Digital scrapbooking software suggestions.
January 13, 2014 5:19 PM   Subscribe

Need help selecting good scrapbooking software to create a photo book.

I would like to create a scrapbook for my wife's 50th birthday. There's alot of product out there, and I don't want to just pick the highest rated. I'd like to hear your recommendations/suggestions.
I've done similar stuff, but mostly with video, this time I want to create a book that I can have printed.
Looking for something that is relatively easy and not horribly expensive. (I am comfortable with video editing software, but not this scrapbooking stuff).
Any suggetions will be welcomed.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If the final product is going to be a physical album, you could use a self-publishing service like Lulu which seems to allow you to design the book inside your browser, avoiding the scrapbooking software altogether. I'm not sure how Lulu compares to the competition.
posted by sakahane at 5:53 PM on January 13, 2014

I have used Blurb to great effect.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 6:10 PM on January 13, 2014

I use Photoshop. With most photo-album printing services, their app or website allows a page to be a full-bleed full-page photo, so I just make every page in the album a full-bleed photo, and then I'm free to use the full power of Photoshop to assemble the contents of every page, combining as few or as many photos, layers, effects, text, etc as I want, wherever I want.

I am suspicious of scrapbooking software. To me, the words "scrapbooking software" suggests "half-assed software with only some of the features you need, intended to not overwhelm partially-computer-illiterate users. Probably buggy too. Probably saves in some weird proprietary format so you can't move your work to better software later on once you've discovered that the software is incapable of doing the thing you want to do".

But this is also a temperment thing - pretty much any time I've invested in software aimed at this kind of demographic instead of at industry/professional use, it's been a waste - quick to learn, but too limiting. However there are advantages to simple software that places shackles on what you can do - you can only do so much and then its done and you move on, whereas the ability to do anything can tempt you to spend hours fine-tuning every detail and suck up far more time. It depends on your temperment. Photoshop can work wonders, but the crappy book you finish is better than the masterpiece you don't.
posted by anonymisc at 6:48 PM on January 13, 2014

Indesign has a relatively low learning curve to make a decent book. If you're on a Mac, Pages can be surprisingly versatile if you make a separate document for each chapter and then put the PDFs together at the end.

Photoshop is what all serious scrapbook people use, often the elements cheaper version. You can make it all look great by using a single set of downloadable digital elements from a scrapbook shop like lilypad.

Blurb's software is good if you're using them to print.
posted by viggorlijah at 12:52 AM on January 14, 2014

Thanks for the input, I ended up buying My Memories Suite, and it is working fine.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 1:06 PM on February 13, 2014

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