Review: Edit and manage large photo collections with ACDSee 16

Edit and manage your photos with this top-quality tool.

ACDSee 16 is the latest version of this pro-class photo editor and collection manager. It's compatible with previous ACD Systems releases and comes with a database upgrade wizard. ACDSee 16 continues to emphasize ease of use and customer service. It still makes it easy to post and share images online, but it adds new features like the Info Palette, which collects and displays image data in one convenient spot; the Reverse Geocode feature for adding geotags; the Lens Blur tool for creating realistic bokeh effects; and Tilt-Shift for transforming images into simulated miniature scale models. Extras include slideshow, wallpaper, and screen capture tools. ACDSee 16 isn't cheap, but it's affordable, especially compared to some of the competition, and you can try it free for 15 days.

Installing and setting up ACDSee 16 takes several steps, including choosing plug-ins. We could also choose whether to associate the program with all image formats or just unassociated ones, which let us try ACDSee 16 without changing our current settings. A Quick Start Guide toured the program's features and let us set our preferences. ACDSee 16's user interface is busy but not confusing, and it bears many features common to image editors, such as the navigation sidebar with a tree view on the left, with a similar on the right for Mode-specific features. ACDSee 16 is based around four Modes: Manage, View, Edit, and Online. Four large buttons in the upper-right corner accesses each Mode with a single click. New users will need to set up a database to store their images, but if you've got an existing ACD account, you can simply log in and run the database conversion wizard (we did; it's fast and easy). Once you've loaded an image, ACDSee 16 transitions seamlessly between Modes, so that we could go directly from viewing an image to editing it to posting it online.

ACDSee 16 has more features and power than most users need, but it's well within the means of serious amateurs and those with large collections, and a bargain among pro tools.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of ACDSee 16.1.88. The trial version is limited to 15 days.

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