Managing Embroidery Files

Managing embroidery files can be a daunting task. Between purchasing designs or creating your own, plus all those freebies on the internet, even conservative embroiders can collect thousands of designs in just a few years time. It is often difficult to find a design that is needed and sometimes results in a duplicate purchase.

To help you with managing embroidery files in your collection, here are some suggestions.

  • Store embroidery files as well as their information files when available in one place, using a hierarchy of folders. The hierarchy can be categories and sub categories.
    In the example folder structure below notice:

    • Top level folder is simply called ‘Embroidery Designs’
    • Inside ‘Embroidery Designs’ are category folders, like Alphabets, Animals, Bugs and more.
    • The ‘Animals’ folder has sub-category named folders, like Birds, Cats, Dogs and Elephants.
    • Within the appropriate folder would be stored the design files.

      Maintain the number of designs within one folder to a reasonable level.

The goal is to maintain the number of designs within one folder to a reasonable level. When a large number of files are in one folder, finding designs can be difficult and software may run slowly when looking in folder with a large number of files.


  • Establish a standard file name format that includes the original company information and a title.
    • Commercial designs often include just a design number with no descriptive title as the file name.
    • If the commercial design file name does not include a title, adding one to the file name will help in locating files.
    • Be sure to keep the file extension in tact.

Real world examples design JB096 is a snow owl, but comes only named JB096.PES
rename to JB096-EMB-Snowy Owl Perched.PES design L4106 is a Christmas wreath, but comes named L4106.DST
rename to L4106-EBL-Christmas Butterfly Wreath.DST

  • Copy files from commercial usb drives and discs. Store the original in a safe place.
  • Use a thumbnail preview software that updates icons; some cataloging software will do this.
  • Backup your embroidery files. Disk failures, file corruption, viruses and other catastrophic events can cause you to lose your hard-earned collection.

Management Software

The following softwares are available, mostly on Windows PC, for to help managing embroidery files. (Not listed in any particular order)

Software What it does Availability
ACDsee Graphics viewing and editing Windows and Mac
Bernina Portfolio Design cataloging and preview (Part of Bernina Embroidery Software) Windows
Floriani Design Library Design preview with minor management (Part of Floriani Embroidery Software) Windows
BuzzXplore v2 Design cataloging, preview and drive writing Windows
CatalogIt Design cataloging and preview Windows
Embird Design cataloging and preview (Iconizer and font add-on available) Windows
Thumbnailer Design icon preview Windows and MAC

Online Backup

Part of managing embroidery files is keeping them safe. Online backup solutions keep files safe from computer failure and other catastrophic events.

Product Basic plan information Availability Month/Year/2-Year
Carbonite Unlimited storage on personal plans Windows and Mac $NA/59.99/119.98
iDrive 5GB Free; 1TB personal plan Windows, Mac, Android and iOS $NA/59.50/119.00
MozyHome 2GB Free;50GB and 125GB Plan Windows and Mac $5.99/65.89/125.79
SOS Online Unlimited storage on personal plans Windows, Android and iOS $7.99/79.99/139.99


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