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Frequently Asked Questions,FAQ

How do I upgrade to version 3?

What do I do if the Bank of America form won't process my order?

What's a form?

How big can I make a design with Thred?

If I loaded a large hoop design, could I re-size it down smaller and have the number of stitches be decreased accordingly?

Why can't I see the stitch points?

Can Thred import a bitmap file?

Is there any difference between the printed User's Manual and the two versions you can download?

How do you make satin stitches that aren't parallel lines?

Why does the icon on my desk give an older version of the Thred Demo, when I just downloaded a new one?

How do I download the latest version of Thred?

How can I make a backup copy of Thred?

What do hotkeys do?

Do I really need to know the hotkeys?

Screen Saver Install Problems?

Can't open Thred from Embird?

How do I Upgrade to Version 3?

Download Thred Version 3.  The file name of the download is thr3inst.exe .  When you run thr3inst.exe, you will get an install window.  We recommend that you just click  "finish".  After you have clicked "finish", you should get a pop-up message that says "Extraction Complete".  Click "OK" and you will get another window with a Thred Icon.  If you also have Thred, version 2,installed on your computer, you may see two icons.  The version two icon has a red thread in the needle, and the version 3 icon has a yellow thread.  Put the mouse cursor over the version 3 icon, then hold down the right mouse button and drag the icon to your desktop.  To run Thred, double-click on the icon.  You will have 30 days to evaluate the new version and see if you want to upgrade.

What's a form ?

Some programs use an outline of stitches to mark off the area the user wants to fill with stitches. A form is our way to keep track of the shape, the fill stitches, and the outline (border)stitches, so you can make changes in the design without having to change each part one at a time. You change the form, and then Thred changes the fill and border. You can make a form in any shape, it cam be closed or open. It can be a flower or a face, a box or a butterfly, anything you want to make. Thred has some forms that you don't have to click your way around to make, those are the Regular Polygon (many sided figure, with all sides the same size), the star and the spiral.

How big can I make a design with Thred ?

The field can be big enough for any home embroidery machine currently sold, Thred will support hoop sizes of up to 400 square inches. The following table gives some examples of 400 square inch hoops.

Width (inches)

Heigth (inches)









There is a limit to the number of stitches. We picked 65,000 stitch points as a size limit. It was just a size we chose so that file sizes would not be too big. We hope to expand that for buyers who want to use Thred for larger designs, but that is not ready yet.

If I loaded a large hoop design, could I re-size it down smaller and have the number of stitches be decreased accordingly?

It is possible to do that with Thred files, but any hand edited stitches will have to be handled individually. Thred refills a form or a group of forms if you change the size by dragging the selection box. When it refills, it uses the stitch length stored in the form, so the stitch density does not change. But, if you select the entire design in Thred and shrink it, the stitches will be made shorter as the design shrinks.

You can change the size of a design that was made in another program with Thred, but it will also change stitch size. You should not try to reduce a design made in a program other than Thred by more than a few percent of the original size.

Why can't I see the stitch points ?

If you can't see the boxes at each stitch, go to the Preferences menu and change the number in Stitch box cut off. That number is how many times you zoom in you before you see the boxes. Some people like to see them, some don't. If you want to see more than one stitch in a spot, hit the "V" key, it will show a stack of boxes, the biggest is the bottom stitch. We change the stitch box cutoff number often while we're digitizing.

Can Thred import a bitmap file ?

Yes, you can use a 24 bit color bitmap file or a black and white bitmap file. You can also use a photograph, as long as it's saved as a 24 bit .BMP file, not a compressed file format like .JPG.  Do not try to use a file saved as 256 shades of gray.If you have a problem, you might want to look at  Basic Graphics lessons .  

Is there any difference between the printed User's Manual and the two versions you can download?

No. The words are the same, only what they're written on is different. The different versions for download are offered so that you can use different programs to read them. You can also read those same words in the Help files while you are using the program.Click on Help, and a new window opens. If you resize the window,you can let them share the screen and see both the design and the manual. There is a print option on the Help menu.

How do you make satin stitches that aren't parallel lines?

Make a line form. Left click where you want the line to start,then again wherever you want it to curve, and again at the end.Click to select the line form, and then, under the "Edit menu",find the "Convert to", pick "Convert to/Satin ribbon". The gray lines in the little caterpillar looking form are the guide lines.When you drag them, you change the way the stitches go. Add more form points around the edges to make the curves smoother, or move them to make the line fat or thin. The very dark gray ones at the end are "Teflon lines"- no stitches will stick to them. <G>If they get messed up and the stitches change, you can make new ones by selecting a point on the end and hitting "D". Your cursor changes, and you see a line, then you should click where you want the other end of it to go. The stitch density setting in Preferences should usually be set between 18 and 22 for this function.

Why does the icon on my desk give an older version of the Thred Demo, when I just downloaded a new one?

Sometimes the PKWARE install program doesn't track the icon correctly. So I Believe I have fixed this problem in Version 1.032, but it's not difficult for a user to fix it if it occurs.

If you already have an icon on your desktop, you can update it to get the Thred icon. Just right click on the icon,then select properties at the bottom of the pop-up window. The select the Shortcut tab at the top of the Properties window. Now select the change icon button on the bottom left (of the Properties window). You should see the Thred icon there, and just click OK and close the windows. Your icon should then change to the Thred icon.

If you don't have a Thred icon on your desktop, or you can't get the above to work, then you can do it another way.

Open the Windows Explorer, or My Computer. Go to the directory where Thred is installed, which will usually be "C:\program files\Thred". You should see the Thred Icon displayed.Thred.exe is the file that contains the Thred program. It may just say Thred, but you can verify that it is the .EXE file by right clicking on the icon and selecting properties. The file type should be "application" and the MSDOS file name should be "Thred.exe".

Once you have located the Thred.exe file, just right-drag it to the desktop and select "create shortcut here".That should fix you up.

One thing to watch for here: If you left-drag the icon to your desktop, Windows may put it in the desktop folder,which will mean it is no longer in c:\program files\thred. Then the icon on your desktop will no longer be pointing to c:\program files\thred. Everything will still work OK, except you will lose your Preferences, since Thred won't be able to find the .INI file in c:\program files\thred, and it will build an new one in the desktop folder. But if your running Thred with Embird, Embird may no longer be able to find Thred.exe. Also, when you update your copy of Thred, the update software will put the new copy in c:\program files\thred, and you will still be running the old version, since the icon on your desktop points to the copy of Thred in the desktop folder.

Remember that you can tell what copy of a program an icon will run by right clicking on the icon, selecting properties, and the shortcut tab, and then looking in the "Target"text box which will contain the directory of the program the icon will call when you click on it.

Once you have mastered this, remember that it applies not only to Thred, but to may other programs you have on your computer.

How do I download the latest version of Thred?

On the Download Page , near the top, there are two links that say Thred. One for automatic install and one for the zipped version. The automatic install is better for those who are new to computers. The zipped version is smaller to download and can be installed easily without making entries in the registry.

To use the automatic install version, click on the Thred link that says automatic install next to it. In the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer you will get a dialog that asks whether you want to run the program from its current location or save it to disk. If you like, you can just run the program from the current location, or you can save the program to disk. If you are using Netscape, you will only get the option to save the program to disk. If you save the program to disk, you need to remember the directory where you put it so that you can run it. The name of this program is thrdinst.exe.

If you save the program to disk, you can run it by selecting the "Start" on you windows taskbar. Then select run and then browse. Browse to the place where you put thrdinst.exe and click on it, and then click open. You should then see thrdinst.exe in the run box. Click on OK.

You should then see a small box that says "Thred Installer" on the top. In the lower right hand corner of the box,click on "Finish" to accept the default install conditions. You can also change some things and then select "Finish" if you like, but just selecting finish is probably best for beginning users.

After you click "Finish" on the Thred Installer box, you may be asked permission to create the directory where Thred is to be installed. If the directory already exists, you won't see this.

Then a window comes up with the Thred icon in the upper left corner. If you would like to have this icon on your desktop, right drag it to the desktop, and the select "Create shortcut here".

This should complete you installation of Thred.

How can I make a backup copy of Thred?

You can easily make an extra copy of Thred on a floppy. You need to copy these two items to your floppy.

File Description
thredinst.exe This is the installation file that contains the programs you need to run Thred
thrkinst.exe This is the file that will install your Thred key.

To install Thred from the floppy. Select "Run" from the start menu, and then select browse, and then open your floppy disk and find thredinst.exe. Run thredinst.exe. When the Thred installer window comes up select "finish". If you get a message that asks you if you want to create the directory, click "OK".

Then you should get a window with the Thred Icon.If you would like to have the Thred icon on your desktop,right-drag it to the desktop, and the select "Create shortcut here". Double click on the icon, and Thred will run. If you get the "Thred trial version" message, then you need to install the key. If you see your name in top of the Thred window, the your installation is complete.

To install the key. Go back to the start menu and run thrkinst.exe. It will come up and tell you that your Thred key has been installed.

This will complete your installation of Thred.

Screen Saver Install Problems?

If you use the automatic install, stchinst.exe, just hit finish at the lower right hand corner of the installer window.  This will unzip the screen saver, stchout.scr, and a batch file,dusavr.bat, into your \temp directory.  The installer will then run the batch file which puts the screen saver into your windows directory.  This would be \windows if you are running Win98 or ME.  It would be \winnt if you are running WinNT or Win2000.  If you use the zipped version, you need to put the screen saver in the correct directory yourself.

After you have put the screen saver into your \windows directory, you need to select it to be the active screen saver.  You can do this by right-clicking on an empty area of your desktop.  When the pop-up menu appears, click properties.  Then click the "Screen Saver" tab.  Then select "Stitchout" or "stchout.scr" from the "Screen Saver" drop down list.

If this doesn't work try finding the screen saver with your Windows Explorer and right-clicking on it.  Then select install from the pop-up menu.

Now that you have selected the Stitchout screen saver, you need to tell it which files to display.   Check that "Stitchout" is highlighted. Select the tab "Settings", Click on "Add" and browse until you find your design collection, or if your collection happens to be huge <G>, a small subfolder of your collection.  You can use "Control /A " to select the entire folder and then click "Open", which will add all the designs you have selected.  If you like, you can use "Remove" or "remove all" and view different designs every day.

Can't open Thred from Embird?

Embird finds Thred so that it can run it by looking at it's EMBIRD.INI file which is in the Embird home directory which would usually be: C:\EMBIRD32.

Toward the bottom of the file you should find a line telling Embird the directory in which to find thred.exe. Typically it would be:

PATH_THRED=C:\Program Files\Thred\thred.exe

Embird doesn't update this file if you move Thred after it or Embird is installed, so you may have to do it yourself. 

EMBIRD.INI is a text file, so you can edit it with your Notepad or any other text editor.  For example if your copy of Thred is located in D:\thred, you would need to change this line to:


If you have upgraded to Thred, version 3, the exe file for version 3 is named thred3.exe, so to get Embird to work with verison 3 instead of version 2, you need to change the above Thred line in the embird.ini file to

PATH_THRED=C:\Program Files\Thred\thred3.exe



After you have done this, close Thred and Embird and then open Embird again and you should be able to open Thred from within Embird.