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Getting Started with Computer Scrapbooking?

Getting started with Computer Scrapbooking is easy! You will of course need a computer, a printer, and some basic software.

The Computer
Many of the things you can do for Computer Scrapbooking only require the very basics of a computer. You want to make sure that your computer has at least the minimum system components and operating system that are required for running the software program (see below) that you will be using for doing your scrapbooking.

The Printer
The kind of printer you have will to some degree dictate the kinds of things you can do. With a black & white inkjet or laser printer you can do journaling and headline text. You can also use black & white clip art (coloring book style line art) that can be colored after it is printed. Don't rule this out! Coloring in clip art can give it a very personal touch. It's also lots of fun if you have children working on scrapbooks. Another option for black & white printers is to print out text or clip art, then use a light box to trace over it onto scrapbook paper stock.

With a color inkjet printer, you can do all of the things you can do with a black & white printer, plus you have the option of printing colored text, using colored clip art, and, printing colored backgrounds and photo frames. Most of the more recent color inkjet printers also do a great job of printing digital photographs.

The Software
Although there are some basic Computer Scrapbooking things you can do with a word processor program, a "layout" program will be much, much easier to work with. Word processors are great for writing intense items. They're primarily designed to work with large amounts of text. On the other hand, layout programs are designed to simplify the process of working with small blocks of text as well as for importing, positioning, and working with graphics. They're not only designed to easily work with each of these (text blocks and graphics), they're also designed to make mixing the two of them together easy too.

A layout program is nothing more than a program that is designed for making greeting cards, flyers, craft projects, or similar items and there are many inexpensive ones available and you can find them at practically any locations that sells software.

All you need is a "card making" type layout. It doesn't need to say "scrapbook" anywhere on the box. If the program says it will do cards, flyers, etc.., that's what you're looking for. These programs will come with a variety of decorative fonts and clip art too. That's all you need to get started.

Once you have a layout ("card making") program, and, before you ever start working on a scrapbook page, take the time to get familiar with the program and learn what it can do. After you have gone through the software program's tutorials, make sure that you experiment with and understand about using different fonts, changing font colors, and changing font sizes. How big can you make a font? How small can you make it? Get familiar with importing clip art into a page, changing the sizes of images, and so on. Play around with any special effects your program might have too.

If you will take a little bit of time to see what your program will do, you'll have a much better idea of all the different things you can make. And when you're ready to start using it for scrapbooking, you'll have a lot more fun too. And scrapbooking should always be fun!


Article by David Sutphin
David is an avid computer scrapbooker and the owner of Dream Maker Software, publisher of Cliptures clip art.

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