If you are going to produce printed versions of your scrapbook projects to the same standard and specifications as traditional scrapbooks, you will need a printer which can print on twelve inch square paper, the traditional size for scrapbook pages. Many of the printers available cannot handle that width of paper, but you can produce nice scrapbooks with them. A lot of people produce smaller books, including pocket-size “brag” books or others with pages that can be printed on their printers. The inks supplied for most computers printers are dye inks in four colors which can produce good results and they are getting better all the time. But, they are not likely to last or give the results which can be obtained with the more expensive pigment-based inks You have to decide if that is worth the higher cost to you.
There are specialized computer programs available just for producing scrapbook pages. This is probably the easiest way to produce and fill your pages with your content. These programs vary in price and features. There are even some which are free! I’ll describe some which are currently available later in this ebook. I’ll try to give you some general guides which you can use to compare the features and possible limitations of other programs which are currently available or which could be released after this book has been published. But, you don’t have to get one of those dedicated programs.
Start with what You already Have
You can use a program which is designed for desktop publishing or general picture editing (called “graphic editing”) to produce a scrapbook. If you already have an image editing program of any kind on your computer, I suggest that you use that first and see if it has all the features you need for your first few scrapbook projects. After trying out the programs which you got for other purposes or which were supplied with your scanner, printer or digital camera, you can decide if you need a program with other features or which produces better quality results for your projects. You will also have a better idea of what features you really need from any program that you decide to buy. The chapter, “Choosing Your Image Editor” explains some of the features you should look for in the program you use to create and edit your pages and pictures.