Updated: January 1, 2024 | Contains affiliate links

You need the ACDSee Pro version for portable keywords


I am continuing my quest for a cheap image organizer software. What I am looking for is pretty simple: I want the ability to create keywords and organize them into categories so I can apply them to my pictures in a somewhat orderly fashion. Then, I also want the ability to save my keywords to IPTC/XMP tags into my image files so that my keywords become portable. This time I am looking at ACDSee.

The ACDSee product family

ACDSee comes essentially in two flavors: the ACDSee Photo Manager and the ACDSee Pro. The first question was: what’s the difference? Photo Manager sells for about $70 on the company website ( Get the best price on ACDSee Photo Manager here). That is very cheap and sounded very interesting and appealing. So, I decided to give it a try.

As a side note I have noticed that the Pro version which sells for around $150 from the company website (Get the best price on ACDSee Pro here). This price is not bad compared with Adobe Lightroom which sells for $149, but I’m still looking for some program that sells around $50.

ACDSee Photo Manager – the cheap version.

ACDSee Photo Manager version 10
Photo Credit: ACDSee.com

The install was very easy and the user interface was easy to use. No problems here. It took a while to create my database and thumbnails, but then it was pretty fast. Again, no problems here either.

The problems started when I wanted to accomplish my goal. Again, my goal was to be able to organize my keywords and be able to save them to IPTC/XMP fields into my image files. That’s when I started running into problems. In Photo Manager version 10 I quickly realized that there is no such feature. In the current version 12, it looks like they have added this feature.

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To See or not to See

ACDSee Photo Manager version 10 does not have the ability to save keywords to IPTC/XMP fields into your image files. You must purchase ACDSee Pro if keywords portability is important to you.

ACDSee Pro 2

The bottom line is that you have to buy ACDSee Pro in order to save your keywords to IPTC/XMP fields into your image files. If you stick with the cheap Photo Manager version your keywords will only stay in your software and will not be written into your image files. So, no keywords portability with the cheap version.

Overall ACDSee Pro is a great program for managing your photos but still a little pricey for what I’m looking for. I would like to buy it if it were cheaper because I like its features and its user interface. It is intuitive, easy to install and easy to use. Sounds like a marketing line doesn’t it? Well…it does but it’s not…I just liked playing with the trial version software.

Essentials for organizing your digital photos

Here are the essential products and services I have come to rely on for many years to keep my media collection organized and safe. Even though these are affiliate links, I wholeheartedly recommend them.

Excellent Lightroom alternative. If you need a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac or ACDSee Photo Studio Professional for Windows is my preferred solution for organizing all my media. It has a very fast browser, great image editing and it's simple to use.

If you do a lot of image editing like I do, I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has best photo editing capabilities even though it has a steeper learning curve. Adobe Lightroom is my favorite for image editing.

I recommend Backblaze Personal Cloud Backup for affordable & reliable unlimited cloud backup. I have been using Backblaze for backing up all pictures & videos for more than 5 years now. All my invaluable digital memories are safe and secure. This is the best solution especially if you have a large quantity of media files.

Use a reliable & affordable external hard drive for backing up everything on your computer. It is absolutely essential for keeping all your memories backed up and safe.

Start organizing now using detailed, step-by-step instructions and videos:
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