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Tips & Tricks

Adobe Bridge: The Media Manager For Visual People You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

By Kishore Sawh on August 24th 2014


Adobe Bridge, at its core, is a complex and powerful media manager for visual people. Like a focus ring, it allows you to defocus what’s not wanted, and see clearly all your media assets on your hard drive or network without needing to catalogue or database it all. But it’s also so much to it, and so much more.

For a lot of Adobe users, and until about a year ago for even myself, Adobe Bridge was largely neglected. With Photohop’s pixel-bending capability, and Lightroom’s easy organizational structure and even simpler editing structure with a Camera Raw engine, Bridge seemed to fit into the picture Meg sits in Family Guy – seemingly adopted. But the bastard step-child of a program has come of age in recent incarnations, and can be an indispensable tool.

[REWIND: How To Add Text To Anything In Photoshop]



The problem is, like Meg, it doesn’t get the limelight of its siblings so many don’t know much about it. Sure, I can hear some of you now scoffing at that, readying your comments about how long you’ve been using it, but truly, there are more who don’t, and probably should. Adobe has released a bit of a teaser video that does a good job highlighting how Bridge can be used, and why it deserves some attention.

Bridge used to be installed alongside other applications, but now comes as a standalone, and that in itself is a nod to its utility. This decoupling means the delivery of the application can be independent, as can be its use. So without other programs, you can use Bridge as a centralized location that grants access to pretty much all the media assets you have. With cross platform 64-bit support and now support for high resolution screens, it’s perfect for browsing, inspecting, culling, and applying edits. Thumbnail views of almost all filetypes are shown including PSD, RAW, and INDD is also a plus. But take a look at this video from Adobe that will introduce, or re-introduce Bridge to you with some of its great features, and for things you probably didn’t know it could do.

Source: Photoshop Playbook

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar

    love it

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  2. Jim Johnson

    For photos I use LR, which does the same thing. On the design projects (InDesign, illustrator, PDFs, etc) all I need is the thumbnail. The one true advantage it has though is when you move linked files (like in InDesign), it automatically updates the links.

    I’m still a little sore at Adobe from taking away the thumbnail in the regular Windows explorer. It would be so much easier if I could just open up a folder and quickly identify the file I need. I don’t mind Bridge, but man I hate being forced to use it.

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    I also have come to appreciate Bridge with time and I think its great having it around especially when it comes to after effects

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  4. Austin Swenson

    I have found that using bridge is an easy way to cull out all the images that you don’t want to keep. Plus you can use it to organize photos in a lot of the same ways that you would if you used lightroom.

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  5. Rafael Steffen

    I will give it a try, but still after using lightroom after a few years, it becomes harder to migrate to a new tool.

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    • Matthew Saville

      It’s not migration, it’s simply adding a tool to your arsenal. I use Lightroom all the time, and I use Bridge when I need to.

      Simply put, if you want to access some photos without having to create a catalog or import them into a catalog, just for some quick browsing or archive hunting, Bridge is awesome.

      Sure, there are plenty of people who still use Bridge for their main workflow, and it’s a great tool for folks who do a lot of design work using other Adobe Apps like InDesign and whatnot. But yeah, if you’re already deep into Lightroom, there’s no reason to go “back” and switch entirely.

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