Never before have we been so impressed by the offerings of a software underdog. Not only has Nova Development given us the childlike desire to make pretty pictures and stick them on the kitchen wall; it's also provided a way to keep the mess to a minimum. A child with this program and half an ounce of creativity will soon be nicking our art editor's job.

There are 5,000 templates, 40,000 graphics and 1,000 fonts, but quality still comes before quantity, even if some features may look – dare we say it – tacky to the adult eye. It's easy to import your own images and a built-in image editor allows you to remove red-eye, fix flaws and scratches, crop pictures and generally beautify them.

Scrapbook Factory is one of those programs so intuitive that the manual gets used to prop up the wobbly kitchen table, and we welcomed the inclusion of familiar shortcuts – Ctrl, Z in particular.

Despite the boom in digital media leaving scrapbooks seemingly obsolete, the printed picture is making a definite comeback. And there's plenty more to tickle your fancy, from calendars, T-shirts and transfers to photo frames and web albums – the stingy-hearted can even save a few quid with home-made greetings cards.

Art Explosion Scrapbook Factory Deluxe 3.0: Specs

  • 166MHz Pentium processor
  • Windows 98 or above
  • 64MB RAM
  • CD-ROM drive
  • CD/DVD writer
  • 1.65GB hard disk space
  • 166MHz Pentium processor
  • Windows 98 or above
  • 64MB RAM
  • CD-ROM drive
  • CD/DVD writer
  • 1.65GB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

Costing only £30, Art Explosion Scrapbook Factory Deluxe 3.0 holds back the years better than a few bottles of Oil of Olay and is guaranteed to keep you busy for hours. While it might not be everyone's cup of tea, your kids will love it.

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