For the second installment of my Photoshop Insight Injections, I’m going to share some tips for using Adobe Bridge. Bridge is Photoshop CS2’s replacement for the File Browser that was found in older versions of Photoshop.
Bridge Tips coming after the jump.
Adobe has replaced the File Browser’s Flag feature with a new 1-5 star rating system that can be accessed from the Label menu in Bridge. Any images that were flagged in previous versions will appear with a 1 star rating.
Adobe also get rid of the File Browser’s Ranking feature and unfortunately, Bridge doesn’t offer any feature that converts previously ranked images into the new system. So, before you view a folder of ranked images in Bridge, you might want to go back to the File Browser and at least flag them or add keywords so you can tell which images you wanted to highlight.
If you use a Mac, then you might notice that the Desktop is no longer the base level of the folder list. To quickly access the desktop within Bridge, choose it from the pop-up menu that appears near the upper left of the Bridge window. It should be included in the list of favorites found in that menu…. if it isn’t, then you can easily add it by choosing Preferences from the Bridge menu (Mac), or Edit menu (Win) and changing the Favorites Items setting.
While you’re in Bridge’s preferences, you might as well change the Additional Lines of Thumbnail Metadata settings. The default settings cause the documents’ creation date to be shown below each thumbnail image. I personally don’t find that info to be overly useful and don’t like that it takes up extra space.
If you like to have a bunch of lines of metadata displayed below each thumbnail image, then consider typing Command-T (Mac), or Ctrl-T (Win) when you want to get rid of the clutter of name and metadata below the thumbnails. Each time you type that keyboard shortcut, you’ll end up toggling the visibility of the file name/metadata below the thumbnails.
If you want to force a particular document to open in a program other than the default, then Right-click on it (Win), or hold Control and click on it (Mac) and choose a program from the Open With submenu of the pop-up menu that appears. If you always want that type of document to open in an alternative program (to get .eps files to open in Photoshop instead of Illustrator for example), then consider editing the File Type Associations settings in Bridge’s preferences.
If you have navigated to a particular folder in the Mac’s Finder and want to quickly view the contents of the folder in Bridge, then drag the folder to the Bridge icon in Mac OSX’s Dock. I have not discovered the equivalent in Windows yet.
I find it much more efficient to drag all the tabs that appear on the left side of the Bridge window into a single grouping (folders, preview, etc.) since it’s rare that I need to use more than one area at a time and find that people constantly shuffle which area uses the most space. With all the tabs grouped together, I simply click on the folder tab to navigate and then click on any of the other tabs once I get to the folder I want to work with.
Bridge offers a new method for copying images from one folder to another: You can now select one or more files, choose Edit>Copy, navigate to a different folder and then choose Edit>Paste.
That’s all for now. If you want to learn about all of the changes that were made in Bridge (or all of CS2 for that matter), then check out my newest book: Photoshop CS2 Up to Speed, which is the only book focused exclusively on the new features in Photoshop CS2.
Regarding the equivalent action to open a folder in Bridge, it is the same in Windows as in Mac, simply drag the folder (or any picture in the folder) to the Bridge icon on the Windows desktop to open that folder’s files. Or, did I misunderstand your comment about not knowing the equivalent windows action?
I don’t like being forced to have an icon on my desktop to get to this feature. Let me know if you can figure out one that allows me to leave my desktop clean and still quickly navigate to a folder by dragging the folder.
Not being familiar with the Mac approach, perhaps the only other option is to have the Bridge icon in the quick launch bar at the bottom of the desktop, and then, drag to that, with the same result.
By the way, great site Ben, really enjoy all the info you have here. Any chance of training visits to Canada, specifically Vancouver or Victoria?
I don’t currently have anything on my schedule for Canada. The main seminar that I’m doing these days is my Photoshop for Photographers one day event, which is organized by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. They pick the dates and locations, so they would be the people to try to talk into a Vancouver event.
I just want to add that everybody should upgrade Bridge to 1.02 to use it at its best.
>Adobe also get rid of the File Browser’s Ranking
>feature and unfortunately, Bridge doesn’t offer
>any feature that converts previously ranked
>images into the new system.
In a way, they haven’t gotten rid of the old ranking system. The old ranking system has morphed into the new label system. Any image that was ranked in the previous PS will appear in Bridge with a white label.
The new label system is more of a hack than a new system.
Try this: Label an item “Red” and then go the options and change the name of the red label to something else (“Bannana”).
You will now notice that your previously red colored image is now labeled with the color white.
If you load up any “Red” labeled image in Bridge into CS or PS 7, it will have a ranking titled “Red.”
A quick question, I have your book Photoshop CS2 studio techniques. And am contemplating attending your seminar in San Diego in Nov 2005
My question is one that may be helpful to many professional photographers who are frustrated at the lack of sparkle / zing / pop that one gets from digital compared to film. I saw a recent demonstration given by a local photographer where he got some amazing results from 11 meg digital 16 bit Raw images using adjustments in the histogram and levels. He used a trick to select and split the Gamma which i had never seen before ( does not work with Tiger OS for some reason ) The results equaled if not improved on film !!
To cut a long story short i wanted to know if you can show or will be showing a method or work flow on how professional photographers can achieve results comparable or even improve on film during you seminars in San Diego.
This is not the right place to ask a question that does not relate to the specific post you are adding a comment to. I believe the only thing that prevents digital images from having sparkle/zing, or whatever you want to call it is the users education in how to use Photoshop. If you don’t use Curves on every image you open, then you’re images are lacking.
I attended your SF seminar this summer: Great for all levels of Photoshop user.
I’ve been on an online Digital Photographers’ Forum lately and really enjoy it (and have been touting your books):
In your Bridge tutorial, I didn’t notice any mention of using more than one Bridge window, which I believe you mentioned in Up To Speed. I often have two Bridge windows (plus application palettes) open on one monitor and either Photoshop or InDesign open on the other.
I’ve been enjoying whereisben since you announced it in SF. Thanks,
To just add a tidbit on Phil’s OFF topic post, part of the trick is to select the luminosity of the image by doing Command+Option+~ (aka ‘the claw’, due to the shape of your hand)…
You just need to follow Scott Weichert’s instructions to get the shortcut back:
Apple added a new shortcut to its keyboard settings which conflicts with this Photoshop shortcut.
In order to correct the issue you must change or disable the Operating System shortcut.
1) Launch Mac OSX System Preferences.
2) Click the Keyboard & Mouse icon
3) Scroll down to Keyboard Navigation
4) Expand the Keyboard navigation menu and find the item titled “Move Focus to window drawer”
5) To change the shortcut, highlight this item then click on the shortcut itself on the right, then press the keys you wish to use. You can then exit out of System Preferences.
6) To turn off this shortcut Uncheck the box to the left of the title then exit out of Mac OSX System preferences.
Return to Photoshop and the Cmd+Option+~ (tilde) shortcut should then work.
I guess that the trick was to copy an image on itself, change the mode to screen or multiply, and mask this with the luminosity mask: once you’ve got the selection with the shortcut, click on the layer mask button. You can also add a hus/sat Adj. Layer with a lum. mask.
(if you do not want to change the Tiger shortcut, just Command+click the composite, or any channel you want)
Sorry to continue on the hijacking, maybe this warrants a blog post of its own
Ctrl+Alt+~ doesnt work in CS2 in my Windows XP version. Do you have any idea what could be the problem with the windows version?
By ctrl clicking the composed channel you mean ctrl clicking the RGB channel?
Hi Ben, you might not remember me but most likely you will. I’m Maria Elena’s son from Mexico and we went over to a Mexican Posada last year. I found your website through Photoshop TV and it was good to find out everything is going fine with you. I’ve learnt a whole lot about video and photography and your DVDs have been incredibly useful.
Drop me a note sometime when you get a chance.
Hi Ben, I’m scratching my head over the issue of files flagged in PS CS File Browser. By default, you state these files should open in PS CS2 Adobe Bridge as 1-star rated. Doesn’t happen for me and according to Adobe Support it won’t for anyone ! Who’s correct ? If you are, how do I get this to work ? I have thousands of images flagged in file browser but lose all that work when these same images are opened in Adobe Bridge.
By the way, thanks for all the great Photoshop wisdom you’ve imparted to so many over the years, Ian
Just discovered a complete list of all marked down products at Amazon, sorted by category
and % off, ranging from 50% off to 90% off (thanks Sonja for the effort).
Actually I never thought Amazon would have articles with 90% off, but only in the category
Electronics there are more than 3000 of them – look for yourself, the list is on
or on http://digg.com/gadgets/Actually_I_never_thought_Amazon_would_have_articles_with_90
(which is a blog of a woman who specializes in finding good deals at Amazon, like Britain’s “Jeanie”).