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Key Differences Between Develop and Edit

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  • Key Differences Between Develop and Edit

    I finally had a chance to research the differences between Develop and Edit. There is a lot of documentation but I could not find anything that pulls the various pieces together.

    As noted by LV_Bill, the following is specific to image formats other than RAW, such as JPEG, PNG, BMP and TIFF. Comments about reduction in image quality with repeated edits only applies to compressed image formats.

    Assume I start with an image in the folder Inbox. Develop operations are a bunch of instructions for manipulating the image. When I exit Develop mode, the original image is saved in Inbox/[Originals] along with the Develop instructions. A copy of the image with the Develop changes applied is saved in Inbox making it easy to use the image from applications other than ACDSee. If I go back into Develop, the image is loaded from Inbox/[Originals], the previous Develop instructions are applied to the image, and the instructions are also used to pre-set the various Develop sliders so that individual changes can be easily backed out. Since Develop changes always work from the original file, repeated Develop passes will not degrade quality of compressed images.

    Edit modifies the image in 'Inbox'. Repeated Edit operations requiring that the image be saved and reloaded will gradually degrade quality of compressed images. Once the file has been saved, individual Edit changes cannot be reversed.

    At this point, ACDSee has access to three versions of the file:
    • the original in Inbox/[Originals]
    • the original with Develop changes applied (created dynamically)
    • the current file in Inbox that has Develop and Edit changes applied permanently.

    This explains why Tools -> Process has two options: Restore to Developed and Restore to Original.

    Going back into Develop mode after having done Edit operations requires a decision: throw away the Edits (revert to the image in Inbox/[Originals] with the Develop instructions applied) or save the image in Inbox as a new file. This new version (Develop and Edit changes applied permanently) can now follow the same path as described above. The original file is still in Inbox/[Originals] and the image with the first round of Develop+Edit changes is still in Inbox.

    From a workflow perspective, it makes sense to do as much in Develop, even if similar tools exist in Edit. Edit operations should be minimized and done as the very last step, to avoid creating multiple versions of the same image.

    Does this make sense? Are there any errors in the description? At some point, I might turn this into a flowchart.
    Last edited by nh905; 02-23-2014, 05:18 AM. Reason: Clarify applicability to RAW

  • #2
    Your understanding of the way ACDsee Pro works is essentially correct. However, the file saving logic you described applies only to Jpeg, Tiff, Bmp, and Png file types.
    When RAW images are processed in Pro 7, the file and the Image storage locations are different. If Raw image types are of interest to you, post back for further explanation.


    • #3
      @LV_Bill, excellent point - I will edit the the original post to clarify.


      • #4
        My wife pointed out a difference in the Edit vs. Develop user interface. Assume that changes A and B are being made to an image. In Develop, the Show Original button shows the image before any changes were made. After making change A and then trying different settings for change B, there appears to be no easy way to just see the impact of the B changes without remembering/restoring the original setting of the sliders. Even saving and exiting from Develop does not help - if I adjust Lighting, press Done/Save, then go back into Develop to adjust White Balance, Show Original shows me the original without the Lighting changes. One exception appears to be Crop which 'sticks around' even though the other changes to the image are removed from the image preview.

        In Edit, the Show Saved button toggles between the current change and the image prior to the current change, allowing multiple changes can be made and the impact assessed sequentially. It is still possible to back out changes until the Done/Save step when all changes are committed.

        Am I missing something? On the surface, Develop seems to be a better way of editing both in terms of maintaining the quality of compressed images through successive edits and the ability to selectively back out changes at any point. From a user perspective, Show Saved in Edit seems more natural.


        • wiseman
          wiseman commented
          Editing a comment
          In Developed Mode, there is a small square box in the upper right corner of each develop tool. That box becomes highlighted as soon as any adjustment is made with that tool. To see the before vs after of JUST that tool, click the highlighted box (it becomes un-highlighted). The image reverts to its state before that develop tool was applied. Click the box again (it becomes highlighted) to return to the image with that tools effect applied.

          I think this is what you are asking for. You can toggle the effect of any develop tool on/off. The effect of the remaining develop tools used are still displayed.

        • nh905
          nh905 commented
          Editing a comment
          @wiseman, good point! I can see where I might want to completely back out a specific development tool. However, the specific case I was interested in was backing out just the most recent change. Say I have used the sharpen tool once already. After making other changes, I want to go back and fine-tune the degree of sharpening. In this case, the 'before' includes whatever sharpening was done earlier.

          This has turned into an interesting exercise in learning the capabilities of ACDSee!

      • #5
        I think it’s important to remember that Develop mode always applies the processing in a preset order, so if that order is tool A before B, it will apply the processing in that order even if you did B before A (unlike with Edit mode, which always applies processing in the order you choose).

        This means that if you do B before A, there isn’t really a pre-A version that includes B to use if you asked for a “before A” version, and to be able to offer such a feature the program would either have to take the time to completely process the image each time you changed tools (rather than just producing a screen preview), or it would need something like a “Process Now” button to enable you to save a version that you might like to view later in the Develop process.


        • #6
          @JohnRadcliffe, I think I understand - Develop is 'stateless' in the sense that the preview is the aggregate of all the various Develop settings. It looks like the Geometry settings are an exception - these apply even if I Show Original unless I am in the Geometry tab in which case Show Original takes me back to the real original.

          I think I have figured out a way to accomplish what I want. Edit -> Undo and Edit -> Redo appear to affect just the most recent settings changes, effectively the same as toggling the Show Saved button in Edit mode. In addition, each control has a Reset this group to default settings if I want to start fresh with that particular group of controls, regardless of the order in which I had applied those changes.

          It is always obvious after you figure it out (:-).


          • #7
            nh905 - The missing "Show Last Saved" button in Develop Mode is on many user's lists for correction in Pro 8. In the meantime, there is a workaround which is fairly straightforward.

            Open an already developed image in Develop Mode. Make additional adjustments.
            To view the effect of the new adjustments compared to the previous saved image, click on the large gear icon at the top of the tools panel.
            The first item on the dropdown list is "Reset to Last Saved". Click this option to see the "before" version (Note: it takes a few seconds to see this).
            Then, click Ctl + Z (Edit - Undo) to see your most recent changes again. You can toggle back and forth using Ctl + Z and Ctl + Y (Edit - Redo).

            It's a little crude, but it does get the job done quite effectively.