Brother PE Design is embroidery software that allows users to create custom embroidery designs on their computer, to be transferred to their Brother Embroidery machine stitched off. Over a decade old, the software has seen 9 major updates over the years, the latest being 'PE Design Next'.
As computers have evolved, newer versions of operating systems have come about, at the time of writing, Microsoft's latest version is Windows 7.
PE-Design versions 5 & 6 will not run on Windows 7 64-bit, but will run on Windows 7 32-bit by downloading a patch from the Brother Service and Support website.
PE-Design 7 will run on both Windows 7 32 and 64-bit providing that you update the software with a free download patch from the site just mentioned.
PE-Design 8 and PE-Design Next have full functionality out of the box with Windows 7 64-bit and 32-bit.
The most sensible solution if you have earlier version is to upgrade your Brother Design software to a version that will run on Windows 7 (64-Bit). Not only will you have a version that is more stable on new PCs but you will also benefit from significant improvements in the programs functionality and some great new features.
At the time of writing you can still purchase a Version 8 Upgrade, this allows you to upgrade from 5, 6 or 7 to a full PE Design 8. You'll find version 8 Upgrade kits knocking around at up to £ 100 cheaper than the latest version 'Next' upgrade and for most users the features and specifications offer fantastic value for money.
Anyone upgrading from Version 6 would be accommodating the benefits of both Upgrade 7 and 8 rolled into one. There's also a printed instruction manual with Version 8, whereas the manual had to be printed from the installation CD for Version 7. Further in-depth knowledge of the program can be obtained from an extensive.pdf file and help via F1 on the keyboard.
There are 500 embroidery designs included with the program, the stipping stitch is faster and better than ver 7 with the ability to use new motif stitches for a great look.
For the latest Version – PE-Design Next – Brother have completely overhauled the interface to look and operate in the style of the current Microsoft Office programs. At first it takes some getting used to for those who have been working with previous versions over the years but the improvements really are quite dramatic when you get your teeth into it. There re now 100 pre-digitized fonts supplied, you can create mirror effects which is great for quilting and there's also a spirograph feature.
The upgrade package is a software upgrade that searches for a previous version on your PC before installing the full program. You would need to load your previous version of PE-Design on the PC first but do not try and open or run it. Just install the new version right away.
You will need internet access to enter the key code supplied with the software upon which the card reader / writer module will be "upgraded" to work with the latest version.
It's important to be aware that the card reader / writer acts as a security dongle and once the upgrade has been assigned to the card reader the software code can not be used again to upgrade another card reader. Some people have unwittingly purchased upgraded kits that have no life and can not be used so beware.
What you can do, is load the program on another PC or laptop and as long as you also put the card reader into the PC as well it will run no problem. In other words, the software can be used on any PC but will only work providing you also put the card reader into a USB port
Steps on how to upgrade from Older versions;
- Install your current version of PE Design into your Windows 7 computer
- Do not run / start the installed version
- Install your Upgrade from the disk
- Run your newly installed software