4 Best Softwares for Sublimation Printing | 2024 Guide

Sublimation printing has become an increasingly popular method for printing on fabrics and other materials. It’s a process that uses heat to transfer dye onto a material, resulting in vivid and long-lasting prints. However, for sublimation printing to work well, you need to have the right software. 

Special softwares for sublimation printing gives you the power to create or edit designs that can be put on shirts or items. Remember, the quality of the finished product largely depends on the design process. Working with good design software leads to the best results.

Here are some of the Best Softwares for sublimation Printing

The following are the best softwares for sublimation printing.

Graphic Design Software

One of the essential pieces of software that you need for sublimation printing is graphic design software. This could be Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, or any other software that can create high-quality and scalable designs. With such software, you can create the design you want to print and then prepare it for the sublimation process.

Keep in mind that the design must also be a mirrored image of the final product. This is because sublimation printing utilizes a transfer paper that mirrors the final image before printing. Using mirrored images ensures that the final product comes out as intended.

RIP Software

The Raster Image Processor (RIP) software is an essential tool in sublimation printing, particularly for halftone printing. Halftone printing breaks down a design into tiny dots, making it possible to create a detailed image using just a few colors. RIP software takes these halftone images and converts them into the printer-ready format, ensuring high-quality prints.

There are several RIP software options available in the market, including Wasatch, ErgoSoft, and Onyx. Choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.

Color Management Software

Color is an essential aspect of sublimation printing, and getting it right is incredibly important. Using color management software, you can ensure that the colors in your design are accurate and consistent throughout the printing process.

One such software option is Colormunki by X-Rite. It allows you to calibrate your monitor, printer, and camera to ensure that the colors in your design show up correctly on different media. This, in turn, results in consistent and accurate colors in the final printed product.

Heat Transfer Software

Heat is one of the crucial components of sublimation printing. Heat transfer software allows you to manage and monitor the temperature and pressure of the printing process, ensuring the best results.

One of the most popular options for heat transfer software is PowerDriver by Sawgrass. It allows you to adjust the temperature and pressure of your printer, ensuring that the heat transfer process is performed at the most optimal conditions.

Sublimation Printing Software Depends on Operating Systems

Different devices and operating systems may be more compatible with certain apps. For instance, Procreate is only available for Apple users. Programs for printing are Photoshop and Design Space, which you adjust to properly display colors on your system, printer, and Design Space.

When selecting software, consider your user interface, graphic design needs, and skill level. There are many excellent options available to fulfill your design and drawing needs. Research and trial versions before committing to a purchase, as some offer free trials while others ask for a monthly subscription. Taking time to select the right program will pay off in the end.


Sublimation printing is a great way to create long-lasting and vibrant designs on various materials. However, to achieve the best results, you need to have the right software. From graphic design software to heat transfer software, there are several options available to choose from. By using the software mentioned above, you can create high-quality prints that are consistent and accurate in color and design.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many types of sublimation printing are there?

Sublimation printing offers different types of printers including swing away, calendar press, and flatbed press. The method utilizes different materials including transfer paper, fabric, and metal to imprint designs on products.

What type of file do you need for sublimation printing?

Sublimation printing accepts the following file types: PNG, JPEG, SVG, PDF, PSD, EPS, and TIFF. To ensure good image quality, check that the photo is high-resolution if printing in large formats.

Can you use any design for sublimation?

Design Space can be used to create sublimation designs even without a Cricut Machine. It offers an easy start for beginners and is a cost-effective method to explore your creative side. However, design space has a few limitations on what can be achieved.

Can photos be sublimated?

Sublimation printing is a method that enables transfer of photos onto various surfaces, such as ceramic tiles, metal, glass, and even fabric. The process is quite simple and requires a sublimation printer and paper. The results of this printing technique are amazing.

Do you need a program to print sublimation designs?

Sublimation printing is a cost-effective and straightforward method to transfer custom designs onto t-shirts and hoodies in the comfort of your home. You can do this by using a printer, transfer paper, and a heat press. You must also have the appropriate sublimation software to create your designs.

What is the best design app for sublimation?

The top design apps for sublimation include Adobe, Corel, Affinity, Procreate, and Canva. Each app can create sublimation designs, however, they differ in price models, capabilities, and tools available for designing. Some of these even offer a mobile app for designing.

Can I just print from a Word Document straight to my sublimation printer?

A word document is not the optimal choice for image processing as it is designed for word processing. In contrast, graphic design software offers a broader range of color options that result in a more realistic image outcome.

Is PNG or JPG better for sublimation?

PNG files are ideal for sublimation and designing purposes. They can include multiple layers, which will be merged into a single image upon saving.

What is the best file type for printing shirts?

The most suitable file types for screen printing logos and digital artwork are vector files like AI, PDF, EPS, SVG, and CDR. For Bitmap/Raster files, such as PSD, TIFF, PNG, and JPEG, make sure they are saved at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi and look good at 100% view.

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