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Stitch - Frequently Asked Questions

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This FAQ is divided into three categories:

General Questions

What is Stitch?

Stitch is a free program for making cross stitch designs.

Is it really free?

Yes, and we intend to keep it this way. However if you want to support the development of the program you are of course welcome to do so. Support does not necessarily means sending money (although of course we will accept that :-) but could mean help with
translating Stitch into a new language, or sending us patterns created with the program that we can put up on this web page.

Is it freeware?

Both yes and no, we want to keep the copyright, but everybody are allowed to give copies to anyone as long as they do not charge anything except media costs and handling charges for it.

Where can I get this program?

Well, the easiest way is from the
download page on this website.

How about support?

Well, if you need help you can start by reviewing the answers available on this page. There are two parts with typical support questions:
Technical Questions and User Interface Questions.
If these does not answer your questions send us an email and we will try to answer them or at least acknowledge that we have no idea how to solve them.
If you do send us a question, please be as specific as possible about the problem and anything that might have caused it.

Technical Questions

On what platforms does Stitch work?

It is developed under Microsoft Windows NT and should work on Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, and XP at least.

Are there any known bugs?

Sure, lots of them. At the time of writing we know of 67 bugs and todo items. With one (known) exception they are very small though, and do not really matter. The only really bad thing we know of is the undo/redo buttons. They work ok for single stitches, but rather badly if you use the other tools. The reason why we have not fixed these is of course lack of time. This is a hobby project after all, and often other things has higher priority.

Access Violation - what is that?

Some users of version 1.2 of the program, in particular those running Windows XP seems to be having problems with it. The program works fine for weeks or months, but then suddenly they get error messages saying "Access Violation". I don't know what is causing this problem, and hopefully the will go away in the next version. Unfortunately this version still is under development, and it will take a while before it is finished. One user claimed that reinstalling the program solved her problems, but if that doesn't work for you, then I've made v1.1 available
here. As far as I know that version did not have this problem. To answer the exact question, an Access Violation is an attempt by the program to access memory that either doesn't belong to it or isn't properly initialized. Unfortunately the error can be in the program (the most likely cause), in the compiler or in Windows, and it is really hard to track down where it comes from.

Can I translate Stitch to language XYZ?

Yes... It is quite tedious, and the translation process is not perfect, but it is fully possible. To do so you have to follow these steps.
  1. Rename the file Custom.ini to cus.ini
  2. Each line of cus.ini has this format: XXX=YYY. You have to translate everything to the right of the = (that is the YYY part) to the language you are interested in. For example "Hello=Hello old chap" would become "Hello=Hej gamle vän" in swedish
    There are a number of special things you need to think about when you do so:
    • On some lines there are strange sequences starting with a % such as %s or %.f These have to be present in your translation since they are exchanged for other strings during runtime
    • An & in the string means that the next character should be the "hot key" for the menu item or button. The hot key is the under lined character that you see on menu items. For example &Custom will underline the C. You do not have to put out the & if you do not want to
    • Some of the hint texts contain two different texts separated by a vertical bar, for example "No lines|No lines at all". In this case everyting to the left of the vertical bar is the "short hint", that is the text that occures directly over the button or whatever. Everything on the right is the "long hint" that is shown at the bottom of the pattern window.
  3. In the Options menu select Language|Custom to get your newly translated language
  4. If you want to make us happy you can send us the cus.ini file so that we can make it available to others

User Interface Questions

Help, I'm running out of symbols

Some users of v1.0 and 1.1 had problems with symbols not printing correctly. In an attempt to get around that problem the number of symbols was decresed, and everything seemed fine. Unfortunately it turned out that the number of symbols ran out much to quickly for some users, so we will have to create a better solutinon for v1.3. Meanwhile you can try the workaround below.

You can attach specific symbols to colors. This is done from the color properties dialog which you bring up by double clicking on a color in the "normal" palette. The dialog looks something like the image here

Each color has two symbols associated with it:

There is some more information in the manual, chapter 7.

Can I see the color numbers for <insert thread makers name here>?

Both yes and no. In the
color properties dialog which is used to select wwhat color to use in the palette you can actually see the color numbers for various thread makers by selecting that maker in the list to the right. The only other place you can se this number presently is when you print something.

How much thread will I need?

Since I don't know how to calculate how much thread a pattern will need Stitch can't do that. However, in the pattern properties dialog you can see how many stitches there are of a particular color which you can use as a guide. If you know a good rule of thumb for how much thread you will need for various stitches I would be very interested in hearing it so that I can add it to the program.

I change the number of colors, but the pattern still contains more colors. Whad did I do wrong?

Actually you didn't do anything wrong. The number of colors option only changes how many colors that are actually visible in the palette. Not how many colors that are present on the pattern. For more information about reducing the number of colors in a pattern see the
next item in this FAQ.

How do I reduce the number of colors in a pattern?

Some patterns, in particular patterns imported from photograps, simply contains too many colors. Reducing this ammount of colors can be very tedious. We are working on ways to improve this situation, but meanwhile here are two possible ways of helping with the problem:

The first variant is only possible to use with an imported image where you have the original. If you have a decent image processing program (i.e. most other than Paint, which by the way is nore or less the only one I use :) then that program most probably can reduce the number of colors in the original image. This process is sometimes referd to as reducing the number of bits in the image. Since an imported image never can contain more colors than the original this method can work very well.

The second variant was sent to me by a user of Stitch, Angela M. Cable. Her method is manual, and thus works even if you don't have the original image.

Reducing colors. Hah, took me a while to find this, but once you do, it makes reducing colors a *lot* easier. Let's say you've imported a photo, there are going to be a ton of thread colors. The *first* thing to do rather than trying to sort and combine colors is to hit the Pattern Properties button. Click on the "No." column header to sort this column. You'll probably see that at the top of the list there are now a whole bunch of colors where there are fewer than a dozen stitches in a particular color. Make note of these colors. Close the dialog. Mouseover the Color Palette to find the first color's name. Click it. Use the find features to hunt down instances of the color. I've found that just replacing all instances of the color might not be the best way, sometimes it will show up in funny spots... sky with clouds for example get some strange colors put in. Instead I look at the colors surrounding the stitch and pick one of those colors to change it to.