Scrapbooking software is a fast and easy way to create scrapbooking pages, elements and embellishments. In order to make your layout pop, try using computer software that will allow you to manipulate photos, add backgrounds and borders, put text over pictures and more. Here's an overview of the best scrapbooking software for you.
Scrapbooking Software Basics
If you're new to scrapbooking software and aren't sure you're going to continue with it as a hobby, you should try not to spend a lot of money on supplies. The good news is there are programs you can use for scrapbooking that are free or have free trial periods so you can try them, and the craft, out at the same time.
You don't really need any fancy programs for scrapbooking; you can make basic layouts in just about any program, including Microsoft Word. (If you don't have a basic word processing program on your computer, visit Open Office, where you can find a word processor, graphics program and presentation software, among other programs, completely free to download and compatible with many other platforms.)
If you want to move beyond the basics, there are many other programs designed for scrapbooking that can help you out.
Free Scrapbooking Software
If you're just starting out or you just need some software for one or two things, a free program might be your best choice. These programs are completely free and offer a variety of different options and materials for scrapbookers.
Scrapbook Flair is a totally free, fully functioning digital scrapbook software complete with templates, backgrounds and embellishments. Easily import photos from your digital camera or scanner and design, print and share beautiful scrapbooks. This intuitive program lets you edit your photos by cropping, removing red-eye, improving contrast, adding special effects, and more. There are numerous free templates, backgrounds, embellishments and designer ideas with free new designs available regularly. You can also change the colors of images and design elements to get the perfect look. Add multilingual text boxes for journaling and balloon text to add humor or capture a moment. Also included is a free membership to the ScrapbookFlair community site, with private and public galleries, forums and blogs. Follow the work of your favorite scrappers and share ideas and techniques with private emails. Get inspiration from fellow scrappers and access new and exclusive designer collections. Various page sizes include 12x12, 8x8, 6x6, or 8-1/2 x 11.
PhotoMix is a digital collage and digital scrapbooking product that is very easy to use. The site offers many free templates and tutorials to make your digital scrapbooking experience quick and easy. You can also purchase licensed art and graphic kits to make your pages snazzier.
The Font Thing
The Font Thing is a great resource for managing all of your different free fonts for creating scrapbook titles and journaling. You can quickly browse fonts by category, view sample text, print out a reference sheet for a specific font, or jot down notes that you can use to help you remember which font you used for a particular project.
If are looking for a free way to organize and enhance your digital photos, Picasa is a great choice. This free program from Google lets you:
- Perform basic image editing tasks such as cropping, rotating, adjusting contrast, and fixing red-eye
- Apply special effects such as black and white, sepia tone, or soft focus filters to images
- Resize images for printing
- Sort files by date
- Create virtual albums
- Assign ratings to individual images
Craft Artist Compact
Craft Artist Compact is a great choice for people who are proficient traditional scrapbookers, but not quite comfortable with their technical skills. The interface of this program is designed so you can create digital pages in much the same way you'd make a paper scrapbook layout. You simply drag and drop the photos, frames, and embellishments of your choice to the correct location before adding your journaling text. There are options for adding special effects to images, changing the color of your embellishments or cutting virtual fabric with decorative scissors if you want to get a little more creative with your project. Free digital kit downloads are available from the website as well as a larger selection of themed products you can purchase for a small fee.
Serif PagePlus SE
If you want to move beyond creating scrapbook pages to make calendars, greeting cards, or other paper crafts on your computer, Serif PagePlus SE is an excellent option. The program's quick shapes, one-click effects, and built-in word processing tools allow you to create professional looking documents with a minimal amount of effort. The interface is fairly easy to use, but there are tutorial videos and printable instructions to help you get started if you need extra assistance.
Commercial Scrapbooking Software
In addition to the free programs available for scrapbooking, you can also purchase a wide range of software. These programs typically include many more options, embellishments and layouts than the free versions, which makes them ideal for serious scrappers.
Scrapbook Factory Deluxe
Nova's Art Explosion Scrapbook Factory Deluxe was rated highest in Scrapbooking Software Review's list of the best products. It's easy to see why. This powerhouse program has more than 2,500 templates, 20,000 graphics and 500 fonts to choose from as you build your perfect pages.
Hallmark Scrapbook Studio
Hallmark Scrapbook Studio is an inexpensive scrapbooking software option. The program includes 500 templates, 4,000 images, more than 300 fonts and paper doll accessories so you can make your own cute cutouts.
Scrapbook Max includes thousands of scrapbook kits in its software. Included are layouts, embellishments, fonts and all the bells and whistles you could want to put together a digital scrapbook. Features include adding shadows and light areas to photos and pages, bending and curving text to fit shapes and several archival quality printing options for when you're finished. The paid version is $39.95, but you can try it free for thirty days before you buy.
Using Scrapbooking Software
Each piece of scrapbooking software is a little different and they all do different things, but they are all designed to be easy to use even for someone who does not have a lot of experience with photo manipulation. Tutorials are often included that show you step-by-step how to make a scrapbook page that you can be proud of. They also usually have a "support" or "help" page on their websites where you can find frequently asked questions, ask for support or even meet up with other, more experienced users on a forum.
Scrapbooking software is a wonderful addition to any scrapbooker's computer. Use the various photo and design options to create beautiful pages that you can print out and add to your scrapbooks, or choose a few embellishments to adorn your traditionally crafted layout. Think of these programs as one more arsenal in your creative toolbox.