With faster RAW image processing, more customization options and expanded online functionality, ACDSee Pro 3 is a versatile app for organizing, editing and sharing your image library. The interface is well designed and visually appealing. The program is built around four main modes: Manage, View, Process and Online. To switch between them, you simply click on one of the buttons at the top of the screen or use shortcut keys. The modes are arranged according to a typical workflow. Windows only. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: ACD Systems, www.acdsee.com.
This mode is where all importing, browsing, organizing and searching of photos takes place. After you’ve imported, the left pane displays images by folders, calendar entries or Favorites. Clicking on a folder shows you all of its images in the middle of the screen, and moving the cursor over a thumbnail enlarges it. Clicking on the image gives you a larger view in the Preview pane at the bottom-left part of the screen.
On the right side of the screen is the Organize pane for tagging or rating images as you view them. There are several options for viewing photo and file info such as by captions, keywords, notes, ratings and categories. Some of the Auto Categories by which images can be grouped include aperture, files size, focal length range and ISO speed rating, or you can create a custom panel that combines information from any of those properties.
The interface is customizable, allowing you to turn panels on and off or have them float in separate windows.
If you double-click an image from the Manage mode, it brings up a full-screen view, sending you into View mode. Or, you can switch to View by clicking on the button at the top of the screen. Selecting an image from the Filmstrip at the bottom brings it up in the Viewer. You can use the Filmstrip to scroll through images as well.
The Properties pane on the right side of the screen is where captions, notes or keywords can be viewed or added. You also can assign categories, change the rating or tag the image. A variety of tools for zooming, rotating or adding images to the Image Basket are below the Viewer.
The Online mode allows you to upload images to an ACDSee Online account with 2 GB of storage capacity (an extra $25 gets you 25 GB for a year). The top half of the screen shows images in your online account, and the bottom half displays images on your computer. You simply click and drag to begin uploading to an album.
You can use ACDseeOnline.com to store or share photos by sending them directly to Facebook, printing with fotoflõt, or e-mailing albums to family and friends. There also are dedicated upload services for Flickr, SmugMug, Zenfolio and your FTP accounts.
All image adjustments are done in the Process mode, which is broken into two submodes, Develop and Edit. The tools in Develop apply changes to the entire image, while Edit is used for making selective adjustments.
This mode is broken up into three tabs: Tune, Detail and Geometry. The Tune tab is where you correct exposure, white balance and color. A histogram and exposure-warning indicator show the image’s basic properties. The Detail tab is for sharpening images and reducing noise, and the Geometry tab has tools for cropping, rotating and straightening, as well as for fixing lens distortion. Any adjustment you make can be copied and applied to another photo or a batch of them.
When it’s time to make selective adjustments, click on the Edit tab, and a range of tools for fine-tuning your image become available. From fixing red-eye and other flaws, to adding borders, vignettes and special effects, the Edit mode groups tools together based on the kind of correction or adjustment you want to make. Changes are applied by using the freehand lasso tool, magic wand or marquee. When you’re done, hit the Save button at the bottom-left corner of the screen.