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Picaboo Photo Books

Take a Peek at Picaboo

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Picaboo photo books make great gifts and are wonderful for sharing photographs.

Delight the grandchildren with a gift of a Picaboo photo book.

Image courtesy of Picaboo (www.picaboo.com)
If you are looking for a photo book company with beautiful designs and good photo quality, Picaboo may be a good fit for you. I created my first photo book using Picaboo. (The name is a punny play on peek-a-boo.) My book was was a simple design, with the focus on the photographs. When I received the book, I was thrilled. High-quality photo reproduction made the book a stunner. Now I'm eager to try a more artistic look using the hundreds of templates available, all customizable. Although a few glitches marred my experience with Picaboo, my satisfaction with my photo book will probably bring me back to create more.

Just the Facts

Here's the Picaboo blueprint:

  • Downloadable software for Mac and PC
  • Several design methods, all allowing customization
  • A wide variety of sizes, styles, templates and fonts
  • Range of help available, including help pages, live chat, email and phone
  • Simple photo edits enabled
  • Products shareable by email and by posting to Facebook

An innovative company that has only been around since 2006, Picaboo is a photo book company with a difference. Most photo book companies require that you work online, but Picaboo allows you to download the company's software to your computer. Once the program is installed, you'll be able to work offline, which is a plus for some. Among other advantages, it means that you'll be able to select photos from your computer's hard drive without uploading them. Picaboo's range of choices is comparable to systems in which you create books online, such as Shutterfly, and better than some downloadable programs, such as MyPublisher.

Picaboo Pluses

Here's what I loved about Picaboo:
  • Easy, mostly intuitive designware that's easy to navigate
  • High quality photo reproduction
  • Price comparable to others, with frequent discounts
Picaboo claims to have over 300 pre-designed pages available, along with over 40 fonts and "tens of thousands" of backgrounds. Your only problem will be deciding among the many choices. Each page is fully customizable. Photos can be used in "full-bleed" mode, which means that they are printed right to the edge of the paper for a professional look.

Because Picaboo allows you to edit and manipulate photos within the program, you can download photos straight from your camera and make a great photo book without having to use a photo editing program first. Picaboo lets you adjust the color saturation, brightness and contrast and remove red-eye. You can also size photos and zoom in or out. You can turn a color photo into a black-and-white or sepia image, apply borders to your photos or create a shadow.

Picaboo Minuses

Here's what didn't win my heart:

  • Software appears to be subject to hangs
  • Standard shipping may require a week or more
As with all downloadable software, sometimes there are glitches. I had no problem during download, but while using the program, I did have a a number of "hangs" or "freezes," although my system exceeds what Picaboo says is needed. I lost several hours of work the first time, because I hadn't saved my work. That was my own fault. No matter what program you use to create a photo book, you should save often.

You'll Be Hooked

Once you've made one photo book using Picaboo, you are likely to be hooked. You may find yourself taking pictures with your next photo book in mind. If you're not totally happy with the pictures you're taking of your grandchildren, read these hints for photographing grandchildren. Of course, you have fabulous models. Now if you could just get them to sit still for two minutes.

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