ACDSee Ultimate is an all in one application program that most professional photographers will find very useful and intuitive. It basically combines all the features you can need to achieve desired professional results. Despite the one-time purchase cost being too high, the application is generally worth the price as it can compete hand in hand with other top photo managing application such as Adobe Lightroom. You will find it suitable for use if you need a photo management tool that comprises of different features in a single suite.
by bomber

ACDSee Ultimate ACDSee Ultimate 2018.2.1309

A newer version 2019.0.1593 already available

Product version
2018.2.1309 All versions
Free to try
Major Update



last week


Category Graphic Apps, Editors Platform Windows (Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 ) All platforms
  • 4.0

System specifications

To be able to use the application or access any services available at the developer’s site, you will need an account if you are not a customer already. ACDSee is a heavyweight application that uses up lots of system resources. As such, a computer with a memory of at least 2 GB is required otherwise the application is virtually unusable on lower memories. However, for a seamless use, a memory size of at least 6GB is recommended.

VRAM of at least 512MB is required as well. a graphics adapter that is DirectX compatible is also needed for a smooth usage. Your free hard disk space needs to be at least 2GB and the display adapter needs a resolution of at least 1024 by 768, thought 1280 by 1024 is the most recommended.

ACDSee Ultimate is supported by Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The support by Windows 10 is a new feature upgrade. The application can run on the 64-bit architecture only.


The application can be downloaded from ACDSee website and takes about 5 seconds to complete the download on a broadband speed of approximately 16MBps. After installing, a Windows icon appears on the desktop as well as a HTML icon link that opens up into the browser to let you know what’s new in the application.


ACDSee Ultimate includes features of both the Pro version and plus Ultimate 9 feature upgrades.

  • Develop mode – this mode lets you perform a wide variety of adjustments to the parameters of your photos. It’s been developed specifically as an environment for RAW conversion. It enables users to create their own adjustment instructions apart from just adjusting pixels. It supports a wide range of formats including RAW and JPEG.
  • Asset management – this allows you to add hierarchical keywords, ratings, categories and the location information to your photos. Through the visual tags and the personalized color labels, you can identify images quickly for additional processing.
  • Adjustment layers for non-destructive editing – the non-destructive editing feature simply means that the adjustments made will not affect the file. The Layered Editor is the center for manipulation of photo parameters. It lets you add layers that have been built specifically to achieve customized adjustments. These adjustments can be done to the color, lighting, clarity special effects and orientation to give your photos an ultimate retouch.
  • Easy automation – this is a new feature upgrade that lets you reduce your time on some tasks. You can save the repetitive tasks made in the Edit mode and then apply them on other photos that you need to apply those adjustments on. This recreates the entire image editing process with just a single click. You can also export the recorded tasks to as many image files as you desire.
  • Distortion doctoring – this feature lets you correct the pincushion and barrel distortion on your images by simply applying the calibrated correction meant to fix distortions that are inherent to lens type used. It also lets you fix the chromatic aberration. You can map the correction feature to the lens and it will make the corrections each time.
  • Improved power – the application has been specifically upgraded to make workflow speed much higher at unfrequented levels. This is made possible through the layer engine that is GPU enhanced together with the advanced Develop mode to outpace competing applications and user expectations.
  • Advanced lighting – ACDSee Ultimate lets you experience the power of its advanced lighting technology through exposure adjustments. This is made possible through its patented Light EQ that makes it possible to adjust light in specific parts of a photo without adversely affecting the general look of the image.
  • Color adjustment tools – the application also comes with a set of intuitive tools for adjustment of color, enabling users to finely tune the light, hue and saturation.
  • Blank Canvas – this enables you to achieve top results by targeting certain parts of a photo, control the opacity of layers, and create masks, combine images and many more.

New features

ACDSee Ultimate comes as the first photo management tool that has layers. It has been equipped with a set of new features that sets it apart from the other versions and worth the upgrade. Masks that can be used to hide the pixels other than just deleting them are also included.

  • Edge detection selection – this feature enables users to isolate a subject in an image using the pixel criteria that they’ve assigned. You can target your selection to certain color and brightness values for precision. There’s also the Delete Pixel functionality that allows you to create image composites, focus on minute details like the hair on a portrait.
  • Improved Develop mode – the Develop mode has some special effect improvements that allow you to add photo effects and color overlays to images. This feature allows you to map a color to a shadow as well as make highlights. You ca tweak how the effects interact with your images by simply adjusting the opacity and making use of the different blend modes available.
  • Smart brushing – ACDSee Ultimate smart brushing gives a smooth feel on exposure, fill light, contrast, clarity, saturation and sharpness adjustments under the Develop mode as well as the Edit mode.
  • Improved workspace appearance – you can customize or hide the mode buttons. Panes and toolbars can be docked, stacked or moved to improve your workspace, more than ever. These include the filmstrip and toolbars of the Edit mode.
  • Non-destructive Dehaze tool – this tool is now availed as a non-destructive tool, it allows you to enhance the appearance of images captured in smoky or dusty environments among other surroundings that obscure the image clarity. With the Dehaze tool, users can restore the contrast, color and details of a photo.
  • Skin Tune feature – this eliminates the need for a concealer, foundation or even precision editing. It makes the skin tone more even, restores glow and smoothens blemishes away among other flaws.
  • Improved photo filtering methods – apart from the improvements on performance, ACDSee Ultimate Pro now includes more ways in the Photos mode that make it possible to show photos from certain parts of the hard drive, OneDrive or simply the entire collection. Filtering of photos can be done using a wide variety of criteria that are based on an image’s metadata. For example, you can filter images for Canon, Olympus or Nikon formats but not the Panasonic Raw.
  • Noise reduction – this application has a noise reduction feature included to preserve finer details of an image. You can specify the detail level to save so you don’t lose anything apart from the noise artifacts. The application can recognize the RAW files coming from most of the major professional cameras.
  • The library can be quickly navigated and the Photos View section packs the display screen with thumbnails. The Edit and Develop mode aren’t as much responsive and manipulation of images under the Develop mode turns out to be very slow especially when the noise reduction feature has been enabled. This turns out to be troublesome especially when using Develop brush for targeting the small sections of the frame. There’s also the Snapshot functionality that allows you to save and recall certain processing settings in the Develop mode.
  • Library management - This feature is very fast and very straightforward. There are also attractive color correction filters like the Light EQ that gives a surgical control of the contras and brightness of photos. The library feels more tuned and polished to the needs of a photographer.

User interface

ACDSee Ultimate is basically divided into 5 different sections, including the 365 section used to upload photos to a cloud storage. The Photos section was newly introduced with the Ultimate 9 version and provides an aerial view of the all your photos using the dates. You can view photos from this section on a daily, monthly or annual basis, made possible through the toggle radio button available at the bottom right end.

When the program first launches, the Manage section is displayed. It allows users to sort, tag and file their photos. Using the navigation map available on the left side of the screen, you can navigate through the folders. Any opened files are viewed via the center panel.

Below the navigation map, there’s another EXIF data window which shows some settings such as the camera, lens as well as aperture settings, shutter speed, focal length and ISO for the lens when the image was captured. The photo management program also includes a histogram that helps you wit exposure details and has been split into RGB.

IPTC and metadata updates can be done on the right. Some people claim that this is a bit tedious. They may have a point since putting information during the start may consume a considerable amount of time that can affect the overall completion time. Once an image has been selected via the Manage section or double clicking at the Photos section, View section allows user to view their image without distractions. There are a number of magnification options to let you zoom in.

Since it’s a combination of all the other ACDSee products, it features a wide range of beneficial features to make it compete among top image management software.

  • ACDSee Ultimate Professionally Manage Photos With All-In-One Software Suite
  • Has upgraded features to enhance finer details of an image and to perform professional photo management.
  • Its snapshot functionality saves particular processing settings to capture every step of the adjustments made.
  • Comes with a free trial and full money back guarantee as an assurance of reliability.
  • The Develop mode can be less usable when the noise reduction feature is enabled.


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ACDSee Ultimate is an all in one application program that most professional photographers will find very useful and intuitive. It basically combines all the features you can need to achieve desired professional results. Despite the one-time purchase cost being too high, the application is generally worth the price as it can compete hand in hand with other top photo managing application such as A...
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