LED Wizard 8 Documentation

Intro to LED Wizard 8 Docs
Getting Started
System Requirements
Screen Layout
LED Wizard Basics
Basic Workflow
Operating Modes
Defaults and Preferences
New in Version 8
Data Clean Up Tool
Module Filtering
LED Wizard Fonts
LED Wizard 8 Database
Population Scaling Tool
Graphical Population Scaling
Auto Stats and Title Block Merging
Auto Power Supply Loading
Auto Dimensioning
Single Run Populations
Create Guide Paths from Open Vector Paths
Freehand Drawing Tool
Power Supply Colors
New Auto Power Supply Loading Options
Multiple Document Interface
Power Supply Rotation
Population Library
Core Series Flexible Mode
Creating LED Module Layouts
Using the PowerFlow Tool
Creating and Editing LED Modules
Scaling LED Graphics
Working with Guidepaths
Working with Selections
Editing Existing Selections
Cabinet Layouts
Parallel Layouts
Module Rotations
Reusing Module Layouts
Target Density
LED Property Bar
Using Power Supplies
Using Title Blocks
Multiple Module Title Blocks
Title Block Variables
Using Guidelines
Copy and Paste
Importing Files
From Adobe Illustrator
From Corel Draw
From AutoCAD
Exporting Files
Editing Text
Vector Editing
Loop Editing
Tools, Tabs and Property Bars
PowerFlow Tool
PowerFlow Property Bar
PowerFlow Tab
PowerFlow Tool Keyboard Shortcuts
Semi-Automatic Populations
Layout Tool
Data Clean Up Tool
Auto Mounting Holes Tool
Assign Letters Tool
Scale Tab
Summary Tab
PS Tab
Objects Tab
Layers Tab
History Tab
Job Tab
Text Edit Tool
Vector Edit Tool
Keys for Vector Editing
Loop Edit Tool
On Screen Digitizing Tool
Object Property Bar
Group Property Bar
Guideline Property Bar
Measure Tool Property Bar
Bitmap Property Bar
LED Object Property Bar
Job Color Property Bar
Menu Reference
File Menu
Open Recent
Save As
Save Copy As
Snapshots Menu
Export Scaled PDF
Email PDF
Edit Menu
Paste Special
Paste in Place
Select All
Vector/Node Tools
Vector - Insert
Vector - To Line
Vector - To Arc
Vector - To Bezier
Vector - Break Loop
Vector - Set St/End Point
Vector - Join St/End Point
Vector - Move Opening
Vector - Add Vertical Guide
Vector - Add Horizontal Guide
Reorder Loops
Unexplode Vector Paths
Purge Undo/History
Document Properties
View Menu
Zoom commands
Toolbox menu
Custom Toolbars
Show Fill Colors
Show Stroke Colors
Show Grid
Show Guidelines
Show Rulers
Show Loop Direction
Show Job Color Palette
Show Side Bar
Show Info Bar
Show Help Bar
Show Group Member Names
Highlight Small Vectors
Transparent Background
Reset Toolbar Layout
Layout Menu
Guides commands
Shapes commands
Rounded Rectangle
Layout Properties
Size to Fit
Show Layout Size
Snap to Grid
Snap to Guidelines
Snap Dimensions to Graphics
Selectable Guidelines
Auto Square
Create Auto Dimensions
Arrange Menu
Align Tools
Distribute Tools
Group Tools
Select Only by Edge Click
Allow Options
Break Into Loops
Break Into Outer Loops
Close All Loops
Remove All Inner Loops
Horizontal Mirror
Vertical Mirror
Z Order Tools
Move to Layer
To Top
To Bottom
Move One Up
Move One Down
Text Menu
Text Tool
Break Apart
Live Spell Checking
Convert to Text
Change Copy
Change Case Tools
Font Wizard
Font Layout
Add Variable Text
Edit Variable Text
Remove Variable Text
Image Menu
Crop Tool
Rotate +/- 90 Degrees
Flip Horizontal/Vertical
Commit Rotation
1:1 Zoom
Save (Image) As
Cut at Max Length
Reorder Tubes
Power Supply Template Setup
Multi Excel Update
LED Menu
PowerFlow LED Tool
Assign Letters
Statistics Menu
Update Statistics
Update Grouped Statistics
Recreate Statistics
Respace Stats
Uniformly Respace Stats
Merge Title Block Template
Remove Title Block
This Document is a Title Block
Optimized Title Block Text
Create Module Hole Layer
Create Router Layer
Auto Mounting Holes Tool
Update Vector Guidepaths
Remove Vector Guidepaths
Create Guide Paths from Open Vector Paths
Recreate with Bezier Curves
Rasterize-Vectorize Filter
Remove LED Modules
Populate Menu
Populate All
Populate Along Guide
Populate Stroke Inline
Populate Single Horizontal Serif
Paste Selected Runs
Insert Parallel Guide Line
Add to Population Library
Respace Selected Runs
Auto Respace
Auto Join
Filtering Enabled
Calculate Stroke Width at Cursor
Modify Menu
Select All Modules in Run
Select All Modules in Letter
Select Stroke
Add Run to Selection
Rotate Menu
Reset Primary Rotation Angle
Reset Secondary Rotation Angle
Alternate Rotations
Rotate 90 degrees
Rotate 45 degrees
Rotate 45 degrees - Alternating
Rotate Counter-Clockwise (Left)
Rotate Clockwise (Right)
Flip Primary Rotation Angle
Flip Secondary Rotation Angle
Convert to Perpendicular Alternate Rotated
Density Menu
Increase Density
Increase Density For Entire Run
Decrease Density
Decrease Density For Entire Run
Uniform Spacing
Uniform Spacing For Entire Run
Add / Remove Density Segment
Show Density Segments
Clear All Density Segments
Append Module
Insert Single Module
Mirror Horizontal
Mirror Vertical
Fill To Cursor
Break Run
Move Opening
Convert To Line
Shift Menu
Shift Inward
Shift Outward
Slide Backward
Slide Forward
Slide to Max Spacing
Reconnect Runs
Center in Stroke
Center in Stroke w/Cleaning
Mouse Menu
Nudge Faster
Delete Current Run
Delete Module(s)
Delete Module(s) and Break
Delete All Modules in Current Letter
Delete Modules in All Letters
Remove Overlapping Modules
PowerFlow Measure Mode
Ensure Reachability
Change All Modules
PS Menu
Power Supply Edit Mode
Add Selection Rectangle Modules to Power Supply
Connect Run to Power Supply
Remove Run from Power Supply
Add New Power Supply
Remove Power Supply
Add One Power Supply per Letter
Add One Power Supply per Letter (Auto Select PS)
Add One Power Supply for All Letters
Add One Power Supply for All Letters (Auto Select PS)
Add Optimal Power Supplies by Letter
Add Optimal Power Supplies by Run
Add Optimal Power Supplies by Modules (breaks runs)
Connect Current Letter to Power Supply
Remove Current Letter from Power Supply
Drawing Left
Drawing Above
Drawing Right
Drawing Below
Next Drawing Position
Hide Power Supplies
Arrange Power Supplies in a Grid
Options Menu
Show Connecting Wires
Show Run Numbers
Show Power Supply Wires
Show Power Supply Data Boxes
Show Power Supply Data Box Borders
Show Module Drawings
Show Letters and Stats
Show Vector Guidepaths
Show Stroke Width Line
Enable Dynamic Repop
Power Supply Color Mode
Auto Extend
Remove All Stray Modules
Refresh Run Numbers
PowerFlow Menu
Ctrl Enables Snapping
Non-Snapping Movement Auto Rotates
Non-Snapping Drag Auto Rotates
Show Stroke Circle
Excel Menu
LED Excel Link Setup
Update Excel
Auto Update Excel
Excel Enabled
Title Block Setup
Letter Statistics Setup
Legacy Statistics Template Setup
Power Supply Template Setup
Power Supply Pricing Setup
Module Pricing Setup
Filter Modules
Edit Face Materials
Legacy Letter Statistics Mode
Open Merged Titleblock File
Upload Log Files
Tools Menu
General Tab
View Tab
Edit Tab
Save Tab
Text Tab
Tools Tab
High Color Toolbox
Update LED Database
Reload LED Database
Layout Tool
Vector Edit Tool
Loop Edit Tool
On Screen Digitize Tool
Freehand Drawing Tool
Data Prep Tool
Calculate Area
Channel Letter Return
Radius Corners
Convert Menu
Convert Beziers to Arcs
Convert Arcs to Beziers
Convert to All Lines
Convert Lines to Arcs
Convert Flat Blend to Simple Fills
Convert All Clippings Paths to Normal Paths
Convert All Clipping Paths to Normal Filled Paths
Detect Letters
Remove Coincident Loops Across Layout
Remove All Clipping Paths
Optimize Vectors
Find Self-Intersecting Loops
Force Loop Direction
Remove Duplicate Loops
Display Path Length
Reset Windows Explorer File Association
Open AppData Folder
Window Menu
Tile Vertical
Tile Horizontal
Help Menu
Get Help
Check for Web Updates
About LED Wizard
DXF Options
PDF Options
Shortcut Key Reference
Working with App Data Files
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8.16.16 Channel Letter Return

The Channel Letter Return (CLR) Plots feature enables you to easily and quickly generate plots that help in creating channel letter returns.

Simply select the text used for the signage, select Channel Letter Returns in the Tools Menu, and the dialog box below will appear. The text must be Combined into one object prior to entering the tool.

Below is a description of the six primary settings in the dialog box:


Enter the offset amount to apply around the shape. This is typically the thickness of the material (e.g. 0.040") which insures that the letter back will fit properly inside the completed return. You must create the offset before the OK button will be available. See below for instructions on creating reverse/halo lit return patterns.

Tool Diameter

This number tells the software how much to compensate for the tool diameter on all left-hand turns in the cutting path, where the tool's diameter prevents sharp corners from being created. Enter the diameter of your router bit in this box. If you are cutting your bakcs with a laser, then you can enter 0 here. The image below shows what this option does:

The image on the left shows the radius on these inside corners, with a 0.25" Tool Diameter. The image on the right shows a 0.00" Tool Diameter and sharp inside corners.

Create Offset

After you have entered these two values, click on Create Offset prior to moving onto the additional options. As it says below the button, "After creating the offset, you can change the start points with a simple click."

The Start Points are where each pattern starts and ends, and therefore where you have to clinch the ends of the return together. Most shops will put these along the tops of the letters, but you can move these points anywhere (such as a vertical or a straight line) by just clicking at this stage in the process. Note that the internal loop gets its own pattern.

Tape Width

Enter the width to be used to create the channel letter return patterns. This can be as wide as the return strip (e.g. 4") or smaller if you prefer (e.g. 2"). This width should not to be confused with the width of plotting material, below.

Material Width

Enter the net plotting width of the material in the plotter. If you are using a 24" wide material in a plotter designed to use 36" material, the net plotting width should be 22" (24"-2" to allow for the non-plottable material on each edge). The non-plottable allowance varies from plotter to plotter, but 2" is a safe amount that will work with most plotters. The patterns will be stacked to the width value.


Enter the gap between individual tape loops. This covers both the horizontal and vertical gap. This is typically 1/2" (0.5"), enough to cut the loops apart with scissors or a razor blade.


This is the amount for each pattern to overlap so that it can be clinched. You can enter 0 here for no overlap, but a common value would be .5"-1".

After you press OK, the pattern will be created:

Information in the CLR plots

Several things are included in the CLR plots.

Each section (rectangle) in the CLR plot represents a "closed loop" that makes up each return. The number in the upper left corner of each section is the number of that loop, where the numbering starts with the first character on the left. If a character has one or more internal loops, the internal loops are numbered before the outer loop. For example, if the copy reads CHANNEL LETTER RETURNS, the internal loop in the A would be numbered loop 3 and the outer loop for the A would be loop 4.

At the left end of each pattern is a reduced scale image of each loop. All those images are in proportion to each other, but they are all less than full size.

The total length of each pattern will exactly match the perimeter of each letter, plus any Overlap value that you entered.

Here is the overall loop length of the "L" as shown in the Loop Edit Tool.

And here is the return pattern, 4" in height and the same length to four decimal places, plus the 0.5" overlap value.

There are three "line types" in the plot: (1) solid lines that indicate sharp bends in the same direction as the return, (2) short dashed lines that indicate sharp bends in the opposite from the return, and (3) long dashed lines that indicate smooth transitions between two curves or between a line and a curve.

The numbers along the bottom edge of the plot are the radii of the arcs. These numbers can be used to select the best notching tool for each arc (i.e. smaller notch angle for shorter radii and larger notch angle for longer radii).

The numbers next to a solid line (sharp bends) indicate the angle of the bend, most commonly 90 degrees.

Some shops will focus on the hard bends as the key data in the pattern, but it all depends on your workflow and equipment as to how to best interpret the pattern.

Automatic Nesting

When the patterns are created and displayed in the layout window, they have been automatically nested to optimize the use of the material. The Tape Width, Material Width and Gap settings used in the dialog box (shown above) can be adjusted to reduce the amount of plotting material needed to a minimum. For example, if you can get by with a Tape Width of 2" instead of 4", the total amount of plotting material required would be reduced by 50%.


There are various options for output of the patterns, the most common being plotting to paper. Note that LED Wizard does not have a plotting option, so you would export the pattern to a vector file such as DXF. You can also consider printing the patterns to a large format printer, either to paper or adhesive backed vinyl. Some shops even export the pattern and then etch the markings directly on a sheet and sheer off the returns. Or you could laser cut, water jet, or plasma cut.

If you plot the patterns, be very careful about yor paper tracking long lengths. Some of these patterns are very long. Although not in style anymore in the industry, a classic 12" plotter with sproketed rollers and paper is a great piece of hardware to use for this application!

Reverse/Halo Lit Letters

The Channel Letter Return Plots feature is designed for traditional face lit letters, but it can be used with reverse/halo lit letters as well. In this case, you want the return to be attached to the sign face, but behind the face and not around the outside, like the letter backs. The is a subtle but critical difference.

The cleanest way to do this is take your artwork and do a negative offset (inline, negative value) of the return thickness amount (say 0.040") prior to entering the Channel Letter Return Tool. Use the square corner option in the [[Outline]] tool. Then run the tool using the same directions above, but with 0 as the material thickness, as we have already accounted for that. To be sure, the difference is small in an absolute sense, just over 1/8" on the overall length for the "L" we have been using in our example. However, 1/8" could be a pretty large amount as a gap or slop.

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