Brother PE Design 5.0

Brother PE Design 5.0

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Brother PE-Design Version 5

Apr 7, 2003 (Updated Mar 16, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Wonderful new improvements over version 4.0

Cons:Some minor bugs that need to be fixed but there are work arounds.

The Bottom Line: Who can't resist the next best step in the home embroidery software?


Brother PE-Design 5.0 software for creating your embroidery designs is a software accessory for creating your own embroidery designs and to customize your purchased designs. You will need a USB port for the reader/writer module which is also security dongle.

PE-Design 5.0 contains 3 separate programs that each perform certain tasks. These sections are Design Center, Layout and Editing, and Programmable Stitch Creator. PE-Design 5.0 will allow you to create a design up to 6x10 inches in size. You can also "export" a design into PCS, HUS, DST formats.

Design Center - is almost auto digitizing but you have more control of the design from this section than most auto digitizing software. Start with a good clean image file and follow the "stages" in Design Center until you set the attributes for the various fills and lines in the last stage of creation.

Layout and Editing - this is the section of the program that you have the most control over your design. You are able to use the "manual" punch tool to create a design. This tool is an advanced feature but the final product is as close to a professional embroidery design as you can create with home embroidery software at a fraction of the cost.
Text can be added to designs in Layout and Editing. Most true type fonts on your computer can be used in Layout and editing with just a click of a button. Editing is a snap through the text editing menu: kerning, spacing, rotation, alignment. Other creative editing for text includes fitting text to a path or transformations - various shapes for the text to fit into like banner shapes. You are able to edit the text so that each letter is a different font, fill, outline, color or size. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination.
Layout and Editing also has a fun new feature - photostitch. Photostitch will take a photo or drawing and create an interesting picture. This feature does take some manipulation in order to get the photo right but the results are interesting. I have re-created several painting with Photostitch like Van Gogh's Starry Night and Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. These designs take several hours to stitch but it is interesting to watch the pictures "develop" with each layer of thread. Photostitch has several methods to automatically create a design. Photostitch 1 - color, a is the original version of photostitch.
Photostitch 1 - mono, is similar to the original version of photostitch but uses only one color of thread to create shadows and light.
Photostitch 2 - color, uses only 4 threads each color stitching in different directions and varying from straight lines to zigzag to blend colors for a design.
Photostitch 2 - mono, uses only 1 thread color to create a design with the stitch varying from straight line to zigzag.
Cross stitch - automatically creates your design using cross stitch fills. This is a very basic cross stitch design and does not have the ability to do half cross stitches.
One of the best new features in version 5.0 is "film strip" view of the design. This is the new way to change the stitch order on portions of the design. Just click on a portion of the design and drag it to a new location in the stitching order, just that simple.

You can also combine several different designs in Layout and Editing to create your own scenes.

Programmable Stitch Creator - allows you to create various fills for your designs. These can be fills or motifs. Fills are solid fills with a design created by needle stops. Motifs are more like lace. Open running stitches create the motif fills. Motifs can make interesting outlines for appliques. Using a blanket type stitch for an applique will make an applique look more handmade.

Version 5.0 comes in two different configurations. If you have a full older version of the PE-Design then you can purchase the "upgrade". The upgrade contains a cd for the software, a usb reader/writer box and a new embroidery card. During installation the upgrade will search your system for a previous version of the PE-Design. If you don't have a previous version of the PE-Design then you will need to purchase the full version which also comes with a cd, usb reader/writer box and a new blank card.

Once you have installed the version 5.0 you will need to go to the Brother website at www.brother.com and download a patch for 5.01, this patch will correct some bugs with the software. Also if you are running Windows 2000, check the information on the Brother web site for a different patch to get the software to run properly. The patch for Windows 2000 needs to be installed before you install version 5.0 on your computer. This review is just a brief description of the PE-Design 5.0 for the home embroidery machines.

Note: an update is available on the Brother site at http://www.brothersews.com that will support hoops for their new machine the PR-600.


The price listed that I paid is for the update, not the whole version. In order to use the update, you must have a previous full version of PE-Design installed on your computer along with the reader/writer module from that version. The price for the full version is significantly more money.


Recommend this product? Yes


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