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.