< Back to Community


You may have read all about how you can put the Collections feature to work for you organizing and finding your photos. But did you know: you can also make collection sets, which is fancy-speak for creating hierarchies of collections inside parent collections. This makes it possible to really drill down to the exact images you want and to categorize with the level of specificity that is important to you. Maximize efficiency!

Keep in mind that you can’t add images to the collection sets themselves. That’s not what they’re for. You have to put them inside of a folder within the set. This being the case, it may be useful to think of the collection sets as directories you define the structure of.

Create a Collection Set

In the Collections pane, right-click and select Create Collection Set.

Create collection Set

2. In the Create Collection Set dialog box, enter a name for your collection set. You may want to give this some thought. This will be the parent folder that holds a bunch of baby folders, so you’ll want to give it an identifiable name. Not that you can’t go back and change it, of course. I’m just trying to save you time.

Name collection Set

Select the Inside a Collection Set checkbox if you would like to add your collection set inside of another collection set, creating a sort of collection set inception. Select the collection set from the drop-down menu.

Collection Set

3. Click Create.

Now you can work on your hierarchy. Create a new folder by right-clicking the collection set.

Collection Set

Or right-clicking anywhere in the Collection pane. Doesn’t matter. What does matter is that in the Create Collection dialog, under Location, you enable the Inside a Collection Set option. Choose the Collection set you just created from the drop-down menu.

Create Inside Collection Set

Now you can name your collection, and press Create.

You can take things deeper by adding collection sets inside of collection sets, and then putting more folders inside of those. Choose Create Collection Set and then choose the existing collection set to put it inside. And so on and so on.


You can make it as complicated and specific as you feel is necessary for your needs. It can be a great way to focus your goals and stay organized.

Specific collection sets

And if you select the root of a collection set, the File List pane will display all of the images in all of the collections inside of that root.

Display All

While you can put smart collections inside of collection sets, it’s worth noting that when you click the root, the results of the query within the smart collection will not appear in the File List pane along with the contents of the other folders.

Now you have the power to create structures to service your affinity for compartmentalization!

—————— SIMILAR POSTS ——————


Sign up to receive ACDSee newsletters featuring photography and creative work from the ACDSee community, software and photography tips, event listings and special offers available only to subscribers.

Got a question? Or maybe you have some tips that you’re dying to share. Join out enthusiastic community where other ACDSee users get together to share, learn, discover and inspire.

Learn More >