Cricut Expression Machine

If you have the older style Cricut machine, use this as a handy guide:

On your Cricut machine, you will see a set of dials. The dials will do the following:

  • size — use this dial to increase or decrease the size of the letter or shape
  • speed — use this dial to increase or decrease the speed of the blade during cutting
  • pressure — use this dial to increase or decrease the pressure of the blade during cutting

This first set of buttons can be found on the right hand side of your overlay for your cartridge. These 10 features are the same on all cartridges.

  • space — use this button to put a space between characters, remember you are going to reposition the cut out letters, so you don’t need to use a space unless you want to use the background piece of paper
  • backspace — this will remove the character you just typed in, useful for mistakenly typed letters or shapes
  • clear display — removes all characters you typed in
  • reset all — removes all characters and the special features, such as shadow, italic, etc.
  • repeat last — will re-enter what you last cut, very handy for markers and making shadows of the same items
  • sound on/off — turns the sounds off and on
  • load last — use this when you have removed your mat from the machine, it start where you left off
  • set paper size — this is very handy when you have a scrap piece of paper, place the paper in the bottom corner (opposite of the normal corner) and place the blade on the start of the paper
  • load paper — this will load your mat with your paper attached
  • unload paper — this will unload the mat (do not unload if using the markers, it’s important to press LOAD again to reposition your paper to draw with markers)

This second set of buttons can be found on the left hand side of your overlay for your cartridge. These features are different for each cartridge.

  • tall/short/cartoon/italic — font cartridges all vary on their included feature buttons, see the booklet that came with your cartridge to learn these
  • shadow — this will cut the item you select just a little wider than the normal cut, useful for shadowing with another color
  • blackout — this is very similar to shadow but does not cut out the inside cuts for example inside e’s and o’s
  • paper saver — use this to save on paper, because it will not line up the letters or shapes you are cutting and save on paper
  • real dial size — remember that when you cut letters, the taller letters will cut the size you specify, but lowercase letters will be proportional; this will tell the letter or shape to cut exactly this size
  • shift — press shift to cut the letter or shape that is the shift item, which could be a capital letter, special character such as $, or a shape (it’s the gray option on the overlay)
  • shift lock — shift lock works just like caps lock on your computer keyboard, useful when typing all caps

These mode buttons are found on the Cricut Expression machine, left of the overlay area. These buttons are not features on the smaller Cricut Personal Cutter. Cricut Create has portrait, fit to page, and auto fill features.

  • portrait — normally your Cricut machine will cut landscape, this will cut your images from the portrait prospective
  • mix ‘n match — use this feature when you want to use more than one type of feature on your cut
  • quantity — allows you to enter a number and cut more than one object, it will allow you to load more paper if needed
  • fit to page — will determine the largest cut size possible for your size paper
  • fit to length — this button allows the dial size to set the length, not the height
  • auto fill — this will calculate the number of cuts based on the dial size you have picked for your size paper

This last set of buttons is located below the mode buttons mentioned above. Again, not available on the Personal Cutter. Center point and flip are available on the Cricut Create..

  • multi-cut — this is used for cutting a shape multiple times, useful for chipboard or other thick items to cut
  • center point — used to position the blade over the center of an object, such as photo, before you do your cut
  • flip — flipping will rotate the object so you get the mirror of the item
  • line return — positions the blade down on the next line, handy if you want to use the paper with your shapes out of them
  • settings — use this to change the language, inches vs. centimeters, default for multiple cut, and turning off graphic display
  • mat size — use this to change from 12×12 to 12×24
  • xtra1 & xtra2 — not used