What’s the best software for Digital Scrapbooking?

A couple of months ago I wrote a review of Photoshop Elements 6 – The Missing Manual.

And since then, I’ve have quite a few emails asking me if Photoshop Elements is the best software to pick for digital scrapbooking.

Well first of all, let me say that I am a long time user of Photoshop Elements. So that is obviously going to influence my opinion.

And in my opinion, Photoshop Elements is the best choice for someone entering the world of digital scrapbooking.

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Are there other great graphics editing software programs on the market?

Yes!

The full blown Photoshop CS (also made by Adobe) is acknowledged as the standard setter for graphics editing.

The Gimp is a free graphics editing software package with many of the powerful features of Photoshop.

Paintshop Pro is also a strong contender for digital scrapbooking functionality.

But I still stand by Photoshop Elements as the best choice for a new digital scrapbooker.

Why?

Well let’s start with Price.

Apart from the Gimp (it’s hard to beat ‘free’), Photoshop Elements comes with a far lower price tag than either Photoshop CS or Paintshop Pro.

And for less that $100 you can get a program that provides you with all the functionality you need to create great digital scrapbook layouts for now and the future. Photoshop has even more functionality, but being really targeted at professional graphic designers, I think that it’s over endowed with functionality which can prove more complex and confusing that is needed for digital scrapbooking. Especially for the beginner digital scrapbooker.

Paintshop Pro is less expensive than Photoshop but still more expensive than Photoshop Elements. Although I think Corel have a deal on at the moment which prices it similar to Photoshop Elements.

And there’s the learning curve.

I have trialled both Photoshop and Paintshop Pro and I found them complex and difficult to perform the functions that I wanted. And the Gimp is also reputed to have a very tough learning curve.

Now having said all that, once you have mastered the learning curve of any software package, you will be a convert. And of course you will feel that your software of choice is the only way to go…just as I feel about Photoshop Elements.

Tutorials

Another significant advantage for Photoshop Elements is the tutorials that are available for it. Many tutorials abound on the Internet. Sometimes though, that can be a little intimidating. Especially as they often make assumptions that the viewer has a level of expertise and understanding of the terms that may not actually be the case. (By the way, You won’t have that problem with the Step by Step Digital Scrapbooking Tutorials.)

I’ve been thinking about this for some time. I think a lot of people feel overwhelmed when they think about starting digital scrapbooking and then they’re so put off because the tutorials seem so complex, that they walk away.

Tutorials designed for the beginner Digital Scrapbooker

So I’ve created an exciting Step by Step Digital Scrapbook course that will give you a range of digital scrapbooking tutorials taking you from absolute beginner to expert digital scrapbooker. You can take the full course or just pick and choose amongst the individual tutorials. Each tutorial will take you through the creation of a digital scrapbook layout and comes with a full digital scrapbook kit so you can make your own.

So if you’ve been thinking about digital scrapbooking but maybe were a bit nervous of taking on the technology, pop over and have a look around and find out all about it.

Other Related Articles:

Photoshop Elements 6 – The Missing Manual

Shortcuts for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

The Gimp Installation Guide

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33 Responses to What’s the best software for Digital Scrapbooking?

  1. Brooke - in Oregon April 30, 2008 at 11:03 pm #

    WOW you are writing a PROGRAM!! Oh my gosh that is a huge undertaking, I can not even imagine what all that would take. But a step by step hand holding would be fabulous.

    I agree the tutorials often seem to ‘skip’ parts as they think you already know certain things. There are some really good resources like your video’s that are hugely helpful. Others are Misty Cato, Hummie and the Legacy Lady who I have learned lots from.

    Funny but I use CS2 for work so that is also what I scrap with. BUT I have learned so much more about Photoshop since I started digital scrapping than I ever knew before. And the more I learn the more I realize I still HAVE TO LEARN! lol

    Good luck with your new program!

    Brooke – in Oregon’s last blog post..Finally with the SUN

  2. karooch May 1, 2008 at 8:11 am #

    Thanks Brooke. Yes it’s a big project. But I’m really enthusiastic about it because I think there are a lot of people who would like to try digital scrapbooking but don’t feel confident in themselves to deal with the technology. And I’ve found digitals scrapbooking has really released the creativity in me that I spent my whole life denying that I had.

    So anyway, kkep reading Scraps of Mind for further announcements in the next couple of weeks.

  3. Jan - queenofkaos May 5, 2008 at 2:45 am #

    I love photoshop elements 6 as well. I use it mostly for online stuff, but I enjoy it and it’s nice to know that I can find out what I need to know about it when I want to use it for other things. I’m assuming that it would be great for making nice soap labels too.

    Jan – queenofkaos’s last blog post..Skin Care Naturals News

  4. karooch May 5, 2008 at 7:41 am #

    Ablosutely Jan. I use it to make my banners and business cards. And you could make some gorgeous labels for your soaps with it.

  5. Dorothea May 7, 2008 at 1:44 am #

    Don’t know how many digital programs you try or have looked at, but I used to be a Creative Memories Consultant, mostly so I could buy all the great tools for myself and family and friends. Well, they have a couple of digital programs – one is the Memory Manager, which does just that MANAGES your digital photos. The big seller was that even if you have the same photo image in several folders or places, it doesn’t use up extra HD space! It is simple, wonderful, and it’s companion product which produces the “froo-froo” embellishments, and utilizes it’s papers in digital format is StoryBook Creator 2. Again, Simple, fabulous. Another I use is Memory Mixer. It’s like paper and glue without the mess, AND the best thing is that you can print a page or whole book in whatever size you want, not one size that you set up with. AND, instead of only one, one-of-a-kind scrapbook, you can duplicate it, share it on DVD, or email. They all work wonderfully together. You can also print stuff that you may want to cut out to embellish with! The price is right too, $60 for either, or less, depending on what you want.

  6. Hummie May 7, 2008 at 5:03 am #

    Hey, congrats on your new adventure! I hope it brings you many sales.

    I’d love to peek in, but as a similar business of teaching, I don’t want to be nosy. :)

  7. karooch May 7, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    Sounds like a good program Dorothea. Thanks a lot for letting us know about it.

    Thanks for your good wishes Hummie. I think both of us agree that we need good digital scrapbooking education programs available.

  8. de anne jones May 31, 2008 at 1:41 am #

    I would be 100% interested in your manual. I am just getting started and am completely clueless. Will this be for new beginners?

  9. karooch May 31, 2008 at 10:18 am #

    The Step by Step Digital Scrapbook Program is designed for the absolute beginner De Anne. I want to help newbies to get into digital scrapbooking easily without the struggle and frustration of lots of trial and error before they can produce layouts that they feel proud and happy with.

    Click over and have a look and I hope you’ll join us in the Mentoring Program. I would love to help you on your digital scrapbooking journey and I know you’ll enjoy it.

  10. cindy July 31, 2008 at 8:23 am #

    I think that this site is heaven sent. Digital scrapbooking seems over the top over whelming right now. i am very intersted in it so my husband talked to someone at his work about what program to get me for my birthday and they recommended “photoshop Lightroom” it is sooooo not what i needed. so now i am back to square one. i need to get photoshop elements for one and then go from there. Thanks again for the info i will be checking back daily for more help!

  11. karooch July 31, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    I’m delighted to have been of help Cindy. The trouble with asking professionals is that they give you the professional solution. And it can be like trying to crack a walnut with a sledgehammer.

    As a beginner to digital scrapbooking you might like to hop over to http://www.StepByStepDigitalScrapbook.com which is a site designed especially for beginners.

  12. Grace August 20, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    What to do you think of photo fusion as scrapbooking software? I love the ease of the software, but am finding it difficult to incorporate digital scrapbook kits from other sources and also to share my digital pages, but am thinking of starting to use Photoshop. Thanks for you website very helpful for beginning digital scrappers.

  13. Grace August 20, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    What version of photoshop do you recommend photoshop 7 seems to have mixed reviews?

    • karooch August 20, 2009 at 8:16 am #

      Hi Grace. I have never tried Photo Fusion so I can’t really comment.

      There are several digital scrapbook software packages out there that let you make scrapbook layouts and provide a range of elements that you can use. The learning curve is not too hard.
      BUT
      I find they tend to be quite limiting and once you get the itch you can’t really scratch it with these packages. Most of them will not let you use any of the digital scrapbook kits that you fall in love with on the Internet and when you can use them it’s in a very restricted way.

      I guess it’s like the difference between baking a cake using a packet mix and baking it from a recipe.

      Photoshop is the flagship of graphics editing programs and many digital scrapbookers use it.. I use Photoshop Elements because I find it gives me all the functionality I need for digital scrapbooking and doesn’t hog so much of my computer hard disk space and memory. And it’s cheaper than the full Photoshop.
      layouts and provide a range of elements that you can use. The learning curve is not too hard.
      BUT
      I find they tend to be quite limiting and once you get the itch you can’t really scratch it with these packages. Most of them will not let you use any of the digital scrapbook kits that you fall in love with on the Internet and when you can use them it’s in a very restricted way. I guess it’s like the difference between baking a cake using a packet mix and baking it from a recipe.
      Photoshop is the flagship of graphics editing programs. I use Photoshop Elements because I find it gives me all the functionality I need for digital scrapbooking and doesn’t hog so much of my computer hard disk space and memory. I still use Version 5 because I find the dark interface of V6 and 7 too difficult to work with. The added bonus is that you can pick up V5 quite cheaply now the later versions are out.

  14. Dorothea Prouty August 21, 2009 at 12:29 am #

    Hi! I have a couple that I LOVE – my most favorite, and why are Creative Memories Memory Manager 3 and CM Story Book Creator Plus – 1) MM 3 makes organizing photos a breeze – mostly because if you have the same pic in several places/several folders, you only STORE IT IN ONE PLACE – thus NOT taking up hard drive space (a real big issue for many); plus you have journaling boxes, can sort many ways and rate photos, email, backup, etc. It is full of “stuff”.
    Story Book Creator PLUS can be used alone or works best with CM Manager. Lets you put the “FROO-FROO” stuff on it, like embellishments, Effects, etc. It’s awesome! The price is right – a small investment, around $57. CM is $39. You don’t have to have the CM Memory Manager, but it sure makes life easier to just go to the folder or album you want to use to actually create an album and then spice up your saved to album pictures, journal boxes, etc. with the “froo-froo” stuff.

    AND CM has tons of free downloads, templates, tutorials, etc.

    The other program I love is Memory Mixer – got it from QVC. Getting it there gave me a ton of extras, exclusive to QVC. It was around $67, but well worth it. It has lots of papers, embellishments, all digital, that you use over and over again!

    The two programs behave similarly, but different enough that I use them both a LOT!

    Going digital is great because when you create something fabulous, you don’t have JUST ONE…you can print an entire album for everyone you wishto give it to, and not have to do all the cutting/pasting again.

    And if you are inclined, you can still cut/paste.

    Hope this helps your readers. What a great site here you have with so much good information. Thanks for all you do!
    Dorothea Prouty, Ohio

    • karooch August 21, 2009 at 8:20 am #

      Thanks a lot for your great info Dorothea. It’s great to have lots of options so that scrapbookers can go down the path that suits them best.

  15. Erin December 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    I use the Memory Manager 3 and Storybook Creator 3 from creative memories. I LOVE them BOTH, very user friendly. You don’t have to be techy to use them.

  16. Gloria September 29, 2010 at 4:03 am #

    I use Creative Memories Story Book Creator. It is one of the best programs i have ever used. There are all kinds of tutorials for it on oyutube and there is also a website i go to that teaches techniques. The website address is pixels2pages.net They are a bunch of Creative Memories Consultants that made up a website and they have challenges and blueprints for you to use. Best of all they explain in webinairs how to use all of this stuff. They are also on Facebook. Go check out their website and go and check them out on facebook. I know you will be amazed.

  17. Cara July 12, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    HI everyone
    I have been using Creative memories for my digital scarp booking, but recently bought the new mac and I am fully capable of putting the partition on my mac for the windows software, I don’t know yet if I want to do that or just use another mac type scrabooking program. I have been researching and was thinking iscrapbook or photoshop elements both sound good. I want to be able to do all that I can do with CM presently, but I also like the things photoshop can do with pictures, like merge several to get the perfect shot etc… I don’t know what they can do so I am looking for suggestions as to which one will do the most for me.
    thanks- Cara

    • karooch July 12, 2012 at 9:43 am #

      Hi Cara. I’m a big fan of Photoshop Elements (as you can see). I think it can do everything you want it to do for digital scrapbooking and it has a much easier learning curve than Photoshop. I’ve never used iScrapbook so I can’t comment on that.

  18. CARA July 13, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    Thank you Karooch, I was leaning towards the Photoshop elements because of all the cool things you can do with the photos, especially the combining to get 1 good photo. My daughter is 7 so she and her friends NEVER all look at the same time lol
    I have like Creative Memories, but I don’t have windows 7, which is what my new Mac is requiring me to use on the bootcamp software, so if I am going to pay the $$ I may as well just buy new scrapbooking software and not worry about allotting enough space to my windows stuff and slowing down my mac apps. Also, I am a multi-tasker and don’t think I will like that I can only use Mac or windows at one time, so I would have to buy the software to be able to interchange my systems, more $$$. I am not worried about the $$ as long as I get something I like and its worthwhile, so thank you for the information and everyone else for the posts before.

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