Here are the most common programs that you can use for digital scrapbooking:
Adobe Photoshop (PS): The industry standard. The biggest and best with the biggest price tag. Photoshop can do everything but it is quite difficult and time consuming to learn. If you are good with computers, do not like limitations or would like to design one day, then PS is for you.
PS 7 is the earliest version that is suitable for scrapbooking. Then it goes to PS Creative Suite (CS) 1, 2, 3 and 4. PS CS4 was recently released and retails for US $699. You may however, be able to pick up one of the earlier versions for next to nothing and the differences (for scrapbooking) are minimal in my opinion (for beginners). The latest version can be downloaded from the Adobe website and there is a free trial available.
Adobe Photoshop Elements (PSE): they took the most popular elements of Photoshop and made them easier to use. Elements is a much cheaper and easier program and will suit most people perfectly. In fact it is the most popular program for digital scrapbooking. It retails for US $140 and can be downloaded from Adobe or purchased in most electronics/ computer stores. However, there are limitations and while most people won’t notice them, if you like absolute control then you may want to look at PS. Early versions of PSE are often thrown in with scanners, printers, cameras etc so check your CDs to see if you put it away somewhere not knowing what it was. PSE4 and above are suitable for scrapbooking, but the higher the version, the better. Download the free trial HERE and then if you like it you can pay at the end of the trial. No need to get to a shop.
Corel Paint Shop Pro (PSP): A popular program that I know nothing about.
Ulead PhotoImpact: As above
Microsoft Digital Image Pro: has been discontinued by Microsoft but you may still be able to get a copy of it fairly cheap. It is not one of the more common programs, but is inexpensive and easy to use.
GIMP : this is a free program, but it is not very popular. I don’t know much about it and you will probably have trouble finding tutorials for it. It may be a great place to start though if you don’t want to spend any money.
Macromedia Fireworks: Sorry...not sure.
49 minutes ago