I get asked a time or two a week if I will upload multiples in a hoop for a certain snap tab. The simple answer is no, but if you are the type who wants to know “But why?” then read on!

There are two very simple reasons why I don’t offer multiples in a hoop for 99.9% of my snap tabs:
1. I have something like 500 snap tabs in my collection to date. It is just not possible for me to sort every one. And even if I did, like doing a few a week, that brings me to my next reason:
2. Since Etsy doesn’t provide for any kind of future redownloading for changes, anyone who bought any snap tab would want (and rightfully so) the updated file, and would have to email me to get it. That one duty alone would kill any new releases or customer service for anything else for at least a month. Until the time when I can afford an assistant, I don’t see how I can take on a task like this.

I realize that many digitizers offer sorted snap tabs. You know, when I started digitizing in 2014, I did so as a hobby. I never really thought I would be paying bills or filing taxes with an actual income! This was supposed to be “coffee money” or “kids’ toy money.” So while I am wildly appreciative of what we’ve all built together, I was completely unprepared for the demand.

“But Melissa, why don’t you just start fresh now and make them in sorted files?” Because if I did this, I would have to indicate on each listing which was sorted and which was not. Can you imagine the unhappy customer emails from folks who purchased 3 snap tabs and only 1 of them was sorted? I know I’d be disappointed!

So, what next? Well, you’re not out of luck with the process. You can do it yourself easily with embroidery software. And I know it may touch some nerves, but I will say again, in my opinion, if you’re doing embroidery for anything more than making one keychain a week for a friend, you need software!! This is an investment in your productivity.

And although I’m an affiliate for Embrilliance, and use their software for everything I do, I know that there are also other great options out there that other people use and love.

Here’s how to sort using Embrilliance Essentials using just one command in your software:

1. Open your Preferences screen and select the hoop size you’re fitting to. I’ll use 5×7 as an example.

2. Open your chosen snap tab either by selecting “Open” and finding in a folder, or dragging it over from an open folder. Here you seen I’ve brought in my Eiffel Tower snap tab.

3. Now comes the fun part! Click your design, selecting the whole thing, and use whatever shortcut you like to Copy and Paste it. I like to use Control+C then Control+V, but there are also options on the right click of your mouse to do the same thing.
Click each object individually and move it around the hoop to get the best configuration for your particular project and hoop size.
Check out how I fit 5 Eiffel Towers into this 5×7 hoop! Make sure you keep the items within your hoop size (I like to do up to 3/4″ inside the hoop, i.e. my final design is 4 3/4″ by 6 3/4″).
ALSO keep in mind that you have to cut between each item. I’m confident in my cutting skills, so I’m fine with them being this close:

4. Next, go up to the toolbar and choose “Utility” then “Color Sort.”

5. A window pops up that informs you how many steps you’re saving by sorting for the hoop. For this project, I’m saving 16 color changes! Select “New View” and the new window with your sorted file comes up.
First, click on each step and make sure it looks as you intended it. Maybe even run the stitch simulator. You don’t want to waste a large piece of fabric if one step somehow got out of place in all your merging.
If it looks as you wanted. great! Go up to “File” and “Save Stitch File As” and save your sorted file as whatever you’d like. You can now use it as a regular file in your machine and it will stitch all of the placements first, then details, etc!

To see more information about my favorite features of Embrilliance Essentials, visit my blog here and/or my YouTube video here.
Ready to buy? Go here and start enjoying embroidery software today!