A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed ACDSee's latest photo editing software release and even said it could replace Adobe products in many ways for Windows users. It was only wise to back that statement up with two complementary articles, this one being the first, showing to Adobe users how they could switch from Lightroom to ACDSee. In today’s write-up, I’ll concentrate on bringing files from previous Lightroom catalogs into ACDSee and also on how to manage your pictures in ACDSee Ultimate 2018.
How to Import Lightroom Catalogs into ACDSee Ultimate 2018
When photographers and retouchers switch from one solution to another, their most significant issue is usually to bring their old files into the new editing tool. ACDSee Ultimate 2018 offers an easy solution to import Lightroom Catalogs. It will allow the user to recover the ratings, labels, collections, and keywords from their past catalogs. The process is quite simple and won’t take you more than a few seconds or minutes, depending on how many pictures and catalogs you have.
Start by closing Adobe Lightroom and opening ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2018, then go to the Tools > Database > Import menu and select Lightroom Database.
In the new window, click next until you reach the place where you can pick the data to import and where the Lightroom Catalog is located. Choose the options you wish to keep and the catalog you want to import. If you own multiple catalogs, you’ll have to go through this process multiple times.
And that’s it. Once the import box shows a tick in front of every option, your data are ready to be used in ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2018.
Where Do I Find My Pictures?
Your catalogs are all imported into Lightroom, that’s fantastic, but being able to access them would be even better. There are a few options. The first one is if you used Collections in Lightroom to order your files, you'd then find your collections here as well by enabling Collections in the Panes menu.
Once the Collections pane is activated, you’ll find it right under workspace, next to Folders and Catalog. Each collection will be shown, and you’ll have access to all your files.
The second solution works best if you used folders to organize your files. In ACDSee Ultimate 2018 you can browse all the files and folders of your computer by accessing the Folders pane right under the File and Workspace menus (top left of the window). You’ll then have to navigate to the folder that contains the images used in the Lightroom catalog you imported.
Another alternative is to use the Catalog pane, found between the Folders and Collections ones, and then browse through the pictures using the different options such as ratings, labels, or keywords.
How Can I Reorganize My Files Now?
Perhaps now that you are in ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2018, you feel like your previous organization wasn’t extremely practical. Maybe the catalog-based workflow made it overly complicated for you or perhaps the newly discovered interface of ACDSee Ultimate 2018 calls for a change.
The asset management in this photo editing software is far from being complicated. Using the Folders pane, you can drag and drop folders or images from one place to another making reorganization a breeze. By clicking on a picture in the Manage mode, you can edit its metadata to make your library easier to browse. From EXIF to IPTC, or even the manufacturer notes, you should find enough options to order your images and find them later on even if you have a ton of them.
If you don’t like ordering files in the Windows explorer and prefer having all of your images in one single folder to organize everything then using albums and collections, that’s absolutely fine. There are two solutions. One is the albums which you have to create manually in the Catalog pane. You can stack albums within albums to create sub-categories. For example "Portraits," "Weddings," and "Studio" could be the main categories and then have a sub-album per month and another per client within the monthly album. To add pictures to an album, select them in the Folders or Catalog pane, then either right click and choose Set Categories, or drag and drop the images in the album of your choice.
The other alternative is called collections. We already saw it after importing our files from Lightroom. You can create more of them, and you can even create smart ones so that ACDSee does the organization for you according to the settings you want. Note that it’s also possible to create Collections Sets to order your Collections instead of having a mess after a few shoots.
If you use multiple ways to organize your assets, be sure to use the Properties pane on the right of the screen. Once you select an image, it will appear and by clicking on the tabs (bottom of the screen) you can toggle through Metadata editing, File organizing, and reading the file’s details. In the Organize tab, you can manage the Categories, Keywords, and Collections all in one place. It makes the process of keeping your library clean very easy and fast.
How Do I Import New Files?
There’s nothing easier. If you want to be guided through the import process, click the Import button on the top left of your screen and follow the instruction to get your files in ACDSee Photo Ultimate 2018. If you followed this article or my previous ones regarding this software thoroughly, you know that you don’t need to import files to be able to access them. You can just use the Folders pane in the Manage module and then organize the files however you feel is best.
Why Do My Imported Lightroom Files Look Like Raw Images in ACDSee?
Unfortunately, it seems like ACDSee is not able to interpret the editing data from Lightroom and match it in ACDSee Ultimate 2018. My best advice would be to export your files as large TIFF or PSD files from Lightroom and import them in ACDSee so that you can keep a high-resolution version of your edited files available at all times in ACDSee Ultimate 2018. Or keep Lightroom running alongside Ultimate 2018 until you know you won’t need to access these older files.
But between us, we all know the second solution is not why you are reading this article. How many times have you had to access old files and actually modify anything on them in Lightroom? Wouldn’t a large TIFF, PSD, or even just high-quality JPG be enough for most needs? Then if once you need to go back, download Lightroom in trial mode and edit that one file you absolutely need.
How Can I Keep a Lightroom Like Workflow in ACDSee?
One thing after the other. We are already well over 1,000 words, and I know some of you won’t survive more information right away. In the next part, we’ll see how you can edit your images in ACDSee Ultimate 2018 using all the fancy things you had in Lightroom such as presets, the HSL sliders, curves, and local adjustments.