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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.
One of the best new features in Bridge CS4 is an interactive path bar, also known as a breadcrumb trail. In older versions of Bridge when you selected something in the content area, would show a path at the bottom but you really couldn't do much with that. You could look at it, but you couldn't even copy it. Now in CS4, you will see a path bar appear across the top of the window and if for some reason you are not seeing this in your copy of Bridge, if you go to the Window menu, you will see it's actually listed here rather here in the View menu. So it might appear like that, so just go to the Window menu and choose Path Bar to show it.
The Path Bar shows you where you are currently looking in the content area according to the highest level of what's available to you on your computer. So it would say computer, and might say server or something like that, then here it's my Macintosh hard drive and then inside that is the Users folder, inside that is my user folder, anne-marieconcepcion, and then the folder called AMC files and inside that is what we see here. If I double-click Client Projects to see what's inside the Clients Projects folder, you will see Client Projects appears across the top. If I want to go back out to see what's in AMC files, I can just click on AMC files and it brings me back up a level.
So I can continue drilling down into the folders by double-clicking and then going back up by selecting the paths. Or see how this chevron changes color when I hover over it like this one does? If you click it, you will see a list of all the folders that you are currently looking at. So if I say okay, I want to see Client Projects and then inside what happens immediately is that the next chevron opens with the list of the sub-folders inside Client Projects and then if I select one of those like say, Bliss Mag, it shows me the sub-folders there as well. I guess I haven't opened up this folder yet because it's not showing me the little folder pictures here but it will after it builds its little cache. This is called folder cruising. Did you know that you could cruise in Bridge? It cracks me up.
Now let's say that you go ahead and you drill down into one of these folders and you want to move up a level. You don't have to put your hand on the mouse and find this little field up here and actually if your window isn't this wide, you are going to get little some dot, dot, dots over her. It's going to be kind of hard to navigate. So a tip is to use Ctrl+Up Arrow on your keyboard or Command+Up Arrow on your keyboard. That will move you up a level. So I just pressed it, it moved me up to the Links folder, which had currently held what I was looking at before.
If I press it again, it keeps moving me up and then to move down, I can press Ctrl+Down Arrow or Command+Down Arrow and so on. Or I can just press Enter or Return to open up a folder, but you do need to press Ctrl+Up Arrow to move up levels. Now something that I used a lot in Bridge CS3 that appears to be gone in CS4 is called the Flatten View. In Bridge CS3, there was a little icon in the Filter panel that would let you flatten the view. And what do I mean by that? Let me show you. If I open up that Pictures folder, what if I want to look at all the pictures at once in all these sub- folders? Instead of having to look inside this folder and then move up a level and then look inside this folder and then move up a level, what if I want them to see all at the same time because I want to grab some pictures from various different folders? Well the Flatten View button is gone but instead from the chevron menu, you want to choose Show Items from Subfolders and that's what it has been renamed.
So if you choose Show Items from Subfolders, the very first time that you choose that, it may take a while because it's going to image every single thing inside the sub-folders and if those sub-folders had sub-folders themselves, it's going to also show you everything inside there. In other words, show me every single individual file as though the folder themselves are transparent. Now what does happen is that the folders are still appearing here and if you don't want to see any folders at all, then you can go to the View menu and deselect the Show Folders command. So now all we see are the images themselves.
So this little icon here is a little signal to you that you are seeing a bunch of items from various sub-folders, not just one and if you select one of these, you will note that at the bottom we see the old-fashioned Path Bar where it tells you what is the name of the parent folder that file is located in and in fact, the Filter panel has a new category up here called Parent Folder that will tell you what are the different folders that you are looking at and how many items are in each folder. So now if I just want to see the items from the Lynda folder I can just select that one item. Clicking the little stop sign at the bottom right at the Filter panel or pressing Option+Command+A or Alt+Ctrl+A, resets that you are seeing everything again.
Finally to get out of make all the folders invisible, show me everything, just click this little stop sign up here and then move up a level. And the reason it's saying no items to display is because the only thing that's inside AMC files are sub-folders and remember I had turned off the folders option, so if you choose Show Folders again, then it will be brought back here. So I want to encourage you that when you are working with Bridge, using Favorites is a great way to quickly navigate to the files and folders that you use most often. Don't forget the utility of the Path Bar itself and those very handy little chevrons that appear in between each folder name.
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