Smilebox is different from traditional digital scrapbooking software in a number of ways, but it offers a very similar finished product   attractive, high-quality electronic scrapbooks. It also provides an easy route to a wide range of print products, including scrapbooks, photo cards and more.

Downloading the Smilebox application is a fast and free endeavor. There is no upfront investment. You only pay when you want the more premium products offered by Club Smilebox, with its monthly subscription fee.

The appeal and flexibility of Smilebox is immediately apparent with its bright and colorful interface and dynamic designs. If you need additional ideas, you can download new designs whenever you want. We found that what we created with this product was modern and stylish. The scope of what we could create was limited somewhat due to the fact that scrapbooking is only one part of Smilebox's features. It seemed much easier to find slideshow and card templates than it was to find scrapbooking templates.

The design process in Smilebox has four steps: Choose, Personalize, Preview, and Share, Print, or DVD. In the first step, you choose the design you want for your project, whether it be from your hard drive or the fabulous designs offered with the application. Next, you personalize your project, which includes options to add 1 to 2 songs, an overlay title and transitions, and you can change the speed of your project. Once you have all of these settings inputted, you can preview your project. You have to pay a little more to get your project in a larger form. The basic, free design includes an advertisement positioned next to your project. When you're all done, you can choose from one of many sharing options it gives you in the Share, Print, or DVD step.

Smilebox has a number of different options for sharing your project, including emailing it; posting it to Facebook, your blog or other sites on the internet; printing your project at home or at a store; saving it to a digital photo frame; burning it to a DVD at home; or recording your project as a video.

We thought Smilebox was pretty easy to use but that the menus could be a little smoother. Figuring out what needs to be done is pretty self-explanatory. The loading times for each menu can be a little frustrating, though. This could be because of the animated designs that are common with this application.

You can take advantage of the knowledgebase offered on Smilebox's website as questions arise. If you want to get in touch with the program's manufacturer, you can submit a ticket through their support ticket system. The response times for this system are respectable, but more contact options are needed. They have a blog and profiles on Facebook and Twitter.

Summary

Smilebox is a free, downloadable application that behaves like much of the digital scrapbooking software we reviewed   it facilitates access to high quality templates and the ability to share electronically or in print. Many of its products are free but there also is a subscription model that gives you upgraded products.

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