Digital scrapbooking continues to evolve. Now online and downloadable editing software makes digital scrapbooking easier than ever to create really unique digital scrapbook items. With an estimated 62.5 million crafters in the US, digital scrapbooking is available for those who share and organize their favorite photo images. However, digital scrapbooking is more than a portfolio or collage of images. It has become a wide variety of creative projects using beautiful visual content. Using 2d images, illustrations and vectors, digital scrapbooking has evolved into an art form of combining and editing all types of graphic elements into a finished item. Scrapbooking projects create stationary, planners, greeting cards, invitations, decor, gift wrap, party favours, calendars, and even stunning cri-cut projects. The list is endless and limited to an individuals interests and creativity. Resources for images and graphics are available for any digital scrapbooking project; one best way to obtain unique graphics is to create them using online editors or free downloadable software. The question now remains; are online editors better for digital scrapbooking than downloadable software?
Online Vs Downloadable Editors
“It depends.” In a nutshell, both have a place in a scrapbooker’s arsenal of creation tools; both have pros and cons when it comes to creating and editing graphics for digital scrapbooking projects or any visual content creation project.
In several previous articles, I’ve covered just some of the basics of online editors like Canva or Picmonkey to name a few, What’s the difference between say downloadable software like Inkscape or GIMP vs the online editors? Most online editors create and edit images in either jpg or png format. For many projects, jpg or png works just fine, but if you need to scale the image a vector file like svg, eps, ai or other will be more useful.
Online Editing Pros
Plus, online editors are great for small simple graphics and image edits like cropping and resizing; they are also pretty useful for image manipulation; that is if you need to modify brightness, saturation, contrast or apply any other kind of photographic filter on images. For example, you decide to remove the red-eye out of your favorite family photo, there are online editors that can do that.
If you’re into collages, online editors do that as well; in fact they can make beautiful portfolio collages that look very professional.
Free Vs Paid
Although the free version of online editors won’t always have all the nice extra graphic elements that might be desired for your scrapbooking project, you can still do so much with them that shouldn’t be a complete show stopper. Finding graphics, clipart, doodles and smaller elements that add a touch of style to your scrapbooking project is relatively easy and if not free very low cost. Free resources and low cost graphics from Etsy are great alternatives to finding graphics that you can use and modify for your digital scrapbooking needs.
If you decide your scrapbooking projects are ongoing or if you feel scrapbooking is a calling that might become a business, you may decide that the small subscription fee for an online editor like Canva or Picmonkey is worth the investment. (You can always choose to use Adobe’s CC, but while that has a lot more features, its alot more in price). Most subscription service editors (online or downloadable) will give you lots of options for cute graphics (clipart, doodles, geometric shapes, lines, bows, backgrounds and even some images) to work with.
Online Editor CONs
Online editors are really amazing these days and I cover at least 10 that are very useful in my article ” Photo Editors – Best Online Visual Content Editors“. These are great options for editing and creating your scrapbooking projects but recognize that unless you go with the more expensive Adobe CC, there are a few things that online editors can’t do. Things like creating the graphic clipart from scratch, adding certain kinds of special effects, gradients, or 3d effects; online editors also don’t do well when increasing the size of a graphic; generally there is a loss of clarity and resolution. Those situations call for downloadable software that can create vector files like (free) Inkscape’s SVG, (free) GIMP’s EPS, (paid) Adobe Illustrator’s AI, (paid) Photoshop’s PSD files that can be converted into JPG or PNG format.
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Need Only JPG or PNG Formats?
Online editors generally offer only JPG or PNG files although the paid version of Canva does provide an option to download in PDF. You might wonder why you would ever need anything other than JPG or PNG files for your scrapbooking projects. Online editors are limited when needing to scale up in size without loss of clarity or resolution. So if the graphic you want to use is too small and in png or jpg format, you won’t be able to enlarge it and retain the original resolution.
Most online editors have a maximum size that they can create the graphic. If you want to know how to convert from pixels to inches or even mm, you can check out this converter here or simply Google “pixels to images” and handful of helpful converters will pop up. Canva is pretty straightforward about their graphic size limitation. With other online editors you’ll find out what the limit is if the editor simply doesn’t create the work space or complains when you enter the dimensions.
The point is that online editors can do a lot for digital scrapbookers, maybe not everything, but who only has one set of tools they use. Case in point, a cook rarely uses just one pot or pan; a good cook has a set of pots and pans for all their cooking needs. Digital scrapbooking is no different, so look around, find what’s useful for different types of projects.
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