The top performers in our review are CyberLink PhotoDirector 7 Ultra, the Gold Award winner; Corel PaintShop Pro X8, the Silver Award winner; and ACDSee 18, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing photo organizing software to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 programs.
Taking photos has never been easier, but tracking and organizing them can be difficult. Photo organizing software helps you keep track of all of your photos by sorting, rating and categorizing them, and some programs even have editing and sharing capabilities.
Photo manager software serves a similar purpose to photo organizing software but is intended for a professional audience. Both programs offer tools to help you tag, organize, rate or categorize your photos, but photo manager software does so at a larger scale. These types of software also include basic editing tools to help you correct and enhance your photos. If you need more advanced editing tools, photo editing software and graphic design software are full-featured programs that can edit and transform your photos.
The main purpose of photo organizing software is to keep your photos in a safe location where you can easily find them. With tools that tag your photos by name, location, date, person and rating, there are a variety of ways you can search through your images. The best photo organizing software balances the speed of finding your photo with usability.
Like most software, several companies are now offering their programs as services. These services offer the same features and capabilities as the original software but charge a monthly fee instead of a one-time payment. With these cloud-based services, you can access your images on a variety of internet-enabled devices. Our comparison focuses on software that ranges between $25 and $110.
The best photo organizing software helps you organize and find your photos quickly. To test how quickly and effectively each software performs, we uploaded 150 photos to the programs and created custom categories. We categorized photos by date, people and location. We also tested the editing features by resizing and adding effects to several photos, and we then posted them on social media sites to test the programs’ sharing abilities.
We found that the workspace of each photo organizer played a significant role in the program’s usability. Programs that display photos next to the organizing and editing tools make it quick to find the tools you need to organize, edit and even share your pictures. Some photo management software have floating toolbars, so you can customize the workspace to fit your own preference.
While all of the software offered similar interface’s and tools, we found that each program differed in responsiveness. We took this into consideration when creating the ease of use score, rewarding the software that had quick load times.
While we focused on the organizing features, we also tested the programs’ editing tools and sharing features. We performed common edits on some of the photos and compared the quality of the final products. In this respect, the software performed similarly. We also tested the sharing options and took note of the different ways you can export your photos and which sites you can directly post to.
Categories: Organizing Your Photos
The categories each software offers and the option to create custom categories serve as key differentiators between programs. Software with a wide selection of tagging options help you create a personalized organizing system, which in turn helps you find your photos fast.
We rewarded software that allow you to tag or organize photos by keywords, location, date, person or rating. The more organizing options you have, the easier it is to find that one photo from your collection. Each software offers organizing capabilities, but they differed in which tagging options you can use.
After you categorize you photos, the programs have search engines to help you find them again. You can set specific search filters when using the programs’ search functions. While setting tags may be time consuming at first, it saves you time in the end when you can search for a selection of photos by their dates, locations or tags.
Basic Editing Tools: Each Software Has Some
Most photo organizing programs include a selection of basic editing tools to help you resize, crop and enhance your images. The programs that focus on photo editing as their main function offer all the basic editing tools, as well as several professional grade tools you can use to completely transform your photos. For example, Photo Director 7 Ultra and Corel PaintShop Pro X8 focus on photo editing and offer these tools.
While the photo editors allow you to alter your photos in more ways than the photo organizers, they often lack advanced organizing tools. Serif PhotoStack still has editing features but outperforms the other software with its tagging and organizing options.
Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate all products and services in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experiences of a typical consumer. We obtained the units in our comparison on loan from the companies. The companies had no input or influence over our test methodology, nor was the methodology provided to any of them in more detail than is available through reading our reviews. Results of our evaluations were not provided to the companies in advance of publication.
While organizing and editing tools serve as important considerations when choosing photo organizing software, importing and sharing features determine which pictures you can use and where you can share them. These additional features are reflected in our scores, recommendations and articles about photo organizing software. Consider the following features when you are purchasing photo organizing software:
File Management: Uploading Photos
The type of device you use to take pictures may determine which software is best for you. Most photo organizing software supports RAW files from digital cameras, as well as images gathered from phones, removable media and scanners. Software with RAW compatibility allows you to edit images without corrupting the original file and create different edits of one photo.
Sharing: What Social Media Sites Can I Post On?
The ability to share your photos on multiple social media sites is important. The best organizer programs let you directly post your photos or entire albums on sites like Facebook and Flickr. Many software can also back up your files, uploading them in bulk to online galleries, photo sites or the cloud.
Three photo organizing programs outperformed the others in our comparison: CyberLink PhotoDirector 7, PaintShop Pro X8 and ACDSee 18. These programs offer a wide selection of organizing tools, as well as professional-grade editing tools. Not only can you manage and edit your photos, but these software also allow you to directly post your pictures to social media sites.
PhotoDirector 7 combines powerful editing tools with a variety of organizing features. The software’s tools range from those that perform basic functions like cropping and resizing to more advanced ones like HDR imaging and lens distortion correction. With its organizing tools, you can tag, rate or add keywords to your photos and later search for them using those categories. In addition to the organizer and editor, this software allows you to post your photos directly onto social media sites.
PaintShop Pro X8 and ACDSee 18 have similar features but were not as user friendly as PhotoDirector 7. With their organizing features and editing tools, you can use these programs to correct your photos and prepare them for sharing. While they fall behind CyberLink in usability, they both offer strong support options to help you learn how to use the tools and troubleshoot problems.