If ever there was a Mac application that I want to use, it’s iScrapbook, a point and click way to make attractive scrapbooks.
The problem? I’m worried that scrapbooks are like sewing and Fords—antiquated, relics, artifacts from the past with no future in the iLife of my iMac.
Another issue is iScrapbooks publisher, Chronos—makers of award-winning small office, home office software for about 14 years. These are the guys who make Mac software I’d like to use, but never do.
Miss Alexis, the Mac360 Value Vixen™, is preparing for baby #2, and is working on a scrapbook. Is that enough of an incentive? No.
My sister is also expecting, and I thought I’d follow Alexis’ lead, and create a baby shower gift to top them all—a scrapbook of all her kids to date, with blank pages for baby #5, or is it #4? It could be #6. Whatever. That’s my incentive.
I downloaded Chronos’ iScrapbook and took a dive. I like what I see. For the first time ever with Chronos, I may part with some of my hard earned money. In fact, I may review other Chronos SOHO applications for the Mac.
Remember, I’m the gal who said scrapbooks are old hat. Like beads. So I’m not much for prognosticating the future or reading the tea leaves of the past, but I can investigate with the best of the Perry Mason crowd.
See? Inspiration is available at your nearest magazine store or online. Inspiration is a starting point.
iScrapbook takes you to a digital level and lets you create digital scrapbooks that don’t look crummy.
If you’ve seen some high quality scrapbooks, you know that it’s all about look and feel, then the right content. iScrapbook comes with Chronos’ SOHO Art Pack, for free. There’s also a bunch of photo frames, ready for drag and drop from iPhoto, or just print on the page.
Did I mention the page? iScrapbook comes with a decent collection of “background paper.” No, it’s not real paper. It’s just those neat, classy looking, textureized backgrounds for each page. They don’t feel expensive, but they look expensive.
You’ll need to check your printer, but iScrapbook will print in the standard 12-inch by 12-inch, and 8.3-inch by 11-inch page sizes, and custom sizes.
Using iScrapbook took some getting used to. All the standard Mac-like graphic tools are there, drag and drop, and the interface is intuitive—except for the Smart Inspector.
Control is superb, but requires plenty of clicking to set up each graphic element, each photo, or other elements. The Page Chooser lets you create a new scrapbook starting from a template or a blank page.
The so-called convenient Bins are yet another odd interface touch in iScrapbook. Think of them as odd little left side tabs for Graphics, Text, Contacts, Favorites, and so on. Still, Bins are easy enough to use, and all the elements inside are drag and drop to the scrapbook page of your choice.
No Mac application that does graphics and photos and printing is worth anything unless there’s plenty of tools. iScrapbook does not disappoint, though the arrangement of the tools seemed cumbersome.
There’s gradients, layers, shapes, objects, shadows, transparency, smart shapes, rotations, cropping, image manipulation, and so on. The list of tools continues with masks and mask controls, image tinting, and dozens of special effects for images such as color, blur, stylize, lighting, halftone, and more.
iScrapbook brings in photos from iPhoto, and the same tool gives quick tabbed access to shapes, clip art, and more. Sorry, there’s no iTunes integration so you can’t make a musical scrapbook. But that’s an idea…
Scrapbook pages made on your Mac require a good printer, especially one that’ll print pages at the 12-inch by 12-inch size. I happen to have a Canon i9900 so producing a larger scrapbook is easier. Your mileage may vary.
Back in March, Alexis did a quick, though somewhat sarcastic, review of iScrapbook before it was released. Chronos was asking for money up front—offering a discount before the product actually shipped. None of us at Mac360 like that kind of marketing.
I’ll admit I’m relatively impressed with this version of iScrapbook, because it makes easy that which could be time consuming and tedious. If you work in graphics, iScrapbook is a hand addition to the tools you use on your Mac.
If you’re interested in creating some non-digital scrapbooks, the kind you print up on paper, bind, and give away or store forever, iScrapbook is pretty cool and worth a try.