Up Front and Personal

October 4, 2018

It’s your dad’s 50th birthday. Your mom charged you with putting together a slideshow of all the times he’s been a loveable goofball, a dependable dad, a great husband, and an honorable neighbor. Great, there goes your weekend. Hello, hours of work.

You took thousands of wedding photos for your client last month. Now she wants you to send her every photo of her great aunt. This could take hours you don’t have—that lady was everywhere.

Or will it? If only there was some way to search your photos by individual, scenarios like these wouldn’t be daunting tasks. Well, good news: ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate and Professional now feature Face Detection and Facial Recognition. Let’s talk about how it works.

As you know, ACDSee automatically adds file information and thumbnails to the database as you browse in Manage mode. This process is called cataloging. Once the folder you are browsing has been cataloged, ACDSee begins the process of detecting faces in your images. As you open other folders, ACDSee will continue scanning for faces in the first folder, and will queue subsequent folders as you open them. ACDSee will continue scanning until Face Detection is complete on the folders you browsed. (I should note that Face Detection is only available on supported image file types. You can’t run Face Detection on files in unsupported locations, such as archives, phones, and photo disks, or on files excluded from the database.) After this is done, you can open the images in View mode, where the faces will be outlined.

Alternatively, you can detect faces on an image by image basis by opening them in View mode. By default, this just involves opening the image in View mode and then waiting for the outlines to appear on the faces. It should only take a few seconds. But if it’s turned off for some reason, go to Tools | Options | Face Detection and toggle the Automatically detect faces in images checkbox to enable it. To toggle the outlines on or off, click the Show Face Outlines button Face outline tool in the bottom toolbar, or press SHIFT + B.


Facial Recognition - Outlines in View Mode


Once ACDSee has found the faces in your images, it’s your job to tell ACDSee who these people are. Assigning names to people is pretty easy though. Naming faces helps ACDSee to recognize individuals in future images. This is where the facial recognition bit comes in. The more often you name someone, the more likely ACDSee will identify them, and that saves you time in the future. You can approach assigning names by toggling the Face tool, Facial recognition - face tool icon typing in the fields directly on the image and pressing ENTER.


Facial Recognition - Assign names to image


Or you can open the Face Detection pane by choosing Panes | Face Detection, typing the names in the fields, and pressing ENTER.


Facial Recognition - Assign names pane


You can use TAB to move your cursor between name fields on the image or on the Face Detection pane.

If a face in your image is not found, you can use the Face tool to draw the outlines. This will provide you with the option to enter a name in the field.


Facial Recognition - Draw outline


Facial Recognition - Enter name


You can also use your cursor to move, expand, or contract the outline with the Face tool enabled.

You can improve your facial recognition results by correcting names mistakenly designated to faces by ACDSee. The sooner you fix it, the less likely you’ll see the mistake again.

By naming the people in your photos, you’ll be able to search and easily find your dad or your client’s aunt or whoever you want. You can do this a couple of ways. You can search by name in Manage mode. Enter the name in the Quick Search bar.


Facial Recognition - search results


Or use the Search pane. Choose Panes | Search. In the With the text field, click the arrow next to the field. Enable Search in People.


Facial Recognition - search pane


Type the name in the With the text field and hit ENTER.


Facial Recognition - search pane results


Alternatively, you can isolate the photos with specific names assigned to them using the People group in the Catalog pane. The Catalog pane is tabbed with the Folders pane on the left in Manage mode.


Facial recognition - catalog pane


Expand the People group and select your desired name to display the photos pertaining to that name.


Facial recognition - names catalog


If your naming becomes a mess in one way or another, you can manage the names assigned to faces using the People Manager. In Manage or View mode, choose Tools | Manage People…


Facial recognition - people manager


If you want to delete a name, because, let’s face it, sometimes people exit our lives in ways we’d rather forget, you can select the name in the People Manager, and press the Remove button. remove button

If a situation arises where you have the same person assigned two different names, you can fix it without starting over again. Say you assigned someone the name “Timothy”, but then later named the same person “Tim”, (because nobody calls him “Timothy”), it’s not a problem. Just merge them. In the People Manager, CTRL + click to select the names in question. Then press the Merge button.  Enter the name you’re going with in the Merge People dialog—in this case, ”Tim”.

People Manager, CTRL + click to select the names in question. Then press the Merge button. people manager merge icon  Enter the name you’re going with in the Merge People dialog—in this case, ”Tim”.


Facial recognition - Merge people dialog box


And if you screwed up a name somehow—you wrote “Tin” instead of “Tim”, or “Time”, more likely—you can fix it once instead of over and over. In the People Manager, select the name. Press the Rename people manager rename icon button, and edit the name.

If you want to wipe the slate clean, you can do that also. Go to Tools | Options and choose Face Detection. On the Face Detection page, press the Remove All Face Data button. This will get rid of face outlines, names, and information pertaining to whether Face Detection has been run on files. Obviously, this can’t be undone, so make sure you’re serious. After you press this button, ACDSee will need to be restarted.

You can also remove face detection and recognition data on selected images. In Manage mode, select the image(s). Then choose Tools | Remove Faces. These specific images will stay marked as having been scanned for faces, and they won’t be re-scanned…unless you want them to be. When you do, still in Manage mode, select those same images. Choose Tools | Redetect Faces.

You can also enable Face Detection to rerun if you suspect that there are files that have been significantly edited since Face Detection ran on them before. Go to Tools | Options and choose Face Detection. On the Face Detection page, enable the Rerun Face Detection checkbox. Then it will run on them again next time you browse those changed images.

That’s all there is to it. Name a little, find a lot. Have fun!




  • John Donaldson

    How do I turn face detection completely off? I don’t want the face boxes when in View mode, manage mode, or anywhere else.

  • Davide Iodice

    I Have much photo… if i need to reinstall there is a way to save my face detection after re-install the program? There is a way to save the preset of all the photo i have?

    • ACD Systems International

      Hello Davide, Face data is saved in our database. Presets are saved in the registry. Uninstalling and reinstalling do not remove the database nor registry. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

  • If I want to save the database on my own . ..what directory I have to save? Where is located? Tnx

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