First Do No Harm




All of our reviews are aimed at Windows users. Sorry about that Mac users.






ACD Systems - the leader in image management










































ACDSee Pro 3




























 ACDsee Photo Manager  

If you own a camera, you need ACDsee.

I’ve not found a more powerful program for managing my photos.

The program is customizable, flexible, and simple to use. Other programs tell you how intuitive they are, but this one is. You can use it right away, and over the coming weeks discover it’s power and flexibility.

The first time you open ACDsee, it automatically begins to catalog all your photos in you’re My Pictures folder. Cataloging creates thumbnails, indexes, and stores information about your pictures. This allows ACDsee to open sub folders of My Pictures very quickly and display the thumbnails.

One of the drawbacks of Windows’ thumbnails in the Windows Explorer is that they are one size only. In ACDsee, using a simple slide at the top right of the thumbnails, you can resize the thumbnails from 25pixels by 18pixels, to 240 X 180.

This is your opening screen. Your folder system is top left, thumbnails are in the middle, and down on the bottom left is the photo you've selected. Directly above the thumbnails are choices for filtering (removing certain files from the thumbnail section), sorting, etc, and to the right, directly above the top right thumbnail is the slide to modify the size of the thumbnails.

I use the “raw” mode when I’m shooting pictures, and these are some very large files. After copying them to my disk, I open ACDsee and go to that folder. I just let ACDsee take its time creating thumbnails and I go do something else. This way, when I’m ready to edit my photo (in the raw mode, they are not photos yet, but data) all the thumbnails will be built and I can just breeze through them.

Below each thumbnail is listed the size (in KB), the date and time last modified, and the size listed as the number of pixels wide by the number of pixels tall and the “depth” of the pixels. Depth is something most of us have no knowledge of, however, you’ll see that most of your pictures are 24b (24bit) or 256 (mainly in black and white images).

Here I've shrunk the thumbnails.

In addition to this information, you can open a Properties Pane and enter more information about your photos. You can add a caption, a date you want associated with the photo, the name of the photographer, a rating of your own choice (that you can use to sort your pictures), a whole lot of text about the photo (up to nearly 5,000 characters), and even assign the photo to a category of your choosing (or you can create a whole new category).

While viewing thumbnails, you can sort your photos according to size, date, file type, properties, caption, rating and more. You can even filter out certain files so that they don’t appear in your thumbnails like non image files, hidden files, media files (yes, ACDsee will play the media files too), and folder.

How you view your thumbnails is customizable too, with up to seven different ways (though most of us will simply view the thumbnails).

Here I've selected the top row of photos. Note that above them, above the choices to sort, etc., there are now more choices for copying, moving, converting their formats, and much more. Once highlighted, you can even drag them into an email or into another program.

If you have an editor (like PhotoShop®) you can tell ACDsee to use that editor and you can work on your photos in the editor of your choice (when you return to ACDsee, it won’t show your modifications right away, but they’re there). You can also use the editor in ACDsee to modify your photos for exposure, color, red eye, sharpness, and noise reduction. You can also resize, crop, rotate, or add a special effect to the picture (however, you’ll have to order one of their add-ons to get all the special effects). ACDsee comes with some pretty good effects already and I’m sure that if you’re anything like me, you’ll be playing with them for hours.

No matter how many different photo editors you have, you can hook them all up to ACDsee and use the one you choose for the photo of your choice.

You can also acquire photos from your scanner or camera. The scanner software built into ACDsee is better than the software that came with my scanner. I had a heck of a time scanning old photos in using the original software; the colors were off, the brightness and contrast were off. I was about ready to toss the scanner, but with ACDsee, scanning was a breeze. And I found this out by accident when I got myself a brand new computer, loaded all the software on, discovered that I had to scan a document right away but couldn’t locate the scanner software. I remembered that ACDsee had an Acquire feature, opened her up, and bingo, it worked better than the original software. Needless to say, I’ve not reinstalled the scanner software, and I won’t be either.

Does your camera have a “raw mode” setting? Do you have pictures that are a very weird type from some old and obsolete photo program you no longer use? ACDsee can read every picture type you can think of and more you don’t even know exist.

Here I've clicked on a thumbnail. It opens fully, where you can blow it up to examine it closely, or choose one of the view options as i have here, and wherever you put your cursor, you get a magnifying glass that will blow up just that part of the photo. You can barely see the heads of the two kids swimming in the falls in the large photo, but in the magnifying glass box you can see them much better.

ACDsee can also convert your photos to a huge number of formats. Additionally, ACDsee allows you to batch modify photos, and there are safeguards built in so that you don’t overwrite your originals. There are advanced options, such as setting the JPEG qualities of those photos. And if you have some photos in Portrait Mode and some in Landscape mode and you want to re-size them, you can choose all of one mode (by holding down the Control Key) and then convert those first, then come back and convert the rest. Works like a charm.

Finally, you can create all sorts of ways to present your photos. You can create executable files that you can copy to CD and send to friends. You can create PDF presentations (without music) that you can share, or web presentation. You can also create screen savers. The number of transitions to choose from is limited. The size of your presentations or screen savers is quite large. You can even create a DVD that you can play on your television so that friends and family can marvel at your exquisite eye while your favorite music plays in the background (well, if the FCC doesn’t break down your door and arrest you for copying music you purchased with your hard earned dollars).

The photo above this one is in the raw mode. What you see here is the photo after I've clicked on the edit icon, modified it in PhotoShop, and returned to see the changes. Note that you can see the kids' pink towel off to the right on the rocks, which was nearly invisible in the raw mode.

And if you want to print your photos but don’t have the right printer for the project, ACDsee will print out your pictures online and snail mail them to you (as long as you have a credit card). They can also put your treasures permanently on coffee mugs, plates, t-shirts, you name it.

If you have a digital camera, you need ACDsee.

To get ACDsee or look at some of their other products, just go to the link below:

 ACDSee Foto-Manager 12



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