Archive for the ‘ACDSee’ Category

ACDSee Pro 3 Photo Manager Released

September 30, 2009

ACDSee Pro 3 Photo Manager.

I see it is now available. I looked through the details of the enhancements ACDSee have made. I cannot see much that Lightroom cannot do – but their claims are very broad.

Perhaps in the editing area they are more powerful than Lightroom but I am not enough of an expert in Lightroom editing to judge.

They have features to upload photos to Smugmug and Zenfolio. But not the services I use: Flickr and PicasaWeb. I don’t see any mention of an add-in or plugin architecture that enables others to be written.

I did not see any reassurances that they have improved the reliability of the software. That seems critical given the mass of problems similar to mine that I saw on their support forum. And I didn’t see any mention that you can do basic things like editing and reorganizing keywords.

I’m sorry to say I cannot see any circumatances where ACDSee can tempt me back. See and

Top Searches

August 26, 2009

I am amused that many of the top searches on this blog as reported by WordPress are about problems with ACDSee. Three of the top five searches that ended up on this blog are about the software:

  1. acdsee 2.5 fail to load
  2. acdsee has encountered a system error and will close now
  3. injecting tags lightroom database
  4. cooliris dng
  5. acdsee pro database rebuild

I think that shows there are a lot of users out there with problems. As I said before, I truly wanted to love ACDSee – but it was too unreliable. They lost me as a customer and I fear they’re losing many more. Sad.

ACDSee Pro 3 Beta Available

July 10, 2009

ACDSee Photo Software.

ACDSee announced a public beta for Pro version 3. I am tempted to try it to see if they fixed the most serious bugs and did obvious things like making keywords editable. But it would be a waste of time – Lightroom has got me now and I still have tons of things to do to customize it exactly how I want.

Sorry ACDSee! I truly wanted to support you.

Top Search

July 6, 2009

I just noticed something amusing. WordPress gives blog owners the most common search terms that brought users to the blog. My top search term is “acdsee pro 2.5 license code”.

I would advise them not to bother pirating ACDsee and get Lightroom!

ACDSee Customer Support – I Gave Up

June 13, 2009

Here’s a short interchange of messages between me and ACDSee support when I told tham I was going to give up on using ACDSee Pro v2.5. It’s sad but illuminating.

From: Me
To: ACDSee Support
Date: 31 March 2009

I’m sorry to say I have to give up using ACDSee Pro 2.5 and find some other image management software.

I thought I had worked out how to avoid the instabilities in the product but I am now in a situation where I cannot restore or re-create a working database.

Everything was working well last night (March 30th). On the 31st I tried to import 4 new images from a memory card. ACDSee hung and I had to terminate the process. When I restarted the user interface came up and it sat there consuming 100% of the CPU with an hourglass cursor. The only indication of what it might be doing was that it has “Calendar … updating” on the calendar tab.

I tried restoring from last night’s full backup. To do this I had to replace the database with an empty database from the original install as you cannot restore a database if the software is hung.

But this database had the same problem – hung (maybe) updating the calendar.

I tried with an earlier backup and one that didn’t include thumbnails but I had the same result. Those database were working fine when I backed them up but the backups didn’t work.

So I tried starting from a new blank database and re-cataloguing all my files from the metadata stored in the files.

I had about 20,000 images in ACDSee. The cataloguing stopped after about 11,000 images with ther error “ACDSee as encountered a system error and will close now”. What is the “system”?  Your software? Windows? What am I meant to do about it? No idea.

When I restarted that database it hung in the same way – Updating the calendar.

I downloaded your latest build from the web site but it has the same problems.

And to add insult to injury I cannot log into your support forum any more. It says my email or password are invalid. They worked a month ago when I queried you about duplicate keywords in the database.

It is only ACDSee that has problems on my computer. I used Thumbs Plus for years without a problem. All other software works fine – only ACDSee keeps on failing on me.


Here is their reply:

From: ACDSee Support
To: Me
Date: 7 April 2009

I apologize for the inconvenience that caused, and I suggest the following:

A) Reset the registry, optimize the database and delete the thumbnail files and index files.

Please follow the option 1, 2 and 3 in KB article 99

B) If problem persists, we recommend that you rebuild the database:

1. Launch ACDsee Pro 2.5
2. Click on the View menu, then select Organize. At the bottom of the Organize pane under Special Items is the Image Well. Please click on it, then go to the Edit menu and click on Select All Images (you could also use ‘Ctrl + I’ as keyboard shortcut).
3. Click on the Database menu then select Export Database information to a text file and check all three boxes and save the file on your desktop, e.g ‘acd25db.txt’
4. Close ACDsee Pro 2.5
5. In windows explorer, navigate to “C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\ACD Systems\Catalogs\25Pro\” folder.
6. Rename ‘2’ folder as ’25Pro.bk1′. This will actually make a back up copy for the database
7. Now launch ACDsee 2009 with a new database, which will be created in “C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\ACD Systems\Catalogs\25Pro\Default” folder.
8. In ACDsee Pro 2.5, go to Database menu, and choose ‘Import |Database..’ and select import from text file and choose ‘acd25db.txt’ (the file exported step 3)
9. In ACDsee Pro 2.5, verify if all database information for the images are complete and correct.

** Test if the issue has been resolved.

Note: If for some reason, after importing database from the text file (‘acd25db.txt’), you find that new database is incorrect or missing. Please use the following procedure to restore your old database.

– Close ACDsee Pro 2.5
– In Windows explorer, navigate to  “C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\ACD Systems\Catalogs\25Pro\”
– Rename ’25Pro’ folder as 25Pro.bk2
– Rename ’25Pro.bk1′ as ’25Pro’

Optional : Delete the ’25Pro.bk1′ folder (or ’25Pro.bk2′ folder) after verification of the database information that were assigned to the images.

C) You could also try to completely reinstall all ACDSee products, and see if that would make any improvements :

1.0) Steps:
– From Microsoft  Control Panel | Program Features (for Vista) or From Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs (for XP)
– Uninstall [ACDSee Pro 2.5]
– Uninstall all previous versions of ACDSee Software , i.e. ACDsee Pro Photo Manager (e.g ACDsee Pro 2, ACDSee Pro 1 ), ACDsee Photo Manager (e.g ACDsee9, ACDsee 10 ), ACDsee Photo Editor (e.g version 4 and 2008), Canvas11, Canvas X, etc..

– From Microsoft Explorer, navigate to: C:\Program Files\ACD Systems
– Delete the ‘ACD systems’ Folder
– From Microsoft Explorer, navigate to: C:\Program Files\Common Files\ACD Systems
– Delete the ‘ACD Systems’ Folder.


– Download ‘r_acd.exe’ below and then run this utility to remove ACDsee products registry

– Download the [ACDsee Pro 2.5] installer at

5.0) Reinstall the software with your license code or trial license code, and other products that you removed in step 1.0)

Best regards.



That’s a load of technical stuff. I am a photographer – not a systems engineer! Again, maybe OK in 1989, not in 2009. So I replied to the long-suffering James:

From: Me
To: ACDSystems Support
Date: 10 April 2009

Dear James,

Thank you for your response and the tips. I have tried all these solutions in the past. The reason I decided to stop using ACDSee Pro is that I have lost confidence in the product. Even if I manage to recover the information I am sure it will fail again. This is the third time since I purchased 2.5 in November 2008 I have lost the database and have had to rebuild from scratch.

I have purchased Adobe Lightroom 2.3 and was able to index all the images without a problem. I have a huge job to do in re-creating all the keywords and categories. The information is in the files but it is in your proprietary format and Lightroom doesn’t recognize it.

As a test to see if I have any images that cause problems with software I also indexed the images in Thumbs Plus with no errors or database problems.

I am sad because I like many of the features of ACDSee. I also like to support a smaller company. But my main priority is taking pictures and I do not have time to spend restoring and reloading databases.

If you think it appropriate please pass this message on to the development team. They need to hear from customers and understand that these problems are not acceptable in 2009. Twenty or even 10 years ago users were accepting of software quality and reliability problems. But not any more. Database technology is mature and this sort of thing should never occur. I believe I have proved conclusively that the problem is with ACDSee and not with my computer or my images since two other products handle them with no problems.

Thank you for your assistance.


I did not get a reply. I do not blame James – he is doing his best.

If I was in the product management team for ACDSystems I would have replied and tried to work with the user. But no, I received nothing.

How I Got to Lightroom

June 9, 2009

My first photo database (image management system) was suggested to me years ago by Dr. Richard Soley, President of the Object Management Group (OMG). Thanks Richard!

I liked many things about ThumbsPlus and I eventually catalogued every image I had ever taken in a database.

But in late 2008 I was approaching the maximum size of database that ThumbsPlus could support using the Mictosoft Access database engine. I also felt that ThumbsPlus was falling behind its competitors in many features. Version 7 doesn’t even let you rate pictures (give them star rankings, 1-4 is typical).

The makers, Cerious Software, had been promising a new version for many months but the early beta I downloaded was underwhelming. Even today Thumbs Plus 8 has not been released – they are at Beta 4. I suspect that Cerious have some serious internal problems (pun not intended).

I really liked ThumbsPlus.

Initially I tried ACDSee Pro but I am sorry to say it was a disaster for me. It was unreliable and had some very annoying and productivity destroying usability issues. I could live with the latter but when the database kept on crashing it was unacceptable.

In the 1980s we accepted software like that because we had little choice. Now it is 2009 and users have higher expectations. I was sad because I wanted to support a smaller company. I was not alone in my frustration. The support web site was full of irate users and all the support folks could do was offer weak solutions. I tried engaging with them but got nowhere. Finally in March 2009 I sent them an ‘I Give Up” message and deleted the software.

Incidentally it wasn’t only the ACDSee software that was dynfunctional. Their web store was so bad that it let me purchase the software and gave me an activation key but didn’t charge my credit card. What a company!

I have saved screenshots of some of the things that annoyed me most about ACDSee Pro. I tried sending a few with my suggestions to the company but I got no response.

Another Bangkok based photographer, Kurt Heck suggested I try Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. I tried the 1.0 release a couple of years ago. I liked it but it didn’t offer me sufficient advantage over Thumbs Plus to make me switch. I heard good things about verion 2 so I decided to try it again.

That was in March and three months later I don’t have any regrets. There are many things I’d like to see improved or changed but I am impressed. Still, in some ways I miss ThumbsPlus and wish Cerious Software had been able to keep up with the times.

I liked some of the features in ACDSee, for example its calendar views, but I cannot spend more time dealing with software bugs than I do working on my photography. Those days are long gone!

ACDSee Pro 2.5 Error

ACDSee Pro 2.5 Error