How To Use Adobe Bridge CC 2017

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How To Use Adobe Bridge CC 2017

The Adobe Bridge interface is shown.
Adobe Bridge CC 2017 is more than a simple media browser. It is a file management system.

That Adobe Bridge CC is one of the least-understood applications in the Creative Cloud from Adobe would be a fair observation. When you open it a bewildering array of panels, tools and thumbnails appear and a common reaction to that first look is : “What am I looking at?”

At its core, Adobe Bridge is a media browser that let’s you download images from your camera, navigate through the folders on your hard drive or drives connected to your computer to find the images or media you are searching for. If you stop there, you are not even close to exploiting the full power of Bridge because it is not just a media browser, it is a file management system.

To name just a few features, here’s what Bridge can do:

  • Display fully customizable thumbnails and change their sort order.
  • A number of preview options.
  • A star rating system for the content.
  • Fully customizable metadata options including copyright info and keywords.
  • The ability to create collections.
  • Quick access to the CC applications.

This “How To” won’t get into all of that. Instead think of it as a Quick Start Guide. 

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A Look At The Adobe Bridge CC 2017 Interface

Bridge is open in Filmstrip view.
The Bridge interface is composed of a number of powerful panels and ways of looking at your content.

When you first open Bridge, the full interface is revealed. Along the top are several buttons. From left to right they are:

  • Go Back/Go Forward: Clicking these moves you through the folders and devices connected to Bridge.
  • Reveal recent file: Click this and you will be able to move around the files and folders you recently visited.
  • Boomerang: This button returns you Photoshop.
  • Camera: Click this and you can download the files from your camera or video capture device.
  • Refine: This pop down lets you look at a series of photos, rename a bunch of selected content, or edit a selected file’s metadata.
  • Open in Camera Raw: Select this and the Camera Raw feature of Photoshop is launched.
  • Rotate: Rotate an image either clockwise or counter clockwise.

Over one the right side of the interface are the View options:

  • Essentials: Choose this to change to the default layout.
  • Filmstrip: Choose this to have the content appear as a scrollable filmstrip.
  • Metadata: Choose this to review each image’s metadata.
  • Keywords: Choose this to see the keywords associated with each piece of content in the current folder.

Above the panels is a breadcrumb trail, known as the Path Bar, that lets you navigate through the folder structure of the current collection.

The panels are where the work is done. They are:

  • Favorites: Quick access to your most commonly-viewed folders.
  • Folders: Use this panel to drill down to specific content in the folders on the drives.
  • Filters: This is a Search feature on steroids. You can find content based on rating, keyword, image orientation, aperture, shutter speed, ISO and a ton more.
  • Content: This panel shows you all the images found in a particular folder. Use the slider at the bottom to make the tumbnails larger or smaller.
  • Preview: Select an image and it is displayed in this panel.
  • Publish: Use this if you want to sell your images in Adobe Stock.
  • Metadata: Shows you everything you would need to know about an image.
  • Keywords: Create or search based on keywords.

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How To Preview Images In Adobe Bridge CC 2017

The Preview panel has been enlarged.
There are two primary methods of previewing content in Adobe Bridge CC 2017.

There are a couple of ways to preview a selected image in Bridge. The first is to select View> Full Screen Preview . This will show the image without the distraction of all of the menus and panels. To return to Bridge press the Esc key or the spacebar. In fact, if you select an image in the Content panel and press the spacebar, you will launch the full screen preview.

If you want to see your image at full size, simply click on it if you are in full screen mode. To zoom out you can use your mouse’s scroll wheel. To return to full screen view, click the image.

Another method is to use the Splitter Bars in the Preview panels to increase the size of the panel. If you do this, the other panels shrink.

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How To Use Review Mode In Adobe Bridge CC 2017

The image carousel in Review Mode and the loup showing a magnified area of the image is shown.
Review Mode is a great way of moving through the files in the Content panel.

Full Screen is great for individual images, but the Content View can be a bit overwhelming if there are a few dozen images in the folder. If you select View>Review Mode the content in the folder appear in a rotating image carousel. To move around the carousel either click the Right and Left arrows at the bottom of the interface or use the Arrow keys on your keyboard. If you want to remove an image form the carousel click the down arrow at the bottom of the interface our press the down arrow on your keyboard.

A really neat feature of the Review or Preview modes is the loupe. Click on an image and the loupe appears. The view in the loupe is a 100% view which lets you review the sharpness or focus of an image. This tool is draggable so you can easily spot problem areas in an image. The pointed corner in the upper left of the loupe points to the area being examined and, if you want to close the loupe, click the Close button in the bottom right corner of the loupe.

To return to the Bridge interface, press the Esc key.

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How To Rate Content In Adobe Bridge CC 2017

The star rating in the Label menu are shown.
Use the star ratings to label and filter the content shown in the Content panel.

Not every image or piece of content you create falls into the “Unicorns and Rainbows” class of awesome. There is a rating system in Bridge that let’s you separate the “Great” from the “Simply Awful”. The system uses a one to five stars rating system and it is easy to apply.

Select a couple of images in the Content area to have them appear in the Preview Panel. (You can preview up to 9 images at once.)

To apply a rating to the content in the Preview window, open the Label menu and select the number of stars to be applied to the selection(s).

If you only want to view only images with, say, a five star rating click the Filter button (It is the star)  just above the Preview panel and select your rating category. When you do that only the images with the chosen rating will appear in the Content panel.

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How To Edit Content In Adobe Bridge CC 2017

The context menu showing the applications that can be used to edit files is shown.
Depending on your workflow there are a number of ways to edit a selection in Bridge.

An obvious question is how do I get my content from Bridge to applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, After Effects and Audition (to name just a few.) There are a few ways of doing this.

The first is to simply drag the content from the Content panel on to your desktop and then open it in the applicable application.

Another method would be to Right Click the content in the Content panel and select an application from the resulting Context Menu.

If you double click the file in the Content panel the odds are pretty good it will open in the appropriate application. If this doesn’t work, you can fix it. To do this, open the Bridge Preferences and select  the File Type Associations category to open a rather extensive list of file types and their applications. To change the default application simply click the down arrow to open an extensive list of choices. Select your application it now becomes the default.