Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 offers some useful new features to this comprehensive scrapbook building program

Serif's original version of Digital Scrapbook Artist was a comprehensive program that allowed users to display their digital snaps in scrapbook form and enhance them with embellishments, material scraps and different textures just like a real scrapbook.

So we were unsure whether a new version of the software could offer any more useful features that weren't present in the original version. As it turns out Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 is well worth its £30 price tag, and offers a number of useful new features.

Users get to choose between using a pre-designed theme for their scrapbook, which can be personalise or start completely from scratch and create their own theme.

In the original version of the Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 software, just a handful of digikits (a pack of design templates, colours, brushes and embellishments for the scrapbook) were offered. If users wanted further options, they had to navigate to the www.daisytrail.com website and download from the kits available, either for free or a small charge.

In Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2, as well as the five digikits already included in the software, you can view all of the kits available on the DaisyTrail website without leaving the software.

Clicking on the theme of your choice will tell you whether it's contained within the software or must be downloaded, and if so whether it's free or chargeable. It even offers one-click access straight to the DaisyTrail website ready to download the digikit. This new feature makes starting you scrapbook even easier.

Once you've chosen your theme, the scrapbook project is displayed in the workspace. Here you can adjust the number of pages in your scrapbook and then begin changing or adding backgrounds, text, embellishments and photos to your project.

Materials, backgrounds and embellishments from your digikit can all be added to your scrapbook by simply dragging the item from the toolbar on the left-hand side of the windows and dropping it onto the scrapbook page. Photos are almost as easy, although you'll need to remember to import them into the left-hand toolbar first.

Read our original review of Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist

All items can be moved around using the cursor, and this will also let you tweak the size and angle of the item once it has been selected.

Just like the original version, Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 lets users select items and group or ungroup them, making it easy to move image, frames and corresponding frames around the page together.

Once you've dragged photos onto your scrapbook, you can use Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2's integrated editor to make adjustments. By clicking the Photo Lab button on the photo toolbar when an image is selected you can implement edits such as red-eye removal, adjusting the curves and colour balance, spot removal. You can even add creative effects that give the photo a new texture, such as waster colour or turn it black and white.

The Photo Lab editor offers more control and finer edits than the Photo Adjustments function n the previous version.

Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 has also retained the ‘Cut Out Studio', which allows you to remove a subject from the background of a photo.

We loved the new stencil feature as it's easy to use and creates great effects. Simply pick one of the chosen stencils (shapes range from hearts and stars to people and creatures) chose a type of paintbrush and colour and then paint over the stencil. Once you've finished, click the Lift Stencil option and you have a funky shape. Stencils can also be used to cut out photographs.

Also new to this Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 edition of the software is a Colour Palette Designer, which gives users a guide to contrasting colours that will work with the theme they have chosen.

Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 caters from novice to advanced users. If you're just starting out using the software, then there are plenty of tutorials to get you started, along with handy hints that pop-up while you're using the software. However, advanced users have the opportunity to start completely from scratch and create their own theme, embellishments and brushes.

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Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2: Specs

  • Windows XP or later
  • 512MB RAM
  • 510MB spare drive space
  • CD-ROM drive
  • 1024 x 768 resolution monitor
  • Windows XP or later
  • 512MB RAM
  • 510MB spare drive space
  • CD-ROM drive
  • 1024 x 768 resolution monitor

OUR VERDICT

Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 is ideal scrapbooking software for those just starting out and more advanced users. It offers some useful new features and at £30 is good value for money too.

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