Once upon a time I was a skeptic of Adobe Bridge. It took too long to open. It didn’t seem to necessarily enhance my workflow, so I just kind of ignored it. But, that has changed! Adobe Bridge has become an invaluable tool within my work environment.
Let me share with you why I am now an Adobe Bridge fan.
View Content. In a regular explorer window, I cannot see the images/content inside any of my Photoshop documents. However, with Adobe Bridge, I can quickly see the images/content without ever opening the document. Below is a screen shot of Adobe Bridge:
In the center of the screen, Adobe Bridge shows me the contents of the current folder. I can easily see ‘inside’ a Photoshop file, an Illustrator file, a PDF file, an InDesign file, and even view the first frame of movie files (.mov and .avi). And, if it is a multiple page document (InDesign file), I can preview the pages in the Preview area at the top right.
If I want to see larger (or smaller) thumbnails I can simply use the slider at the bottom right of the window to change the size of the thumbnails.
File Information. When I select (highlight) any of these files, it shows me more detail about the file on the right side of the screen.
For example, if I click on the layout2.psd (Photoshop file), a preview of that file shows up in the top right. Below the preview is the Metadata for that document.
The contents of the Metadata tab depends on the type of file selected. The Metadata area has at least five main sections: File Properties, IPTC Core, Audio, Video, DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine format). If the file is a Photoshop file, like the example above, only the File Properties section and the IPTC Core section are relevant. The Audio, Video, and DICOM sections are relevant only for those types of files.
The File Properties section lists the filename, document type, date created, date modified, file size, dimensions, resolution, etc.
If the file is an image from a camera, another section called Camera Data will appear within the Metadata information. It includes information about the settings on the camera when the picture was taken.
Keywords. I can easily add keywords to any of the files. This allows me to select images or files by keywords. Next to the Metadata tab is the Keyword tab. Within this tab, I can assign a keyword, or add/delete keywords. To add or delete a keyword, click on the ‘+’ or wastebasket icon at the bottom of the keyword panel.
These keywords are used in the Filter tab located on the left side of the screen. If I open the Keywords section under the Filter tab, I can simply select one or more keywords and files with only those keywords show up in the Content area.
Rate Images. Another useful feature in Adobe Bridge is the ability to rate your images. This may be very helpful if you have a ton of images and you want to use only your best images in a project. Assuming you’ve taken the time to rate your images beforehand, you can use the ratings feature to quickly find your best images.
You can rate your images from 1-5 inside Adobe Bridge. To apply a rating, select the image, then click on one of the five dots that appear right above the file name. This will apply that many ‘stars’ to the image, giving it a rating corresponding to the number of stars.
When you want to select your best images, you can click on the desired rating inside the Ratings Filter located on the left side of the screen:
Adobe Bridge has many more features. These are the ones that I find myself using over and over. How about you? How have you incorporated Adobe Bridge into your workflow?