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Blurb BookSmart 2.5 review

Popular photo book service gets a Snow Leopard update

Blurb BookSmart 2.5
You can drag and drop photos from your iPhoto Library with ease

Our Verdict

A nice integrated online shop, but overall not as good as iPhoto's Books


  • Faster and more features
  • Can sell books online


  • BookSmart interface looks basic
  • Not as wieldy as iPhoto's books

We took a look at photo book service Blurb about a year ago, but now that there's a version 2.5 of its BookSmart software out that's fully Snow Leopard compatible, it's worth revisiting.

On the surface, not much looks to have changed. BookSmart is a photo book creation program that you download to your Mac and use to access the photos in your iPhoto Library.

Drag and drop them into pre-designed page templates and when you're ready, order your finished book from Blurb. You can even upload your book to the Blurb shop where you can sell it at a profit.

The BookSmart software is definitely faster than before. There are new features too, such as grids for precise alignment of text and images, the ability to save your custom layouts for re-use and the option to import photos from online sources, like Flickr or PhotoBucket.


The best new feature, however, is the ability to upload PDFs created in other programs (like Adobe InDesign) for sale via its online shop. For PC users, BookSmart will be just fine, but on the Mac platform it's up against iPhoto.

Sure, it offers more variety and customisation, but its themes still aren't as well designed and it just doesn't have the same ease of use. Drop too many photos onto a template in iPhoto and it adapts to accommodate them; not so here.

If you want to sell your books, then Blurb has that option, but for homemade photo books we still prefer not to wander too far from iPhoto.

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