Photo Organizing Software Review
Why Use Photo Organizing Software?
The top performers in our review are ACDSee 20, the Gold Award winner; Zoner Photo Studio X, the Silver Award winner; and PaintShop Pro X9, 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.
Capturing photos has never been easier, but tracking and organizing a sizeable collection 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.
The main purpose of photo organizing software is to keep your photos in a centralized 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 programs balance the speed of finding your photo with usability.
Photo manager software serves a similar purpose to photo organizing software but is intended for professional photographers. Both programs offer tools to help you tag, organize, rate and categorize your photos, but photo manager software does so on a larger scale. Both types 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.
As with most software nowadays, 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.
Photo Organizing Software: What We Tested, What We Found
The best photo organizing software helps you organize and find your photos quickly. To test how quickly and effectively each program performs, we uploaded 150 photos to the software 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 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 easy to find the tools you need to organize, edit and even share your pictures. Some photo management programs have floating toolbars so you can customize the workspace to fit your own preference.
While all of the software products offer similar interfaces 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 editing tools and sharing features. We performed common edits on some of the photos and compared the quality of the final products. In this test, most programs 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 helps you create a personalized organizing system, which in turn helps you find your photos fast.
We rewarded software that allows 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 program offers organizing capabilities, but they differ in which tagging options you can use.
After you categorize your photos, the programs have search engines to help you find them again. You can set specific search filters to find photos. 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, Zoner Photo Studio X, Corel PaintShop Pro X9 and Photo Director 8 Ultra 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. ACDSee 20 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 software 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.
What Else Is Important When Selecting Photo Organizing Software?
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 programs can also back up your files, uploading them in bulk to online galleries, photo sites or the cloud.
Photo Organizing Software: Our Verdict and Recommendations
Three photo organizing programs outperformed the others in our comparison: ACDSee 20, Zoner Photo Studio X, and PaintShop Pro X9. 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 programs also allow you to directly post your pictures to social media sites.
Although the editing features are not so easy to use, ACDSee 20 has the most intuitive organization features out of any of the software we tested. You can categorize and view your photos in more than five different ways, which will help you find the best process to suit you. Tidying up your photo collection is made easier with the ability to find and delete duplicate images. Should you have any problems using the software, ACD Systems offers a variety of customer support features to help you use the program.
Zoner Photo Studio X 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 X9 has similar organizing features as ACDSee 20 and Zoner Photo Studio but is not as user-friendly. However, it does have an impressive selection of easy-to-use editing tools to help you get the looks you want from your photos. With organizing features and editing tools, you can use these programs to correct your photos and prepare them for sharing. While PaintShop Pro X9 falls behind ACDSee 20 and Zoner in its organization features, it offers strong support options to help you learn how to use the tools and troubleshoot problems.