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It's funny how many features InDesign has that people don't even know about. For example, I hear people complain all the time that there's no Digital Asset Manager inside InDesign, like a way to see all the images and text in a folder, so that you can just drag the ones you want onto your page. Well, guess what? InDesign has one. It's called Mini Bridge and you can find it by going to the Window menu and choosing Mini Bridge. Up comes the Mini Bridge panel, and it seems blank at first, because you have to press the Launch Bridge button.
Of course, if you already have Adobe Bridge running in the background, then you won't see that, but if you don't, you need to launch it here. Here we're looking inside of a folder, my exercise folder, and were looking at three InDesign files. And the cool thing is I can actually see a preview of those InDesign files here in this window. If I want a larger preview, I can just drag this little slider to the right, they get much larger. Of course, then I need to make my Mini Bridge window larger as well. You can easily jump to a different folder to look at, either by clicking on these little breadcrumbs along the top here or by using this pop-up menu to jump to a different folder on your computer.
In this case, I want to look inside this document here, my Roux article file inside my Exercise Folder. Now I could double-click on that to open the InDesign file in InDesign, but I want to show you one of my favorite tricks about Mini Bridge. I'm going to right-click on this preview, or Ctrl+click with a one-button mouse, and choose Show Linked Files. Mini Bridge literally goes inside that InDesign document without opening it and finds all the images that are used in that document and list them for me here.
These are a little bit big, so let me make this preview a little bit smaller. There are all the images inside that InDesign document. Now if I want to use one of them in this document here, all I have to do is click, drag, and drop over here. That loads the place cursor, which lets me drag me and drop a graphic frame in this document. There are lots of other things I can do with Mini Bridge, too. For example, I can sort my lists in different orders, for example, by Date Created, or by Size, or whatever. I can also come over here and get a Full Screen Preview, either by choosing this from this little menu here or pressing the spacebar.
For example, if I'm not sure I want to use this image, but it looks kind of cool, I can just press the spacebar and it takes over the entire screen and gives me a nice preview of that image. When I want to make it go away, hit the spacebar again and I'm back in InDesign. I can also search for images or files on my hard drive. For example, I'll come up here and click in the Search field and type in Roux. That's my client here, Roux Academy, and I can choose, should it only find files inside this Current Folder, or my Entire Computer.
I'm going to search my entire computer. I'll press the Enter key or Return and it searches my entire computer and gives me a list of all of the graphics, images, including Illustrator files, Photoshop files and so on, on my hard drive. When I find an image that I want to use, I simply drag and drop it out. Up comes the place cursor, click and drag, and I have my graphic inside my InDesign document. I believe that you're most efficient in InDesign when you don't have to leave the program. The more you can do in InDesign, the better.
That's why I like Mini Bridge. It's a window into Bridge, but I don't have to learn some other program, I can stay inside InDesign and stay efficient.
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