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Best Digital Scrapbooking Software
Digital Scrapbooking Software
We've been testing digital scrapbooking software for the past 13 years. In our most recent test, we compared nine products for over 45 hours to determine which offered the best design quality, editing tools, embellishments, ease of use, convenience and sharing capabilities. Our research helped us determine that MyMemories Suite 9 is the best overall software because it offers hundreds of templates and embellishments while being easy to use and offering plenty of helpful tools and support features. Should you need help using this software, you can contact a representative, view online tutorials or visit the active user forum.
MyMemories Suite 9 - Best Overall
This software is compatible with both Mac and PC. It comes with 465 free kits – a wide range of templates and embellishments to start off your scrapbooking projects. Additionally, there are over 20,000 kits available for purchase on the company's website if you want more options for an everyday theme or special occasion. Each template is customizable and there are so many options to choose from you won't have to spend a lot of time designing things in another program to add them. If there are particular design elements you like in each template, it's easy to simply copy and replicate them as much as you want. You can add text boxes, and there are a ton of fonts to pick from. You can even change the opacity and stroke width. Our testers agreed that MyMemories offers quality designs that look modern and are varied enough to work for many different occasions. This software allows you to work with different page sizes so you can determine how large or small you want the scrapbook to be. However, you cannot add videos, links or music to your albums. You can also use the Color Picker to see a preview of your image or pick a color you want to match elsewhere on the page. Aside from page design you can also edit photos. This includes red-eye reduction and cropping but not the detailed editing you would get from another application like Photoshop.
Read the full review here: MyMemories Suite 9
- Pro: It works with Mac and PC
- Con: You can’t add music or video clips to your projects.
Memory Mixer 4 - Best Budget
Memory Mixer 4 gives you a lot of tools and convenience for your money. It comes with 236 kits installed on the program, but you can find 9,000 additional kits for purchase on the company's website. It’s also compatible with both Mac and PC. You get a variety of designs, embellishments, fonts and other design elements and have the option to edit page designs or simply use them as-is if you're in a hurry. According to our testers, this program had the best template and embellishment designs of any other program we tested. You will find that these designs are stylish, modern and provide a wide range of color themes. This program doesn't offer paintbrush tools or text effects, so you cannot create your own graphics. This is the only software that allows you to add video and links to your digital scrapbooks as well as music. It’s incredibly comprehensive but affordable, falling well below the price point of many other scrapbooking programs we used. It’s also easy to share your creations digitally or on a CD so your entire family enjoy see your creations. If you run into a problem you can get in touch with customer service on the phone, email or traditional mail. There's also a FAQ section on the company website.
Read the full review here: Memory Mixer 4
- Pro: You can share your pages digitally as a JPEG or on a CD.
- Con: Downloading is difficult.
Scrapbook Factory Deluxe - Best for Photo Editing
This scrapbooking software comes with photo editing capabilities that are incredibly easy to use. If you aren't fluent in Photoshop but still want to touch up your photos, this software has some helpful capabilities. Features available include red eye removal, photo flaw repaid, resizing, color contrast editing and more. There are also about 3,000 templates to choose from for designing your pages. You can choose from a ton of predesigned graphics to personalize your designs. This isn't the most customizable software we used, but it still has a lot of design options to pick from. There are also thousands of clipart images and fonts you can use to customize your project. Some of the graphics a little dated, but there are still a lot to choose from. The software shows you a thumbnail menu of all of your photos after you import them from your digital camera, CD or scanner. Then all you have to do to start designing is take advantage of the drag-and-drop feature. If you're unsure how to proceed there are easy-to-follow tutorials in the software that show you how to edit and format your projects.
Read the full review here: Scrapbook Factory Deluxe
- Pro: Photo editing is easy.
- Con: Some of the included graphics look a little dated.
FOREVER Artisan 5 - Most Customizable
FOREVER Artisan 5 is best for customizing every aspect of your digital scrapbook. Since our last review cycle the software now has 77 free kits and 8,969 additional kits giving you a lot of of page designs to choose from. The photo editing tools are extensive. You won't need to use another program to edit them before uploading to the scrapbook design program as you're able to crop, fix red eye and even put filters like black and white or sepia over your images. There's a little bit of a learning curve with the interface, but it’s not an issue if you’re experienced digital scrapbooker. The program automatically places your photos for you but then allows you to drag and drop them using the page's rulers. This level of customization isn't always available with scrapbooking software. You can print your creations, and while there isn't a specific way to share on a CD or DVD, you can save a JPG or PDF and find ways to share those digital files yourself. This software lacks multimedia options but it's a great option if you want to customize pages and build your own graphics.
Read the full review here: FOREVER Artisan 5
- Pro: There are lots of photo and page editing options.
- Con: It’s expensive.
PhotoMix 5.3 - Best for Novices
This scrapbooking software is great for people who are new to digital scrapbooking because it’s not complicated. While other programs have a lot more editing and design options, PhotoMix 5.3 is bare bones. That isn’t meant to imply that it’s a bad program. The Getting Started tutorial is a great place to start and shows you how to use every feature. If you're still unsure how to proceed, each feature icon has a brief description of what it does that pops up if you hover your mouse over top of them. There are basic photo editing tools available but you can't add an audio or musical component to your designs. There are a ton of borders, backgrounds and clipart you can use to personalize your creations. It's so easy to use that this is also a great program to use if you're just in a hurry. You can save and share your finished creations as a JPG, GIF or BMP. If you have a lot of images saved you can also package them together as a ZIP file. This software has a help section, but if you still need more help, you can also reach out to the company by phone or email.
Read the full review here: PhotoMix 5.3
- Pro: It’s easy to use.
- Con: There’s no audio or video components.
How We Tested
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 prefer software that offers easy access to a wide selection of embellishments and other graphics so you can always 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 – virtually cutting them into shapes, adding filters to make them appear vintage or sepia-toned, removing red eye and many other interesting effects.
We took note of how easy it was to use each program. The best software makes features and tools easy to find. Most of them took just a few clicks to download, 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.
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 of 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
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. Or if you prefer to leave your memories in a fully digital format, some software lets you add video and music to create a multimedia digital scrapbook.
Sharing Your Designs Online
After spending hours editing photos and designing beautiful layouts for your cherished memories, you may want to share your efforts with friends and family. However, this can be difficult if they don’t live near you or if you primarily share snapshots of your work through email. By turning to social media, you can share an image, or even a handful of them, in an instant; then, anyone can look at your stylish scrapbook layouts and enjoy them wherever they are.
Photo storage sites. You can opt to save your digital images on a website specifically designed to handle photo storage, such as Flickr, Shutterfly or Google Photos, among others. These sites make it easy to store, organize and share your photos whenever you want. You can keep groups of photos together, label them, tag people and sort through all your photos without any fuss.
It’s worth noting that many of these sites offer basic free services as well as mid-tier and premium plans. Typically, premium plans include unlimited storage and access to all of the service’s features.
Social media. Once you’ve figured out how to store your photos online, you may want a place to share them with your family, friends and followers. We recommend using social media sites. Instagram is a great site for visual media, and it has myriad thriving art, photography and scrapbooking communities. You can also share your digital layouts on sites like Snapchat, Pinterest, Ello, Visual.ly or Tumblr. Most of these sites are free, and they make it easy to connect with other people who share your interests and enjoy your style of art.