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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
Adobe Bridge is a program that comes with InDesign in a creative suite that offers an awesome way to organize your files. It's like a little content management system that you can get to anytime you want. And when it comes to importing graphics into InDesign, it's a dream. First I am going to show you Bridge and then I am going to show you a new feature in InDesign CS5, which is even cooler, something called Mini Bridge. You can get to Bridge from within InDesign by choosing Browse in Bridge from the File menu, or are even faster click on the little Bridge button up here in the application bar.
Now Bridge is a whole application in its own right, and I don't have time to get into all the details. If you're interested in the details of Bridge, make sure you check out one of the other Bridge titles in the Lynda.com online training library. What I will say is that I'm currently looking at the Links folder from my Exercise Files folder and it has lots of images in it. It's a great way to see all my images in one place, see previews of them, add keywords, metadata, and so on. You can even create little collections of your images to make them easier to find.
I am going to pick my cactus collection out of here, and this is simply like a subset of the images that are inside that folder. I am going to grab one of these images and place it inside of InDesign, and I can do that by selecting it and going to the File menu, choosing Place, and then choosing In InDesign. Bridge actually grabs that image and switches me back to InDesign. I didn't do anything there. It just switch me back InDesign, and loads my place cursor for me. Now I can click and drag, or figure out which of these frames I want put this in.
I am going to it drop it right here, great! Let's go back to Bridge and see one other way that you can bring images in from Bridge. I'll press Command+Tab or Alt+Tab on Windows to switch back to Bridge this time, as I know it's running in the background. And I'm going to drag something from Bridge. I am going to grab this lithops image here, and I am simply going to start dragging. You see the cursor change, and while my mouse button is being held down, I'll use my applications switch here again on the Mac. That's Command+Tab or on Windows it's Alt+Tab. And here you can see that I'm suddenly dragging what I was dragging from Bridge.
I'm now dragging in InDesign. Drop it right into this frame and in it comes. So I find Bridge a great way to organize my images and import them into InDesign. But now in CS5, there is even easier way to import images using Bridge, and that's using this new panel called Mini Bridge. Just like every other panel, it lives up in the Window menu, so I am going to choose Mini Bridge from the window menu, and you can see that when it first opens, it kind of sparse, in that little cryptic, what's going on there? Well, you need to first click Browse Files, and that makes the link between InDesign and Bridge happen.
It goes out and gets all the information from Bridge and puts it into this panel. Let me make this a little bit bigger so you can see what's going on here, there we go. Here are all the images that we were just looking at in Bridge. Now you do have to have Bridge running for Mini Bridge to do this, because it's sort of doing a behind the scenes communication with Adobe Bridge. But once you have this running, it's great. Now the number one problem with Bridge is that it takes up way too much screen real estate for it to be effective. So what I do is I make it as large as I want, and then I grab its little title tab, and drag it into my dock.
I am going to drag it right to the very top until I see that little blue line let go and now it's docked over here. Anytime I need it, I just click on the tile, and up it opens, and then I click it on the tile again to close it. So it's a very efficient way to get to all of my images that I might need. Of course, I can adjust all sorts of other things about Mini Bridge. But the main thing I am going to do at Mini Bridge is get my images out of it and into my InDesign documents. Here is my collection that I created before, my list of all the collections. There is my cactus collection, and I'm going to grab another one of these images.
And you can see that I can simply drag and drop it right out of Mini Bridge into a frame. Or if I'm dragging it out and I let it go on the pasteboard here where there is no empty frames of course, it will load the place cursor. Let's go ahead and close Mini Bridge and you can see that even if I close the Mini Bridge panel, it's still loaded in the place cursor. So I can come over here and click were I want it. So that's the basics of importing images from Mini Bridge, but there is one other Mini Bridge feature that I really want to show you, because this is so cool. What if I want to reuse one of these images in another file, but I am not exactly sure where that image lives? Well, here's a cool little Mini Bridge trick.
First, in the lower left corner of my document window, there is this tiny little button here, which is a pop-up menu, and when I choose that I have various options for Reveal and Finder, Bridge or Mini Bridge. And this is referring to the InDesign document itself. Reveal the InDesign document in one of these. So I am going to choose Reveal in Mini Bridge, and up comes Mini Bridge, and look what's selected here. The actual InDesign file, which you can see where it's living on your hard drive. You'll notice some of these images aren't showing up here. That's because I haven't saved this yet.
So let's go ahead and save this, then go to Reveal in Mini Bridge one more time. And then suddenly all of those images show up on the little thumbnail there, so that's pretty cool. Mini Bridge is one of my favorite new features in InDesign, because it puts my whole hard drive at my fingertips, ready to import whatever I need just when I need it.
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