Monday, April 4, 2011

Questions & Answers about Panstoria - Artisan

Many of you have questions about Panstoria’s Artisan software.  I would like to answer some of your questions!
Who is Panstoria?
Panstoria is a software design company that currently writes photo editing and organization software and digital scrapbooking software.  The company was formally named Caspedia.  They wrote Memory Manager and StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 that is currently marketed under a license agreement through Creative Memories.  In January of 2011, Panstoria released their own version of digital scrapbooking software called Artisan.  For more detailed information please visit their website at:
How does Artisan compare to StoryBook Creator +3.0?
Artisan is very similar to StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0, with new features added.
Does Creative Memories Digital Content Work in Artisan?
Yes.  Artisan reads, JPG, PNG, TIF, .package and .pakit files.
Can I open projects in Artisan that were designed in StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0?
Yes.  However, a word of caution – If you open a StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 file in Artisan, you cannot open it again in StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0.  It is not backward compatible.  StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 uses the file name .page to save page files.  Artisan uses the file name .papage to save page files.  Artisan can open and read .page files but will convert them to .papage files.  StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 can not open or read .papage files. 
Can I download Artisan on the same computer as StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0?
Does Memory Manager 3.0 work with Artisan?
Yes.  You can send photos to Artisan just like you can with StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0.
If I purchase Artisan and have never owned StoryBook Creator Plus, can I purchase Creative Memories digital content to use in Artisan?
Yes.  This is great news for Creative Memories consultants, they can sell digital content to StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 users and Artisan users.
Does Panstoria sell digital content?
Yes.  Their online store is located at:
How many computers can I load Artisan on?
The Artisan license allows you to install the software on up to two machines.
Does Artisan work on a MAC?
No.  Not unless you use a virtual machine with Windows, such as Parallels.
Is there any online support for Artisan?
Yes.  They have a technical questions website called Get Satisfaction:
What training options are available for learning Artisan?
They have a YouTube channel:  I also offer training for Artisan.
How do I get my project designed in Artisan printed?
You may print the project yourself on your home printer.   You may send your JPG files to any online printer to be professionally printed.  To have your project printed as a photo book at Creative Memories, you may download the free version of StoryBook Creator and create a “full bleed” photo book with your pages saved as JPGS.  If you already own StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 you save the pages as JPG files and create a “full bleed” photo book..  For a detailed PDF file of how to print an Artisan photo book online visit:
Why are you adding Artisan to your design and training business?
I have been digital scrapbooking for over seven years.  I have used many different types of software.  I fell in love with StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 when it was first introduced.  I am always looking for the next best thing in this market.  When I saw the numerous added features Artisan had to offer, I knew I had to teach it and use it for designing!  I put together this in-depth summary of the enhanced features Artisan has to offer.  I hope this helps you see why I choose to add this incredible software to my business!
Features that I love (in no particular order):
  1. The Artisan license allows you to install the software on up to two machines.
  2. Redo. – Need I say more?
  3. It has a built in Image editor that can be used on any photo or element. It also does cloning.
  4. Coordinate Page color change, allows you to select a photo on the page and choose from several color scheme options for changing the colors of papers and embellishments on the page to look better with the photo.
  5. Text shapes and cutters. You can enter text using any installed, supported font to the page as a shape or use it as a cutter. For example, you can bring up the text cutter popup, select a font, then enter text and cut out that text from any element on the page.
  6. You can choose between Basic mode and Advanced mode. Basic mode hides some more advanced features for new users. You can switch modes easily at any time.
  7. The three views in Manage Content make looking for content easier. It includes separate views for organizing using tags, putting kits into categories, and managing content locations.
  8. All open views are accessible directly via a tab—e.g. welcome, content, plus one tab for each open project/page—eliminating the need to go to a menu to switch views.  It looks like a Microsoft ribbon menu.
  9. When you hover your cursor over a photo or content element in one of the panels, the software automatically shows an enlarged preview of that item.
  10. The Auto fix option shows you four previews using different combinations of auto fix algorithms and parameters. To apply the fix, you simply click the desired option.
  11. The Change Background feature on the Home ribbon is a quick way to fill the background with a color, a gradient, or paper.
  12. You can add, mix, and rearrange Photo frame effects to create a wide variety of custom effects. You can also use Sample and Apply for frame effects.
  13. There are five additional image filters in the filter dialog: Palettize, Canny Edge, Show Edges, Blur effects, Despeckle.
  14. Change page template dialog shows a preview of what the current of page photos would look like on the selected page template. This allows you to quickly try different options without having to take the time to actually apply the change to the current page.
  15. You can select a page from another project (or the project you are working on) when changing the template of the current page, rather than being required to use only predesigned pages in kits.
  16. The Grid setting options go down to 1/8”. This is great for easy alignment.  You know how much I love grids!
  17. New spell checking options.  You can add your own words, names, terms, etc. to the spell checking dictionary.
  18. Tutorials on YouTube.
  19. Project types are grouped in categories, allowing for a much larger number of projects.
  20. Custom size project options include page dimensions, trim, and resolution. 72dpi – 300dpi
  21. You can double-click a project or page file in Windows Explorer to automatically launch that project or page in Artisan.
  22. You have the ability to open, edit and save JPG, PNG, and TIF files directly without the need to create a project or even a page file. You have the option of making Artisan the default viewer/editor for the supported image file types, allowing you to simply click on a JPG, PNG or TIFF file in Windows Explorer and have it open in the Artisan editor.
  23. You can export a selected set of pages from a project to a single multi-page PDF file.
  24. Local print capabilities include a wide range of page scaling and tiling options.
  25. For book projects with a personalized cover, the personalized cover is shown in the pages panel above the pages.
  26. The Wand cutter has a single threshold slider that controls how sensitive the wand is.
  27. Fun Gradient fills, categorized into four separate options.
  28. Format Photos has a Clean Up focus option.
  29. Tab lines can be set at an exact position on the ruler.
  30. The View ribbon allows you to Rotate the projects current view, which is useful for creating things like fold-over greeting cards.
  31. The Photos panel has the option: Show photos on this page.
  32. All three content panels (pages, photos, content) have three thumbnail size selectors.
  33. In Manage my activation codes you can see a list of all installed kits and their associated codes (if any), as well as a list of all codes and their associated kits (if any).
  34. Content panel has two small controls that allow you, with a single click, to increase or decrease the size of the content panel relative to the page size, making it easier to search for photos or digital art to use on the current page.
  35. Insert shape (including text shapes) includes several options:
    · Four fill options: color, transparent (for outlined shapes), gradient, or paper.
    · Outline (stroke) options: color, width, compound style, joint style, dash style, and dash caps. · Flip shape (horizontally)
    · Line format options (for individual lines, shape outlines, and shape text outlines)  include: color, width, dash style, dash caps, compound line style, and joint options.
  36. The Color picker provides fast access to colors you use, as well as advanced options for creating custom colors. It allows you to choose from:
    · Colors in selected image
    · Colors on page – (these first two choices are incredible tools to help you design)
    · Standard colors
    · Skin colors
    · Hair colors. Includes several new colors.
    · Personal art kits (created by you) containing colors.
    · Recently-used colors.
    · Sample color from screen. This includes a zoom view to show the individual pixel being sampled.
    · RGB
    · Hue, saturation and brightness.
  37. Convert to black and white options:
    · In Basic mode, you are given four previews to choose from.
    · In Advanced mode, options include: Standard TV conversion, predefined samples, hue adjustment, color channel adjustment, infrared file effect.
I hope this information helps answer many of your questions!

For further clarification and questions regarding Panstoria Artisan, please visit their website at:

For further clarification and questions regarding Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0, please contact their home office at:

If I can help you with questions or training please click on the “One on One Private Training” tab at the top of my blog page to schedule an appointment.  I would be happy to help you!

Thank you! Laurie


  1. I have been using Artisan for several weeks now and have to admit that I love it. After reading your list above of the improvements I have realized that I barely scratched the surface of the new abilities. I really need to go and figure out what each of the above does.

    Thank you so much for this info.

  2. And how can I send photos from Memory Manager directly to Artisan. I am not figuring that one out.

  3. Hi Missy,
    Make sure your Artisan project that you would like to send the photos to is open.
    In Memory Manager select the photos you would like to send to Artisan. Choose Share to: Storybook Creator. There is not an option that says Artisan. When you choose add the photos to an open StoryBook Creator project your Artisan project shows up in the options box!

  4. Yea!.. Laurie ~ love this posting. I will be linking this up to my blog. So glad you posted this:-)

  5. Thank you Laurie. I tried every which way to export them but did not have a project open. I like the crossover from SBC to Artisan. It works like a charm.

  6. Does Panstoria have a product similar to Memory Manager? If so, what is it called and can I "import" my Memory Manager data (photos, tags, dates, story-booking, etc.) into the product?

    Thank you.

  7. Yes Julie, the software is getting ready to release on July 15th. It is called Historian. Please refer to my most current blog posts for more info. It is exciting news!

    Thank you,

  8. Is Artisan similar to the Storybook Creator 3.0 or 4.0 version? Now that CM digital is going away it's time for me to look at new options. I really loved 3.0 but only sort of liked 4.0. I'm hoping Artisan is closer to the 3.0 version.

    1. Hi Kerry, Artisan is almost exactly the same as StoryBook Creator 4.0. I hope you grow to like it as much as I do!

      Thank you,

  9. Storybook 4.0 does not have cloning! I'm excited about that feature.
    Hoping for more streamlined features that won't take 5 clicks to do what you could get in only 1 with a well-designed program.
    SBC was driving me crazy with having to click over and over. Also to my knowledge, SBC did not have a way to change defaults like text font, text color, etc to make it more user friendly.
    I used MS PhotoDraw for years and hated to give it up- it was very user friendly & had lots of features I loved.
    I am hoping Artisan might be closer to it than SBC was.

  10. I lost Storybook 4 when my computer died. I managed to reinstall version 3 from a disk but cannot load any of my Creative Memories art kits into it because the activation codes are not recognised. If I buy Artisan will I need to repurchase those art kits?

  11. Wendy,

    If you purchase Artisan you would not have to repurchase the art kits. Here is the link to purchase Artisan: Artisan -

    Thank you,

  12. I am a long time user of SB3 and 4. I need to purchase a new computer and then will purchase Artisan. Will I be able to transfer my content from SB4 to Artisan or will I need to purchase new.

  13. Cmwaring,
    Yes you can transfer all of your CM content to Artisan, Check out the "Important Links & FAQ's" tab a the top of my blog for more info.
    Thank you,


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