Review: Picture Collage Maker helps you design and print calendars, cards, and more
By Clare Brandt
At a Glance
Easy to use
Expensive for what it can do
Easily make collage calendars, cards, and more with Picture Collage Maker.
Picture Collage Maker 3.3.7 is similar to an online photobook service like Mixbook, Shutterfly, or Snapfish, except it offers you more control when customizing your project. Even though Picture Collage Maker is a relatively small download (53.4 MB), it includes a number of backgrounds, templates, resizable clipart, and other embellishments. The 15-day free trial is really a feature-limited demo, as it adds watermarks to your art. Purchasing either the standard $30 Picture Collage Maker (which can only produce single page artwork) or the $40 Pro version will eliminate these watermarks from saved projects. A $70 commercial use license will do the job as well.
You can begin with a Picture Collage Maker template and customize the background (which is essentially the main theme of the template), add and remove photo frames and clipart, and add your own photos. The templates included with the trial version of Picture Collage Maker are themed for most common (and some unusual) Holidays and events, including April Fool’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day, Halloween, sports, and pets.
You can also download additional Picture Collage Maker templates from the program’s website. The templates are free and range from 14 MB to about 20 MB. The template packs are grouped by theme, and include a wide variety of very nice styles, clipart, and layouts.
Picture Collage Maker is very easy to use, and has a few well-thought out features—such as buttons that make selected images the exact same size, or align them on your page. But even with these features, it seems pretty basic for the price. Picture Collage Maker doesn’t warn you if your image is not sufficient resolution for your project. Plus, you need to manually change the orientation of the template: If you switch from a vertical template to a horizontal, for example, the new horizontal template will be distorted and display vertically. The photo editing tools are limited to Photo Size, Position, and Rotation.
Picture Collage Maker is best used for creating standard size photo collages, scrapbook pages, greeting cards, posters, or calendars. You can print them out using your home printer, and save them as a Picture Collage Maker’s own .PMP file or as JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG, or TIF. Additionally, you can email your project using Picture Collage Maker’s Wizard, which allows you to resize your project before you send it (although unfortunately doesn’t give you a file size for each option). If you purchase the full license, you can also get your project printed on Custom Collage Products (t-shirts, bags, etc.), however, you may not use Picture Collage Maker for commercial use without first purchasing the commercial version of the license for $70.
Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor’s site, where you can download the latest version of the software.
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