What Is Adobe Bridge? A Beginner’s Guide to the Content Management App
Content creation in any capacity is a messy game—there are usually many moving parts to keep track of, and we tend to spread ourselves thin between our hard drives, our cloud storage services, and all of our different devices. Browsing a collection of digital assets through an ordinary file directory is easy, but it’s not optimal.
Adobe Bridge certainly lives up to its name. It’s designed to be one central hub for professionals who live inside of the Adobe suite. If you’re not already using it, you should be. And the best part: it costs nothing if you’re already a member of the Adobe family.
What Is Adobe Bridge?
Adobe Bridge is a desktop media browser. Its primary reason for being: helping Adobe users manage all of the media that they use while working within the Adobe suite.
It’s is included with every Adobe membership; you can download Bridge, free of charge, any time after signing up for an account.
Adobe Bridge System Requirements
Before proceeding and downloading the app, you’ll need to make sure that your hardware is able to accommodate.
Ideally, you should be working with an Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athalon 64 processor, at least 2 GHz or more. You’ll also need at least 2 GB of RAM, but 8 is Adobe’s official recommendation. You’ll also need 2.1 GB of hard drive space for a 64-bit installation.
Download: Adobe Bridge (Free)
Who Needs Adobe Bridge, and What Is It For?
Bridge is essentially an Adobe-branded viewport, through which you’re able to browse digital assets of every possible variety. This includes photos, audio, videos, and vector graphics.
Metadata is another highlight—you can explore your media just as you would through an app like Premiere, with attached metadata describing the most important aspects of each file.
Aside from these scant few examples, there’s a lot more to discover:
- Bridge lets you browse your entire media collection—you can preview images and play video and audio, all from right within the app.
- You can sync your media across all of your apps and devices.
- The app also lets you create libraries of your media, collating everything that you need for one project or another.
- You’re able to examine any of your files, taking a closer look at both the image and the properties that they embody.
- Bridge offers a robust search feature, allowing you to specify what you’re looking for to an incredibly minute degree.
- You can attach keywords and metadata to any of your assets.
- You can favorite and rate anything that you use or refer to often.
- You can create a centralized cache to be shared between collaborators.
- You can review your media in a filmstrip-style workspace.
There is little that this creative app can’t handle—you can even open and preview raw image files and PSDs.
Using Adobe Bridge
One of the most obvious things that you can do in Adobe Bridge is browse your collection of digital assets and assess them through Bridge’s built-in preview and playback feature.
At the top, you’ll notice several different tabs, all corresponding to a different Adobe Bridge workspace:
- Essentials: The default workspace.
- Libraries: With the addition of the Preview panel.
- Filmstrip: Offers a thumbnail view of everything else in the folder.
- Output: Your go-to when creating a PDF contact sheet.
- Metadata and Keywords: Both are dedicated workspaces for logging your media.
- Preview: A workspace focused on simply viewing each document.
- Light Table: Here, the Content panel reigns supreme.
- Folders: This can be really useful when navigating a large and unwieldy group of folders before actually working with any of the media therein.
When you’re just browsing, we find that the Libraries workspace is the most ergonomic of the bunch. You can import photos directly from your camera or sort through media already saved to your computer.
By clicking on the Bridge image in the viewport, you’ll be able to scrutinize it more closely with a handy little digital loupe, magnifying any part of it. This tool is super useful when you’re looking for the sharpest version in a series of similar shots, to name one example.
Double-clicking on any image in your file directly automatically opens the image in Photoshop. Doing the same with a video file prompts your computer’s default video player to launch.
There are so many ways that you can make your assets easier to find and process in Adobe Bridge; Metadata and Keywords are two of the most powerful tools at your disposal.
To add Metadata to an asset in Adobe Bridge, call up the image through the Bridge viewport. You’ll see both the Metadata and the Keywords tabs side-by-side. Select the Metadata tab; you can scroll through all of the metadata already affixed to the image and all of the rest that remains to be attributed.
You can add information to any field with a Pencil icon next to it. Click the icon or click into the text field itself to start logging anything that you need in addition to what’s already there.
Some categories of metadata represented in Adobe Bridge (aside from ordinary stuff like file name and date created):
- Creator (with a field for every piece of contact info)
- Person Shown
- Artwork or Object in Image
- GPS info—Latitude, Longitude, and Altitude
- DICOM-standard info—Patient Name, Study ID, Referring Physician
This list is far from comprehensive. No matter what kind of content you’re producing, you’ll be more than covered.
How to Use Keywords in Adobe Bridge
You can also choose to organize your assets through Keywords. These work less like Metadata and more like a folder hierarchy. All of your photos from New York go under one keyword, and everything from Paris goes under another, for example. Both of these sub-keywords can then be categorized under another keyword, such as “vacations”.
To begin, you can wipe out the sample keywords loaded into Bridge by default and replace them with your own. One idea might be to use a different keyword for every unique project under your belt, which would let you call up everything that you would need for any of them, all at once.
All that you have to do is right-click into the Keywords panel and select either New Keyword or New Sub-Keyword. You can also Rename or Delete keywords through this context menu.
Publishing in Adobe Bridge
The Adobe Bridge pipeline offers several ways to export content from the app. From the Window dropdown, select the Publish panel.
You have two options here—Adobe Stock Contributor and Adobe Portfolio. We went with the latter. Choose a photo and drag it into the Publish panel.
After naming the image and adjusting your settings, you can click right through to Adobe Portfolio. Anything that you’ve uploaded will be here and ready to showcase.
How to Export From Adobe Bridge
If you have a bunch of PSDs that you would like to rasterize, the Export panel is the way to go. This option is valid only for exporting images, but it’s definitely a tool that sees a lot of use around here. You can batch-process a group of images quickly, rendering them all to the same output profile and destination.
To export a photo from Bridge, call up the Export panel from the Window dropdown above if it’s not already up. Drag in any image on top of Custom Export or Export to DNG.
If you chose a Custom Export, you’ll be able to specify your destination and file type, among other things.
Hit Start Export. You’re good to go.
Adobe Bridge: Your New Life Awaits
Adobe Bridge saves the day time and time again. No matter what type of content you make for a living, it really does pay to stay organized whenever possible. Adobe Bridge helps you keep track of everything that you need to succeed.
If you’re still not convinced, you can download Adobe Bridge for free and check it out for yourself. We encourage you to get your hands dirty and explore the app for all that it’s worth.
Don’t overlook the batch file processing capabilities of Adobe Bridge. Try this tip for renaming all your images in one go.
About The Author
(180 Articles Published)
Emma Garofalo is a writer currently based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When not toiling away at her desk in want of a better tomorrow, she can usually be found behind the camera or in the kitchen. Critically-acclaimed. Universally-despised.
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November 25, 2021 at 06:52AM