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ACDSee Photo Editor 4.0 review

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Our Verdict

This is a simple enough piece of software, but there isn't much here to make it appeal above the competition

For

  • User-friendly interface
  • Most tools work quite effectively

Against

  • Dody 'Auto fix' tool
  • Quite pricey

Despite its low price and small footprint, ACDSee Photo Editor 4.0 is neither the smallest nor the cheapest software.

The 57MB download gives you a seven-day trial and if you register with ACDSee you get a CD key that extends the trial to 30 days.

Should you decide to buy, the online price is £22 (inc. VAT) with an optional £4.99 for an extended download service.

Simple interface

The selling point of Photo Editor 4.0 is that family photo users will be able to fix common problems such as red-eye, poor framing and skin blemishes.

The big news would surely be a photo-editing package that couldn't perform those tasks.

The layout of the main screen is nice and clear with a browser bar of thumbnails across the bottom, buttons across the top and an index of tutorials down the right-hand side.

You'll have no difficulty working out how you should resize, fix red-eye or sort out colour, but the operations don't work quite as well as you might hope.

Disappointing tools

The Auto Fix tool seemed very crude and did little more than adjust the brightness, yet the progress of the job was painfully slow and the results were unpleasant.

Auto colour correction also looked horrible on a number of test photos that weren't especially bad in the first place.

If you're unhappy with the results you can use the Edit/Undo option, but you'd better be clear what steps you have performed as Photo Editor 4.0 won't tell you.

It simply Undoes and then Undoes again without saying 'Undo Resize', etc.

Wait for the new version?

ACDSee is working on Photo Editor 2008 which is available as a Beta (www.acdsee.com/offers/photoeditorbeta), but it looks as though the changes are relatively cosmetic.

Existing commands, such as New, Open, Save and Undo gain dedicated buttons that are located above the current row of buttons, but these aren't the sort of changes that are likely to get us excited.