The 7 Best Embroidery Software Choices

Let’s say you were on the market for the best embroidery software. So, you then have gotten your hands on a sewing machine that can embroider, most likely a computerized sewing machine. Chances are that there are already several designs built into the sewing machine that you can use right off the bat. That may be fine and well, however, you realize that you want to alter the given designs and perhaps create your own design. How would you go about doing that?

That’s where embroidery software comes in. Embroidery software allows you to digitize your designs into a format that the computer can understand and execute. However, just like how there are many different kinds of sewing machines with features varying inconvenience, there are many embroidery software that have varying tools that can make things easier to do. This is why in this article we have decided to create what we believe are the 3 best embroidery software for sewing machines.

Top 7 Best Embroidery Software Options

Embrilliance EssentialsEmbrilliance Essentials

  • Customer Ratings: 4.7 out of 5
  • Brand: Embrilliance
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Embrilliance Stitch Artist Level 1Embrilliance Stitch Artist Level 1

  • Customer Ratings: 4.4 out of 5
  • Brand: Embrilliance
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Amazing Designs Applique ItAmazing Designs Applique It

  • Customer Ratings: 3.7 out of 5
  • Brand: Amazing Designs
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1. Embrilliance Essentials

Embrilliance ranks as the number one recommended embroidery software on most blogs even with other decent competitors. It comes with many of the basic essential tools such as resizing and colorizing and will cover most of the needs of beginner embroiders. This particular software works best with the Brother PE880 & Brother SE600.

Some of the features included are the ability to add monograms or lettering to the embroidery design. You’ll be able to adjust the size of the lettering, too, thanks to the automatic stitch recalculation. 

One important thing to note is that this software bundle does not allow you to digitize, or create, your own embroidery design pattern. For that extra step of personalization, you’ll have to look at the Embrilliance StitchArtist series. 


  • Merge embroidery design patterns
  • Resize embroidery designs 
  • Save designs in many formats
  • Save appliques for cutting machines
  • Print real-size embroidery templates
  • Preview design before embroidering
  • Many undo functions
  • Compatible with both PC and Mac
  • Can read and format many designs
  • Can’t change some parts of a design
  • More on the expensive side

Sample customer review… I’m new to embroidering (not to sewing) and wanted embroidery software to expand my embroidery with. I started out with the Demo to see if I would like the software and I found the Demo to be very helpful in getting my feet wet. When the software arrived yesterday I uploaded it to my laptop and created my first embroidered design with no problem.

I love the ease of using this program. The program is affordable and just what I needed to get me started with my embroidery projects. I will be adding on with other add on’s from Embrilliance. There are lots of youtube video’s on how to use Embrilliance not to mention their website so you are not in the dark.

I recommend downloading the demo to play around with first then if it’s what you are looking for order the software. I’m very happy with my purchase. You can download the software to more than 1 computer you own with no problem.

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2. Embrilliance Stitch Artist Level 1

While the Essentials software bundle Embrilliance has is good for giving you the ability for some personalization, their Stitch Artist series will allow you to digitize your memorable photos and designs. As alluded in the title, this is just the first level of the Stitch Artist series. Level one is made specifically for people who are just starting the embroidery hobby. Its digitizing process is described by choosing an image to open up in the software, which will then allow the user to create “objects” on the image to create the shape to stitch in for the embroidery pattern.  

Level two is made for production and enhancing skills for advanced users. This level will offer a wider range of stitch types and tools to further customize the results.

Level three is the last level and is made for people who are passionate about embroidery digitizing and creating their own embroidery designs. 


  • Digitize photos into embroidery designs
  • Automatic stitch generation
  • Advanced text tools
  • Over 200 outlines for stitch types
  • Over 150 motifs
  • Over 50 emboss patterns
  • Over 15 fill patterns
  • Great for beginners
  • User-friendly
  • May have difficulty with customer service
  • May not have enough satisfying features

Sample customer review… I have been looking for digitizing software that would run on my Mac for what seems like forever! I am very pleased with this level 1 software! This is a very inexpensive program, compared to most similar programs! Like any software, there will be a learning curve, but the online manuals and YouTube videos are a great way to learn all that this software can do.

My first project was drawn out from a photo of my stepfather’s logo and was for a Christmas gift. I am very pleasantly surprised at the relative ease of using the software and the great results I got from it! Great digitizing solution for any Mac user!

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3. Amazing Designs Applique It

Want to turn fun, cute images into appliques? Amazing Designs Applique It is made specifically for that purpose! Of course, you’re not simply limited to fun and cute designs. You can use any image you have and transform it into a wearable applique. Included in the software are one-hundred fifty designs, shapes, and projects. There’s also a fusible pattern print included in the software. 

With a hundred three applique shapes and two exclusive fonts, you’ll be able to let your imagination run wild. The Applique It software can be used by itself or, because it has compatibility with other Amazing Designs software, you can use it along with Amazing Designs “Letter It”, “Size It”, or “Monogramming It”.


  • 150 designs, shapes, and projects
  • 4 stitch types
  • 2 exclusive fonts
  • Great customer support
  • Features fusible pattern print
  • May receive outdated software
  • Not for Mac users

Sample customer review…I need to say that I have never had better customer service than I had today! This is my third Amazing Designs piece of software and I had a slight issue with the installation. I contacted the company through their website and a lovely woman called me back within a few minutes and took me through the steps perfectly and easily to resolve my issue, which included restarting my computer. She did not rush me at all. Obviously, this is the only embroidery design company I will be using.

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4. Brother PED-Basic Embroidery Card Writer

Brother is another popular brand of embroidery software that offers many different types of products. One software that stands out is the PED-Basic Embroidery Card Writer. This software can save pes files to a Brother memory card, specifically for embroidery cards. This card saves designs for 4×4, 5×7, and 6×10 hoop sizes and is able to print on paper for easier positioning. It also comes with a 4MB blank memory card, a car writer box, and a CD-ROM.

This card writer is compatible with most Brother machines, so whether you’re looking for a card for your Brother SE400, or a Brother PE770, this PED-Basic is a great choice.


  • 4MB storage
  • 4×4, 5×7, 6×10 hoop sizes
  • Brother machine compatible
  • Easy install and use
  • Compatible with Brother machines
  • Brother embroidery machine must have an embroidery card slot
  • If using Windows 10, your driver needs to update and install

Sample Customer Review… I love this software. I have a MAC computer, so I had to purchase Windows just to download embroidery designs. Before this, I had to switch to Windows to connect to my sewing machine and although that isn’t a lot of work, it was a pain.

Then I got a new Brother embroidery/sewing machine and now I start up Windows and connect the external disc drive and download all of my designs maybe once a year onto a disc that fits right in my machine and I am on my merry way. You can buy extra discs if you fill up one and I don’t have to move my laptop and change from OS to Windows every time I want to embroider.

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5. BuzzXplore v2 Premier Embroidery Design Management

If organization and ease of use is important to you when picking an embroidery software, the BuzzXplore v2 is the way to go. This software will manage your embroidery designs and store them in a way that is easy to navigate so you will never lose them. The BuzzXplore is multifunctional, not only working as an embroidery drive writer, but also working as an organizer, an instant 3D viewer, converter, browser and zip processor. It is also designed to look and feel like Windows Explorer, so it will be familiar.


  • Compatible with Windows XP through Windows 10
  • All in one design
  • Organized and easy to navigate
  • Convert Embroidery Formats
  • Embroidery Drive Writing
  • Graphics Support
  • Locate Designs
  • Difficult for beginners to install

Sample Customer Review… I have had BuzzTools earlier version for many years on Windows XP. With our migration to Win 7, I needed to upgrade and this program is even better than the older version of BuzzTools. I use it for creating to view my many embroidery designs, for unzipping files, for printing thumbnails of each embroidery design set (with associated data), and for printing paper templates of full-size designs. With my new wide monitor, I can view twice as many designs as before. It is an excellent program!

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6. Embrilliance Enthusiast Embroidery Software for Mac & PC

This software is incredibly versatile, with many features to help you finish your projects. It offers features such as base hoop, precise precision, mirror x 4, multiple hooping, and stitch editing. Additional features include a carousel and an instant repeat scatter. As with all products from Embrilliance, this software is compatible with both PC and Mac, as well as the ability to be installed on multiple computers and run simultaneously. 

The installation is a breeze and the use of this software is very easy. Due to all of the additional features, the price is on the higher side, but whether you are a beginner looking to improve your skills, or an advanced user with ambitious projects in mind, this software would definitely be a good investment.


  • Automatic knockdown stitches for fabrics such as toweling, fleece, and faux fur
  • Stitch by stitch editing, design splitting for multiple hoops, multiple hoop position, basting stitches, precise positioning
  • Advanced Thread editor
  • Advanced Sizing Controls
  • Compatible with Mac and PC
  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with PC and Mac
  • Can run on multiple computers simultaneously
  • Many features
  • More expensive

Sample Customer Review… I really like what Enthusiast can do! I got it mainly for the ability to remove stitches easily and it does a nice job of it. It is much easier than using the stitch simulator and stop button. I haven’t tried the knock-down stitch yet, but I’m sure I’ll like that as well. Embrilliance makes software that is very easy to use!

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7. Embrilliance Thumbnailer, Embroidery Software for Mac & PC

If you’re in the habit of constantly losing your embroidery designs after you create them, the Embrilliance Thumbnailer is the software for you. It is designed so that you can find your designs easily in folders on your desktop. Another bonus is that you can install this software on multiple computers, regardless of whether they are a Mac or a PC. It works on both! The Embrilliance Thumbnailer is designed with a user-friendly interface so that both beginners and experts can get the full benefits of it.


  • Works with .svg and cutting files: .fcm (Brother Scan ‘n Cut), .studio (Silhouette Studio) and .scut4 (Sizzix eClips)! (Mac shows .svg natively)
  • PC and Mac compatible
  • Compatible with 28 embroidery file formats
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use for both beginners and experts
  • 6 quilting formats
  • Slightly difficult to set up

Sample Customer Review… I purchased thumb nailer for viewing my embroidery design files and easier organizing. This is awesome! I love that it’s easy to install, no brainer to use!! it’s even cooler than I thought. Much easier to organize when you can see what you’re doing.And compatible with MAC!

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Buying Guide

What kind of tools are there?

Each company has certain features that are unique to them, but there are some common tools in each software package. Listed below are the tools that are considered essentials. 

Resize: One of the essentials is resizing an existing design. Whether you want it bigger or smaller, you’ll have the power to adjust it to your needs. 

Colorize: You’ll get to choose what colored threads will be placed in a design. You also have the option of comparing different brand threads to find the color that matches the design. You can select where to change colors by object or an entire color block.

Preview: If you’ve been working on editing or creating your own design, you may be wondering if it’d look as good as you thought it’d be after adding the finishing touches. Well, you don’t need to wonder! The software will allow you to see what the projected end result will look like through a simulation.  

Format: There are different types of files that each brand of embroidery machine can read. After you start a new file, you can edit your design in the file format you need and save it as a file type so that your machine can read it. If you need to export it into a different file type, you’d be able to do that too. 

What’s the price?

For each software company, there are tiers on the prices for the type of features included. Starting from basic tools like resizing the design all the way to the more complex tools like digitizing a photograph into a pattern, the more complex or time-saving tools are included, the higher the price point. 

Most software in the lower tier for embroidery, more often the lettering and monogramming software, cost around $90-$100. The mid-tier of general embroidery is around the $130-$145 range. Then a majority of the high-tier software is roughly $300 or higher. 

As mentioned, the tools in the low to middle tiers are likely to come with tools for resizing and recoloring an existing design but not the advanced ability to completely create your own design or monogram. Although, for most beginners, those basic tools are all that’s needed. 

Should You Buy From the Same Brand?

It should be mentioned that a common concern is whether you should buy the embroidery software from the same brand of sewing machine you’re using. The short answer is no. If you know the type of file your sewing machine uses then as long as you save an embroidery design in that same file format, you shouldn’t have to buy from the same brand.

However, if you want all of the features that the sewing machine brand’s software can give, then, by all means, you can buy theirs instead of a third party software. 


Whether you want to have more options to personalize a given embroidery design or you want software that can give you the tools to digitize, there are plenty of options for you in all different price ranges. This is why you should be looking for the best embroidery software possible!

There are a few brands that share the same name as a sewing machine, like Brother and Janome, and there are some that you may have never heard of until today. If you’re still unsure of which one to buy, look at the reviews and common issues other users had. It’s all in your hands where you want your embroidery journey to take you!

It’s important to really read what the software can do before you buy the product, for it may not be obvious at first glance. It’s great if that’s the purpose you want the software to fulfill, but this list will focus on embroidery software that will allow you to make changes to a design. Preexisting or no. 

With all that being said, I really hope you gained something from this article. Hopefully, you all feel more confident moving forth when shopping for your next options.

Happy Sewing!

Written by Lykasha Lysongtseng

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