Unwelcome “loops” in your journaling

Even though I don’t mind my own handwriting, I still love the pen tool for journaling. I just can never get my lines as straight on my own, not to mention how easy it is to misspell something as you are writing it and after that there is no going back! So I love the pen tool, but one day I noticed something was wrong. I had all these little loops in my letters that shouldn’t be there. They were anywhere where there was a corner in the font and were about the size of a pin head. Where did those come from? I tried a new pen, new pen tool, different pressures, and different speeds but none of those changes made a difference.

Has your journaling ever had a sudden case of the “loop-de-loos”?

There IS an explanation! I had to go to the engineer to have it explained to me but in the end the answer is very simple. Let me first tell you how to fix this issue and then we’ll talk about what you did. First, in your Cut Control Panel make sure that you have your media type put on “Draw” or “Pen Tool” depending on your software version. Then click on the “Option” button in the cut control panel. This will bring up a new window  with a few options under it. The one you need to check is the “Knife Offset”. Make sure that the value next to “Knife Offset” is set to zero and then select “Ok” to shut the window. Once the Knife Offset is changes to zero you should be rid of your case of the loop-do-loos! This change should be permanent and will only affect the settings for when you select “Draw” or “Pen Tool”; you won’t need to change the knife offset every time. I accidentally had changed my Knife Offset at some point which is why I suddenly had loops, so changing it back fixed the problem!

Maybe the fix is all you need, but if you are like me and want to know “why” here it is. When your machine makes a tight corner, instead of stopping and changing direction it actually makes a very small loop. This allows the tiny blade in your machine to more easily switch its point to the right direction and the end result is a much crisper corner. The thicker your material is, the larger that loops needs to be for the same results. That is why each material has it’s own Knife Offset preset. With the pen tool however you don’t need to worry about getting the blade angled the right direction and that small loop turns in to a problem. Your software should come with the offset for the Pen Tool setting already set to zero but if you are like me you may have inadvertently changed it without realizing it! A word of caution: be very careful if you change the knife offset for any of your other medias. The offset should be preset to the right setting for you and changing it can cause more harm than good! At very least make sure you know what it was originally at so that you can revert back to it if the change doesn’t help!


I can still remember the car drive I was on with my mother, Chris, when she was discussing what to call her new business. I suggested the name Pazzles and, being 10 at the time, quickly forgot about the whole thing. Since then I have graduated from college with a Music Education degree, married, and moved back home. I live with my husband, Josh, our beagle, Chloey, and our evil cat, Ozzy. As my husband could probably tell you I am stubborn, sarcastic, creative, a bit of a perfectionist, and above all I love to teach. My dirty little secret is that I really am not a scrapbooker (Well ok I have two, the other is that I sing at the top of my lungs when no one is home…did I just type that?). I love looking at other people’s work and am amazed at the truly beautiful art that scrapbooking has become over the years, but I still consider myself an amateur. I fell in love with the Pazzles right away because I saw how many uses it had, not just for paper but for any craft. I have decorated my home dishes, made t-shirts and car decals, party bags, wedding invitations and gifts but have still only scratched the surface of what I could do. I love learning all of the things that the Pazzles software can do and then passing that knowledge on to others.

Posted in What's Up (Q&A) Tagged with:
4 comments on “Unwelcome “loops” in your journaling
  1. Regina Stevens says:

    I am happy I was told this a while back because I had made up my mind I was never going to use the pen tool again. Thanks to Amanda for telling me how to fix those loops. Now I feel so much better about using my pen tool for journaling.

  2. Amanda says:

    I’m so glad you and your pen tool are back on good terms Regina! :)

  3. malin says:

    Hi, thanks for this very useful information, I have always wanted to try my pen tool but never have. I have just checked my settings and mine was set on 12, glad I checked it before I plucked up courage to try the pen tool, Thanks for all the tips you give us.

  4. marymouse says:

    Thank you for this tip. I had tried everything and still couldn’t get rid of those pesky little loops. I just checked and my knife offset was 12.

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