Simple and adjustable user interface:

ACDSee 17 is simple by design, which, in this case, can breed efficiency and effectiveness if you have simple needs. The adjustable interface is built around four modes: Manage, View, Edit, and Online. You can access the modes by clicking on buttons located in the upper-right corner of the screen. In the Manage mode, you can create PDF files, albums, HTML albums, slideshows, and process your images. Online mode loads the ACDSee website in your program window, which acts as a portal to the program's online storage and cloud-based functionality. All you have to do is log in and start uploading.

Solid file management and image organization tools:

ACDSee 17 offers standout file management and image organizing features while providing a competent selection of photo editing tools for a majority of consumers. ACDSee 17 allows you to access key shooting information like the ISO, f-stop, shutter speed, and more while managing, viewing, or editing your photos. From a management and organizational perspective, the software offers just about everything an amateur photographer (and some professionals) would need.

Nice array of publishing options:

ACDSee 17 offers a wide selection of choices for you to publish, print, or save your images. You can use your images to create slideshows, screensavers, and web galleries or you can store the images on the cloud. ACDSee 17 also allows you to directly upload your photos to Facebook. You can add photos to an existing album, or create a new one, add your location, description, and specify the privacy level. This feature is a must-have if you are a regular Facebook user.

Different modes make for easy editing:

View mode is your standard image viewer with all of the usual options you would find with a standard photo editor, like rotate, full screen, and zoom slide. Edit mode takes the viewer and adds an additional menu of logically structured, collapsible categories of editing features on the left-hand side of the window. The edits take place in the viewing pane as you make them, but you can compare them to the original at any time. This is a very easy way to judge your progress (or lack thereof). On a more negative note, the functionality of the interface becomes less intuitive when moving from edit to edit, where the undo's and redo's appear and disappear from the bottom of the screen.

Bang for the buck:

Due mainly to its competent feature set and efficient interface, ACDSee 17 provides solid value for the price when compared to other consumer-level photo editing options. Even better, ACDSee 17 delivers many similar tools that can be found in the professionally-geared ACDSee Pro 6 for half the price.


Limited professional editing tools:

As a consumer level product, you wouldn't expect a large volume of professional editing features, but ACDSee 17 has very few, especially when you compare it to competing products. If you are an amateur photo editor, this probably won't make much of a difference to your overall satisfaction of the product since you likely have little use for professional editing tools anyway, but it's still worth noting.

Few painting/drawing choices:

ACDSee provides basic painting tools, but, like elsewhere in the program, does not include more advanced elements. If you aren't looking for advanced editing needs but still want high-quality image management capabilities, then ACDSee 17 could work for you. On the other hand, if you desire greater editing flexibility, painting options, and overall selection, then there are many other products on the market that will better suit your requirements.

Lacks video tutorials:

Although ACDSee offers a nice walkthrough at the outset of the program, they don't provide you with video tutorials on their website in order to guide your use of the product. ACDSee also doesn't provide targeted video clips, which would probably speed up the learning curve for the software and get you editing photos much quicker.


Free Trial 15 days
Platform Windows
Price $49.95
Upgrade Cost $29.95


  • 16-Bit Image Editing You can edit 16-bit images.

  • Add Grain/Noise You can add graphical identification metadata to your images.

  • Audio Editing You can perform basic audio editing within the software.

  • Black-and-White Conversion You can convert a color image into a black and white image using any number of methods.

  • Blend You can blend areas of an image together.

  • Blur You can soften the detail of an image.

  • Collage You can create a collage of images.

  • Color Adjustment Tools You can use a tool to replace missing color or match existing colors.

  • Color Management You can maintain color quality as an image moves from device to device.

  • Color to Grayscale You can convert a color image into a black and white image using this specific method.

  • Control Points You can use control points, a series of small squares placed on the edges and corners of a rectangular selection, to modify a selection by dragging the small squares as needed.

  • Distortion Control/Correction You can reduce pincushion and barrel distortion effects.

  • Effects You can add general effects to an image.

  • Exposure Adjustment You can adjust the exposure of an image.

  • Filters You can use any of the standard filter types to alter images.

  • Gradients You can create smooth transitions between adjacent colors.

  • Image Correction You can brighten shadows, fix unwanted flash, and repair backlight effects.

  • Image Zoom You can enlarge or shrink the view of the image, in part or in total, as needed.

  • Photo Text Entry You can type right on the image you are working on and see the text in real time.

  • Post-Processing Effects You can create effects after processing to include framing and vignetting.

  • Reshaping, Manipulating, and Resizing You can enhance, enlarge or reduce images, cut images to predefined or custom formats, and measure and mark image content.

  • Retouch Brush You can remove blemishes, dust and other unusual elements from images while maintaining its integrity.

  • Saturation/Warmth You can control the strength and warmness of a color

  • Selection Options Once you have made a selection, you can set aspect ratios, adjust selection sizes, move selections, turn the selection into a mask and/or add feathering to the edges.

  • Selection Tools You can use different tools to select an area of the image to work on, including the circle, square, wand, and/or lasso.

  • Shadow and Highlight Adjustment You can control the levels of shadow and highlights in your image.

  • Sharpen You can enhance the detailed edges within an image.

  • Text Effects You can add effect to text, such as drop shadows, 3D, perspective, curved text, and path text.

  • Transformations You can trim, skew, scale, flip, mirror, rotate, and/or add perspective to an image.

  • Advanced Color Image Operations You can perform color image operations such as color correction, color zones, color transfer, and vibrance.

  • Generate Mosaic Images You can create a single large image made from a number of other smaller images.

  • Layers You can make changes to images on individual sheets that can be stacked to form the combined image. Each layer can be adjusted without changing the other layers.

  • Masks You can protect certain areas of an image from being modified.

  • Nondestructive Editing Environment You can make changes to image without altering the original version.

  • Sepia Enhancement You can add a sepia (brown-gray) tone to an image.

  • Support for Custom Palettes This software supports custom color palettes.

  • Templates You can create project or metadata templates.

  • Watermarks You can create savable, personalized, and usually semi-transparent watermarks for your images.

  • Color Mixer You can mix and save colors for later use.

  • Custom Brush Options You can change your brush options, including size, shape, and type.

  • Paint Brush You can paint color in several ways, such as airbrush, watercolor, and oil brush.

  • Pencil You can use a pencil tip for more detailed painting.

  • Shapes You can create different shapes, such as dots, lines, ellipses, rectangles, circles, and Bezier splines.

  • Tools You can use multiple tools such as stencil, crop, panorama, and distortion.

  • Drawing Modes You can enter into different drawing modes within the software.

  • Floodfill Options You can fill in an enclosed area with your choice of color.

  • Layer Blending Modes You can control how different layers blend with one another.

  • Mix Brush You can have multiple colors on one brush.

  • Papers You have a choice of paper options on which to draw.

  • Pen Tablet Connection You can use pen tablets to control specific drawing actions within the software, including pressure, direction, orientation, and more.

  • Configurability You can modify and/or expand the overall interface to fit your needs.

  • Customizable Workspaces You can modify individual workspaces within the interface.

  • Dockable Panels You can dock and undock individual panels from the main interface.

  • Dual Monitor Support You can work on this software on multiple monitors.

  • Filter Preview You can preview filter changes in real time before applying the filter to the image.

  • Panels The software consists of paneled units, such as a color picker, tools, or gradient panel.

  • Screen Capture You can capture (save) an image from your screen.

  • Viewing Options You can view images in multiple ways.

  • Change Default Templates The set of templates at startup can be changed.

  • Create New Transparent Image You can create a new image with a transparent background.

  • Editable menu shortcuts You can edit menu shortcuts.

  • Scriptable File Management The software provides a method to script the program.

  • Support for Pen Tablets You can use pen tablets to control general actions within the software.

  • Tethered Capture You can save live images on your camera directly to your computer.

  • Virtual Memory Management The software manages the virtual memory of the computer so as to not over-stress the entire system by taking up too much of the resources.

  • Help Articles A set of detailed articles are available to help learn and understand the software.

  • User Guide A user guide is available to help learn and understand the software.

  • Video Tutorials Video tutorials are available to help learn and understand the software.

  • Webinars Webinars are available to help learn and understand the software.

  • Basic Video Editing You can perform basic video editing functions, such as creating a still image, picture control, trim, and save.

  • Blur Adjustment Tools You can use tools to perform actions, such as Gaussian Blur and Unsharp Masking, in order to adjust the detail of the image.

  • Gamma Correction You can adjust the middle tones of the image.

  • Histogram Correction You can use the information from the software's histogram to help color-correct your image.

  • Noise Reduction You can remove noise and grain from an image.

  • Special Effects Filters You can add special effects to the image through the use of vignette filters, metallic filters, distortion filters, Orton filters, and/or custom filters.

  • Spot Removal You can correct a zone in your image by using another zone as a model.

  • Tone Image Operations You can modify the tone of an image through tools such as tone curves, levels, fill lights, zone systems, and tone mappings.

  • 32-Bit Image Editing You can edit 32-bit images.

  • 3D You can add 3D effects to your images.

  • Animation You can create basic animations from your images.

  • Base-Level Image Operations You can perform adjustments to the image, such as demosiac, highlight reconstruction, exposure controls, and base curve.

  • Chromatic Aberration Tools You can automatically detect and correct chromatic aberrations, which are colors on the boundaries between dark and light areas.

  • Compositing You can splice together separate images or parts of images, in order to form one combined image. Panoramas are a specific type of compositing.

  • Content-Aware Tools You can use tools that automatically adjust to the content that you are working with.

  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) You can combine multiple photos at different exposure levels into a single photo.

  • Image Post-Processing You can adjust your image after processing through split toning, high pass filters, low pass filters, lowlight vision, and/or bloom.

  • Image Scaling Methods You can resize your digital image with scaling methods, such as nearest neighbor, bicubic smooth, bicubic sharpen, and lanczos in order to address the inherent tradeoff between efficiency, smoothness, and sharpness.

  • Image Slicing You can cut up your image in any number of ways.

  • Layer Management You can copy, link, edit masks, and/or group layers.

  • Lens Correction You can adjust your image for lens defects.

  • Panoramas You can create panoramic (wider) images from a series of individual images attached side by side.

  • Perspective Control You can correct a certain type of distortion where an object that you know to be a straight line appears curved in an image, by automatically adjusting the curve back into a straight line.

  • Professional Color Image Operations You can perform color image operations such as channel mixing and color profile management.

  • Trim to Shape You can trim, or punch out, the area of the image that you want to work on with a specific shape or edge.

  • CD/DVD You can save your images to a CD or DVD.

  • Cloud-Based Storage You can publish (upload) your finished images to a cloud-based service for storage or sharing.

  • Preview Your can preview your images before publishing them in some form.

  • Printing You can print your images.

  • Screensaver You can create your own screensaver.

  • Send via Email You can create appropriate images and send images via your email.

  • Slideshows You can create slideshows.

  • Web Galleries You can create HTML or Flash-Player-compatible galleries with your images for upload onto the Internet.

  • Books You can create a photo book with the software.

  • 8-Bit Image Editing You can edit 8-bit images.

  • Brightness You can lighten or darken an image.

  • Color Balance You can adjust the colors of your image so that the more neutral colors are correct.

  • Color Depth You can adjust the color range possible in an image.

  • Contrast You can adjust the level of difference between the bright elements and dark elements of your images.

  • Crop You can trim an image to a specific size or focus on an area of the image.

  • Drawing Tools You can draw or paint colors onto your image using a brush, pencil or other tools.

  • Flip You can invert the image either horizontally or vertically.

  • Picture Frame You can add a simple picture frame or border to an image.

  • Red Eye Removal You can automatically replace the red pixels with black pixels in photographs where red eye has occurred.

  • Resize You can make your image smaller or larger.

  • Rotate You can rotate your image.

  • Shapes You can add basic shapes to an image, such as a circle, a square, or a rectangle.

  • Undo You can go back in your process one step at a time.

  • White Balance You can adjust to correct for the effects of different light on the colors in the image.

  • Audio/Video Playback You can play video and audio files with the software.

  • Create Albums You can create albums in which to sort your images.

  • EXIF Overview Data You can use the image metadata, such as the date, GPS information, resolution, and other camera information that is included with the image file.

  • Favorites Folder The software has an easily accessible, designated folder where you can include select images.

  • Image Labels You can label images.

  • Image Ratings You can rate images.

  • Image Search You can search for an image with a dedicated tool.

  • Image Viewer You can view images inside the program.

  • Metadata Tags You can use, read, create, adjust, and save metadata (text-based information related to your image) that travels in the image file.

  • Offline Photo Management You can manage your software when offline.

  • Thumbnails You can create thumbnails of your images.

  • Batch Editing You can edit files as a group rather than just individually.

  • Contact Sheet You can create a contact sheet of your images.

  • Create Image Lists You can create lists of you images.

  • Geotagging You can add graphical identification metadata to your images.

  • Import and Edit RAW Files You can import and edit RAW files.

  • Location-Based Organization You can organize your images around sites or places.

  • Automatic Collections The software uses metadata that automatically determines which collections your images may be sorted into.

  • Event-Based Image Management You can organize your images around events.

  • Extended GPS Support You can use GPS information beyond simple geotagging.

  • Facial Recognition Tagging You can have the software automatically determine the identity of people in your images.

  • Image Analysis You can perform a detailed quantitative analysis of your images.

  • Image Caption You can caption your images.

  • Image Conversion You can convert images into other file types.

  • Side-by-Side Image Comparison You can compare images side by side.

  • Slideshow to Video You can save your slideshows in a video format.

  • Batch Processing You can process files as a group rather than individually. Usually this occurs when loading images in bulk.

  • Image File Transfer You can transfer images from multiple sources, such as digital cameras, video cameras, scanners, card readers, flash drives, and/or upload them to the Internet.

  • Renaming Template You can create a template to organize the naming of the images as they are processed.

  • Automatic Image Backup The software automatically backs up your images, either locally or in the cloud.

  • Compare to Last Saved You can compare the current selected image with the last saved version.

  • File Export Preview You can preview the image before exporting the file.

  • Scriptable You can write scripts to deal with file management.

  • Archive Read Support You can use this software to read specific archival file types.

  • Archive Write Support You can use this software to write specific archival file types.

  • Image Read Support You can use this software to read specific image file types.

  • Image Write Support You can use this software to write specific image file types.

  • Video and Audio Read Support You can use this software to read specific video and audio file types.

  • Other File Formats You can use this software to read other file formats.

  • Palette Import You can import Palette file types with this software.

  • Video and Audio Write Support You can use this software to write specific video and audio file types.

  • Email The company has an email address.

  • FAQ Page The company has a dedicated FAQ page.

  • Online Forum The company hosts an online forum.

  • Online Knowledge Base The company has a dedicated online knowledge base.

  • Social Media The company has active social media accounts to post questions or comments.

  • Live Chat The company has live chat available.

  • Phone The company has a phone number to call.

  • Adobe Flash Player The software can integrate with Adobe Flash Player.

  • Facebook The software can integrate with Facebook.

  • Google Earth The software can integrate with Google Earth.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint The software can integrate with Microsoft PowerPoint.

  • Twitter The software can integrate with Twitter.

  • Flickr The software can integrate with Flickr.


ACDSee 17 retails with a price of $49.99 and has a 15-day, full-service free trial of the software.

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