Why Use Digital Scrapbooking Software?
The top performers in our review are the MyMemories Suite, the Gold Award winner; Memory Mixer, the Silver Award winner; and CraftArtist, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a product to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of nine digital scrapbooking software packages.
Digital scrapbooking software can give you many different ways to preserve your memories. When you are deciding what to do with the photos on your computer or phone, scrapbooking programs help you create a nice display for them that may become a treasured keepsake for future generations of your family.
Whether you decide to share your digital layouts online, print them at home or have them professionally printed, this type of software can help. It goes way beyond organizing your photos. If you just want to make photos easier to find, a logical filing system can help you do that. If you want to very quickly collect a set of related photos in a book, there are lots of online photo book makers that can help you do that in minutes. Digital scrapbook software goes way beyond either of those, though, in terms of creative freedom. You get one program to edit and shape your photos virtually and place them in a layout that has customized designs and graphics.
With scrapbooking software, you are not physically cutting and stamping photos and other materials for your page, but you can still get as creative as you want. You can shape, attach and embellish your photos without the traditional clutter of glue, stamps and glitter. You can learn more in our articles on scrapbooking software.
Finding the Best Scrapbooking Software
All of the products in our digital scrapbooking software review come with digital templates and lots of graphics in many styles to help you make pages you will love. All of the programs help you edit your photos. They also offer multiple ways to share your pages or a completed book. But the products that stand out have more selection in each of those categories.
The best software offers not just templates but gorgeous templates. It has not just a handful of graphics in each template but also a wide selection graphics that can be added to any template. Quality digital scrapbook software offers photo editing tools that are extensive and truly helpful so you don't have to use a separate app to remove red eye or add a sepia-toned filter before placing a photo in your digital layout. Standout software allows you to share your work in a wide range of ways that include printing at home and sharing online.
Digital Scrapbooking for Mac Users
If you are in the market for Mac digital scrapbooking programs, a few of your best options overlap with the list of PC scrapbooking software. Both MyMemories and Memory Mixer offer Mac versions of their programs. There are other products like iScrapbook, The Print Shop, Scrapbook Crafter and iCollage that offer decent alternatives for making digital scrapbook pages with your Mac, too. For more information on your options for Mac software, see our full comparison.
How to Create a Digital Scrapbook With Personality
The hobby of scrapbooking predates widespread photography. What went into early scrapbooks was ribbon, locks of hair, pressed leaves and similar items. There were also sketches, poems and calling cards. As photography came into the picture in the 1820s, scrapbooking enthusiasts began to focus more on that, using photo-mounting corners to organize images in a book, also incorporating newspaper clippings and other memorabilia. Scrapbooks continued to evolve as a place for photos and other mementos through the years. The most recent methods of digital scrapbooking can make it seem less feasible to showcase anything besides photos but, some software makes allowances for things you don't want to scan in, or that would look silly as a scan.
You can still attach three-dimensional items like mementos and embellishments after you print your electronic scrapbook if the digital versions are not quite enough to quench your creativity. You can glue a real button over the top of a digital one, for instance, or just save a spot in your layout where you want to put one when you print. You can attach an actual program of a child's Christmas pageant to your printed digital layout after the fact, for example, instead of scanning it in or leaving it out of the book altogether.
Electronic Scrapbook Software: How We Tested, What We Found
We used each program in our lineup to create multiple scrapbook layouts. We were not judging final designs but rather the tools available to create them. We also prefer software that offers easy access to a wide selection of embellishments and other graphics so you will always be able to make the page you want. We had in-house design experts evaluate the quality of graphics available from each software publisher. The designs that come with each program represent raw materials only so the designs you create with them will depend on skill level, personal taste and other factors. For truly professional-level designs you would want to hire a professional.
Editing tools can make a big difference in terms of convenience because you can edit and make your layout in one place rather than switching back and forth. We prefer the programs that have a long list of ways to manipulate your photos – removing red-eye, virtually cutting them into shapes, or adding filters to make them appear vintage or sepia-toned, or any other way that goes well with your layout.
We noticed how easy it is to use each program. The best software makes features and tools easy to find. Downloading these products can be as easy as clicking a few things and waiting a few minutes, but some were not that simple. A few programs take a long time or make the process difficult, which we note in the side-by-side comparison. We also tallied the number of different ways you can share your final creation to highlight the companies with a variety of sharing options.
There is a learning curve for this type of software, especially if you are new to it. The best software companies make it easy to get customer service when you need it in a range of different ways – FAQs, forums, email and tutorials.
Our Verdict and Recommendations
We found a lot to like about these products. Each of them preserves your memories more efficiently than paper and glue while still being more fun than just organizing photo files or using someone else's designs on a photo book site. The best of these programs strikes a perfect balance between customization and convenience. The top three programs stand out especially.
MyMemories is well-known and highly regarded in the digital scrapbooking realm, and for good reason. The latest version is packed with possibilities. Aside from a nice selection of included design elements, it offers access to a truly massive online marketplace so you can always design exactly what you have in mind. The user-friendly interface makes it easy to find the tools you need to digitally rotate, trim, layer and arrange each element of your page.
CraftArtist is a great multitasker that does a great job of making gorgeous scrapbooking pages, and it has templates for cards, party favors and other crafts. It puts a very sophisticated photo editor at your fingertips as well as an updated, digital version of old-school scrapbooking tactics like punches and stamps.
Memory Mixer got the highest average score for design quality. This program is a gateway to lots of modern and attractive designs that let you get creative without forcing you to hand-build each element of your layout.
Scrapbooking has jumped into the modern world with the impressive evolution of digital scrapbooking software. You will never have to worry about dealing with expensive supplies, messy glue or unreliable tape again. Just click, drag and drop your way to a stylish keepsake.