business edition, you can purchase a license key to make that next step. It costs a few extra dollars to upgrade in steps but is still very reasonable if you aren’t sure you need the full Business Edition Upgrade right away.

If you purchase your license keys in steps, you need to enter the license keys in the same order for them to work.
For example. If you purchase Designer Edition and the later you purchase the Designer Edition to Business Edition upgrade, if you already have Designer Edition activated on your computer then you can go ahead and enter the Designer Edition to Business Edition Key and start using it. If you get a second or third computer, you first need to enter the Designer Edition upgrade license key and activate it, and THEN enter the Designer Edition to Business Edition license key to activate the upgrade.
NOTE: Silhouette recently changed the process and now your Software Upgrade License Key is linked to your Silhouette account and not your software on your computer. You only have to have it entered in your account now and it will be active on any computer you use Silhouette Studio on as long as you are logged into your account.

How much do Silhouette Studio Upgrades Cost?

Authorized Silhouette Distributors used to be able to offer discounts on Silhouette Studio Upgrades but Silhouette does not allow that as they used to. Sometimes there are sales. I will try to share sales when I see them.
The two main sites I suggest for Silhouette software upgrades because they do offer sales on occasion are The Vinyl Spectrum and SwingDesign.
You could or course get your software upgrade from Silhouette America but it is less often that they have a sale on the software upgrades.
Current pricing for the software is listed below in the chart also.
Be sure to sign up for my email newsletter because I will let you know if I hear about any sales on Silhouette Studio Software Upgrades.

Designer Edition $49.99
Designer + Edition $74.99
Business Edition $100

Is a Silhouette Software upgrade a one time purchase or monthly?

Silhouette Software upgrades are a one time purchase. All the updates, all the Cameo, Portrait, or Curio machines you have, on any computer you use, as long as you are logged into your Silhouette account in Silhouette Studio.

Will I have to pay for Silhouette Software again if I change computers or get a new Silhouette?

No. If you stop using a computer and want to switch it to a new one, just log into your Silhouette account in Silhouette Studio. If you don’t see the upgraded version of the software, go to Help, and down to View In and make sure your version is selected.

Silhouette Software operates all of your Silhouette Cameo, Portrait, and Curio machines. It doesn’t matter how many machines you have, they all operate with one license.

What if my computer crashes before I can de-activate my Silhouette Studio license key?

You can have the license key installed on up to three computers but if you have installed all three and one of your computers crash, try contacting Silhouette America to reset one of your keys. They set the limit to help prevent people from sharing license keys, not to prevent you from using your own.
If you are on software version 4.4.452 or higher and you are in the DESIGN page of the software, go to Help, and click Apply Upgrade Edition. This will open a page on the Silhouette webiste where you enter the license key. Then the license key is in your Silhouette Account, you just have to make sure you are logged into your Silhouette Account when you use Silhouette Studio (in the library) and you are viewing the software in the correct edition.

Silhouette Studio Software Comparison Chart

TIP: If you are viewing this chart on you phone or tablet, turn it sideways to view all the columns of the chart at once.

FeaturesBasic (Standard)
Edition
Designer
Edition
Designer+
Edition
Business
Edition
Retail PriceFREE$49.99$74.99$99.99
Authorized Dealer (possibly discounted)Click HereClick HereClick Here
Create Designs and Send to SilhouetteThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.png
Basic Design and Text ToolsThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.png
Manipulation Tools:
Move, Rotate, Scale, Align, Replicate
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Modification Tools:
Weld, Divide, Crop, Subtract
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Cut by Line or Fill ColorThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.png
Font Access
(use fonts installed on your computer)
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Import JPG, PNG, DXF, BMP filesThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.png
TraceThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is checkmark-in-green-circle.png