Software Recommendations and what you use

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Software Recommendations and what you use

I've been using word for all my projects and feeling like I could really use something a little more advanced. I've checked out Adobe Photoshop and kicking myself for not buying it when my husband was a student. I like to do a lot of different crafts, would anyone recommend it or do you have another favorite?

Well, photoshop is the best one for scrapping. Depending on what other crafts you´re planning to do, however, you should think on buying a vector-based, and not pixel based image editor. There isn´t any fantastic "all in one" that solve all problems...

There is a lot of software programs out there. The best is Adobe. Photoshop for image editing. Illustrator for drawing and vector.

Inscape is a free vector drawing program

Serif software also has a great batch of software. Photoplus and Drawplus. They do have free versions to try out. There prices are not as high as Adobe.

There is also Paint Shop Pro from Corel.

It is a matter of what will fit your needs.

But all is better than using Word.

Any graphics based program would be better than Word. Most offer a free trial period so you can download them and see if they will fit your needs. Also, you may be able to find older versions of each of the programs on eBay, for a lot less than the most up to date version. And later if you wanted to upgrade to a newer version, most usually have an upgrade price that is far less than buying it new. If you decide to go on eBay, just be sure you aren't getting a pirated copy of the program, and it is a valid copy.

If you don't want the full blown Photoshop, Elements is a good alternative.

One software that Judy didn't mention, is Craft Artist Pro, (from Serif) which is a lot less expensive than the other graphics programs and is geared more towards making layouts, cards etc, and not really towards creating your own graphics.

So there are many programs out there to choose from, depending on what it is you want to do.
What other crafts are you wanting to do?

Diane yes I did,
Craft Artist

PhotoPlus X6

On the menu at the top you will find Free Downloads, there you will find free versions to try.

Rachael, I have elements 11 and an older version of paint shop pro version 9. I love my elements 11 and there are many tutorials online to help you learn. I know there are more advanced programs, but for now I am having lots of fun with these without being haunted by the big price tag of the others. Maybe someday I can get one of the big guys. smiley

Forgot about the inscape program. Thanks for mentioning. I have a pazzles.

Hi I just wanted to say that I am very new to scrapbooking, I have Craft Artist 2 and have only made 3 projects with their built in templates to get me started. I have always made cards and do my designing in My Craft Studio and have found this post really interesting, as I sound a real beginner compared to what I am reading.

Can i just ask 'do you think that Craft Artist 2' is a really good package for starting scrapbooking? Or do you think I should be looking at things like photoshop as suggested above? Or are the programmes that you mention above more for those who are designing items such as the ones on this website and not just putting together scrapbook pages?

It is a good program with a Photo editor. As to what you should use, that is your preference and what you want and need. It is great to use as a starter and it is great for those that are experienced.

There is also a free version of CraftArtist for those that want to try and use.

I think Artisan should be mentioned here for someone looking for an inexpensive way to get started. The learning curve isn't as steep as PS

Thank you Cindi, Artisan should be added. There are many different programs out there. Some good and some not so good. But all are dependant upon what one needs and wants.

What about My Memories? Has anyone here tried that? I had My Digital Studio, but it is being discontinued (boo!) and I tried to play with Elements 7, but have no idea what I am doing. My Memories is offering their software version 5 for from for former MDS users.

Linda there are MyMemories users here also.

what is this inscape thing? when I tried to search for it, I only found a company selling tables and desks and such for businesses....but then, you posted this a year ago, perhaps it's no longer valid...but figured it's only dumb if the question is NOT asked. lol

Also...I use Scrapbook Factory Deluxe and love it. My only issue with it is my inability to figure out how to separate pieces...but I just posted a thread asking for help...I hope some one knows how, lol!

i am new in this.

does CMYK better than RGB in term of editing and printing?

PSE only has RGB and the latest version 13 support 16bit.

there are many graphics based program and most of the cheaper one only has RGB like Serif.

Bethlyn, i think you might be looking for Inkscape. That is mostly a vector program. Not sure you could really use that for scrapbooking in general.

ok silly me musta misread the name. I thought maybe "vector" meant something for creating and was curious...Thanks. Is it something I could fidget with to try to create pieces with? I'm looking at the page you linked but am afraid to download anything not knowing what it is really for! >.<

Steven, I use PSE12 and occasionally PSP8 (super old). Neither check for gamut (the CMYK/RGB thing), but I'm looking in using PS Creative Cloud, thanks to some great ladies here. Sounds a little like renting PS monthly, with the ability to check for gamut. And I can still use PSE.

Don't know if that helps at all, but since you mentioned PSE and CMYK, thought I'd mention it.



i have a friend who work as designer, he say for the bit the higher the better so for real 16bit i think only PS support.

the latest PSE 13 support RGB 16 bit, not sure is it full 16bit features.

since he is a designer all his artwork all done in CMYK 16 bit and it is printed on professional printer using pantone colour in his artwork.

i heard some people convert their photo to CMYK and do editing and before want to print, convert to SRGB to print outside.

what will be the best workflow?

Steven, I hope someone will answer your question. I know nothing when it comes to the bits. I've done tons of graphics work over the years, but it was for all online projects (mainly websets) so I didn't have to worry about CMYK and all that. I'm very new at this type of designing where people may print out my designs, so I'm still learning.

You may want to post your question as a new thread so someone more knowledgeable will see it.


I think you are looking for inkscape. I have it on my computer, but have just used it to change the file types to svg.

I'm using and appreciating It's free and full featured with loads of plugins and support on forums and on Youtube. I tried Gimp recently and Photoshop quite a while ago but they were not as intuitive for me.

Thanks for the infomation about I have been using Gimp, but have to look up almost everything. I may give a try.

I do a lot of different crafts and scrapbook and Photoshop is my favorite by far. Photoshop CC has a monthly charge of $10 but I feel it's worth it. I never had the money to buy Photoshop CS so I love the option to pay monthly.

I am using Photoshop Elements, Pixlr, and Sumo. I have DAZ3d, Gimp, and several other 3d, and fashion software in that pc also, and have created much with it, but th pc is old and slow and has become hard to use now, so both of use are sharing a laptop, with the PhotoshoE on it, and I use many of the online editors I mentioned above.

I use gimp because it is free and that is fine, but is there something easier to use?

YES Pixlr, free and no downloads to your pc needed, except the images you create of course.

You can visit my website for a list of tools I have there, all free, and easy to use.

I live by most of them!

I use many of these apps on a daily basis to create everything from tubes and posers,
to my kits for sale (or freebies) and my artwork for my galleries, and they are all free, and require
no downloads to use.

The list resides on my art members website here:

and you are all welcome to use them, and if you choose to, you can go the extra mile and join the
member network for fun, and a unique way to promote your items, whether they be your websites,
and blogs, or kits and art you have for sale. The share features there are totally awesome.

I'm wondering what software you all started with and why and then what you use now and why.
I started with Lumapix Fotofusion because it was easy and inexpensive at the time. I then tried several more like Scrapbook Max and My Memories. I have now been using Adobe Photoshop for several years. I switched to it because I kept having problems with Fotofusion, and then what I wanted to do with my pages outgrew its limits. It just could not do what I wanted. I already owned PShop for my photography and I knew it plus it was very easy to be creative in Pshop.


And that's the thing, Heather...anything will work to start out with, but as your skills grow, you'll eventually run into things a free/low-cost/non-Photoshop program can't do. It's like learning photography--you can learn composition by shooting photos on anything, even your cell phone...but eventually you'll run into wanting to do stuff with shallow depth of field or in low light, and you'll need a better camera because your gear is holding you back.

I recommend starting out with Photoshop Elements if you find a free version, or the free download of Photoshop CS2 that's still available from Adobe. That's a nearly-10-year-old version, but it'll let you do 95% of what the most current version of Photoshop (CC 2014) can do, and while it's a big program with a lot to learn, you won't have to learn another one if your abilities grow beyond the program--you'll just have to learn the new features and be wowed by the improvements to existing ones.

I started with Craft Artist and that's what I still use for all my LOs. From the beginning, everytime I openned Photoshop I would close it with lots of frustration because I couldn't do a single thing with it. I don't think I would have fallen in love with scrapbook if it was not for Craft Artist (wich is so easy and intuitive to use...) Later on I started designing kits and eventually decided to do my kits in photoshop. But I had learnned a lot by then and openning photoshop didn't seem as scary anymore. So yes, photoshop is a wonderful program but if you know nothing of it at all (like I was) maybe an easier program to start is not a bad idea. smiley

Oh! And and I know Judy Salerno mentioned in #5 there is a free version of Craft Artist, but you will get it here if you want to try it: (You'll have to register to the Daisytrail community to download but the registration is free and they are a lovely scrapbook community)
There are freebie mini kits there too but they only work with Craft Artist (Yes, with the free compact version- wich is not a free trial but a program you can use forever if you want- too.)