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ACDSee Free, Probably The Fastest Image Viewer

MycView was the fastest image viewer when I found it. It works like a charm when being used to view images with size less than 2 MP. However, I noticed a slight delay between photos with 2 MP and higher in size. Recently, I’ve just found out that ACDSee has a free version which lets you view images only, so I decided to give it a try. The result is great. It has no visible delay at all even when I use it to view 1-6 megabytes photos. I tried to compare its speed in loading images with XnView as well out of curiosity and it still comes as the winner.

ACDSee Free offers basic functions only. You can use pagedown/pageup, mouse wheel, arrows button to navigate the images within the program. Zooming capability is, of course, supported. What kind of image viewer if it doesn’t provide the users the ability to zoom the image? Interestingly, apparently you can zoom a specific part of a photo by making a rectangle selection on any part you want to zoom.

acdsee free

By default, ACDSee Free comes with an activated gamma correction. Thus, when you compare it with other image viewers that don’t support gamma correction such as MycView, the images that you view in ACDSee Free will look brighter. While gamma correction is a helpful feature that allows users displaying images accurately on a computer screen, you might not satisfied with the results for some photos. Whether you want to turn it off or changing the correction level, it’s your choice. I myself choose to turn off the gamma correction.

acdsee free option

One of the problems I have with MycView so far is the lack of the ability to set an image as a wallpaper. When I still used MycView as my default image viewer, I had to switch to other image viewer just to put it on my desktop background. Thankfully, ACDSee Free supports this feature, which is one of the main reasons of why I have now used it as my default image opener. You can choose Centered, Tiled or Stretched wallpaper mode. Interestingly, if you don’t like with how the image looks like on your desktop background, you can restore the previous wallpaper. What’s more, you can switch between the wallpaper modes, including restoring the previous one, simply with hotkeys.

In terms of size and portability, however, it fails to beat MycView. While ACDSee Free needs around 29.6MB of your hard drive space after installing, MycView only requires around 37KB and it is portable. Another thing to note is that while ACDSee Free switch between images faster, the application loads a little bit slower than MycView.

Unfortunately, both lack supports for RAW images, so I use Picasa image viewer to open them. ACDSee Free currently supports only 11 images, which are BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TGA, TIFF, WBMP, PCX, PIC, WMF, EMF.

Honestly, the speed and performance of this Free version alone makes me want to buy its Pro edition, so I went to the website to look for information about its price. The normal price of ACDSee 14 is US $79.99 and ACDSee Pro 5 is US $139.99. As a cheaper alternative, my suggestion is Zoner Photo Studio.

So I have now officially use around six image viewers. Each offers its own unique way either in viewing or managing images. How many do you use?

Visit for download: Homepage
Version reviewed: ACDSee Free 1.0.18
License: Free
OS Requirements: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, Windows 7

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