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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 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. 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.
Memory Mixer 4 is designed for both Mac and PC. It 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. 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 provided a wide range of color themes. This program doesn't offer any 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.
Best for Mac
iScrapbook is a great option designed specifically for Mac. It will seem very pared down next to MyMemories in most ways. It has a much smaller selection of included kits, and while the online store offers more than 1,500 purchasable kits, it is still less than what many other companies offer. However, the graphics that you do have access to are very impressive, and this software makes it easy to share your projects on social media. This program is the only one that provides typography tools so you can add plenty of text effects to your projects like kerning, or placing text on a curve.
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.