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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.
Anything that the Mac Finder or Windows Explorer can find Bridge can find, but Bridge can do it better and if you want Bridge could also use your operating system's Find command. Did you know that, that the operating system's Find command like a spotlight search, is built into Bridge? It's pretty cool. One of the ways that Bridge can find things better is, for example, Bridge can find which files used a particular typeface as long as they are Creative Suite files. So like if you search for Myriad Pro in the Finder, you might find Myriad Pro font files. But you could search for Myriad Pro in Bridge and find either the font files or documents that use the Myriad Pro typeface. It's pretty neat.
So let's take a look at how that works. There's actually two different ways to do searches in Bridge. One of them is with the Bridge Search field right here, which a lot of people overlook because they think this is the field to look for help, which is where, this is the Help field in the other Creative Suite programs, but in Bridge this is actually a search field. Then the other Search field is you'll find in the actual Edit Find dialog box. So let's take a look at the Search field first. I have selected in my AMC files my folder full of client projects, so and none of these are actually showing the files that make up the Client Projects; just the various folders that I used to organize them.
If I type something in here like let's say Javaco which is the name of one of my client's magazines and then press Enter or Return, let's take a look at what it did. First of all it found not just file names that have Javaco in them, but also a folder name which is useful and it searched for Javaco in Client Projects and all sub-folders. So I did not have to hide all those sub-folders. First, it will automatically start searching where you select and then search everything else inside there.
It doesn't search just for file names by the way. It also searches for keywords. Not metadata, but actual keywords, which I will be talking about in a different video. But I know for example that one of the keywords that I use here is dog because I have a bunch of pictures of dogs. If I enter dog and then press Enter or Return, it immediately comes up with dog as a keyword for all of these images and indeed if I select any of these, and I look in Keywords, you will see that dog or dogs or some part of that name is part of the keyword. Aren't these cute? They are part of a doggy Halloween costume contests. That was first place winner.
There is a dropdown menu up here and you can see that what we were doing right here the default is a Bridge Search for the Current Folder plus any folders below it. Now because I am running on a Macintosh, I could also instead choose to do a Spotlight Search of the current folder. Let's cancel this and start out with the Spotlight Search of the current folder and if typed in dog here it only found file names with the word dog in it and no keywords. So that's what you are looking for, then try Spotlight Search. Now in Windows, the dropdown menu shows Bridge Search and it work exactly the same. Or it uses Windows Desktop Search. Now I did a little research on this and Windows Desktop Search is installed by default with Vista. But if you have Windows XP, it's something that you need to download and install on your own, the Windows Desktop Search.
In other words doing a Windows Desktop Search or on the Mac doing a Spotlight Search is exactly as though you have been doing those searches like right from Spotlight, for example. So no need to use that; you can do both from here. The thing to keep in mind is that Bridge Search will search the current folder. Let me cancel out of there. If I just want to search out this folder, it will search the Current Folder. But if I have sub-folders, like say Client Projects, it will also the content of those sub-folders. Not just for file names, but also for keywords.
Now what if I wanted to search for metadata, like for example any of these files that use a particular type face like I mentioned earlier or files that were created before a certain date and so on? Well then I need to go to the actual Find command. If I go to Edit > Find you will see that it quite powerful. First of all it assumes that I want to look in Client Projects, but I can choose any other folder if I wanted to. It just starts here all right and by default it's going to include all the sub folders just like how Bridge Search did. But if I don't want it to look inside all the sub-folders I could turn that off.
Now one important difference here between the Find command and the Bridge Search field is that the Find command you have the ability to include non-indexed files. A non-indexed file is a file that Bridge doesn't know about yet. If you have a folder full of images for example that you have never opened up in Bridge, then Bridge has not had a chance to create a thumbnail for it or added to its cache, so it's kind of like it's unknown to Bridge. If you want to make sure that all your files are indexed then the best thing to do would be to go to the top level folder choose Show Items from Subfolders, and then go off for a cup of coffee. Especially if you have a slow machine and you have thousands of file. This is the way to force an index out of all your files, but we will assume that you already done that. I am bringing it up just in case you ever do a Bridge search and it's not finding a file you're pretty sure is there. It could be because it's in a non-indexed folder.
All right so make sure you do that Show all files from the Subfolders first, and then do your Bridge Search, or do the search from the Find command. I just pressed the Command+F or Ctrl+F on a PC and turn on Include Non-indexed file. So in this way Bridge will go ahead and search those files even though it doesn't know about them yet. So let's look up here under Criteria. We have a whole bunch of things that you can choose. Now the default is actually Filename, which I have just chosen, contains, and then you choose Enter Text and so this will do a regular find for a file name. But that is just a beginning of the power.
You could also say well file names that contain Javaco where the Date Created was after a certain dat and we will say 01/01/2000. So you can add as many criteria as you would like to this Find command. Let's take a look to some of these File Size, the type of document like PDF, INDD, JPEG. If you want to search for say something that could be an InDesign document or it could be a different kind of document. You can duplicate these.
There is no law that says you can only use Document Type once. So if I say Document Type it could either be in an InDesign document, or an Excel document for example. You can continue going on in this way. I am not actually going to run this search. I am just showing you what you can do and then take a look under the match under the Results. Match if any of these criteria are met. So if a file containing the word Javaco is found it's going to be in Results even though it was created before 2000 and it's JPEG; it's neither in one of these kinds of file types. So usually what you want to do here is choose If all criteria are met.
So if you have gone to the trouble of creating this you are probably trying to find a very specific subset of files, make sure that under Match it says If all criteria are met, otherwise you will be like "how come I am getting so many files?" Of course on the other hand, if you are trying to do what's called an Or search, then leave it set at If any criteria are met. Now what I want the show you is how especially for designers what's of interest is that Bridge can find colors and type faces used in InDesign and Illustrator documents. And the tip there is to scroll all the way down, past all of these attributes. Forget about Swatch Group and Swatch Names. That won't help you.
You want to choose All Metadata. So All Metadata will search everything inside this Metadata panel, which isn't currently showing yet, but it basically can cover everything. So let's say for example that we want to find inside by AMC files anytime that I have used Caslon, the typeface. And I will just say Find and because these file is already indexed, it was able to find them immediately and it saying that these three documents, notice none of them have Caslon in the name, all use Caslon.
If I select one of these documents and look under Metadata you can see that for InDesign documents and for Illustrator documents, but I guess I don't have any Illustrator documents using Caslon. It lists all the fonts used and all the swatches used. So let's say for example I want to do a New Search. I want to cancel out of here and just type Ctrl+F. This time I am going to look for anything that uses a pantone color. All right and it found a whole bunch of images. Now I know that a lot of these belong to certain projects. So if I select one of these, I can look down here and see that it parts of my White Paper project and here is the common issue is that take a look at the Pantone colors used here. It's using both 362 Uncoated and Coated.
So if I had this issue where a freelancer use two different versions of the same color, and I am trying to troubleshoot this, than being able to search through an entire directory to see which documents use which colors, was fantastic. Rather than me having to open up every single Illustrator document, in Illustrator to see if it used that color. So now that if I know that I want to find all the one that use Pantone 362 U, I will say New Search. Pantone 362 U and just these three. So I could quickly select all three of them and open them up in Illustrator and use the Swatches panel to fix them.
Let's just fix one here I am going to open up the Swatches panel and here our two colors, 362 C and U. So I am going to select this, which is currently using C, that's fine, and this one and let's just delete 362. That one, yes that's good. So I am going to save this document as 2-4b-central america, close it, save it, take a look in Bridge. 2-4b-central america you can see it's immediately gone. So Bridge is doing this in a real time when it's reporting which fonts and which colors are being used in InDesign in Illustrator documents.
So between Bridge's Search field and its Find command any designer will be able to find basically any kind of file that they are looking for on their hard drive much faster and much easier than you can if you are using the Finder or the Windows Explorer.
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