Broderbund Desktop Publishing Software

PrintMaster 2011 Platinum Box shot © Broderbund
PrintMaster 2011 Platinum Box shot. © Broderbund

Broderbund desktop publishing software has been around for almost a quarter of a century in one form or another. PrintMaster, The Print Shop, as well as Calendar Creator are the most well-known consumer desktop publishing software and specialty programs. Encore Software is the publisher of these Broderbund titles.

Other names associated with these Broderbund desktop publishing software titles as former publishers and former or current distributors are Kyocera, MicroLogic Systems, Mindscape, Inc., The Learning Company, Mattel, Riverdeep, Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep Group, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Encore Software and Navarre Corporation.

You may see the software (even current versions) listed under one of these names from time to time.

The Print Shop:

The Print Shop was a DOS-based PC program that came over to Windows and more recently to the Mac. Over the years there have been various specialty editions of The Print Shop focused on just business cards or just newsletters but the main program is an all-around desktop publishing and creative printing program for greeting cards, posters, brochures, newsletters, business cards, banners, labels, and much more. The Print Shop features lots of clip art and fonts and templates with more available online (usually by subscription or for registered users). Up until 2009 The Print Shop built on each version, adding a few extra features, more fonts, more clip art, and more templates. Then, along with Broderbund's PrintMaster program, a 2.0 version came out. The 2.0 version is a complete overhaul of the program.

Same name, different program, different technology that is not compatible with previous versions.

User Reviews of The Print Shop

Current Versions of The Print Shop:

The Print Shop Mac; and for Windows: The Print Shop 23.1 Pro Publisher Deluxe, The Print Shop 23.1 Deluxe, The Print Shop 2.0 Professional, The Print Shop 2.0 Deluxe, The Print Shop 2.0, plus specialty editions for business cards, invoices, etc.

  • The Print Shop for Mac & Windows 23.1 & 2.0 (Buy Direct)
  • The Print Shop Various Versions (Compare Prices)


Like The Print Shop, the PrintMaster series is a consumer level desktop publishing program that offers lots of fonts, clip art, and templates for creating calendars, stationery, greeting cards, posters, business cards, postcards, scrapbooks, and more. And, like The Print Shop, the version 2.0 edition introduced in 2009, along with PrintMaster 2011 are new technology and not compatible with PrintMaster 18 and earlier. PrintMaster 2 and 2011 are PC and Mac compatible.

User Reviews of PrintMaster

Current Versions of PrintMaster:

PrintMaster Platinum 18.1 for Windows; PrintMaster Express 2.0, PrintMaster Gold 2.0, PrintMaster Platinum 2.0, PrintMaster 2011 Platinum for Mac and Windows

  • PrintMaster 18 for Windows and 2.0 and 2011 for Windows & Mac (Buy Direct)
  • PrintMaster Old/New Versions (Compare Prices)

The Print Shop Deluxe 23 vs. PrintMaster Platinum 18:

The comparison, below, is between the two versions of these programs that came before the complete overhaul to the new 2.0 editions with their new technology.

Broderbund produces two different popular desktop publishing titles: The Print Shop and PrintMaster.

There is a dizzying array of The Print Shop and PrintMaster titles. For simplicity, here's a quicky comparison of two comparable titles: The Print Shop 23 Deluxe and PrintMaster Platinum 18. They are both easy to learn and use, come with helpful wizards and templates to jumpstart the design process, and include photo editing, drawing, and text tools that make them good all-in-one packages for simple desktop publishing and print creativity.

  • Pictures, Pictures, Pictures (and Templates and Fonts)
    In terms of amount of templates, images, and fonts that come bundled with the programs -- they run about even. The Print Shop has about 150 more fonts and 60,000 or so more images. Each includes a subscription to Million Image Club but it's only 6 months for The Print Shop Deluxe and a full year for PrintMaster Deluxe. You will need Internet access.
  • Text Tools & Projects
    The Print Shop Deluxe offers an edge over PrintMaster in its Layout and Text Flow tools -- a plus if you do a lot of text-intensive or multipage documents like brochures and newsletters. Some of its pro-like features include Master Pages, Text-Wrapping, Widow & Orphan Control, Kerning & Leading, PDF and TIFF export options.

    PrintMaster does offer alignment tools and mail merge and does PDF export but its overall features seem geared a bit more toward crafty creative projects with the inclusion of the PrintMaster Scrapbook Creator, Arcsoft Photo FunHouse, and a Party Set Creator Wizard.

Between these two Broderbund products, if your interests lean more toward fun photo projects, scrapbooks, cards, and such then PrintMaster Platinum 18 may be more to your liking (and it costs a little bit less). If, in addition to greeting cards and other fun photo projects, you envision yourself doing newsletters and possibly more small business type documents then The Print Shop Deluxe 23 with its better text and layout tools may be a better all-around choice.

More Broderbund Software:

Other Design software from Broderbund includes Calendar Creator, MyMemories Photo Studio, Scrapbook Boutique, Web Design Studio, Greeting Card Creator, and ClickArt Fonts. Specific titles and versions change frequently. (Buy Direct)

In addition to software used for desktop publishing projects, Broderbund and Encore have many more consumer titles in categories from Education to Home & Landscape to Business & Home Office as well as Games.


Where to Buy Broderbund Software:

Broderbund desktop publishing software can be found at a variety of retail stores including Walmart, Target, Office Depot, Best Buy, and Fry's Electronics. Any store in your area that carries software is likely to have at least a few Broderbund titles. For a greater selection (including the very latest editions) shop online.

  • The Print Shop Various Versions (Compare Prices)
  • The Print Shop: Business Cards (Compare Prices)
  • PrintMaster Old/New Versions (Compare Prices)
  • Calendar Creator-Various Versions (Compare Prices)
  • Scrapbook Boutique (Compare Prices)

User Reviews of PrintMaster and The Print Shop:

The reviews came mostly right after the release of version 2.0, which caused concern for many longtime users of the software. See the links after this article for submitting your own reviews of any version of these programs.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
    A fan for 3 versoins of Printshop, June 20, 2010 By Hydrojana
    "I have always promoted your product for the last 10 years. I have been my agencies scrapbooker for decade birthdays and retirements. Now I can't because the new version for Windows 7 is so limiting, no freehand crop, no return to last function, no fix photos - it's amazing how down hill it went. I keep trying to do simple projects and it's impossible - I really hate what you have done. Are you planning on going out of business and just wan to ride on the shirt tales of what had been wonderful software? Just horrible!"
  • 1 out of 5 stars
    Printmaster platinum 2.0, January 12, 2010 By marycharles
    "I am ABSOLUTELY DISAPPOINTED with this product !! My old computer was too old to upgrade, it was cheaper to just buy a new one,so I knew my version of creatacard wouldn't work on it. I am SO SORRY I wasted my money on the Printmaster platinum 2.0 version. I was using the American Greetings 3 Creatacard plus and would think the company would keep such a wonderful product available. I used it for 12 years and didn't have any complaint about it,except that it won't work on my new computer !!"
  • out of 5 stars
    printmaster platinum 2.0, December 2, 2009 By trufflesmom
    "This program is a piece of junk. I have been using Printmaster for years and upgrade to new version every couple of years. I just bought Platinum 2.0 and It is horrible. The other versions are simple to use and have endless uses. They were by far my favorite softwear programs. This however will be removed from my computer. Slow, difficult and does none of the things the others could do. I don't know how they can call it the same program. Save your money or purchase and earlier version. You will love them and you will hate this."
  • 1 out of 5 stars
    and Print Master 2.0, September 25, 2009 By BarryUlrich
    "Just purchased Print Master 2.0 thinking it was an upgrade from Print Master 18, but found (in conversation with Broderbund customer service) that the two programs were developed and produced by different companies. I discoved only after installing Print Master 2.0 that it does NOT RECOGNIZE any of the projects/files created in Print Master 18."
  • 5 out of 5 stars
    The problem I have, December 19, 2008 By fivetwelve
    "I have been using PrintMaster for over 10 years. Love it. Still do. But I just got a new computer and it has Vista 64bit Home Premium on it. Big hard drive and lots of memory. I read the Microsoft site and it says that PM was Vista ready. I bought it installed it then when I would open MS Works I would get a pop up that said I had over 500 fonts installed and should remove some. I don't know whose fault it is they each blame each other but I had over 1100 fonts in my font folder and the copies of most of them were from PM. I don't know if PM installed copies or if MS Works grabbed copies of all those fonts I just don't want them in there. So I uninstalled the program and that problem went away......but now I don't have my program..... I hope one of them come up with a fix........probably a new version of both products LOL..... But if you have Vista 32 bit system don't hesitate using PM you will love its ease of use and the wonderful things you will produce......"