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Adobe Bridge is a great tool—and not just for photographers and their files. In Bridge CS4: 10 Things Designers Need to Know, Adobe Certified Instructor Anne-Marie Concepción reveals how Bridge can be used for web and print designers, layout artists, and production managers. She shows how Bridge integrates with other CS4 programs, demonstrates how it can be used for locating files quickly based on colors and fonts, and teaches eight other valuable functions that help enhance creativity and streamline workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
So Adobe Bridge is wonderful when you just want to search for files, you want to see preview thumbnails of them in various folders, but I find that Bridge is really useful when I want to import files. When I am looking for the file that I want to place into InDesign for example or the Illustrator file I want to bring in as a Smart Object to Photoshop. Because for example, let's take a look here I mean InDesign CS4 working on a magazine spread and I want to bring in a few Illustrator pieces of clip art down over here on the right-hand side. So in InDesign we go to File > Place and I will locate my folder full of Illustrator clip art, and isn't this helpful? No matter which view that I switch to the Finder can never show me a preview of an AI file, which is the file type you want to use when you are using InDesign. And neither can Windows.
So instead of just guessing which clip art that I want to bring in, instead I am going to cancel out of here and I'll bring it in from Bridge. Now one way that I can do that would be to simply drag-and-drop. I could resize the InDesign window and the Bridge window, here I've switched to Bridge and then drag-and-drop it over. So if you can drag-and-drop from the Finder or from Windows Explorer, you can drag-and-drop from Bridge. First though, because I've already set up my Illustrator clip art folder as a Favorite, which is something I covered in my previous video. I can just select it and there I see previews of all of those obtusely named Illustrator pieces of artwork.
And let's say that I want to bring in a few of these. First, I am going to resize this window and let's enlarge my little thumbnail area a bit. And there I can see my InDesign document right behind it. So that's good to go. So I am going to select this one, and this one, and this one and then just drag and bring him right over into InDesign. So I am in InDesign and if I just use my program switcher which is Command+Tab on a Mac or Alt+Tab on a PC, then you see there's all my artwork loaded in my cursor and I can just drag-and -drop like I normally would.
So that's one way to drag-and-drop. Another way to drag-and-drop; you don't even have to resize you window. So make it get little guy out there. If I go back to Bridge and maximize the window, I could put Bridge into compact mode. Compact mode is this little button at the upper right-hand corner, switch to compact mode and though it's hard to be documented anywhere, there's a keyboard shortcut for, it's simply Command +Return on a Mac and Ctrl+Enter on a PC. And you see the window automatically squeezes into a full flooding window and I see is the content panel of Bridge along with the path on the top and there's also a little menu.
But the idea is that in Bridge you would locate the files that you want to bring over into your InDesign or Illustrator or Dreamweaver document that is just floating. So even if I make InDesign active, as you can see here I am selecting text in InDesign, this little window still floating on the top. It's kind a like an extra little panel. And when I want to bring over an image, I just click inside it and select the image that I want to bring over and then in the InDesign window I can just drop it, as you've seen. It works really with any program. I'm going to switch over to Illustrator for example, where I am designing this lovely postcard in Japanese. No, I didn't create this myself. This is actually one of the sample files that comes with Illustrator CS4, and let's see that I want to bring over the pie charts over here.
So I am just going to move this over bit and then drag-and-drop the pie chart and it comes over as a large image, but you see what happens in Illustrator is that, it's asking what I want to do with this image? Well, I want to embed it, because I just want to bring it in as regular editable Illustrator artwork, kind of like copying and pasting from another Illustrator document. So I chose Embed and then I'm going to select that little frame that was on the outside and delete that and now my artwork is actually completely editable, and I can bring it over, drag-and-drop it.
Now if you think this is obtrusive, there's actually even a smaller size, you can make it ultra compact. And is you sort of tuck it there at the bottom, then when you want to see you thumbnails, you click it and it pops up and then you want to hide the thumbnails, click it and it goes down. And it stays active in front of all your other programs even the Finder and Photoshop and Dreamweaver. Now unfortunately, you cannot drag-and- drop from Bridge into Photoshop. I don't know why. The idea being that -- let's say that I want to bring in some sort of artwork as a Smart Object. So what's the fast way to get artwork from Bridge into a Photoshop file? Well, let's get out of this compact mode and instead we will use the Place command. Now the Place commands aren't just for Photoshop, they are for any program that you have installed, that can take a place. If you select the file and then go to the File menu in Adobe Bridge and chose Place, you'll see it's offering to place it into any one of these programs.
So if I said place into InDesign for example, it would just place it right in there. Let's switch back to Bridge. If I want to place it into Photoshop, choose Place, choose Photoshop then it switches over to Photoshop and it takes the active image that's sitting there, it won't to place it into an empty image, it will get an alert. And it says what you want to this? I just want the actual page and then just click OK. And there is my image as a Smart Object. We will move the file folders away from this lovely bathing beauty at the Doggy Halloween Costume Contest and then press Return or Enter and you see there it brought it in as a Smart Object that I could then select and resize and do all, all that I know the wonderful Smart Object kind of stuff.
So when you are combining artwork from different files as oppose to just looking for artwork to open, then that's when you really should think about using Bridge, because first of all Bridge shows you those thumbnail previews that often Windows Explorer or the Finder can't. And second Bridge gives you that cool little compact window that lets you do easy drag-and-dropping into just about any Creative Suite program.
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