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Digital Scrapbooking Terms

Dana Hinders
woman using computer

If you're thinking about making the transition to scrapbooking with your computer, you may find yourself in search of a glossary of digital scrapbooking terms.

A Glossary of Digital Scrapbooking Terms

Actions: Used by intermediate to advanced digital scrapbookers, actions are a series of recorded steps that can be performed to make one specific effect. For example, there are actions for fraying fabric and crinkling paper.

Alphabets: At first glance, alphabets may seem to be no different than computer fonts. However, alphabets are standalone image files of each letter. In comparison, a font is a small program that actually needs to be installed on your computer.

Burn: In reference to digital scrapbooking terms, burning refers to making a CD-ROM copy of your files as a backup in case of computer failure. This includes patterned papers, elements, and completed digital scrapbook layouts.

Contact page: Also known as a contact sheet, this is a file that shows individual thumbnails of everything that is included in a particular digital scrapbooking kit.

DPI: DPI states for dots per inch, which is a measurement of how detailed of an image your printer is capable of producing. For digital scrapbooking, images should be printed at 300 DPI.

Element: Also known as embellishments, elements are digital files that are used to enhance your scrapbook layouts. They are often digital versions of traditional scrapbook supplies, such as flowers, buttons, ribbons, or chipboard tags.

Hybrid scrapper: Hybrid scrapbooking refers to combining both digital elements and traditional scrapbook supplies into the same project. For example, you might add a digital frame to a photo with some creative text before printing the photo out to adhere to a traditional patterned paper background.

Opacity: Each layer in a digital scrapbook page has an opacity setting from 0-100%. Lower numbers make the image transparent, similar to the look of vellum in traditional scrapbooking.

Personal use: Abbreviated as PU, this means that a digital paper, element, or kit is for your personal use only. You can't sell creations made with the files, nor can you burn them to a disc and sell the disc.

Pixelization: When an image is distorted because it has been enlarged beyond the recommended size for the number of pixels available, pixelization is the result. This leads to poor quality scrapbook graphics.

PPI: This is the abbreviation for pixels per inch. An image with a higher PPI will result in a higher quality printout.

PSD: PSD is the native file format for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, two of the most popular software programs for digital scrapbooking.

Pspimage: This is the native file format for images created in Paint Shop Pro.

Stroke: Strokes are outlines that can be added to text, images, or shapes.

Styles: Sometimes called layer styles, these are effects that can be applied to the individual layers in a digital scrapbooking project. For example, in Photoshop Elements, styles include bevels, drop shadows, chrome, and glass effects.

Template: A template is a scrapbook layout file with all of the papers and elements each arranged on their own layer. You can add your own photos and journaling to make a quick page or customize the size of a particular element to make a more unique layout.

Word art: This term refers to decorative scrapbook embellishments created by combining images with artistic typography. Word art often features phrases or quotes related to a specific scrapbook theme, such as baby scrapbooks or vacation scrapbooks.

.ZIP: This format is used to compress single or multiple files into one folder to create an archive. While you download digital kits online, they are often .ZIP files.

Additional Resources

While a glossary of digital scrapbooking terms can be a good reference when you're reviewing magazine articles and project tutorials, no glossary can possibly answer every question you might have about this fun craft. To learn more about digital scrapbooking, please review the following articles from LoveToKnow:

Digital Scrapbooking Terms