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Digital Scrapbooking – Should I Use Digital Scrapbook Software Or Photo Editing Software?

Digital scrapbooking is a vibrant, growing craft that provides an excellent opportunity to be creative while preserving cherished memories. It shares many of the characteristics of traditional scrapbooking, but can be more convenient because it typically does not require as much set up time or space. Also, the ability to edit or undo anything can make the difference between a successful album or page and one that gets tossed into the recycle bin. As an added bonus, elements (embellishments and papers) can be used more than once. The first step is choosing which software to use.

There are two basic types of software: photo editing software and digital scrapbooking software. This article will provide an overview of the strengths of each.

Photo Editing Software

Photo editing software focuses on individual pages. Most scrapbookers use this type of software to create their digital albums. In general, this type of software provides powerful tools for creating and editing individual album page objects (photos, background papers, embellishments, and journaling).

Specific Advantages

  • Tools for complex photo editing
  • A wide variety of artistic effects
  • Exact control of elements on the page
  • Outstanding tools for creating page elements – background papers and embellishments
  • Precise control of page properties – size, shape, and resolution

Digital Scrapbooking Software

This type of software takes a broader view of digital album creation. In general, it excels at creating entire albums quickly and working with an album as a whole (rather than individual pages). The number and quality of the tools for editing page objects varies widely by software product.

Specific Advantages

  • User-friendly approach
  • Fast album and page creation, often including the ability to drag and drop photos or other page objects directly onto pages
  • Pre-designed graphics for scrapbooking often included (page layout templates, background papers, embellishments, etc.)
  • Program functions that are specific to the interests of digital scrapbookers
  • Multiple sharing options, which can include DVDs, movie files, photo books, and image files

The type of software that is right for you can depend on how much experience you have, how detail-oriented you are, and how much time you would like to devote to digital scrapbooking. More experienced scrapbookers that desire complete control over every aspect of their pages will probably prefer photo editing software for its editing capabilities. A beginning scrapbooker might prefer digital scrapbooking software, since it can often be easier to learn.

Many scrapbookers may find that they like to use both types of software in combination: photo editing software to edit their photos and create page objects like embellishments, and digital scrapbooking software to put the pages into an album and export or share them in a variety of ways.

Helpful Resources:

More photo editing software information.

More digital scrapbooking software information.

Use the links above and look for a solution that:

  • Makes sense to you and is easy to learn.
  • Has the features or approach that is most important to you (exact creative control, quick album creation, etc.).
  • Is inexpensive enough to leave you a budget for some of the excellent scrapbooking kits that you will want to use.

Both approaches are legitimate and have their own advantages. The key point is to find something that allows you to exercise your creativity and produce excellent scrapbook albums that capture your most precious moments.