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ACDSee Pro 8 review: New editing features plus online storage

Jon L. Jacobi | Dec. 18, 2014
ACDSee Pro is considered one of the premier photo organizing and editing packages, and for good reason. Although sometimes awkward, it's powerful and "gets it" when it comes to the needs of photographers. Version 8 adds some nice new editing features that "get it," a subscription-based purchase option, and some rather expensive online storage.

ACDSee's interface thankfully avoids the hordes of hard-to-decipher icons that plague competitors such as Photoshop and PhotoDirector, and the ability to tear off panes and use them as separate windows is handy for multiple display use. But the odd mix of small and large text in the main window leads your eye to the wrong spot too often. Also, Develop and Edit modes are extremely similar in appearance and function which has generated a lot of new-user questions in forums that cover ACDSee. It might be more intuitive to simply toggle destructive and non-destructive editing.

One thing I like about ACDSee is its ability to capture frames from video and add them to your collection — handy when you realize you captured that moment on video, but don't have any good stills. You can do this with a lot of video players, but who wants to jump back and forth between programs all the time? Another of those instances where ACDSee gets it.

ACDSee Pro is sold as a discrete, one-time purchase for $100 (version 8 is a $60 upgrade for existing users), as well as a $80 yearly subscription plan, the aforementioned 365, which also lets you use other ACDSee products such as Video Converter and Video Studio. 

Although ACDSee is a sometimes muddled in its approach, once you learn it, it's an facile tool for organizing and editing hordes of photos. The addition of SeeDrive and the new pixel-targeted editing features make it more so. For new users it's well worth a look, but for those who already own it, version 8 is a rather mild upgrade.


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