Designers can use these simple Adobe Bridge tricks to stay organized, find files faster, and automate busy work. It’s the perfect sidekick for any creative, especially if you spend a lot of time wrangling image files. Here are five easy tricks to try in Adobe Bridge today.
1. Use Adobe Bridge to Browse Files
This couldn’t be easier. Start saving time immediately by using Adobe Bridge to browse through your files and folders. It’s a faster alternative to your default operating system Finder or File Explorer, especially with a large quantity of high-quality images. You can perform any basic function using Adobe Bridge—copy images from one folder to another, create folders, rename, delete, etc. The primary benefit here is being able to browse and view images much more efficiently. Try it out for yourself by dragging the folder you’d like to view to the Adobe Bridge icon on your dock.
To quickly view a full screen preview of your images, hit the space bar and use the left and right arrow keys to advance through the entire folder at lightning speed.
2. Use the Filter Panel to Find Files Faster
On the lower-left side of your window, you can refine your browser results using the options in the Filter Panel. There are quite a few options here, but File Type is the one I use most often. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view of which file types are in a given folder, and how many there are of each. Other helpful filter criteria include Orientation, Color Profile, and Keyword (assuming you have useful metadata in your files, which many Shutterstock images do).
3. Get Organized with Ratings and Labels
A quick way to make your images easier to navigate is by assigning them Labels and Ratings. Click on the thumbnail preview of your image and a 1-5 star rating system will appear below it. Assign higher star ratings to the images you love, and label the unusable images as Reject (in the menu Label > Reject).
If you think in rainbows, Adobe Bridge also allows you to apply a color coding system using Labels. The default labels are particularly helpful if you’re working on a team with photographers or retouchers, approving and reviewing photography. But, you can assign any meaning to these colors. You can even group images into Collections to add another layer of organization to your image library.
4. Make Quick Work of Resizing
A common scenario designers face is resizing images to meet certain specs. Let Adobe Bridge do the busy work for you. Select all of the images you want to resize and go to Tools > Photoshop > Image Processor. This will automatically open Adobe Photoshop and your images will process from Adobe Bridge.
Your images will save in a new subfolder, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally overwriting your source files.
5. Reveal Links in Adobe InDesign Files
As a publication designer, this is one of my favorite Adobe Bridge tricks. Multi-page layouts, especially catalogue projects, can have hundreds of linked images from just as many sources, depending on how your server is organized. Sometimes, I need to find an image file, and I know I’ve used it in a certain publication design, but I can’t recall where the actual file is located. And, I don’t want to open up this huge document in Adobe InDesign to dig through it. Adobe Bridge to the rescue! All I need to do is right-click on the thumbnail preview of my .INDD file, and select Show Linked Files. Adobe Bridge will automatically show everything linked in my design in one place, regardless of its location.
Start Bridging Some Knowledge Gaps
These five Adobe Bridge tricks are certain to buy back some of your time and set you up for success. And, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what the program is capable of. The best way to learn is by doing. So, fire it up and start experimenting to see how you can optimize your creative workflow.
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