ACDSee is a very popular and well established picture viewer. In its latest incarnation, Version 4.0, it aims to provide "intuitive, professional-quality imaging tools to acquire, view, organise, enhance, print and share your images on the Internet quickly".
New features added include:
- A streamlined interface
- Viewing and browsing enhancements
- Multimedia Management Improvements
- Additional Editing Functions
- Online Services within ACDSee
- Preview over 50 popular multimedia file formats
- Windows 95/98/Me/NT 4.0/2000/XP
- Pentium class processor with 32 MB of RAM
- 256-color display adaptor
- 30 MB free disk space
- Internet Explorer 4.0 or later
- 800x600 display
The software is purchasable via download for around $50 or approximately 34 after currency conversion. There is also a 10.8Mb trial version which lasts 30 days and can be downloaded from the ACDSee site here.
Things didn't get off to a good start in our test, as the increase in features has resulted in more slightly annoying pop-up messages. Then the program crashed and had to be restarted. The second time around, there were no problems and we were confronted with the following layout.
As we are testing the trial version here, there is a banner advertisement along the bottom of the window. The user interface has been improved since older versions with colourful icons and an intuitive layout making it quite pleasant to use.
Thumbnailing of images in the main Files section is performed quickly and you can change the size of thumbnails and the information to be displayed. Exif information for photos taken with digital cameras is displayed in the Properties tab and should you want to see a larger version of the image you simply have to double click on it. This opens up a new window (shown below) with a different set of viewing options.
This viewing window allows you to quickly change between photographs and has the option of a slide show mode too. Perhaps the main advantage of this program is that it is much quicker to display an image, than opening the same image in a program like Adobe Photoshop. In the bottom right of the example above, you can see the image only took 0.6 seconds to load.
You can choose the size at which the photo is displayed, quickly zoom in and out and even perform basic editing functions, as shown below.
Another strength of this program is the degree of configuration available. The preferences section includes the following options, illustrated by the animated image below:
Selecting the InTouch tab in the main ACDsee window connects you to the InTouch server and a page similar to the one shown below is loaded.
This page contains information on program updates and a selection of articles on digital imaging and photography and is available for users of the Trial version.
The printing options provided by ACDSee have improved since previous versions and they are now relatively comprehensive. Particularly useful is the option to produce contact sheets and to add a caption, including information such as Exif data.
For those of you wanting to upload a gallery to the internet there is a HTML generator. Although rather limited in functionality, it could be useful for people who don't want to do any HTML editing themselves.
This is a well-featured program and previous versions have already proved very popular. Looking at this, the latest version, I couldn't help but feel it has become slightly less stable, as I had one or two crashes on my normally stable machine. It is however a great image viewer and the extra features added in this new version help to make it better value than ever before.
With a 30-day trial version available to download for free you can evaluate it for yourself before parting with any cash.