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There will be times when you want to access a group of images that share certain parameters, and you can do that by using Collections in Adobe Bridge. There are two kinds of collections. There are Manual collections and then there are Automatic collections that automatically update as you add files to your computer that contain particular parameters that you specify and those Automatic collections are called Smart Collections. First, let's take a look at Manual collections. I am going to go to the Collections panel here on the left side Adobe Bridge and I'm going to create a new Manual collection by going down to the bottom of that panel and clicking the icon with the Plus sign, the New Collection icon.
That creates a new collection with the default title highlighted and instead of calling this New Collection, I am going to call this 'antique cars' and then press Enter on the keyboard. I am going to go up to the top of Adobe Bridge and click the back arrow to go back to the last view where I can see the thumbnails located inside the folder that I've selected in the Folders panel, the 04_05 Exercise Files folder. Right now there are no files in my brand-new antique cars collection, but I am going to put some in there by selecting some of these thumbnails and dragging them over to that collection.
So I'll click on the first photo of an antique car and then I'll hold down the Shift key and click on the last photo and then I can click and hold on any one of the selected photos and drag over on top of the antique cars collection and when I see this blue border around that collection, I'll release my mouse. Now I am going to click in a blank area of the Content panel. So let's say that sometime later I want to see all my photos of antique cars because I might want to work on some or all of those in Elements. To do that, I can just go to the Collections panel in Bridge and click once on the antique cars collection and that will show me thumbnails of all of the photos that I manually put into that Collection.
It's important to understand that when I put these photos into this collection, I did not move them on my hard drive. A collection is just a reference to these files whereever they were originally located on my drive and they could all be in different folders. It really doesn't matter. The important point to remember is that making a collection of thumbnails doesn't actually move the photos on my hard drive. I am going to click the back arrow again to go back to see all of the photos in the 04_05 folder and now I will show you how to make an automatically updating Smart Collection.
A Smart Collection is much like a saved search. In the last movie, I showed you how to construct a search using the Find command and you'll see that creating a Smart Collection is much like that. To make a Smart Collection, I'm going down to the bottom of the Collections panel and I am going to click the icon with the gear on it and that opens the Smart Collection window. Here I will first choose where I want Elements to look for photos to include in this collection and I'll leave this set to the 04_05 Folder. But if I were to click this menu, I could choose from any of these other options or I could browse to a particular folder.
Next, I will set up criteria for what we will basically be, as I said, a Saved Search or a Smart Collection. These are the criteria that I last set up using the Find menu. The Smart Collection dialog box shares those criteria with the Find command. I am going to eliminate these by clicking the minus symbol to the left of the last two and now I have just one set of criteria for this Smart Collection. Let's say that I'm planning to make some prints and so I want to include only photos from this folder that were taken with my good camera, my Nikon camera, as opposed to my iPhone.
I could come into the first menu here and set this to Model and then I'll leave the conjunction set to 'contains' and in the last field here I'm going to type 'Nikon'. I could add more criteria to this search by clicking the Plus button, as I showed you how to do when I was describing how to use the Find command, but I am going to keep this one simple. I will just leave it at this one set of criteria and so I don't have to worry about whether I'm matching all or any criteria. So I can leave that set to either of these.
There aren't any subfolders involved, but its okay to leave that checked and I'm going to leave Include Non-indexed Files unchecked to speed up the process of creating the Smart Collection and then I'll click Save. I also want to name this new Smart Collection. The name is currently highlighted so I am just going to type over that: 'print project' because that's what I'm going to use these photos for, and press Enter or Return. Now let's say that I want to add another parameter to this Smart Collection. I decide that I only want it to contain JPEGs, not PSD files.
And I do have some PSD files here that I made from some of the photos that I took with my Nikon. I can edit this Smart Collection by holding the Ctrl key, or right-clicking and choosing Edit. Now I am going to add another set of criteria by clicking the + symbol here and I'm going to go to this first menu in this next sentence of my search and I am going to choose Document Type. I will leave the conjunction set to equals and I'll change the last menu to JPEG file and then I will click Save.
And that changes the files that Bridge returns in response to this Smart Collection query. Now if I were to add another file to this folder that was in the JPEG format, it would automatically be added to the files that appear whenever I click on the print project Smart Collection now or sometime in the future when I'm using Bridge. The beauty of using a Smart Collection is that once I get it set up, I don't have to worry about manually updating it because it will be automatically updated with any files that meet the criteria of the Smart Collection.
And as with a regular collection, any of the files that appear here are not actually being moved on my hard drive to become a part of the Smart Collection. The Smart Collection is just a reference to these files wherever they live on my hard drive. So that's how you can use Manual Collections and Smart Collections to access a group of images all at once in Adobe Bridge CS4.
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