Learn the Basics of How SAI Flexi Designer Works

Learn the Basics of How SAI Flexi Designer Works


Let’s take a quick tour of Flexi. My goal is to get you started as fast as possible, so it’s not ultimate details. For that you can use the training DVD. Our goal
here is to show you how to open files, type some text, work with some bitmaps, and generally how to use the program for designing purposes. Let’s get started. So the very first thing you should do is
just get familiar with the Flexi interface. Just take a look at it. Go all the way around the edges, look at
the swatch table on the bottom and zoom tools on the left. Here are some shapes and text tools. At the top there are more icons. You can turn things on and off with these
icons up here. For instance, there’s the Cloud — turn it off and on. And that brings me to the Cloud features over here on the right-hand side. Go through the menus to see
what’s in there. Just take a tour of it yourself. If you’re familiar with Illustrator or Corel or some other programs, you can go to the “File” menu and choose “Workspace” to change the interface. If you want it to
look like Adobe Illustrator, you click on Adobe here, and it’ll change the look of the
interface, as well as the shortcut keys so it’s more familiar to you. Those of you
that are old Gerber users can change it to the Omega interface. Or if you’re a Corel user, change it to the Corel interface. That way it becomes more familiar and it’s easier to work with. For most users, you’re just going to leave it on the default interface, which is going to be the basic interface here. Become familiar with it. Recognize that when your mouse sits on any icon, or any space, you generally get help for
that. So take a few minutes now and become familiar with the interface. The next thing we’ll show you is how to open and save files. You can do that from
the “File” menu. You can “Open” over here or “Save” here, or there’s an icon right here on the upper left-hand side there. Let’s open the file. Click “Open.” You
can go anywhere on your server, on your PC, wherever you can find files. And the initial type is “all readable,” which means that it will find any of these formats. If you’re searching for a specific format like JPEG files, you can choose that and then it would limit itself to finding just JPEG files. Now, these file formats come in all types of different versions. Version 1, 2, 3, that kind of thing. To get help, go to the Help menu and choose “Help topics.” That will start up the Help menu in your
regular browser. Way down here at the bottom, you’ll find the Appendix with supported file formats. I’m going to click on and that. This is a really good page to print out. It shows you the file format. It says Adobe
Illustrator. “Extension” — it gives you the extension of that file format. It gives you the import versions, up
to CS6. Export as CS6. Same thing with Photoshop. As the file format import and export versions change, you’ll be able to see which version you got there. You also have old Flexi files here. Flexi
5, 6, 7, 7.5. Those can be opened. You may have to look through this to
make sure you have the right format as well as the right version in order to
open that file. Let’s close that up. Let’s open a file. I’ll just grab one off of here. We’ll just look at maybe one of these right here. There’s a nice file right there. Make your changes to it and now you need to save it. I’m going to click “File” and “Save.” And it will save over the same name or I can choose “Save As” if I want to rename it. Notice the file type here is just Flexi — FS or PD. Those are Flexi formats. That
means another Flexi user could open those files. Let’s work with text for a few moments here. I want to teach you some simple ways to work with text. Remember, this is just a general way of working with it for details. You’ll want to invest in that training DVD with hours of training on there for
you. There are a couple of places you can find text options. Up here in the menu you have all the text
options. We won’t go over all of these. We will touch on barcodes and the new QR code capabilities built into Flexi. Then on the left-hand
side you’ll see a text icon and there’s a small little arrow on
the top here. If you hold the mouse button down that
gives you all the text options out here. Now to give me some more room to
work, I’m going to turn off the Cloud features, just for a little extra room there. Let’s click on the regular text. Click on “T” for text and click on the screen and type some text. I typed in some text there. I notice right away, all the sudden there’s a squiggly red line under the word of what’s supposed to be “training.” Believe me I do know how to spell that, and I’m glad you’re getting the training. If I right-click on that squiggly line, it means I’ve misspelled the word. Flexi automatically spell checks. Right-click on it and it’s going to give you some suggestions. If it’s a proper name, you can add it to the dictionary. We know it’s supposed to be “training.” Click on that and it corrects the spelling. That’s pretty easy.
Now the way Flexi works when you’re making changes to text — whether you’re
changing font style or justification — is you have to select what you want to
change. If I go here and try to select this paragraph of text, and I skipped that
letter T, everything will change except the letter
T. If I change the size, the T stays the same, which isn’t a
good thing. You want to be sure you select everything that you want to change. I’m going to work with the entire grouping of text here. We’ll expand it just a little bit so we
can see it a little bit better. Let’s make a few changes. You can change the font style to whatever font style that you want. Change that back to whatever font style that you need. Change as many times you want as long as its selected. It’s using
True Type fonts so you can use some of the True Type capabilities in here like italics and bold and whatever you need to do to make the text look right. If you look at DesignCentral, you’ll see
little pop-up helpers happening. Character width is included, character slant, tracking, vertical offset. Then I notice line spacing is grayed out. That’s because there’s a little arrow
here that is set to automatic. if I want to change that I go to “Specify” and then I’m in control. But it’s based on what you select, so be sure you select that. If I go to the next tab it’s Justification. There’s Center Justify and Right Justify. When I click on Full Justify, it pops up an Options menu which is covered fully
in the training DVD, but it’s not difficult to use. I’m going to click Left Justify. There is
word spacing here. You can space the words a little bit if
you want to. I wanna show you something that you
need to be careful about, right here. It’s called Text Right to Left. A lot of folks mistake
that for mirror. That is not mirror. That is for languages that read from right to left. Don’t mistake
that for mirror. You’ll be a little embarrassed if you cut that out or print that out in that
way. That’s one way of working with text. Another way of working with text — click the arrow tool. Select your text and then click on the “A” tab. That opens up little node points throughout the text. I’m going to move
DesignCentral out of the way because this is really a way of
designing with text using visual effects. What do all these little dots and Xs mean? If you let your mouse sit there it says
“tracking” on that one. That’s a way of changing the spacing between the letters. Here is line spacing. I’m going to click on this node point right in front of the “I,” and I’m going to move it with my mouse. Everything moves. You can get really precise when changing lettering and text. If you look at this X, I’m going to move these two lines. You notice they are both moving. I’m going to hold my control key down. Watch — it only moves the one line. Or if I hold my Shift key down it moves just the one line. Sometimes I’m trying to put a logo in this area right here. I
don’t want to be center justified or right justified. I just want to move the text over so it goes around a logo. Something
like that. Same thing is true when you’re moving this up here. When you’re moving everything past that, when I hold the
control key down it moves just the one letter. SHIFT key moves that one letter. I can literally move just one letter if I have to. If I want to adjust kerning between letters because I don’t like the way it looks. Again, use the T for text to either select it and make
changes, or use the Arrow tool and then select
the A tab on your DesignCentral and make changes visually. Let’s type in a web site name. Let’s go back to regular text. And we’ll type in a web site. A great place to go to, by the way if you need additional assistance. Remember, that squiggly line means it is misspelled. I know that’s the website name. I could right-click on it and add that to dictionary. That
way next time I type it, it will spell check on that word and that may be something I want to do. What I want to show you here is from the Text menu, you have the new QR codes, which is kind of neat. I’m going to take that website right there and change it into a QR code box. If you have a smartphone with you, you could use your QR code reader on your smart phone to take a picture of that and it will take you right to that website. The QR Code can be a nice little addition you can add to some of your visual art graphics. “Working with Bitmaps” Now we’re going to talk a little bit about bitmaps. They are a special case. They’re not
vector artwork. Vector artwork is like creating shapes
or text or something like that. Bitmaps are an entirely different kind
of object. This bitmap, for instance, is a
photograph of a young boy. When I click on that bitmap in DesignCentral, it switches over to
the properties. You can see that it’s about 32 by 48, so it’s a very big bitmap. The third tab over tells me that this
bitmap is an RGB image and that it’s 72 pixels per
inch. That’s the resolution of the image. The last tab tells me that in color management for this bitmap it’s
got an sRGB embedded profile. That may not make much sense to you. It’s for color printing. We’ll get to that later. It’s going to make a lot of sense. DesignCentral gives you a lot of information about a bitmap. If I work with this bitmap and I zoom in on it, there’s a great
little zoom tool over here on the left-hand side. It’s this little 1:1 actual zoom. If I click on that, it blows up the bitmap to physically
the size that it would print. In other words, when I look at this bitmap now and I look at the face, I notice that there’s not very much pixelization on the image. This is going to print really well at this large size like this. “Vectorizing Made Easy in Flexi” I’m going to open up a really bad-looking file. This is
something that in training DVD you’ll see some really
good close examination of this. But take a look at this image. This is really a bad, poor quality image. I could take that image and when I vectorized this, I
would probably use something like this Bezier feature. Basically it skips all that halo and all the other stuff in the back. I’ll move the bitmap out of the way. This is the finished product. I mean literally this is a traced image and its really accurate. You
can see it’s smoothed out. Even though it was lot of jagged lines on the edge here it actually smoothed them all out. If I zoom in on there, I just use my editing tools to
look at the points. It doesn’t put in like billions of points either. It did a really good job of tracing an image that was poor quality.
When you have poor quality images like that especially black and white, in your bitmap menu where you have your
tracing, I suggest the Bezier. There are other methods in here. Auto Trace, Center Line, Picture Cut, Enhanced Curves, Enhanced Corners…all these are different methods for tracing bitmaps. That’s an overview a bitmaps and it
gives you an idea of what you can do to create and use
bitmaps within Flexi.


8 thoughts on “Learn the Basics of How SAI Flexi Designer Works

  1. How felxi designer really works is it shows you all these nice bright colors then you soft proof and none of the color profiles will print what you see. Ive tried almost everything and there is no videos out here for setting my color to print the color I want. Why should I even have to mess with this at all? If I want to print blue I should be able to click the blue square and it should print blue not purple and the other colors print like faded colors. Why isn't there a video on this ?

  2. call customer support they don't help and they just tell me to reinstall the program which I already did I'm so sick and tired of dealing with this product and I pay monthly and still cant get help.

  3. Hello, when I open my flexi I do not have the design central box or the stoke/fill box that appears on the right hand side. Could you pls advise
    Thank you

  4. I'm sure this isnt the right area but i have a small issue in the FILL STROKE EDITOR BOX when i click on the arrow to change the color, no colors come up or appear, the arrow goes down but nothing happens or changes, please help!

  5. I have a question how do you remove the little space you get to help weave letter or designs.. i wNt to get complete cuts

  6. As stupid as this sounds, how do you make the Print Label readable in the crop mark section? I have tried 4 pt and 36 pt and it always comes out so small, you have to read it with a LOOP…… How do you make it ACTUALLY larger?? No matter the size I make mine I swear its 1 pt tall.. Its almost dotted lines. I am blown away the Latex actually printed it.

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