Vinyl Cutter File Formats (Supported by Cricut Design Space)

Are you wondering what type of vinyl cutter file formats to use? Figuring out the nuances can take a lot of time. Allow us to save you the frustration.

When you’re using any of the Cricut machines, the most common image formats are acceptable. These supported vinyl cutter file formats include:

  • .BMP
  • .PNG
  • .JPEG
  • .GIF
  • .SVG
  • .DXF

There are certain file extensions not supported by the Cricut Design Space software. This has to do with the complexity of the image file types. Basic images, also known as raster images, are the easiest for Cricut’s Design Space to read. Vector images are more complex but, in most cases, can be read by the Design Space software.

Ready to learn more about these different file types? Let’s dig into these extension types on a deeper level.

What is a File Format

On the most basic level, file formats are a structure type. Speaking in terms of images, it’s a bit like the difference between an oil painting, a pencil drawing, and a three-dimensional graphic. Structure types allow particular programs to read certain types of files.

File formats can also be expressed as extension types. You’ve probably seen text files with extensions like .DOC and .DOCX for Microsoft Word or videos with a .MPG or .WMV extension type. These dots with three or four letters following tell certain programs how to read a particular file.

Image files, on the other hand, have a variety of formats. That’s why it’s incredibly confusing in many ways to figure out which image file types are compatible with Cricut’s Design Space. While most types are supported, there are a few you should avoid because they’re not compatible.

Supported File Formats in Cricut Design Space

The following is a list of types of vinyl cutter file formats the Cricut Design Space works with.

BMP

Representing a bitmap file, the .BMP file stores images in black and white or color. These types of files can be used across devices and are typically the most common image type out there.

PNG

Portable network graphics files, or .PNGs, are a raster image file format that was created as a replacement for the .GIF type. Given the direction of technology, .PNG files are a front-runner in terms of image file type.

JPG/JPEG

Unlike many of the formats we’ve discussed, this particular image file type is named for the Joint Photographic Experts Group. These images are saved using lossy compression, which is a fancy term for saving an image with a balance of storage size and image quality.

GIF

Highly compressed images characterize the graphical interchange format, or the .GIF. These images, while they are compressed, don’t degrade quality. This is part of the reason why they were popular in the early days of the internet because they require low bandwidth to display.

SVG

As we get into the more complex formats, we encounter such types as the .SVG, or scalable vector graphics. These image file types are “used for rendering two-dimensional images on the internet.” Some of these images may or may not be supported by Cricut Design Space, depending on their complexity.

DXF

Similar to the .SVG files, .DXF files may or may not be supported by the Design Space software. Standing for drawing interchange format or drawing exchange format, these .DXF files represent a computer-aided design (CAD) three-dimensional file.

Why Cricut Doesn’t Support Certain File Types

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While we certainly live in an age where technology advances quickly, the Cricut Design Space software works best with a two-dimensional surface. Really, it boils down to the complexity of the algorithms in each file type.

For that reason, particular .SVG or .DXF files are not supported. These include those with pattern fills, clipping paths, text, linked images, or embedded unsupported images. File types ending with .PDF and .TIF/.TIFF are not supported. Through no fault of its own, Cricut Design Space doesn’t have the capacity to read these formats.

Vinyl Cutter File Formats

We hope you’ve found this article on vinyl cutter file formats useful in your cutting projects. Keep these extensions in mind as you create, and you should be able to avoid any issues before they begin.