For anyone who is a COMPLETE BEGINNER with laser design, designing softwares, etc

I would actually love it on youtube so I can refer back to the video for reference.

What program do you suggest for a mac computer. I have made some designs on it that were already remade on the glow forge site. But if I am trying tp personalize it with someones name it didn’t work. When I tried to use word it wasn’t compatible and didn’t let met upload doc. I watched youtube videos about it and on there they said to download Adobe and there were complicated instructions on changes swatches which I didn’t understand and I didn’t figure out how to do it that way either!! Do you have a youtube channel I can watch??

I have a few videos that work through some simple designs, but I am using Inkscape. There is a new version of Inkscape. It’s free but I am not quite sure about stability with the latest Mac OS. someone will chime in on that.

Maybe this will help.

If you have Adobe Illustrator downloaded, I would stick with that. Otherwise folks use Affinity Designer on a Mac and that works well. It’s not too expensive.

Illustrator has so many features and functions, it’s hard to get over the initial learning curve. But once you get some of the basics down, you will be able to do what you need, especially in adding text and customizing an existing design.

I’ll send you a private message and we can get a conversation started there. I’ll talk you through things.


@twinangel1a I am a complete newbie…if I were you I would stick to dove illustrator! There are a million tutorials on youtube. I started out just searching on youtube the word “GLOWFORGE” and “ILLUSTRATOR” both at one and it brings up a million tutorials. (Well, maybe not a million) It is so easy!

I literally know nothing about lasers so I feel ya, thanks for sharing, now I feel like I know where to start.


Hey @twinangel1a, do you have PowerPoint? I hear some folks are using it and saving to pdf successfully. I don’t use it myself (I have Illustrator) but I do use a Mac and can help you get started. It would be helpful to know what versions of the MacOS and any software that you have, and specifically what you’d like to do.


als…if you are not using Adobe Illustrator as your software…you can search in Youtube or Google “Glowforge, Inkscape” or “Glowforge, Powerpoint” and almost endless results come back to you. As for myself, I searched Youtube for “Glowforge using Illustrator”. Thats how I got started using Illustrator! It is very overwhelming at first. I am no Pro. But I am learning! @Anselm-M you can get on this Community Forum here on Glowforge website and ask questions at just about any hour of any day and so many people will come to your rescue to help!!

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I would participate

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To anyone who is trying to do a cross-platform video conference, check out
They’re free (yay!), allow recordings, and you don’t have to download or install anything. My family uses them for group calls, 4-5 different computers, in different places, in different browsers, and different levels of CS competence. It’s really quite lovely :slight_smile:

@twinangel1a, @freeflight1967, @MANDYpalmer83


@marmak3261 I would be interested as well. I might learn something new too. Might not be too much help…but I am interested!


I haven’t let a virtual meetup lesson go. Been working on a few CNC projects. Way more things to keep track of with this than the Glowforge project.

Will do some platform investigating and get back to this topic.

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I have found Glowforge for dummies on YouTube. I tried one, didnt work have no idea why. Her Illustrator does notebook like mine. I stopped and started 4 times. About to do another one here. I had my first Glowforge replaced because it didnt cut through. Pretty much in tears. This machine stares me down everyday.

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It would help a lot if you first do the calibration here:

If you have done this and used “Set Focus” the odds will improve and if you need to make really sure see what settings it 5-10 units slower it should cut every time.


Indeed! This is now my standard work flow…


You might want to post that in a separate thread, instead of adding to a discussion of tutorials and software.

Sorry, was a reply to Marmak, didn’t think it would be public

@Anselm-M Have you started to play around yet? Its a lot to learn, isn’t it? I was so overwhelmed at first. But having a blast now!

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@cynd11 Thank-you for my bday wishes! I hope I didnt miss telling anyone Thankyou!

not as much as I would have liked, it feels like 90% of my time is just reading. For now…

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@Anselm-M AS IT SHOULD! As much as I feel like I do not have time to read, it is a MUST as a new GF owner. You will quickly add hours up, not even realizing you have been staring at the screen for almost 6 hours!

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Everyone, I just want to update you and let you know that through some tutorials I watched, basically GF for dummies, and mostly a troubleshooting phone session with marmak3261. I have my GF up and online. I have engraved something!