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ACDSee Pro Photo Editing Software Review

ACDSee Pro Photo Editing Software - Introduction

ACDSee Pro

Post Updated January 2018. Please Note: There is now a newer version of ​ACDSee Pro software,​ more links at end of article or go check out ACDSee Pro 2018.

As a professional photographer I have found that ACDSee photo editing software has always been a perfect complement to Photoshop. As Photoshop improves and moves ahead, so does ACDSee. This review is once again from a user's point of view (me) that uses the software almost every day for many different tasks alongside Adobe's Photoshop CC.

So, if you are reading this, please remember this. My review of ACDSee pro photo editing software is as impartial as I can make it without sounding too biased. This program has a learning curve which can be quite intense depending on how much you want out of it. In general I find each version of ACDSee Pro Photo Editing Software better than its predecessor. That is both in terms of features and ease of use.

Most of the time when I am working in Photoshop, I have ACDSee Pro running in the background. I personally find that the ease of reviewing and scrolling through finished and edited images is better than using Photoshop's "memory sapping" browser function.

Also, the ease of viewing your images is much quicker and clearer, but that is just my opinion. Anyway, here is a brief run down of ACDSee Pro's many features, a lot of which are similar to ACDSee standard photo editing manager. However, Pro is the one I have and it obviously has more functionality.

ACDSee Pro Photo Editing Software - Workflow

As life and technology speeds up, everyone wants everything yesterday. How you organise your workflow is paramount to giving an efficient and professional service to your clients.

Even if what you do is for pleasure, having the ability to get things done quickly and easily makes life just that little bit sweeter. I'm a gadget and techno freak. I love "stuff" that does "things" to other stuff to make even more funky stuff.

Anyway...that's for another day.

"View, process, edit, organize, catalog, publish, and archive your photo collections with the precision and control demanded by professional photographers around the globe."

One of the reasons I love ACDSee is the ease of using and browsing my thousands of images. The three screen-captures below show you how I view my typical workflow on a normal day.

ACDSee Pro - 1. Full Screen

ACDSee Pro

Once I have edited an image in Photoshop, a single click on the file opens the picture with ACDSee. (If ACDSee is not your default browser, it is easy to change. Simply right click on the file and select "open with" and change to ACDSee from your program menu).

With a hit of the "F" key, you see the image in its full glory and Technicolor assuming your screen is calibrated correctly. I find the image colours rich, sharp and exactly how I wanted them during processing, some editors tend to show slight differences.

They also print exactly how I see them in ACDSee too.

Hit "F" again and you are back to the menus. In this full screen mode, you have many editing choices available to you.

The RAW editing process in later version of ACDSee Pro gives just about as many options as Adobe Photoshop. If you are new to RAW editing, this is a great and affordable place to start learning about RAW, the results are pretty good too.

It will also allow you to work on the latest RAW files from the Canon EOS5D Mark IV or Panasonic GH5 without the need for any expensive upgrades.

Once the image is open, you have a host of options available from colour management right through to adding sound clips to your files! The real beauty for me at this point is that by scrolling the mouse wheel you can flick through your images in any folder quickly and easily.

ACDSee Pro - 2. More Function Menus

A simple double click on the image reveals even more features as you enter the management mode for your images. This area is fully customizable for each photographer as you can create a layout that suits your own individual workflow.

ACDSee Pro

Your layout is saved automatically and reloads each time you use ACDSee Pro Photo Editing Software. However, making any changes is really quick and simple...again, speeding up your workflow process.

The management area can be made to host as little or as much information as you need. What you see in​the image above is my typical layout. This shows;

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    Thumbnails of all images in that folder (size-adjustable)
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    The files and folders within your PC (top left) for easy browsing
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    Luminancse histograms (left)
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    All exif data (including keywording/descriptions for stock images) and the histogram for that image below the preview

There is also an organizing section where you can place images in certain categories. This is fantastic for me when organizing stock images. In fact, I am so impressed with this function, here is a small section just for this feature…

ACDSee Pro - 3. Organizing

Ok! Let's say, like me, you have 50 or more folders on your PC. They are full of unorganized stock photos and all dated "as and when" you shot the images. Note: This works just as well for any images you have...weddings, family etc.

Now, you want to organize these into each category such as landscapes, people, objects, travel and so on.

Normally, I would go through each folder and "cut/copy and paste" each image into a new folder for that topic or category. Very time-consuming.

With ACDSee Pro Photo Editing Software you simply go to the View menu and select "Categories". A new panel will appear which you can click and drag to any part of your layout.

You can also open the "image basket" in the same way to make life even easier.

ACDSee Pro Categories

If you then go to:

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    View
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    Filter by
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    Categories
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    New category

...you can add as many new categories as you wish. You can even add a sub-category.

ACDSee Pro - Categories

What you now do is open each of your 50 image folders one by one. As you go through, you can either click and drag each image into its related category (automatically leaving the original where it is), or drag and drop all related images into the image basket at the bottom. Then drag the entire selection into the category in one go once you have been through your entire stock collection.

Note: One thing to remember here is that it is difficult to mess things up. All you are doing is "tagging" your images for each category. The originals all stay exactly where they are.

Once you have tagged all your images is where it gets super cool and quick. You simply click on a category and in an instant, all your images appear within that category. No messing about copying and pasting into new files. The management of your files is a piece of cake.

ACDSee will instantly retrieve all tagged images for that category and display them in one place for you to organize further. Once in a folder, category or image basket, you can:

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    Email them
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    Print them
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    Copy or move them
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    Resize them

...in fact if you can think of it, ACDSee have included it in the Pro version of their image editing/management software.

Untagging Images

If you then wish to untag all images within a category to get back to how things were, simple! You just:

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    Select that category to bring up the images
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    Select all images in that category (Shortcut - Ctrl A)
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    Right click on any image - Set Categories - Uncategorize all selected items

As I said before, each image stays in its original folder, you are simply untagging them. Brilliant.

What I also like about this is the fact that I like to keep all of my original images in folders dated and created when I took them. JAN06 - FEB06 - MAR06 etc. That way I can find the originals easily.

What this categorizing allows me to do is instantly go through all of these folders and select each category and manage them as I please.

For example, I can select all landscape stock images, set ACDSee to "resize them all for email" and place the resized images in a new folder and then instantly email them to a client.

ACDSee Pro Photo Editing Software - Slideshow

Also, try this. Once you have categorized your images, click on the category. Select all images, go to the top menu and click slideshow. You can have an instant slideshow of that category to show your friends, family or clients with smooth transitions in full screen. No messing about. You can also configure your slideshow using certain display parameters. 

ACDSee Pro Photo Editing Software - HTML Galleries

If you run and manage your own website or blog you will like this feature. ACDSee Pro will easily and quickly generate all the necessary files for you to make up your own gallery. They have a number of templates for you to choose from which you can alter to match you site.

You just fill in the blanks and set a few parameters and away you go. You can even make the image a link through to a sales page for stock or fine art prints. Once the page, HTML and CSS styling pages are done, you simply load them into your editor and upload to your site.

Not bad considering that this is first and foremost just an editing program.

Other features include (in their own words);

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    Lightning-fast RAW image previews
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    Powerful RAW processing that gives you full control over your images with precision tools for adjusting white balance, exposure, sharpness, and noise
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    Extensive support for RAW formats from Nikon, Canon, Konica-Minolta, Olympus, Fuji, and Pentax cameras. View the full list
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    Full color management support for ICC and ICM color profiles
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    Visual tagging feature allows you to quickly sort and select preferred photographs
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    Integrated support for the DNG (Digital Negative Specification) RAW format
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    Batch editing of thousands of photographs at once using multiple functions
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    Fully integrated IPTC support for interoperability with PhotoShop Captions
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    Watermark your photographs with graphics or text to reflect copyright and ownership laws, or to overlay business-related information on specific photographs
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    The Shadow/Highlight tool allows you to brighten only the dark areas of a photo, or darken only overexposed areas, or do both simultaneously
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    HTML album templates designed to suit your professional needs. Customize them by adding your contact information, company logo, or a look and feel appropriate for your business
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    Customizable Browser layouts, short-cut keys, and metadata meet your personalized requirements and streamline your workflow
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    Quick editing features that allow you to easily fix common lens distortions such as perspective, barrel, pincushion, and fish-eye
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    A complete User Guide and tutorials that make sure you hit the ground running

With ACDSee Pro Photo Editing Software, they have added a multitude of other features that are just too many to review here.

ACDSee Pro 2018

For example, ACDSee Pro 2018 includes:

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    Smart Erase
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    Action Browser
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    Grain Tool
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    Liquify
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    Pixel Targeting
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    Polygon Selection Tool
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    Chromatic Aberration
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    Lens Correction
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    Improved Performance
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    Keyboard Shortcuts
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    Improved Import
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    Categories/Keyword Panes

What I have done is simply given you an overview of this lovely bit of software which should give you food for thought.

Whether you use Photoshop or not, ACDSee Pro Photo Editing Software will make your photography life and business a lot more manageable!

For a lot more information on features and pricing for this great addition to your workflow, just follow the link below. Having personally tried many image software programs, I can honestly say this is one of my favourites.

More info plus FREE trial: ACDSee Pro Photo Editing Software

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