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Overview of Digital Scrapbook Artist
While it will never completely replace old-fashioned handcrafted scrapbooking (at least, I hope it won’t!), digital scrapbooking continues to rise in popularity. As such, a number of software applications have been developed to target this particular market niche. One of the frontrunners in this line of products is Serif’s Digital Scrapbook Artist.
In addition to offering a full array of creative content to help you design scrapbook pages, Digital Scrapbook Artist also includes a wide variety of photo editing tools, allowing users to complete an entire scrapbooking project within a single application. As a complement to the software package, Serif has launched DaisyTrail, an online scrapbooking community web site, where scrapbookers can share their creations and download additional free content.
Digital Scrapbook Artist is a Windows-based application compatible with both XP and Vista. Serif lists the following as additional system requirements for running the application.
- 512MB RAM
- 268MB hard drive space
- XGA display (1024 x 768 resolution, 24-bit color) or higher
- CD drive (if installing software from CD)
Now, let’s take a closer look at the software package.
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Installation and SetupRating
For the most part, the installation of Digital Scrapbook Artist was smooth and effortless. At one point, a pop-up box did appear with a warning that a reboot may be needed. Ignoring the message caused no problems, and the software worked fine without a reboot. This may vary for different configurations so if you do have any trouble after the initial installation, try rebooting before getting too concerned.
The DaisyTrail bonus content that comes bundled with Digital Scrapbook Artist does require a separate installation. The same pop-up message recommending a reboot came up during the installation of this material, but, once again, ignoring it and selecting the option to “manually reboot later" worked just fine on my machine.
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Ease of UseRating
For all of the features it includes, Digital Scrapbook Artist is surprisingly easy to use. When first opening the program, you’re faced with a welcome screen wizard where you can choose to access the software tutorials, start a new blank page, open a saved file, or create a new project from a theme. This wizard can be a great help for those who are just learning the software. However, if it starts to become a nuisance, you can always select the option to prevent this screen from loading during the startup of the application. (Click any image for a larger view.)
The main user interface of Digital Scrapbook Artist is extremely intuitive, and the layout of the panels and toolbars makes for a comfortable working environment. I particularly like the left panel where you can load thumbnails of all of the digital photos and other content you intend to use in your project. This allows users to plan their scrapbook page in advance and simply drag and drop each component into place.
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Digital Scrapbook Artist comes packed with a surprising number of features, including some high-powered image adjustment tools. In fact, you may find that you have no need for an additional photo editing application as you can perform most of these functions while designing your scrapbook page. Just double-click on any item and a Photo Adjustments window will appear, isolating that item and offering you several options for modifying it.
Another plus that traditional scrapbookers will appreciate is the number of tools that mimic those used when crafting scrapbook pages by hand. Special “scissors" and “hole punchers" with decorative edges allow you to cut and trim design components, adding even more personalization to your constructions.
Continue on to page 2 for the conclusion of Bright Hub's review of Digital Scrapbook Artist.
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As we continue our review of Serif's Digital Scrapbook Artist, we look at how well the application integrates with the DaisyTrail online scrapbooking community. We also discuss the price of the software package and give our overall rating. In addition, we give a link where you can find a compact version of Digital Scrapbook Artist that you can download for free.
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In addition to the two themed content packages that come bundled with Digital Scrapbook Artist, the software bundle also includes a bonus CD with 10 additional themes from DaisyTrail. Moreover, when you sign up for a free membership at DaisyTrail, you can download additional free content to use with the application. New free content is added each month so it’s well worth the time to create a DaisyTrail membership even if you don’t plan on sharing your scrapbook creations with the rest of the community.
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Since most people want to share their digital scrapbooks with others, the availability of export options is a primary consideration in software of this nature. In this regard, Digital Scrapbook Artist doesn’t disappoint. The software allows you to export scrapbook pages in a number of image formats (GIF, JPEG, PNG, etc.), or you can choose to export the entire creation as a PDF.
Additionally, if you have created a free account with DaisyTrail and want to share your scrapbook online, you can upload the file from within the software interface with just a couple of clicks.
Even though you don’t have to take advantage of the free DaisyTrail membership (and conversely, you don’t need to own Digital Scrapbook Artist in order to register with the online scrapbooking community), I would recommend trying it out. The web site is easy to navigate, and the monthly bonus material is of the highest quality. Plus, uploading your digital scrapbooks to a single location makes it easier to share them with friends and family. That is, you won’t have to worry about clogging up their email with large image files.
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Price to ValueRating
Priced at $49.99, Digital Scrapbook Artist may be a bit more expensive than some of the other applications in its class, but it also offers a great deal more flexibility and functionality than these other products. In fact, the photo editing tools alone make this price worthwhile. When you throw in the fact that you can obtain new free content each month from DaisyTrail, the software really becomes a bargain.
If you want to get a feel for the software before purchasing, there is a compact version of Digital Scrapbook Artist that can be downloaded at the DaisyTrail web site. While this version doesn't have all of the features of the full product, it is completely free.
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Not only am I very impressed with Digital Scrapbook Artist, but I would have to say that it’s one of the best (if not the best) scrapbooking applications on the market today. Despite having extremely powerful tools and features, it’s still incredibly easy to use and allows for an almost limitless number of creative possibilities. If you do any amount of digital scrapbooking at all, this is one program that you don’t want to pass over.