Most scrapbookers don’t know anything about digital scrapbooking layouts because they don’t really think that they need to. After all, they’ve gotten used to the idea of scrapbooking with paper, adhesives, and embellishments that they can actually touch. They prefer to create their pages the old-fashioned way: cutting paper, cropping photos, laying on the glue, mounting the embellishments, and writing the journaling elements.
However, knowing how to create digital scrapbooking layouts can still be a very helpful skill, even for the “purists”. In today’s modern world, there is almost nothing nowadays that computers and technology couldn’t touch or affect in some way. This goes for the traditional crafts and hobbies that we thought were always supposed to be done by hand. Some scrapbookers embrace the changes, while others take a more negative stance with regards to the modernization of their craft.
I believe that the concept of using computers and software to create scrapbooks will continue to progress, and the technology that is involved will improve as time goes by. There are several ways in which digital scrapbooking are similar to the traditional techniques. All that is different, actually, is how you do it. For example, instead of going out to the crafts shop to find some background papers, then going home to do some cutting, you can use your computer to go on the Internet and buy the papers you need from an online store, then use available software to crop and cut it into the sizes you want.
If you want to try out digital scrapbooking, you will need the software to use for your tasks. However, since you are just testing the waters for now, I recommend using the free or trial versions of the software first. This way, you can try them out and see if you like them.
Not all of the scrapbooking software companies offer a trial version, though, so you may have to do a bit of searching first. Just go on Google and type in “free scrapbooking software”, “scrapbooking software trial version” or something similar to see what come up.
There are several specialized scrapbooking software that are now available on the market, like My Memories Suite, Memory Mixer, Digital Scrapbook Artist, and Scrapbook Boutique (just to name a few). However, if you do have some experience using other graphics software like PaintShop Pro, Photoshop Elements, or Photoshop CS, then you could also try to use these software rather than the specialized ones.
What you most need in a digital scrapbooking software are the ability to edit photos, replace/edit backgrounds, change the colors and patterns, add texts, and add/edit borders. Therefore, if you already know how to do this in Photoshop or any other graphics software, then you might not need to use a specialized scrapbooking software at all.
There are some functions in the specialized software, however, that do make it easier to use for scrapbookers. For example, some of these programs can help you look for and download more graphical items within the software itself. You won’t have to log out of the program and boot up your browser to go online and get more items for your digital scrapbooks, because the software itself does all that for you.
Like I mentioned beforehand, you always have the option of using free scrapbooking software for your projects, instead of the trial versions or purchasing the software outright. However, you should not always expect that the free software will have the same capabilities and perform as well as the ones that are for sale. At the most, I suggest using these free scrapbooking software for basic projects only. If you are planning to work on a major project, however, it’s best if you purchase a better version, or do it the old-fashioned way.