ACDSee 14 splits its features into four categories. In ‘Manage’ you can import and organise your digital photo collection. Importing from DVDs, smartphones and devices plugged into your PC is a quick and easy process. Batch conversion, resizing and renaming tools are welcome features. While the interface isn’t particularly attractive, it is clear, with all the tools easily accessible.
Other organisational tools to tag photos can be set by right-clicking a photo, and then filtered through options on the right-hand side of the screen. You can tag photos with categories, give them ratings out of five and apply colour labels.
Automatic categories such as ISO, focal length, file size and aperture can also be added. The categories and labels can be edited to suit your needs – although a failing in the design of the interface means that some menu choices are shown in black text against a dark grey background, which makes them difficult to read.
In ‘View’ you can display and examine photos. A click of a button presents the images full screen, and basic editing can be done. The ‘Edit‘ category is where the bulk of the adjustments are made.
The usual suspects are here such as red eye reduction, exposure, white balance and sharpening tools. This isn’t a Photoshop killer, but it’s good enough to quickly jump into a photo and perform a few tweaks.
Most settings can be tweaked via sliders, and there are some presets available, although some of them aren’t that helpful. Unlike with some tools, no backup of the original photo is automatically made, however, so any changes you make and then save are permanent.
‘Online’ allows for uploading images to ACDSee Online for backup and sharing purposes. You get 10GB of space with ACDSee 14 – perhaps not quite enough for large photo collections, but it’s a start.
You can share what you’ve uploaded to ACDSee Online to Twitter and Facebook – but it’s a shame there’s no direct upload option.
Overall, this is a software suite with some very good tools for organising your digital photos. The editing tools are also competent.
However, if you want greater control over how your photos look, you’ll want to stick with a dedicated image editor. Unfortunately, the poor interface lets ACDSee 14 down.
Intel Pentium® III / AMD Athlon processor or equivalent, 512MB RAM, 250MB free hard drive space, display adapter at 1024×768 resolution, Microsoft Windows XP Home, Windows Vista or Windows 7
We like… The number of features and tools included is impressive
We’d like… An overhauled interface that’s more attractive and easy to use
ACDSee has some great tools for organising and editing photos, but the interface could be a lot better.