Digital Scrapbooking Software

The primary tool used for digital scrapbooking – other than your computer, of course – is photo-editing software. If you own a digital camera, there’s a good chance you scored a program with it. Many digital-imaging programs let you manipulate photos, text, and digital elements into wonderful scrapbook pages.

If you want more functionality, there are dozens of photo-editing programs on the market. You can spend a lot or a little. As with most things, the more money you spend, the more bells and whistles you’ll get. But more features also mean more complexity and a higher learning curve. Decisions, decisions!

Adobe Photoshop
Photoshop is the mack daddy of photo-editing programs. It’s been the industry standard for digital imaging professionals for more than a decade, and no other program comes close to its quality and power. However, it’s also the most complicated – and has the highest price tag. At over $600, you get what you pay for, but do you really need that much power?

Pros: Full editing capabilities, perferred by many professional photographers, control over elements like drop shadows and curves.

Cons: Expensive price tag, steep learning curve.


Adobe Photoshop Elements
Elements is a stripped-down version of Photoshop. A bargain at under $100, it has so many features of it’s big sister that you might not even notice what’s missing. If you’re a beginner, Elements is likely to offer everything you need, and then some.Pros: A great get-you-started program with most of the features of the full Photoshop, simple to learn

Cons: Lacks ability to type text on a path, doesn’t support all actions, no built-in curves adjustments, no layer masks


Corel Paint Shop Pro
Paint Shop Pro, a favorite of many who want professional-level features, has a nice price tag ($80). The newest version includes a photo organizer and built-in software for sharing photos. It also features numerous photo enhancement tools along with drawing and painting functionality. The consensus is that it’s easy to use and appropriate for anyone starting out in digital scrapbooking.Pros: Scripting capabilities, supports a large number of file formats, includes many one-step cosmetic options such as skin smoothing and teeth whitening, strong online support options for questions, unique drawing tools.

Cons: Small comparative brush size.


ACDSee Systems Photo Editor
ACDSee is an up-and-coming option. Beginners will love this software’s how-to feature that walks you step-by-step through many of the tasks you want to perform. This shortens the learning curve considerably.Pros: Intuitive features, built-in how-tos for basic procedures, ACDSee Manager (a separate software package) works in tandem to organize your photos and digital supplies

Cons: Limited to built-in auto functions for photo editing.


Lasting Impressions Memory Mixer
Memory Mixer is written for scrapbookers by scrapbookers. It comes from the folks at Lasting Impressions for Paper, and although Memory Mixer isn’t meant for full photo enhancing, it’s a speedy page layout tool. Add your photos to built-in templates (that can be modified) and your digital pages can be completed in a jiffy.Pros: Provides a full sensory experience with the ability to add video, audio, still photos and graphics.

Cons: Limited flexibility for creative designing.


LumaPix FotoFusion Scrapbook Essentials
The LumaPix software comes with products made by many of the most popular scrapbooking companies. With FotoFusion, you start with edited photos and use the software to convert them into creative collages and scrapbook pages. The built-in tools then let you customize your creations before sharing them online or printing them.Pros: Includes scrapbooking kits from some of the biggest names in the industry, quick learning curve.

Cons: Limited flexibility for creative designing.

$39.95 ;

Can’t decide which program is right for you? Most software manufacturers offer trial versions so you can give them a whirl before you make a purchase. If you’re a beginner, start with one of the simpler software packages. When and if you feel you’re outgrowing it, consider something with more features. Having a bit of experience under your belt will help you with any future learning curve.


A thirty-something code ninja + web diva. Former New Yorker who's passionate about web development, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and marketing.

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