I'm often asked what programs I use for scrapbooking, so here's a quick overview.
For years, since about 1997 I have used Microsoft's Picture It. I still use it for simple and quick little projects. It is simple to use - my 9 and 10 year old daughters have been using it for at least a year. However, Microsoft is no longer making this product. I have found two alternative products that are similar.
Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Designer is a great product and I have found a great deal for you. DJ Inkers sells it for about $10. It is great for scrapbooking but you can also make cards, invitations, posters, and more. It comes with a lot of clip art, but allows you to also use clipart and more importantly scrapbooking elements from other sources.
Scrapbook Max is another great program that I have found. The wonderful thing about this program is you can download a trial version and use it for 1 month before buying it. The purchase price is fantastic, only $40 and it comes with a large selection of scrapbooking kits. You can purchase more kits from Scrapbook Max, or use kits found on any other scrapbooking website. They also have a wide range of products such as books, calendars, puzzles, etc that they can print and the prices look compatible with many other printing websites that I have found.
Adobe's Photoshop Elements is my program of choice (it has a higher learning curve) but you can do so much more. You have control over virtually every aspect of the page and although I have been using it on and off for years I understand only the most basic aspects of the program. This is a simplified version of Adobe's Photoshop that is a professional use program, but I couldn't tell you what the differences are. Adobe also offers a free trial version of Elements. Costco is currently selling it for $79.99 with a bonus Learn Digital Scrapbooking CD by Linda Sattgast. I've learned a lot from Linda's tutorials on her website The Scrapper's Guide.
There are many other programs that you can use effectively for digital scrapbooking. If you are interested in finding out if you already have one that you can use try Top Ten Reviews Website for a review of other scrapbooking programs.
Each program has it's strengths and weaknesses and you need to choose one that will work best with your scrapbooking style. Another important thing to remember is to save each page in two formats, the format that your program uses, and in a JPG for sharing.
Good Luck finding your scrapbooking style.