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3.09.2009

Digital Scrapbook Artist Software


Reported by Emilie Ahern
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What It Is
2 years back I had to learn Photoshop digital scrapbooking for my job. I took a class and began digital scrapbooking. Before that time I had had a rather snooty view of digital scrapbooking, but I have to say I fell in love with it for certain aspects. And although I still do about 70% traditional and only 30% digital, other scrappers often ask me about digital. I am hardly an expert, but the most frequent question I am asked is "Do I have to buy Photoshop to try digital scrapbooking?" This is where my slight novice status may come in handy. Photoshop is a large financial commitment and at the last CHA I set out to find what other options are available as far as digital scrapbooking programs and what they each have to offer. I came across the highly affordable Digital Scrapbook Artist software. I'll give you the low down so you can know if this is something you want to try.

Ease of Installation It could not have been easier. I actually timed it (that's how much I love you) and it took less than 5 minutes to install on my computer. Upon opening my software from the newly acquired Desktop Icon I saw this. A welcome screen with an option for a tutorial, templates or to start from a blank page. Good so far, right?



Ease of Use And so I started in. I purposefully did not take the tutorial because I wanted to see if this was extremely user friendly and guess what....IT WAS! They have preloaded templates which are completely customizable, meaning, if you like the template but hate one ribbon or embellishment, you can delete it. You can re-size anything, rotate anything and it is all easy as pie.

The sewn stitches are particularly easy to apply. The great feature is you can draw a line where you want the stitches to be (in any shape, by the way) and then change the size of the stitching right then and there to see what you like the best.

I have to say, I did not care for their pre-made templates too much. This is largely a personal style issue, but I really think they have thought of everything with this software, except offering a wide variety of template styles. But there's good news. You don't HAVE to use their products or pages if they are not to your particular liking, you can import any digital files and use this easy program to create custom pages. Woot! But just to be a sport....here are two pages I created using ONLY the included digital elements.





And here's a second project I made using digital elements I have for use in Photoshop, but I imported into Digital Scrapbook Artist.




If you want to see a video tutorial which shows the steps to creating a layout using this software visit our YouTube Channel (and while you're there you really should subscribe) or by clicking WATCH IT HERE. Starring yours truly and including some pretty fun background music. Were you wishing you could see more and maybe have a man with a dreamy accent narrate the video? Look no further. Here is a video which shows additional details and features of the software.


What I liked:
- The most easy to learn digital scrapbooking software program I have seen.
- Very inexpensive.
- Includes simple photo editing software and an online community, called Daisy Trail, where you can upload layouts with one click and share with friends and family.
- Included templates and elements.
- Option to use your own collection of digital elements.
- Includes fonts, but can also access all fonts on your computer. Show preview of the word you write in different fonts.
- Varied customer support, including online forums for users to exchange answers, pre-loaded tutorials and an option to email for support.

What I didn't like:
- Tricky to save as traditional jpg file. You ahve to go through a system called "Export" not "save". When I did save it, it saved at 98dpi without an option for a higher resolution. Serif says the resoultion can be changed, but I followed their instructions and still could not have it save any higher.
- Pre-made templates are of a certain style and may only accommodate certain scrapbooker's tastes.
- I contacted customer support as an anonymous user and asked a simple question about how to use part of the software. I sent my email at 3:00 pm on a Monday and did not receive an answer until 12:00 pm on Friday. That time could definitely be improved.

Where and How Much:
Product Name: Digital Scrapbook Artist Software
Manufacturer: Serif
MSRP: $49.99
Available at: http://www.serif.com/scrapbook/

What do YOU think?
Are you intrigued by this program? Do you own this program already and have an opinion? Would you consider buying this software and using it to try out digital scrapbooking? I am dying to know what you think.

83 comments:

Theresa said...

Hey - I'm the first genius today!!!

I've been curious about digital scrapping software, so this review is extremely helpful and appreciated. I am familiar with several graphic design programs (not specifically designed for scrapping) like Illustrator and PhotoShop, but have no tried any digital scrapping.

This makes me want to get interested and try it. I would definitely give this software a whirl, and I think the price is right.

Deana said...

I watched your video and was intrigued about easy the software was to use. I have been very anti-digital scrapbooking in the past...but I want to play with this!

Rebecca White said...

I am interested in trying digital scrapbooking. I am not sure if I would buy this one or not. It is much better priced than anything else I have seen so that would make a difference. I do like the idea that it is easy to use. Being on a message board with many digital scrapbookers I am not sure I want something that doesn't save at a higher level. It makes me wonder how it would look printed.

Melissa said...

I am definitely intrigued. I have dabbled a little in digi scrapping with PSE, having done a few layouts and simple photobooks. I still don't feel like I have a good handle on it. My digi style is much simpler than my paper style because of that. This program, however, sounds so much more intuitive.

DanelleB said...

I am interesed. My only concern is that I have other programs that I don't use. I would like to have something that I would pick up and want to use not just sit on a shelf. Looking for something to take my skill to the next level.

Joli said...

My concern would be printing the pages. Do you have a personal 12x12 printer, or do you have them printed and sent to you?

I don't know that I like the idea of digi scrapping because I have so much stuff already that needs to be used.

Christi in AZ said...

Well, this might be just what I need to dabble in digi scrapping. I dont have Photoshop or Elements, and I don't really have the time/money to master them now anyhow. This one sounds easy enough for beginners with little time! Thanks for the review.

Suz said...

I had bought a different scrapbook program almost 2 years ago. This looks very similar. It's a great starting point for those who just want to drag & drop with little effort but I found I outgrew it quickly.

Costco has very good quality 12x12 printing & is the cheapest I've found.

Abbey S. said...

Definitely interested --- I actually just downloaded a trial version of photoshop elements and have been playing around with that a bit (having a hard time too), so the ease of this program is intriguing. Kinda turned off by not having the option of an 8.5 x 11 page though. Thanks for the review!

Karidan Kaye said...

You can try Scrapbooksplease.com they are good I just got my first prints from them with my project 365 going. I have never printed out my layouts before then cause I dont do digital that much but they turned out great.

I like photoshop but I also feel I dont know how to use 75% or more of the software.

Amie said...

I'm curious...I'm interested...I'm so NOT biscraptual, but I'd like to try it out.

amiedanny@msn.com

Holly said...

I might try this, but it's not *that* much cheaper than photoshop elements. If they had a free trial download for a week or so, I'd give it a shot.

Cassi said...

Product seems easy to use. I'm a newbie to digiscrap and own PSE for now.

mustangkayla said...

I'd consider trying it. I'd definitely want to compare it with Photoshop Elements as I've heard so much positive feedback on Photoshop. Great review! Does this program happen to allow you to create neat journaling spots and type in them and print them out?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I have wanted to try digi scrapbooking but have been scared to try on photoshop(not sure where to start/how to start). From the youtube demo this program looks like one that I would try. Thanks for the great review.
Sandra.

arlsmom aka Lynda said...

I've dabbled a bit in digital stuff, but have never used a program that is specifically for scrapbooking, which may make the experience a little easier.
I would consider picking this up to give it a try. Thank you for the review!

nickandstaci said...

Great view! Sounds like a great program, very simple and easy to use. I think I will wait before buying, just to see your review on elements. There isn't too much of a price difference and that little but might be worth it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have wanted to get into digital scrapbooking and I think that this software looks user friendly and would be something I would be likely to try. Thanks so much for the review.

Crystal

Christine said...

WOW! This looks very user-friendly. I use Photoshop, but would love to try this out also as I find the whole adding elements issue to be my most frustrating with Photoshop. I would guess I only know about 20% of what Photoshop can do. lol!

lizacreates said...

Thanks for this good review. I certainly am tempted to try it out. Do you know if they have a trial version? Also, to the lady who posted about printing the 12x12 pages at Costco, how much do they cost per page?

One of the negatives for me with Photoshop is the steep learning curve. Glad to know this is intuitive and far easier to use. If the templates are much simpler in looks than what I'd like, I can easily add non-digi embellishments and do a hybrid LO.

Carol S-U said...

I've tried a bit in Photoshop, but haven't been that thrilled with the free digi kits I've found... I'll have to follow the link to the company's site - is it Mac compatible or PC only?? The price is great, considering the cost of Photoshop!

Nevis said...

I admit to wanting to try digital scraping but I love playing with things with my hands....and I've never been wholly thrilled with the styles of digikits. But your layouts did look very good!

lizacreates said...

Hi, Emilie...just some additional comments, if you don't mind. For future software reviews, some techie info would probably be helpful, such as PC &/or MAC compatibility, system requirements (e.g., no lower than XP, free disc space, should have RAM of 1GB or over, etc.) Some of us have older PCs with minimum 512MB RAM that cannot handle bloated programs. Thanks in advancce.

Also, in checking out the video you supplied, I realized that you can print out your LOs in letter size if you don't want the extra expense of a 12x12 printout. Don't know though what quality the outcome will be, if distorted or such.

Re saving in jpg vs. tif formats, pls be aware that jpgs are so compressed that the resulting printed product may look a bit fuzzy. tif (or TIFF), on the other hand, is usually of a higher level of quality and clearity.

Wendy said...

I don't see myself purchasing digital software. I have a lifetime stash of supplies as it is! LOL

marla said...

It sounds interesting. I think my daughter would like to get into digi scrappping. I have way to many tools for the traditional kind and really enjoy it a lot so I have been leary to try the digi scrapping.

Debbie said...

Thanks for the review.It was very helpful and written very good.

I am interested in learning digital scrapbooking. I wish it saved at a higher resolution. Also I find I am doing more 8 by 8 or 6 by 6 scrapbooks.

You have given me a lot to think about.

Thanks
debbie peysen

kgscrapper said...

I would be interested in learning some digi techniques, but I don't see it as being my main form of scrapping. What I would like to learn is some standard photo editing. I have a Corel Program and it frustrates me more than anything.

Deanne said...

I am interested...I can say I am not very computer literate but your review has sparked an interest...

Denise Hunter said...

Great Review!! You answered all my questions. I think I'm going to stick with Photoshop because I like having more options.

Denise H.

Kimberly said...

Okay, I believe I am sold for sure. I am not a digital scrapbooker but enjoy digital elements and I do not own anything of this nature. I am probably the last person on this scrappy earth to not have photoshop or anything comparable to it. So, I am hoping I win as this would be great for my budget. If not, I will be purchasing as this is not a huge investment and I feel it would allow me to do more with digital elements. Heck fire, the USER FRIENDLY sold me pretty quick as well. Thanks for the review!!

Melanie Stanczyk said...

Great view! Love your honesty, that is why I'm here.

I have always wanted to learn some type of photoediting/photoshop software but I don't know where to start. Since I don't have any info on any other products I would love if you can review other digital software so I can make a decission.

Melanie S.

Jenn said...

I like the the idea of digital scrapbooking, but I don;t know if I would ever switch. I wouldn't go out and buy the product, but I would like to visit a friend who would let me give it a test run.

Digital is more my husbands area, I like working with paper etc.

Teresa (aka tmom) said...

I would probably try this one out. I am currently using another software program, no longer available and am wanting to try something new. great review. Thanks!

Veronica said...

Well, I currently use PSE5, but would so like to know how easy it is to use this program with some of the digi stuff I already have and use in PSE!!! The "Tut" is GREAT! Thanks!

saner4 said...

I am curious about this software and would love to try it. I am not a digi scrapper, but have been wanting to try it for a while. Thanks for the review!

Karen said...

I'm just getting started with digi, but I already own PSE. I don't think the "advantages" of this program would encourage me to make a change.

PattiM said...

I use PSE but I would have bought this product first since its alot easier. I started out with an inexpensive program for my iMac and loved how easy it was to use. Then as I improved I knew I was ready for PSE, not that I'm an expert though.


Hugs,

PattiM
(Pattie's passion)

I Scrap So All Moments Are Remembered!!

cassie d'ambrosio said...

I saw a utube video on this about a month ago and it looks like they really thought of everything and made it really easy. I use photoshop elements and love it, but when I saw the video I thought there were some things that could be done much easier with this software.

Dina said...

Thanks for the review. I am not a digital scrapbooker--but I am a wannabe. And inexpensive is right up my alley!

Jodee said...

I would be interested in trying this program or something similar. I have no digital experience at all except photo editing and journaling in word. I don't want to try it because I really don't understand Photoshop well enough and that is the program we have. of course my hubby is a wiz and would probably kick my butt if I bought software like this! LOL!

Aimee said...

Oooh, I love that. I've tried playing around on scrapblog before, but I joke that I'm a computard! Great review!

CJandErik said...

72 dpi doesn't effect the print? How low of resolution can it have for the print to be fine?

carpediem said...

I've been hesitant to try digi scrapbooking but have seen tempted by so many great layouts! If this product is easy to learn for a beginner then maybe it's time to try it out! Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

I have been researching different digital programs. I too am interested in the printing options. Can you send it out to be printed. Thank you for presenting this one. love the site, can't wait to read more reviews.. Karen Loper

lsbf216 said...

I love, love, love that "Sprinkler" layout. I am a paper snob, and while I love using my computer to help (journaling especially), I've always thought that digital layouts looked 'flat'. Your "Sprinkler" layout looks like it has texture and depth and the swirls are great. I might have to think about my prejudice -- but it I use digital, it will probably only be in the small percentages -- as is yours, Emilie!

Steffanie said...

I love how the layouts look so "real"! I currently have PSE but have only scratched the suface of what it could be doing for me. Really need some tutorials...and time to explore...and play!

Jewel said...

Your review sure has me curious although I have never tried digi scrapping. I would like to read reviews of other programs before I would go out and buy something. I saw Creative Memories advertising their software StoryBook Creator Plus and know that it won a CK reader's choice. I would love to know the differences between these two and that of PhotoShop/Elements (as well as others).
--Jewel

lovetoteach23 said...

I would love to see other programs reviewed before I buy one. I am not a digi scrapbooker, but maybe in the future if it seems easy. Do digital scrapbookers print them all out and put them in albums??

MotherofJackals said...

Okay that is way easier than I thought it would be. I might actually try this now. I agree though more reviews of kits would be really helpful.

Ashley said...

I would consider using this, as long as it is compitable with Mac!
This looks great.
ashlomb at yahoo dot com

Jodi said...

Thanks for the review. This looks like something I would be interested, if finances allowed. :)

jlynn029 said...

Great review. I hope I win this, I am very curious about digi-scrappin and need something uncomplicated for my introduction to it.

sue-bubbles said...

Having had my mind totally boggled with 'easy' scrapbooking software, I would love to have a play with something that actually is! The layouts you have produced are beautiful and I want to join in!!!!
Sue x

lockylady said...

I am intriqued...I am interested in trying digital scrapbooking but find that computer programs take longer to learn than I have time for. I tell myself that someday I will figure it out and probably use a combination of traditional and digital (I like textures and dimension) but so far it is easier just to cut and paste than to figure out a program.Your article offers food for thought though.

Betsy said...

I have wanted to try digi scrapbooking but just haven't wanted to invest in something hard to use...Looks promising...

L said...

Hmmm... I've always been a little scared of digital, and to be honest, even though this looks easier than most other software... it still scares me! But I might give it a try!

Scrap Candy said...

It is on my "To Do List" to become a more involved hybrid scrapper, but to do that I would need to get the digi side going. It is something that I always mean to make time for, but my patterned papers always convince me otherwise. I think this program just might be the right kind of PULL to get me into a digital frame of mind!

Ravengirl said...

It sounds pretty easy! I think I will have to watch your YouTube Video and see if I really want to commit to getting into the whole digi scene!

Erika M. said...

Interesting article. I've been reaching digital scrapbooking for a while now and I am still hesitant to try. I might try this though - some of the other products are quite expensive.

Mary said...

I am definitely curious! I have been looking at all kinds of digital scrapbooking options and I think this is the way for me to go! It looks really easy, which is just what I need with the right amount of creative license so I can still feel I am creating something really personal.

sarahau said...

Im only incredibly new to scrapbooking - the last 2 weeks! and whilst surfing to stuff my head full of all these new delights - I have come across digi pages and loved the "real life" look to them but didnt think I could try it as I thought it would be to hard, this program looks like a dream!

Maria said...

I have been intrigued by digi scrapping for sometime, but Photoshop is pretty costly so I haven't given it a try (plus I heard there is a huge learning curve and I haven't had the time). This program looks pretty user friendly, though I must agree with you the pre-made templates are not quite my style. I would like to give it a try.

Parker and Emma's Mom said...

I will be honest digital scrapbooking intimidates me. If something is straightforward and easy, I might get brave enough to try.

Kellie D. said...

I love your honest review. I have never tried digital scrapbooking because I love the dimension of traditional scrapbooking, but your examples made me want to touch it! Looking forward to maore reviews of projects!

Robin said...

I would be interested in trying as I have been afraid of Digi scrapbooking - as I am not very computer savvy. Really enjoyed reading your post.

Christine said...

I would like to start doing some hybrid scrapping. I have been wishing for Photoshop for sometime but I always put the box back. I am very interested in this software. I'm going to go over and watch your video. Thanks for the review.

Nathalie said...

One of the reasons I am not into digi scrapping is the "technical" aspect of it (at least for me) but this sounds like it would make it for approachable...

Audrey said...

I am not a digi scraper but after reading how fast and easy this was to use, I may have to keep my eyes open for this! I do already have PSE, but barely know how to use it, so I'm interestedin what you'll come up with for that review.

I can see that this is going to be a great resource for me. You guys rock!

Jody said...

I kid that digi-scrapping is "the dark side" but I'll let you in on a secret...it's the fear of the unknown that is keeping me from trying it.
Thanks for the review, very interesting...

Heidi Y said...

You've got my curiosity with this new program. I've wanted to add some digi-scrapping fun to my layouts/mini albums, but pretty intimidated with what's out there. Looking forward to future reviews!

Danielle said...

I have yet to attempt the digi world of scrapping. It seems very overwhelming. This product looked seems very simple to use, and the layouts that you created with it are gorgeous. I would love to get into digi though, With 5 kids, it sure would save some time :) Good luck on the new blog. I have bookmarked it, and will be a frequent visitor. Thank you for sharing with us :)
Blessings~~~ Danielle

Jessica said...

I got photoshop for Christmas and so I have been wanting to start some digital pages so I am VERY interested in this program. I need something to help me get started!!!

andeehans said...

Wow, I am going to love this blog. That review was so right on! I would love to venture into digital & wouldnt know where to start, thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have never tried this before - I am intrigued!

Sarah - gotscrapz@aol.com

noel joy said...

it looks so easy to use. and loving the low price point. would be a great gift for someone interested in starting out without the photoshop learning curve!

Allison :-) said...

I currently use photoshop but like the idea of this....it has elements that I think that I would like to use. thanks for the thorough run down....would never have thought to look for any other program other than what I currently use.

Allison

Lainey said...

I'm intrigued by digital scrapping but completely overwhelmed by photoshop - this looks perfect! Thanks for the review!

the real ~Roxann~ said...

Nice review Emilie. I am very interested in this product! It makes me actually want to try digi! Thanks! (loved the you-tube, as well!)

"Girl" said...

Digi scrapping just seems overwhelming to me but this makes it look easy. Great review!

Kim M said...

I would like to at some point try digitial but I don't wanna pay that kind of sticker price to learn. Maybe I am just cheap.

destiny1 said...

I'm not super smart when it comes to the computer, which is why digi scares me! This makes me want to go for it head first!LOL Thanks for the review & for the chance!

Kim

Anonymous said...

Sweet review! I first tried PS3 because that's what my husband had on his computer and was completely turned off digital scrapbooking. Thanks for this review but I'm still not sure I am willing to drop $50 for something I might not use. But being the first review I read on your site I like the style and unbiased nature of your summary.

Thanks,
Kelli

Sheryl said...

I just received this program yesterday and I am in love with it already. I love drag and drop and there are other options as well...haven't got to the importing yet, but I am sure I will.
I wanted to comment on the page size...12x12 is not the only option. Go to the page set up and select the size page you want. If you use the premade layouts they will automatically adjust to the size page you want. I only wish Serif would let you download the digikits--you have to order them and wait for them to be shipped...
Sheryl