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ACDSee 9 Photo Manager - Fix Those Flawed Photos

written by: Larry Gordon•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 9/19/2008
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What do you do with the hundreds of digital photos on your computer for all the different projects you have in progress, or have wrapped up? If you're a serious digital photographer, check out ACDSee 9 Photo Manager with its nearly endless ways to categorize, rate, and document your digital photos.

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    Introduction

    ACDSee 9 Photo Manager searches for all the digital photos on your computer or downloads them from a camera or other device. Categories and sub-folders let the user document in detail each digital photo. Then, photo fix tools enhance new photos, and can even save old photos that have been scanned with less-than-perfect results from oblivion.

    This software can lift your moments of inspiration from your cell phone, a CD, or computer files, and organize each shot, documenting it right down to the photographer's name, when and where it was taken, the aperture setting, the local lighting, and so on. It can be as detailed as you want it to be. And as if that was not enough, ACDSee 9 can create PDF files, slideshows, DVDs, and VCDs.  

    One of the big surprises for me is the organization of the photos. It is strictly that--from the perspective of a photographer. I had initially thought that the software would be more flexible in the sense that first came the type of project, and then the software would adapt itself to the demands of the project at hand. This software is designed first and foremost for users who are serious about their digital photography, and any project to be done in some other program draws from this.

    There is an abundance of editing tools for enhancing digital photographs to make them the best they can be. If the user doesn't quite get the shot right, or if the lighting is off, the different fix it tools can save a digital photo from the Delete button. For those with a creative flair, effects can change an ordinary photograph into a masterpiece. See some examples in the screenshots below.
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    Help & Support

    Rating AverageWhat's Hot: 
    There is a Support Center online. You will have to log in to use it, though. In ACD 9 Help, you can find Customer Service and Technical Support toward the bottom of the Content column for a telephone number, fax number, and mailing address.

    What's Not: 
    There's no 800 number.
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    Price to Value

    Rating AverageWhat's Hot: 
    For a $39.99 download that was quick and easy, the price was in line for the right to have this software on my computer with one backup copy. For all the tasks that this software can do, I could see it costing more.

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    Installation & Setup

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    Having received an email message from ACD Systems International, I clicked the link to their site and downloaded the software. The installation consisted mainly of clicking the Next button. In no time at all, the software was up and running.

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    User Interface

    Rating AverageWhat's Hot: 
    There is so much to this software that you'd think the makers made a concerted effort not to forget anything. It's easy to navigate.

    What's Not: 
    Older digital cameras may have issues trying to transfer photos to this software. Read the Quick Start Guide and ACD 9 Help.
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    Product Features

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    Photo organization here is down to a science. There are categories, ratings, and auto categories galore.

    The Edit Image feature is the key to photo enhancement and creativity, through its countless effects.


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    Performance

    Rating AverageWhat's Hot: 
    The two basic parts of the program are photo organization and photo editing. Acting in these two areas and moving back and forth between them is smooth.

    What's Not: 
    This software does not like to be rushed. It will not think twice about giving you an error message.
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    Images

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    Suggested Features

    It would be nice to see organizational features that could be changed according to the user's needs. My focus would not be necessarily on the documenting of a shot; my current project is genealogy. I would want to change the categories to "Father's Family" and "Mother's Family." I would want to put different families in the right places, and this software would act as "back office" so that the photos could be imported readily and easily into my genealogy software, which would aid in keeping this latter software organized as well.    
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    Conclusion

    ACDSee 9 Photo Manager is for the serious digital photographer who wants almost endless ways to categorize, rate, and document digital photos, while having abundant ways to enhance those photos. This software allows the photographer's creative side to express itself through the different effects. "Abundance "says it all for this software.
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