Posts Tagged ‘#acdseeultimate’

You may have read all about how you can put the Collections feature to work for you organizing and finding your photos. But did you know: you can also make collection sets, which is fancy-speak for creating hierarchies of collections inside parent collections. This makes it possible to really drill down to the exact images you want and to categorize with the level of specificity that is important to you. Maximize efficiency!

Keep in mind that you can’t add images to the collection sets themselves. That’s not what they’re for.  You have to put them inside of a folder within the set. This being the case, it may be useful to think of the collection sets as directories you define the structure of.

To Create a Collection Set:
  1. In the Collections pane, right-click and select Create Collection Set.
  2. create_collection_setIn the Create Collection Set dialog box, enter a name for your collection set. You may want to give this some thought. This will be the parent folder that holds a bunch of baby folders, so you’ll want to give it an identifiable name. Not that you can’t go back and change it, of course. I’m just trying to save you time.


Select the Inside a Collection Set checkbox if you would like to add your collection set inside of another collection set, creating a sort of collection set inception. Select the collection set from the drop-down menu.

collection_ception3. Click Create.

Now you can work on your hierarchy. Create a new folder by right-clicking the collection set.


Or right-clicking anywhere in the Collection pane. Doesn’t matter. What does matter is that in the Create Collection dialog, under Location, you enable the Inside a Collection Set option. Choose the Collection set you just created from the drop-down menu.


Now you can name your collection, and press Create.

You can take things deeper by adding collection sets inside of collection sets, and then putting more folders inside of those. Choose Create Collection Set and then choose the existing collection set to put it inside. And so on and so on.


You can make it as complicated and specific as you feel is necessary for your needs. It can be a great way to focus your goals and stay organized.


And if you select the root of a collection set, the File List pane will display all of the images in all of the collections inside of that root.


While you can put smart collections inside of collection sets, it’s worth noting that when you click the root, the results of the query within the smart collection will not appear in the File List pane along with the contents of the other folders.

Now you have the power to create structures to service your affinity for compartmentalization! Chaos…Order!

Every now and then it feels like talking about the database is a good thing to do. It’s mysterious. It’s helpful. And with a little information and some TLC, your database can grow up to be big and strong.

One box missing from rows of boxes on shelves

Let’s recap: The ACDSee database stores information about your files, including EXIF information, file name and folder location, thumbnails, categories, ratings, and any other information you add using the Properties pane. The more information you store in the database, and the more time you spend entering that information, the more important it is to back up your database. A real database nerd might even go so far as to say it’s worthwhile to have a good strategy for managing your backups. Losing hours of work to a system crash or other uncontrollable event is something that should, and can, be avoided. But you didn’t hear that from me. What do I look like? A database nerd? How dare you…

Backup Schedule

How often should you backup? All databases are beautiful and unique. And it really depends how often you add or change information contained in your database. I’d say it’s fair to declare that you should backup as often as you want to avoid retyping data.

Luckily there’s a backup reminder setting you can take advantage of. Go to Tools | Options | Database. On the Database page of the Options dialog you can set how regularly you would care to be reminded. For business environments, though, you really ought to consider backing up every day. It’s one of the easiest ways to avoid an embarrassing time out in the corner… That’s how offices work, right?

When you’re getting ready to do something big, such as importing information from another ACDSee user, or converting a database from a previous version of ACDSee, this is a choice time to prompt a backup. Go to Tools | Database | Back Up Database…

Backup Location

Next, consider not just when or how often you’re backing up, but where to. ACDSee takes pretty good care of you by creating a new folder for each day if you are backing up to your hard drive. This helps to avoid overwriting your backup, and gives you several increments from which you can restore. Also helpful is a monthly backup that is stored in a different physical location than your computer, such as a network drive. You never can be too careful.

Backup Size

To keep the size of the backup small, choose to back up database information only. This can be configured in the Database Backup Wizard (Tools | Database | Back Up Database…). But also don’t forget to back up your images separately, also on a regular basis.

Backup Options

Do you want to include thumbnails? What types of files do you want to back up? In the Database Backup Wizard, familiarize yourself with the options in order to decide which backup style is the right one for you. For more information about your options, see here.

This is the time of the last minute holiday preparations. For far away friends and family, it may be too late to mail them a card. However, it’s not too late to email them your season’s greetings. In fact, it’s never too late for email. That’s its best quality.

You don’t need to get too fancy. The recipient will appreciate the thought. So let’s get started.

First you will need a festive or festively-suggestive image. What do I mean by that? Perhaps a shot of a snowy landscape or your kids building a snowman. Heck, even a close up on the bough of a fir tree (or potentially any evergreen tree) will do. For us, we’re using a close up of the decorated tree.

Open your image in Edit mode. If you want to make a large number of cards on a variety of images, you could press Record in the Actions palette at this time to save yourself work later on.


I’m opting to crop the image just a little bit so there’s no wasted space. This can be done in the Crop tool of the Geometry group. Simply drag your cursor over the area you wish to keep. Everything outside of the selected area will be removed.


I then press Done.

From here, there’s a lot of different directions I could take this. I could add a lens blur to emphasize the bokeh effect that’s already happening. I could add a special effect. I particularly like using the Oil Paint effect, but turning down all of the settings so low that it almost tricks the eye — is that a photo or a painting? The subtlety is nice, and the Edit Brush, Gradients, and Pixel Targeting come in handy in such cases. All will depend on your image. You may want to boost the saturation to make a cold winter photo into a warm, cheery one. I didn’t bother on this one, as the golds are pretty warm already, and I kind of like the warm and cold contrasts in the incandescence of the ornaments, but that’s just me.

You could add a vignette, which, incidentally can be done in any color.


In the end, I chose something more classic to emphasize the center subject. This can also be done by adding a border, and so I’ll open the Border tool in the Add group. You can select a color for your border by choosing one from the color box, or by selecting a color on the image.


You can adjust the width of the border by moving the Size slider. To create some visual interest, choose the Irregular radio button in the Edge section, and then press the arrow button to see the edge options available. (You can also use the lower arrows to flip through the options.)



Press OK to choose an irregular shape. Press Done to finish with your border.

Now for the message. How in depth that becomes will be decided by a number of factors, such as:

a) How much space do you have?

b) How customized do you want it to be?

c) Would you rather treat your email as the inside of the card, and the image as the outside?

d) Does the image look silly with a lot of text on it?

Open the Text tool in the Add group. I covered adding text in detail in this tutorial so I won’t carry on about it too much. What’s most important to me with a situation like this is positioning, but also the look and feel. Once again, you can match the text to colors in the image by clicking the color box, then choosing the Eye Dropper in the Colors dialog by pressing the Select button.


Once you have selected your color, I recommend playing around with the blend mode, available from the Blend Mode drop-down menu.


Once satisfied, I’m going to click Done. Since I don’t want to get carried away, and there’s a million other things on my holiday to-do list, I’m going to call it quits on the editing and move on to sending my message out to loved ones. I save my image and exit out of Edit mode.


If you have included layers in your card and then saved it as a .acdc file, it may be too large to send via email. You can quickly convert the image to a file format of your choice by selecting the image in Manage mode and choosing Batch | Convert File Format. Select your desired file format and follow the prompts in the Batch Convert File Format wizard.

Now you can email your image by selecting it in Manage mode and choosing Send | Email Images…


For assistance, press the Help button in the Send Email Wizard. From here you can inscribe your personalized greeting to loved ones far away. There you go — one task down! Now on to getting those gifts wrapped. 🙂