Scan It Saturday – Scan N Cut Canvas Design Suite

May 3, 2014 — 43 Comments

I’ve had a lot of questions, and talked a fair bit about, the Brother Scan N Cut Canvas online design suite so I thought that it was about time that I gave you more of an explanation as to what this is and what you can do with it.

It’s just a quick overview but will hopefully cover some of those frequently asked questions.

What is it?

The Brother Scan N Cut Canvas is an online design suite for creating, converting and downloading the resulting FCM files (this is the only file type that the machine will recognize) for cutting and drawing with the Brother Scan N Cut machine.

It can be found by visiting –

I’d suggest saving it in your “bookmarks” on your web browser as it’s not easy to find with a google search.

The Log In screen will look a little like this.

Brother Scan N Cut Canvas Design Suite - Log In Page

If you do not see this screen when you visit the web page, and instead get an error page, then it may be that your web browser will need updating. Please do read the page as it will tell you which browsers, and which versions of browsers are supported.

Do I need it?

If you just wish to use the main functions of the Brother Scan N Cut machine, then no, you do not need it.

What can I do with it that I can’t do with the machine?

The Brother Scan N Cut Canvas gives you the ability to do the following:

  • Create designs using additional design tools that aren’t currently on the machine, such as alignment and advanced text manipulation features and offset line tools.
  • View your designs on your PC screen.
  • Import and convert SVG files into FCM cutting files. (This will be covered in a future blog post).
  • Import and convert JPEG images into FCM cutting files. (This will be covered in a future blog post).
  • You can save designs directly to your computer or keep them online as shown here.

Brother Scan N Cut Canvas Design Suite - Account Page

How do I download it?

You don’t. The Brother Scan N Cut Canvas works entirely online via the internet. It cannot be downloaded.

By living and working online it does mean that you will need access to a computer that has a (reasonably speedy) connection to the internet. You will also need a USB stick (or similar) to transfer the FCM files from your computer to your cutting machine.

How do I register my Brother Scan N Cut machine in the Canvas Design Suite?

You don’t. Just sign up for an account and you are away. You can even sign up for this before your machine arrives and start designing.

How do I connect it to my Brother Scan N Cut so that I can cut directly from the Canvas Design Suite?

This is not possible at this time.

What happens if the software is updated?

If additional features get added to the Brother Scan N Cut Canvas online design suite, you don’t need to do anything. The next time that you sign in the new features will be available.

  • You DON’T need to download an update.
  • You DON’T need to update your Brother Scan N Cut machine.

How will I know if the Brother Scan N Cut Canvas has been updated?

There will be a notification at the bottom of the Log In screen or the My Projects screen as shown here.

Brother Scan N Cut Canvas - Update Screen

How do I use it?

Just a quick overview here of what to expect as you log in and work your way through the screens.

Firstly the My Projects page.

Brother Scan N Cut Canvas Design Suite - Account Page

The big purple button that says “New” is where you would start a new project, whether this be a design that you are going to make from scratch, or want to convert a JPEG or SVG file.

In the middle you can see that this is where your designs are stored. You can choose to edit, download or delete by hovering your cursor over each thumbnail image.

Top right is also where you access your account info, find the help files and also log out. This area stays with you on every screen.

Simple stuff so far, right?

Anyway, when you click on New or open a design you will then be taken to the design page.

Brother Scan N Cut Canvas Design Suite - Design Page


Lot more options here, so let me take you through these – firstly, top left.

Brother Scan N Cut Canvas Design Suite - Design Page 1

Project Title – Pretty obvious here. Just give your project a name and this will be what the FCM file is called whether you look at it on your PC or on your Brother Scan N Cut machine.

  • Button 1 – The black outlined square is a quick way of starting a new project whilst in the design screen.
  • Button 2 – The next button with the blue arrow pointing down is one way that you would download your FCM file.
  • Button 3 – To load a JPEG image that you wish to trace and convert into a FCM cutting file.
  • Button 4 – To load a SVG file that you wish to trace and convert into a FCM cutting file.

Below this you will find a bigger download button. Click it when you are ready to download the FCM file.

Underneath that you will be able to browse a large range of the free designs (most of which will already be on your machine). This means that you can design things using these shapes whilst at the PC.

Here are those two sections.

Brother Scan N Cut Canvas Design Suite - Design Page 2

To the right of the Project Title you will find a menu bar with lots of options.

Brother Scan N Cut Canvas Design Suite - Design Page 3

  • The Project Menu has basic file management functions including Open/Import/Save etc.
  • The edit menu has a range of design tools including Grouping and Alignment tools.
  • The view menu allows you to adjust what you see on screen.
  • Below these three menu options there are a range of editing buttons.
  • They include (from left to right) line shape selection, line editing, line drawing, undo/redo, various welding features, offset line (creating a shadow layer on shapes and text), shape properties and zoom features.

Below these you will see your work mat.

Brother Scan N Cut Canvas Design Suite - Design Page 4

This is obviously where you will see what you are designing.

You can zoom in and out and work with multiple shapes on the same virtual mat.

You’d think that it was more complex, but that really is it in terms of screens.

There will be more in terms of individual features, but I shall be covering more about these bits and bobs in future posts.

Where can I find more information?

There is a downloadable help booklet for the Scan N Cut software (which is totally separate to the machine manual). You can open this (and print or download) by clicking on the next link –

Definitely well worth a read as it’s most likely that the answer that you are looking for is in there.


Right, that’s quite a few bits of info there. I hope that you found them useful.

I am planning a few more blog posts on this topic, including how to convert JPEGs and SVGs so look out for those in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, if there is anything that you would like to know about the Brother Scan N Cut Canvas, or if I haven’t explained something well above, please feel free to pop your question in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to get back to you or include it in a future post.

Thanks for reading. See you next time fellow Scanners!

J :)


43 responses to Scan It Saturday – Scan N Cut Canvas Design Suite


    Hello John!

    Thanks for Your terrific blog and tutorials, they are always so helpful! :)

    My Question is:
    Is there a Way to Print My design as a jpg from scan and cut canvas? I Have designed a logo for a friend and all I want to do is export it so I can put it into Microsoft Word so I can then put it into my Avery Note Card Templates to Print out… I am So frustrated! I Have this great design but can’t t get it to print out for cards :(

    Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

    *I am Photoshop/Adobe Illustrater/etc Challenged

    Thanks so Much!




    HI just wondering if there is a way to delete a file from my projects I hate Cludder lol
    Thanks for all great work you are doing Nancy



    Thanks John was looking for canvas help read your post and found there is a booklet to help, still not sure i can do what i want to but i think ive thought of a way around it.



    Hi John, I am excited to see someone as talented as you enjoys the scan n cut as I do. I am having a problem, I am designing a small paper house to fit over a battery candle for Christmas. The problem I am having is when I save it the go to the scan n cut- it cuts out the window completely as well as the door. How to I get it to cut only the iner window and door section? ty






      The easiest way would be to load two circles, set their size with the editing tools and then position one on top of the other.
      Hope this helps.
      J :)


      clive trowbridge October 31, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      I wonder if you can help me.i am using the free version of canvas how do I down load my designs to the usb stick please.



        Hello Clive,
        There is only a free version of Canvas and all features are open to everyone. As for downloading, there is a massive blue button on the screen which says download. Click that. There are then additional instructions given onscreen. Alternatively you can read, step by step, how to do this by opening the help document which is accessible within Canvas.
        I also have a few videos on my YouTube channel (not specifically about downloading) but they may offer a good overview to help you understand where everything is.
        Hope this helps.
        J :)



    Hi I have just found this site and am over the moon! Can you tell me please how I can read earlier posts? I have read all these posts on this page! Also can you tell me how to find it again? It may seem obvious but when I clicked on my favourites and got this site not all things were there that I had seen before!!



    Hi John just to ler you know if your hav I ng trouble scanning stamped images try
    adjusting the scan DPI to 150 this may help pick up those missing images hope this helps.



    I am reading all the comments, however, I have never heard of a FCM file. what is it, and why do I need to convert? I have had this machine 24 hours, have been through the entire book, and tried all of the different operations and have had no problem. I also have a Silhouette and tons of svg files and jpeg and png files, will they not work?



    Hi john can you tell me how I can put scanncut icon. onto my desk top. Thanks for all your help and time spent. Connie



      Not really sure what you mean here. Do you set up a shortcut for the Scan N Cut Canvas website?
      If so, your computer’s help file should give you a guided walkthrough on how to do this.
      If not, please feel free to get back in touch.
      J :)



    I have a problem that I hope you can help solve.
    I was using one of the edgings (diamond) and wanted to make an oblong frame with it, however I cannot find any eraser / cut tool because obviously the sides need to be shorter than the top & bottom. resizing the sides only makes them out of proportion as I need fewer repeats of the same proportions



      I don’t think that this is something that can be done on the machine. You will need to use scan n cut canvas and use the welding tools to split the shape.



        can’t cut or crop on the canvas, I find the editing tools poor. in the end I left the sides hanging, cut it out with the machine, then cut off the extra down the sides. thanks anyway



        It’s not called cut or crop. It’s one of the welding functions I believe. Lay two shapes on top of each other and try those options. :)


    Elizabeth Reid May 3, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Do you think C & C will start selling USB sticks suitable for the Brother.I have been trying to locate one but having difficulty.I have the list from your blog but can’t find one.
    Thank you Elizabeth



    Thank you, John. I really appreciate all the explanations you have given both on here and on Create and Craft.



    John, I use the direct cut a lot as a stamper and card maker and find that if I stamp several images will only cut a few. I can see all of them initially, but when I put the border around them, just cuts some out. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Love your articles – always trying to learn more and you help us all! Diana



      The machine works by recognising contrast of the whole sheet, not each individual image. Try stamping similar style images, working with fewer images or rescanning after first cut is complete.



    Unfortunately this does not work with the second most used browser, Firefox. How can Brother ignore this? Thousands of people are therefore not able to use the canvas unless they install a browser they don’t really want. Somebody should point that out to Brother.



      I have three browsers installed on my PC in order to allow me to take advantage of each of their unique features.
      A second browser takes up very little space, the are various ones to choose from, is free and doesn’t have to be the default browser.
      I am assuming that you have fed this back to Brother already?



        No I did not contact Brother about that. I thought since you and Mel have a close contact it might be better to go that way instead of somebody they don’t listen to.
        It is not acceptable that they ignore such a widely used browser, Firefox is not just some exotic thing hardly anybody using it.
        I personally don’t really care (but I do not like when widely used browsers are ignored and one is forced to get one they want you to use) since I don’t use the machine after finding out on the first day it does not do what I bought it for because of that tiny screen which is absolutely useless. Even when somebody at Brother sees that and they make a larger screen in the future it would be no help at all to all these hundreds or even thousands who bought it in the past.
        Or at least they could make it work that one work in the magnifying state what can only be used now for looking at but not doing anything. That would help us early buyers as that could be done with an update. Would they listen to complains and sort that out then not only I could use the machine for what it was bought for. Otherwise it will live in its box in a place where it is not in the way and catch dust. Yes, my mistake that I missed the deadline to return it.

        I have seen lots of comments all over the place where people complain exactly about that, a much too small screen and not being able to work in the magnifying state.

        Since we are on it, maybe an explanation what that blade holder (what is to buy separatly) is for when the machine comes with them would be a good idea. What does one need for, can the blade not be changed in the holder supplied with the machine?
        The product description on C&C needs some additions, why there is an empty blade holder and if it is needed when changing the blade. If so, then the description for the spare blades need to point that out too.

        I really hate it when product descriptions are not complete. There is also nothing in the leaflet what comes with the machine, it only says how to change the blade.

        You might ask why I bother when I don’t use it. Well, there are others who have the same questions but don’t know where to ask or feel to shy to do so.

        Btw, I really do love your blog and can’t wait for new posts and ideas. I wonder where you buy your days which must have at least 50 hours or so. What you all do is amazing and I don’t know what I do wrong with not being able to fit in my days everything I want to do. So it must the wrong place where I buy my days :-)



    I like using the Canvas, however have you noticed that you don’t have the full access to all of the patterns that are loaded in the Scan n Cut machine. You can do basic, border, logo and text but none of the other preloaded shapes, do you think Brother will add this to the canvas program? I’d very much like them too.


    Valerie Budge May 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Thank you so much John you are a treasure!



    Hi John Just a quick question, who do I get the 2nd quilting cartridge which is advertised in the brother project book. As createandcraft are the main dealers will they be adding this cartrige/usb to there shows?
    Thanks for your help



      I know they’ve had one of them, but not sure about the other.



      Hi Linda.If you get the cheaper version ( Spotlight or Lincraft) you will not get the 2nd Quilting cartridge.I got mine from a Brother Dealer and got the 2nd cartridge.


    Debby cooper May 3, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Thank you so useful and I find bit size information easier to absorb . Looking forward to next Saturday .
    Debby x



    Thank you for this John. Will be great to be able to convert JPG’s x



    Thank you John. I am sure lots of people will find this useful. SueL x


Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Scan It Saturday – Converting Different File Types In Brother Scan N Cut Canvas « Gentleman Crafter - May 10, 2014

    […] you will need to use the Brother Scan N Cut Canvas which I talked about during last week’s Scan It Saturday. It’s the only software that will convert to and export in the FCM file […]


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