Many Thanks for checking and Many Thanks to the Powers That Be as well.
I completely understand about the hazards involved when doing something with a software program that is beyond the program's design. That is why I've included as many pros and cons as I could think of that might be revelant to this process.
It is very likely that there are other and possibly simpler and sleeker ways of sharing content between Broderbund programs. But, this is what worked for me. And, many thanks to Maurice and Spamless from the old Broderbund forums for helping to steer me in the right direction.
Through many versions of AG CreataCard, PrintMaster and Print Shop, graphic and project collections (including Premier Collections I and II) have been stored in file sets that have the same file extensions in each set (i.e. each set has a *.bdr file, a *.bdt file, a *.cdr file, a *.cdt file, an *.ini file, etc.). This allows many (but not all) of the file sets from one program to work in the other programs. For the newer versions of those programs, each file set consists of 15 files with the same name, but with different extensions. For example, in Print Shop 20 Deluxe, there are 15-file sets named artdisc1.*, artdisc2.*, Christies.*, JohnMcPherson.*, etc. There are some sets in some programs that don't contain 15 files. But, I don't know if the process below will work when a set doesn't contain all 15 files; because I've never gotten around to trying it. The only thing I know for certain is that it won't work if there is no *.cdt file or if the program doesn't know where to find the *.cdt file.
The easiest way to share a 15-file set from one program in another program is to just copy the complete file set into the \Content folder of the other program. So, you would, for example, copy a 15-file set from the \The Print Shop\Content folder to the \PrintMaster 16\Content folder. This doesn't work as well with AG CreataCard 8 as it does with Printmaster and Print Shop; because CAC 8 will often generate error messages (which can be ignored in some cases but not in others). And, there are a few other problems.
First, the file sets are not stored as individual files on the CDs (at least, not for the newer versions). So, if you want to access a 15-file set from any version of CreataCard, PrintMaster or Print Shop, you may have to install that version. And, with some older versions, you may have to install the Art CDs after installing the program. And, you will have to be especially careful to not install an earlier version in the same folder with a newer version because this is almost certain to cause the newer version to be corrupted.
Second, since many of the same graphics are found in all versions of the same software, sharing 15-file sets from more than one version will cause many graphics to be displayed more than once in the Art Gallery. I know of no way to prevent this.
Third, copying the 15-file sets from one program to another will cause the same files to exist on the hard drive in two locations. Later, I'll explain a way to share the file sets without duplicating the files in more than one location.
Fourth, not all of the 15-file sets will be recognized by other programs. For example, Print Shop 20 Deluxe will recognize the 15-file sets for PrintMaster 11's Art CD 1, Art CD 2 and Art CD 3. But, Print Shop 20 Deluxe will not recognize the 15-file sets for PrintMaster 11's Art CD 4, Art CD 5 and Art CD 6 (at least, it won't for me). The only way that I've found to determine which 15-file sets are recognized and which aren't is explained below.
Fifth, it is not always easy to determine which 15-file sets a program is recognizing, even when you check the Select Graphic Collection list in the Art Gallery. This is because many of the Graphic Collections don't specify which version of which program the Collection came from. My method for working around this problem involves a very minor edit of the *.ini files for each 15-file set (but only after backing up the original *.ini file, of course).
Each *.ini file for each 15-file set will contain text which looks similar to this text from the PM16ArtDisc2.ini file:
Friendly Name=PrintMaster Art Disc 2
CD Directory=[[H]]\setup\ProgramFilesFolder\PrintMaster 16\Content
CD Name=PrintMaster Art Disc 2
ArtDisc2=The PrintMaster 16 Art Disc 2
PM16PROGRAM=The PrintMaster 16 Program Disc
Nearly all *.ini files have one or more 'Friendly Name' lines. And, many also have a section that contains the path name to the *.cdt file, which is the core of the 15-file set (without the *.cdt file, the graphics and projects cannot be accessed). Since the 'Friendly Name' is the name that is displayed in the Select Graphic Collection list in the Art Gallery, I will usually enter a new Friendly Name when the Friendly Name doesn't fully identify the content or source of that 15-file set. And, I will change the path to the *.cdt file, when appropriate (I'm not sure this is necessary; but, I do it anyway).
The first time I tried this, I just copied the 15-file sets to the \Content folder for the program I wanted to use them in, opened the program, opened the Art Gallery, checked the Select Graphic Collection list and made a list of which 15-file sets the program was recognizing. Then, I went back to the \Content folder and deleted the 15-file sets that the program didn't recognize.
Then I came up with one method for sharing 15-file sets between programs without duplicating the file sets on the hard drive. This is a little more complicated and involves editing the registry. So, you'll want to be sure to backup the registry before you try this.
First, I created a folder that is not a subfolder of any of the Broderbund programs (for me, this folder is on a different partition). Then, I created subfolders for each program, copied the 15-file sets to the appropriate subfolders, then made sure that the same 15-file sets were removed from the \Content folders for all of the programs that would be sharing the 15-file sets - to prevent duplication. If you like, you could copy all 15-file sets to a single folder; but, I like to keep my 15-file sets separated by program.
Then, I opened the registry, backed up the registry, drilled down to \My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Broderbund Software\Print\Shared then added a key for each Broderbund product, with the key pointing to the folder where the files for that product are stored. For example, I added a key that pointed to the folder where the PrintMaster 15-file sets were stored, then I added a key that pointed to the folder where the Print Shop 15-file sets were stored.
To add a key, right click on the \Shared folder, select New Key, type the name of the key, then press Enter. To point to a folder, right click on (Default) for the key you just created, select Modify then, in the Value Data box, type the complete path to the folder. If your Registry doesn’t already have a \Shared folder as a subfolder to the \Print folder, right click on the \Print folder, select New Key, then name that key Shared.
There are several things that may have to be watched out for when this is done. For the older versions that install the Art CDs separate from the installation of the program, it may be a good idea to copy the 15-file sets to a different folder, then uninstall the Art CDs - to prevent conflict or duplication. And, if/when a Broderbund product is reinstalled, it’s probably a good idea to delete any files in the \Content folder that are already present in the 15-file sets - again to prevent conflict or duplication. And, if/when the primary hard drive is reformatted and reinstalled, the keys may have to be added to the Registry again (unless you know how to export and then import just those keys - something I haven’t had the guts to try yet). And, if the 15-file sets are stored in a folder on a hard drive that is about to be reformatted, this whole process will probably have to be repeated (which is why I keep the 15-file sets on a different partition, which I never reformat).
Well, that's pretty much what I did. I hope my explanation isn't too confusing. But, if it is, let me know and I'll try to clear it up.
Never say "Never" - there's always an exception to every rule