While it is exciting to create designs for your decal or similar graphics project, the most satisfying part of it is definitely to see the digital image materialize in front of your very eyes!
This inspiring moment is when the cutting machine carves your vinyl sheet into just how you imagined the design to be!
However, for the design to be printed and cut properly, you must have expert cutting software in your possession to elevate your creation even more.
Unfortunately, the ones compatible with MacOS are comparatively rare. That is why we are here to talk about five vinyl cutting software for Mac!
Top 5 Vinyl Cutting Software for Mac
1. Easy Cut Studio
Easy Cut Studio is built on the premise of excelling at the fronts of both versatility and compatibility. It has an array of tools in its editing area which you can use to create your decal designs for the project.
What Can You Do With It?
You can use it to draw unique shapes instead of the usual geometric or nature-inspired ones. Besides, you can edit the vector image or customize the text of your chosen decal design before proceeding to the printing stage.
Then cut your signs easily by specifying the nodes to ensure complete control over all the outlines – be it straight or curvy. Such flexibility in editing allows you to manipulate the design as much as necessary to ensure perfect results.
Additionally, they have a feature called simplify which reduces the number of nodes present in that outline. It takes a lot of stress off your shoulders by minimizing the decision points and making it easier for you to operate on the few remaining.
You can use its powerful tracing tool for creating clean outlines on any imported graphic of the supported files or some scanned image.
Easy Cut Studio can work with the usual vector image formats like PNG, SVG, AI, PDF, EPS, GSD, SCUT and WPC. You can both import and edit files or objects with the aforementioned formats.
For exporting, however, its range of support shrinks down substantially. This software will allow you to export files only in the formats of PNG, SVG, JPG, PDF, FCM, TIFF and BMP.
For Apple users, the latest version of Easy Cut Studio requires the computer to be running on MacOS 10.10 or later. When it comes to vinyl cutting and plotting machines, the software can work with almost every popular brand like Roland, GCC and Silhouette. Unfortunately, it no longer works with the Cricut machine.
For anyone who is still skeptical about its features or people who are wondering if the purchase will be worth it, Easy Cut Studio is offering free trials. This period of trying out the demo version at no expense will continue for 30 days. Each design you create will have two horizontal lines as the demo watermark.
2. Sure Cuts A Lot
Does Sure Cuts A Lot cut a lot? It sure does!
Apologies for the dad joke.
Joking aside, Sure Cuts A Lot or SCAL is legitimately a very popular software that works on both Mac and Windows computers.
It is designed to be easily approachable with an intuitive and simplified interface. SCAL is an affordable option for the decal designers of beginner and advanced levels of expertise.
What Can You Do With It?
Using Sure Cuts A Lot, you can create original artworks with a set of editing tools and effects. This array is expanding as time goes by with brand new releases of the software.
For instance, the latest and fifth version of SCAL brings in new effects like a symmetrical mirror, drop shadow, bridge warp and QR code.
You can use it to work with TrueType or OpenType fonts and also other fonts available online for cutting with Cricut machines. It will enable you to trace different image files so that you can cut them along clearly drawn lines. The auto-tracing feature converts the image automatically for cutting.
Additionally, it allows you to create your libraries with SCAL Lib It Up to provide more convenience. There are more than 200 built-in shapes in the software for you to experiment with.
Among the file formats supported by SCAL for importing, there are SVG, PDF, WPC and AI. With its PRO version, you will get to import additional formats like DXF and PLT. The embroidery file formats supported by it are PEC, PES, JEF, SEW, HUS and VIP.
Its latest release will work on Mac systems based on Intel processors and OSX versions 10.11 to 10.15. It will need at least 512 MB RAM and a minimum of 50 MB hard disk space.
In the case of cutting machines, SCAL can work with almost all popular choices including Cricut, Roland, USCutter, Silhouette, Brother, Selki, Craftwell, CraftRobo, GCC, Black Cat Cougar, Foison and Liyu.
If you are running on a tight budget and cannot afford any extra expense, you can use the free version of Sure Cuts A Lot.
However, it will limit your creativity and cutting conveniences with the restrictions in supported formats, effects, cutting controls, extend cutting length, cut presets for layers and other essential aspects. You can try out the free trials of its Pro versions for 15 days before committing.
3. Adobe Illustrator CC
Adobe Illustrator is one of the many ventures developed by the globally renowned company named Adobe Inc. It is meant to be the perfect program for everyone who has an interest in visual creativity.
Its primary objective is to enable designing and editing vector images through a digital device.
What Can You Do With It?
Being part of the Creative Cloud or CC, opens up many doors of creativity and experimentation for each user. Similar to other vinyl cutting software for Mac, Adobe Illustrator will let you create your decal designs and then set proper cutting instructions for printing later.
The major advantage of this particular software is how other members of your team can seamlessly collaborate online by accessing these files through the cloud. Along with English typography, it also enables you to experiment with Japanese glyph using the snapping guides meant specifically for this kind of artwork.
However, it is not the software recommended for absolute beginners. You will need to have experienced graphic designers who know how to use the tools to properly edit or create the designs.
Because of its connection to other Adobe products, you will be able to open any of their files with Illustrator. Along with its file extension ai or ait, it can open other proprietary Adobe formats like PSD, PDD, idea, draw, line, SKET and PDF.
Besides, it also supports the usual ones like PNG, JPG, SVG, GIF, PCX, CDR, PXR, BMP, RTF and all other file formats you will encounter while designing vinyl decals.
For Apple users, Adobe Illustrator CC can be installed on either their Mac or iPad. The latest version of this software was released in October 2020 which works with systems running on macOS 10.14 Mojave or later.
This 25th generation software will require an Intel processor, 8-16GB RAM and 2GB HDD space or SSD.
In the case of iPads, it will need iOS 13.4 later, 4GB RAM, 8GB hard disk space and an Apple Pencil of either 1st or 2nd generation. Your device should be at least iPad 6th generation, iPad Mini 5th generation, iPad Air 3rd generation or iPad Pro.
The official Adobe Illustrator CC software can be downloaded without any expense. You can then start your free trial for seven days to see how all of its features work. There is no trial version available for this software.
Once the trial period ends, it will automatically be converted into a paid CC membership account. To get out of this automated account or membership creation, you will need to cancel it before the time runs out.
Even though CorelDRAW began as only a vector graphics editing software, it now has an entire suite for creating different designs. One of the most appealing aspects of this software is how it can be used by designers of any expertise level. Beginners and experienced users both will find it easy to work with.
What Can You Do With It?
It comes with a collection of tools related to vector illustration, photo editing and typography. Each member of your team can use these professional-level tools in a synchronized way by collaborating through its app. Even your clients can take a peek into how well the designs have been constructed.
To boost your creativity and bring more fun to the brainstorming sessions, the paid version of CorelDRAW comes with 7000 templates, 1000 HD photos, 1000 fonts, as well as more than 600 vector, bitmap and fountain fills.
Especially in the vinyl cutting arena, you can work with its sister ventures like PowerTRACE which uses artificial intelligence to trace bitmap to vector.
It offers extensive support for file formats by making both import and export easier for the user. Based on what your clients prefer, you can work with any of the hundred file formats meant for publishing, graphics and images. Some of them are AI, PDF, PSD, SVG, PNG, JPG, EPS, TIFF, DWG and DXF.
Even though CorelDRAW was primarily meant for Windows system, since 2019 it is also compatible with macOS. Its latest version requires macOS 10.13, 10.14 or 10.15, along with a 64-bit Intel processor with at least 4 logical cores, 4-8GB RAM, 4GB hard disk space and an OpenCL 1.2 capable video card.
If you are not sure about its effectiveness, you can try out its free trial version which runs for up to 15 days. You don’t have to fill out any credit card information for this trial. It will allow you to do photo edits, font management, multi-page layouts, create new designs for print or web and more.
The first-ever version of Inkscape was launched about two decades ago on 2nd November 2003. After going through many iterations, its latest stable version has been released in January 2021 with brand new features. You may be able to use it in your mother tongue since it comes in 90 languages!
What Can You Do With It?
It can work with a range of shapes including the primitive ones, as well as the more complicated ones like spirals, polygons and 3D boxes. Its symbol libraries will let you use technical symbols like logic-gates. The simple interface can make the learning process less stressful for beginners.
Utilizing its image tracing features, you can extract the vector images from their raster sources easily. Along with cutting vinyl, you can also use the software with a heat press machine. Supported Formats
Inkscape is widely known for primarily working with SVG formats. However, many other formats can be imported or exported through this software.
For importing, the supported extensions are AI, CDR, PDF, VSD, JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP. You can export the formats of PDF, EPS, PS, FXG, TeX, XAML, HPGL and SIF with it.
However, for creating or editing designs on InkScape, you will need to convert the existing file format into SVG.
This software is highly compatible with all the popular computer operating systems like macOS, Windows and Linux. Its latest version released in 2021 can work with macOS 10.11 to 10.15 platforms. This upgrade shows major improvement in both performance, compatibility and interface.
One of the biggest reasons behind the widespread popularity of Inkspace is being free and open-source. You can check out its repository on GitHub anytime to see the bugs fixed in its latest version and more of such small details. Therefore, you are getting transparency and impressive performance without spending a dime!
Comparison Chart of Vinyl Cutting Software for Mac
Free Trial Period
Minimum OS version
Easy Cut Studio
PNG, SVG, AI, PDF, EPS, GSD, SCUT, WPC, FCM, TIFF, BMP
Sure Cuts A Lot
SVG, PDF, WPC, AI, DXF, PLT, PEC, PES, JEF, SEW, HUS, VIP
PSD, PDD, idea, draw, line, SKET, PDF, PNG, JPG, SVG, GIF, PCX, CDR, PXR, BMP, RTF etc.
macOS 10.14 or iOS 13.4
AI, PDF, PSD, SVG, PNG, JPG, EPS, TIFF, DWG, DXF
SVG, AI, CDR, PDF, VSD, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, EPS, PS, FXG, TeX, XAML, HPGL, SIF
Easy Cut Studio, Sure Cuts A Lot, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW and Inkspace – all of the five vinyl cutting software for Mac come with impressive features.
In every aspect including performance, affordability and compatibility, you can easily find yourself a perfect fit from this handful of choices based on your requirements.