Help Your Pages Take Flight With These Programs
Figure 1 If you have a color printer, you can print clip art and
text directly on your scrapbook page.
Page by Kristy Banks
Background paper and graphics: Dazzle Daze, D.J. Inkers;
Font: DJ Salsa, Fontastic!, D.J. Inkers
Have you ever spent hours agonizing over a page layout, searched in vain for background paper with just the right colors, or lamented your lack of artistic talent when it comes to adding cute drawings and titles to your pages? Don't despair! Your personal computer can help give your ideas wings. Computers can speed up your scrapbooking time, give you access to thousands of professional images, and spark your creativity with page layout ideas. Soon you'll be shouting, "Hallelujah!"
Dozens of computer software programs are available to aid your scrapbook work in many ways--from providing individual images and fonts to helping you design full-blown pages. I'll provide a closer look at some of these programs--angels to the rescue--as well as give you some general tips on using your computer for scrapbooking. Note: See the Quick List of Products Sidebar for specific information on the products mentioned.
COMPUTERS AND SCRAPBOOKINGUse the software program to size and arrange the images, text and other items on the page. You'll want to leave room for your photos and any die cuts, stickers or other items you want to add later. Next, print directly onto acid-free cardstock and insert the page in your album.
Print the images or text onto acid-free paper, then cut them out and paste them into your scrapbook. This method gives you the freedom of rearranging page elements and works well for pages that are too big to fit through your printer.
Print the images or text and then use a light box or window to trace them onto your scrapbook page, adding color if you want. This technique is considerably more time-consuming, but gives you the flexibility of placement and also the assurance of the highest archival quality.
First, some basics about computers and scrapbooking. The following are three main methods for using your computer to add clip art, fonts, borders and so on to your scrapbook pages:
An issue commonly raised is the safety of printer ink. Most major printer manufacturers have claimed that their printer ink is acid free, but to my knowledge no specific test reports have yet been published. In addition, ink used in an inkjet printer is generally not permanent and will smear if it gets wet.
If you use printer ink in your albums, print on acid-free paper and try to avoid direct contact between the ink and your photographs. You might also want to color-copy pages printed on an inkjet printer to ensure permanence.
Finally, remember that all printers leave some margin space around the edge of the page, so full-page borders or colored backgrounds won't go all the way to the edges. To get around this, you can trim the edges off with decorative scissors and then mount the printed design on a regular album page.
Figure 2 Black-and-white clip art images give your page a simpler look.
Page by Kaitlin McCrary
Graphics: Fiddlesticks, D.J. Inkers;
Font: Color Me 3, Lettering Delights 2, Inspire Graphics
CLIP ART PACKAGES
Figure 3 You can hand color printed black-and-white clipart images to get just the look you want.
Page by Kim McCrary
Background paper: Stampin' Up!;
Paper lace: D.O.T.S.;
Graphics and font: WhipperClipper, Whipper Snapper Designs;
Colored pencils: Memory Pencils, EK Success
Clip art packages are one of the most popular types of scrapbooking software. Clip art is extremely versatile and comes in a wide variety of styles, so there's something to suit everyone's taste. Here are some things to consider when looking for a clip art package:
Color vs. black and white. Some clip art packages come with only black-and-white (line art) images, a few have only color images, and still others provide images in both formats. Color images are great for color printers, since they can go directly into your scrapbook (Figure 1). Black-and-white images give you the flexibility of either keeping a simpler look (Figure 2) or adding your own color using pens, colored pencils and so on (Figure 3).
File format. Clip art comes in several different file formats, such as .WMF, .TIF and so on. Almost all clip art packages require you to have a program already installed--such as a drawing, publishing or word processing program--that you can insert the images into, then size and print them. Make sure that the clip art format can be imported into your particular program.
Figure 4 A clip art browser, such as the DJ SmileFace used for all D.J. Inkers packages, makes it easy to find
images and copy them to other programs.
Browser. Finding the image you want in a collection of hundreds can be time-consuming. One tool included in some packages to speed up this process is a browser. Browsers display all of the images on-screen in "thumbnail" format. Often they allow you to search for keywords, display only the color or black-and-white images, or display only the images in a specific volume (Figure 4). In addition, some browsers let you copy an image to the Windows Clipboard so you can quickly paste it into another program.
Style. Much of choosing a clip art package is finding one with an image style you like. Here are a few general styles and some corresponding packages (see Figure 5 for examples):
Country. This "homespun" look with stitches and charm has always been a favorite among scrapbookers. Both D.J. Inkers and Provo Craft offer several different packages in this style, such as Dazzle Daze and All Occasions. Other country packages include WhipperClipper, Claudia's Clip Art and Craft Page Designer Series.
Cute. Fun, cartoon-type images can be found in packages such as Bear Facts, Cliptures, Evee Jeebeez and ScraPics.
Elegant. If you prefer a more elegant style, take a look at the four volumes from Leaves of Time or the Victorian Scrapbook Memorabilia from Inclipz.
Realistic. Scrapbook Snips is a collection of everyday objects in a more realistic style that can be used to enhance your pages.
Claudia's Clip Art
Leaves of Time
A Stitch in Time
These are examples of some of the many different clip art styles that are available. Note:
See the Clip Art Comparisons chart
for a quick comparison of the packages mentioned.
SPECIALIZED CLIP ART AND FONTS
Figure 6 You won't need to "scout" around for a great look when you use specialized clip art
like this. Pages by Kristy Bnaks
Graphics: DJ Keepers, D.J. Inkers;
Font: DJ Popstick, Fontastic! 2, D.J. Inkers
You can find specialized clip art packages created just for scrapbookers. Packages such as Keepers and Twinklers from D.J. Inkers and some of the newer volumes from ClipTures contain ready-made templates for full-page layouts or individual photo frames (Figure 6). The Borders & Backgrounds package from Inspire Graphics is loaded with coordinating full-page borders and background designs.
Many clip art packages also contain one or more fonts that you can use to add fun titles and journaling to your pages. If you like creating text on your computer, look for packages that contain only fonts, such as Fontastic! and Lettering Delights. After installing the fonts, you can select them in any program that lets you type text or create headlines.
Figure 7 Scrapbook programs such as Creative Photo Albums Deluxe make it a snap
to design complete pages. Pages by Leah Marks
Software: Creative Photo Albums Deluxe, DogByte Development
PAGE LAYOUT PROGRAMSImport/export capability. If you have other clip art packages, make sure the page layout program can easily import and use those images. Some programs also offer the ability to export the included clip art so you can use it elsewhere.
Image and text manipulation features. Most page layout programs allow you to change the size and position of inserted images. You also want to look for the ability and ease of making other manipulations, such as rotating images and text, "layering" images on top of each other, and adding special text effects to create unique headlines.
Program interface. Some programs are targeted toward beginners, while others assume you can find your way around a computer. Look for a program that matches your skill level so you'll be able to easily find--and use--its features and tools.
Additional uses. An added bonus of many programs is the ability to use them for multiple types of projects, such as templates to guide you through creating greeting cards, flyers, invitations and so on.
If you want a little more power and flexibility in designing scrapbook pages on your computer, take a look at the many page layout programs available. These programs give you tools to quickly add backgrounds, graphics and text to a page, and then size, rotate and position the page elements
where you want. In addition, many programs come loaded with hundreds (even thousands) of clip art images and fonts. Keep these factors in mind when choosing a program:
This happy country angel ornament was made with D.J. Inkers' popular
Narrowing down the field of page layout programs can be daunting. Here are 11 fun programs (divided into categories) that I found fit well with scrapbooking.
Scrapbook programs. Three programs designed specifically for scrapbookers include Creative Photo Albums Deluxe from DogByte Development, Photo Album Creator from Parsons Technology and Craft Page Designer from Homespun Software.
Creative Photo Albums Deluxe provides an easy interface for building pages using the included (or imported) backgrounds, clip art and text effects (Figure 7). In addition, it includes lots of "cutouts" for making your own die cuts, lets you import digital photos, and even has templates for designing 12" x 12" pages.
Photo Album Creator uses licensed technology from DogByte, so it is very similar to the original version of Creative Photo Albums (DogByte's new Deluxe version offers more designs and features).
Craft Page Designer is also designed for scrapbook pages, but it has a much simpler interface without a lot of capability for manipulating images.
Note: DogByte also produces a program called Frame-It!, which contains mostly borders and frames. It lets you add clip art and text, but doesn't give you many image manipulation features.
"Greeting card" programs. At first glance, two similar programs appear to be mainly for creating greeting cards: Greetings Workshop Deluxe from Microsoft and Hallmark and CreataCard Gold from Micrografx and American Greetings. However, both programs also work great for designing scrapbook pages--and you'll have a lot of fun in the process.
Figure 8 This scrapbook page was created using Greetings Workshop Deluxe, a fun program with lots of features.
Page by Kim McCrary.
Graphics and Fonts: Hallmark Connections and Greetings Workshop Deluxe by Microsoft
Figure 9 Capture the magic of Christmas with a darling graphic. Fun idea to note: Irene cut around the top
of the reindeer with a craft knife and inserted the framed photo behind it.
Page by Irene Ito
Red polka-dot paper: The Paper Patch;
Clip art reindeer: ClipTures;
Fonts: Lettering Delights 2, Inspire Graphics.
Greetings Workshop (one of my favorites) features an easy-to-use interface with lots of tools for adding and positioning images--either from the thousands included or from another package (Figures 8 and 9). Note: The newest version of Greetings Workshop, scheduled for release in September, is now called Home Publishing 99.
Figure 10 Publishing programs such as Print Shop provide lots of tools for
positioning images and text.
Page by Kim McCrary
Graphics and fonts: Print Shop Publishing Suite, Broderbund.
CreataCard Gold also comes with a variety of images, but doesn't have all the manipulation features of other programs, such as the ability to layer images.
Publishing programs. I looked at four home publishing programs that are very similar in features and capabilities: Print Shop from Broderbund, PrintMaster from Mindscape, Print Artist 4.0 from Sierra and Windows Draw 6 from Micrografx.
Each program includes customizable templates for different projects or the ability to start a blank project from scratch. In addition, they all come with an unbelievable amount of clip art and the capability to powerfully manipulate both images and text.
Of the four, my favorite was Print Shop (Figure 10), which I found to be the easiest to use without sacrificing any features. I had a few problems importing clip art images into Print Artist 4.0 and found Windows Draw 6 to be aimed more at the advanced computer user.
Figure 11 You can create your own unique background paper using prograsm such
as Behind It All from Homespun Software (top) and Magic Paintbrush from Leaves of Time (bottom).
Background page programs. I looked at two programs designed especially for creating background paper (Figure 11). Behind It All from Homespun Software has several fun options for maneuvering repeated images to create a unique background pattern. And, a new program called Magic Paintbrush from Leaves of Time (which hadn't been released at the time of this writing) also lets you create background designs from repeated "tiles."
With so many software programs available, your computer can help you do anything from printing out simple page titles to creating elaborate page designs. You'll get "out of this world" results--and you won't have to travel beyond your front door or local scrapbook store!
New Book Offers Help
Still at a loss when it comes to scrapbooking on your computer?
A new book, iwannabe SCRAPBOOKING by Bobbi Rosenstein, shares exactly how to get started--plus
tips such as how to output 12" x 12" pages when your printer only prints 8Ĺ" x 11".
Price is $19.95 postpaid; to order, call 360/428-0377 or visit their web site at
|Favorite Program Picks
Of all the software products I looked at, here are my five personal favorites. (Keep in mind that you might prefer a different clip art style, and that not all products mentioned were available for review at the time of this writing.)
Greetings Workshop Deluxe. I loved the fun interface and found it easy to create whatever I had in mind.
D.J. Inkers Dazzle Daze and Fontastic!. I couldnít resist this cute clip art collection for almost any occasion, and the D.J. SmileFile browser is wonderful for finding an image and copying it to other programs. Plus, the fonts in Fontastic! are some of my favorites.
Creative Photo Albums Deluxe. What a treat to find a program thatís designed specifically for scrapbookers and has all the tools you need within easy reach.
Print Shop. I liked having access to more powerful features for designing pages--without sacrificing ease of use.
Behind It All. I was intrigued by this unique program with so many options for designing your own background paper. Even though I had to make a call to technical support to solve a problem, I think this program has great potential.
With the growing popularity of digital cameras, home scanners, and film processing on disk, it's easier than ever to have your photographs in electronic format. Several software programs can help you enhance your digital photos, as well as create and organize electronic scrapbooks. Here are a few of these programs:
PictureIt! from Microsoft provides an easy interface for touching up digital photos, adding fun special effects and creating photo projects such as cards, frames and calendars.
Family Base from Timeless Software helps you organize your digital photos into a searchable electronic scrapbook. You can add clip art, titles, journaling, audio and video clips, and even genealogy information. Timeless Software also offers the service of copying your electronic scrapbook to either a CD-ROM or printed format.
Photo Express 2.0 from Ulead Systems is similar to PictureIt! and offers features for photo touch-up, special effects and personalized projects such as cards.
Ultimate PhotoWizard from Palladium Interactive contains a program called Ultimate Scrapbook for organizing your electronic photos, adding clip art and borders, and so on. However, I found the program to be difficult to get around in and lacking in several areas, such as the ability to change the size of the display windows.
Showboat 1.1 is a brand-new program from RO Design that was unavailable for actual review at the time of this writing. Showboat helps you create multimedia scrapbooks with photos, clip art and sounds that you can easily publish on the Internet and share with others.
|A Stitch in Time
||Leaves of Time|
|All Thru the Year
|Bear Facts! Volume 1
||The Carrot Patch|
|Behind It All
|Beyond the Garden Gate
||Leaves of Time|
|Borders & Backgrounds
|Calico and Buckskin
||Leaves of Time|
|Claudia's Clip Art Vol. 1
||Special Effects Illustration|
|ClipTures (Assorted vols. 1-36)
||Dream Maker Software|
|Craft Page Designer Vol. 1
- A Chance of Flurries
|Craft Page Designer Vol. 2
- Country Memories
|Craft Page Designer Vol. 3
- Mostly Sunny & Warmer
|Craft Page Designer Vol. 4
- Off the Clothesline
|Creative Photo Albums Vol. II
(Deluxe - beta)
||Fishin' Harry Productions|
||Micro Dynamics/Timeless Software|
|Greetings Workshop Deluxe
|Lettering Delights 1 and 2
|Once Upon a Time
||Leaves of Time|
|Photo Album Creator
|Photo Express 2.0 (beta)
|PhotoSuite Cre8 - Computer Crafts
||Janlynn Cre8/MGI Software|
|Print Shop Premier Edition
(Windows Draw/Photo Magic/Instant 3D)
|Print Artist 4.0 Platinum
|Scrapbook Memorabilia (Victorian)
|ScraPics Holiday Pac
|ScraPics Variety Pac
||Idea Maker, Inc.|
|Ultimate Family Tree
|Welcome the Seasons
*ClipTures information refers to the newly revised volumes available fall 1998.
|Clip Art Comparisons|
||Black & White
||X (view only)|
|Claudia's Clip Art
||X (JPG only)
||BMP, JPG, PCX, TIF, WMF (PICT, JPEG)
||WMF, EPS, JPG (Pict, EPS)
||X (some are view only)
||wmf,gif (eps, pict)
||X (WIN only)|
||wmf, gif (eps, Pict)
|Leaves of Time
||X (some packages)
||wmf, tif (eps)
||X (some are view only)|
||X (regular & Pastel)
||wmf (pict, eps)
||X (WIN only)|
||X (WIN only)|
||wmf, bmp (Pict, Tif)
Quick List of Products
Claudia's Clip Art
Special Effects Illustration
Creative Photo Albums Deluxe
D.J. Inkers clip art and fonts
Provo Craft clip art