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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you need a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac (save 20% until Feb 15) or ACDSee Pro for Windows (save $20 until Feb 15) 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 comes with a steeper learning curve. If you do image editing, Adobe Lightroom is my favorite.
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Thanx for the comment Kristi…and thanx for the tips. What I am looking for is batch processing…more specifically to be able to assign a set of keywords to multiple photos. I usually need this when I transfer new pictures to my computer. This is the time for me to assign a few keywords to batches of pictures. So yes…just being able to edit IPTC fields for a picture at a time doesn’t cut it for me and like I pointed out ACDSee Pro 2 is the right solution for my problem.
Actually the ITPC keyword field is editable in PM10 for JPEG format images. You have to dig for it and it is tedious since you can’t batch process your photos but it’s in there. You have to find the Properties pane then the ITPC tab. Next to keywords is an elipse and an arrow…you can use that to pull up a dialog for adding keywords to your keyword list and assign keywords to the image. If you want to do a lot of keywording Pro 2 is definitely worth the investment. It also processes RAW format photos as well as organizes with the same powerful tools as PM10.