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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
So, it's all very well and good to open an image using the Open command. And back in the introduction to this series, we set things up so that you can open an image inside Photoshop just by double-clicking on it at the desktop level. However, I'd like you to get in the habit of opening images in a different way, and that is using the Adobe Bridge. Now, the Bridge is an entirely separate application that ships with every single copy of Photoshop out there. So whether you buy Photoshop alone or as part of one of the many versions of the Creative Suite, you get the Bridge.
The Bridge allows you to open and organize image files. You can also open and organize illustrations for Adobe Illustrator, InDesign files, Flash files, Dreamweaver files, movies even, if you want to. In fact, you can open and organize PDF documents or Microsoft Word documents. It doesn't matter. Anything that you can open at the desktop level, you can open in the Bridge as well. However, the big advantage of the bridge is that it allows you to preview your images in amazing detail, as we'll see. You can also do things like apply labels and star ratings and rotate your images and otherwise organize them in ways that you just cannot do at the desktop level.
So it's a really great program. It's also known as the Digital Asset Manager, just so as you know, or DAM for short, because of the initials, Digital Asset Manager. All right. Here's how you get to it. You can either go to the File menu and choose this command right there, Browse in Bridge, or you can press Ctrl+Alt +O or Cmd+Option+O on the Mac. And I will mention one aside here. We now have this thing called the Mini Bridge that exists directly inside of Photoshop, but before we learn about it, let's touch on the big independent Bridge here.
So, that's one way to get there, the other way is to go up here to the Applications bar, and you can click on the Launch Bridge icon. So, however you want to get there is fine by me. Bring up the Bridge. If this is your first time in the application, you will see this alert message right here: Do you want the Bridge to start at login, meaning when you first start up your computer, so that it's instantly available when needed. You can always change this setting if you want to in the future. Now, this might sound like a really great idea and go for it, if you want to, absolutely. I don't care to work this way because I would rather control which applications are running and which aren't.
I'm not a big fan of automatically starting up programs when I start up my machine, because every single program takes up RAM. So, I just want to run them when I need them. I'll click on No, but it's entirely up to you what you decide to do there. It is an exceedingly useful application, and you will be spending a lot of time inside the Bridge. Now let's go ahead and navigate our way to the exercise_files folder, those of you who are working with me. Currently, we're seeing the Favorites panel right here. I'm going to switch over to Folders, like so, and assuming that your exercise_files folder is on the desktop, you would twirl-open the desktop by clicking on this little triangle.
You can see how it does twirl downward and reveal the contents of the desktop, hence the term twirl. I'll also twirl-open exercise_files right there, and then finally, I'll just click on 03_open_org to reveal this huge array of thumbnails, one for each image file inside of this folder. Now, this is a real ad hoc bunch, I've got to admit, and it is in no way, shape or form intended to serve as a representation of how I want you to organize your files. That's entirely up to you.
Rather, what I'm doing here is just assembling a bunch of files that will give us a feel for the kinds of things that you can do inside the Bridge. Now notice if I twirl-open the 03_open_org folder, I've got a couple of subfolders here, including that Felix Mizioznikov folder that we've been looking at. So I'll click on it just to make it active for a moment. Then I want you to notice just how great the Bridge is at taking you back and forth between folders. The Mac does a pretty good job of this of keeping track of the history of your maneuvers, so that if you want to save something in a folder that you visited quite recently, you can choose that folder from a list.
However, Windows just does an abysmal job in this department, and you're always just digging around trying to find where you're at. Whereas, if you work inside the Bridge, doesn't matter if you're on a Mac or the PC. You've got this little Clock icon right there, see that? Click on it, and you will see where you've been in the past. So I could very easily switch back to the desktop, which is where I started or to the 03_open_org folder, like so, or switch my way back to the Felix Mizioznikov folder, and so on. So, it's keeping track of the last ten or so folders that you visited.
You'll also see, by the way, the last files you've opened inside of Photoshop. So I'm seeing all of those files that we opened in the first few exercises of this chapter. Just amazing! If you want to, you can clear those files. If you don't want to be keeping track of every place that you've been, you can also clear the recent folders. If you're a mystery man, totally up to you. I'm going to go ahead and dismiss that menu. Also, notice that we have this path represented right here. This is a function of this thing, if you go to the Window menu, called the Path Bar.
It's located right there, make sure it's turned on. That way you will see the path to the active folder. And if you want to go backward, all you have to do is click on one of these items here in order to back up, which is really a great thing. So it's very easy to navigate here inside the Bridge. Now, let's say you want to go back to Photoshop at some point. I'll go back into my 03_open_org folder. Let's just go ahead and grab an image right here, like this one, the B0000339.jpg file.
These are obviously the auto-naming that was assigned by the digital camera that I used. If I want to open that file inside of Photoshop, all I have to do is double-click on it. That will go ahead and open the file up inside of Photoshop. Now, if for some reason that didn't work, let's go back to the Bridge, let's say some weird thing happened, and this image file opened inside of some totally different application. I would go back to the Bridge here, like so. Then I would go to the Edit menu and choose the Preferences command. On the Mac, this is going to be a Preferences command under the Bridge menu, or you can press Ctrl+K, that is Cmd+K on the Mac, of course, the keyboard shortcut for Preferences inside all of the Adobe applications.
Then you would drop down here to File Type Associations, and you would scroll your way down this incredibly huge list, because these are all the various file formats that all of the Adobe applications support, so this is a very long list of formats, my friends. Go ahead and locate JPEG, which is going to be .JPG, .JPEG or .JPE. I've never in my life seen a JPEG file that ends in .JPE, though I guess it's an option. Then you would click this down- pointing arrowhead, and you would choose Adobe Photoshop CS5.
Worst-case scenario, you would have to browse for it. However, that should be taken care of, by default. I just want you to see these options, in case you have problems in the future. I'm going to cancel out. The other way to switch over to Photoshop, besides actually opening an image file, is to go to this little boomerang icon. Check that out. That's new to this version of the Bridge, to Bridge CS5. That will return you to the last application you used before switching to the Bridge. So, in other words, in our case, we switch from Photoshop to the Bridge, the boomerang sends us back to Photoshop.
Had I been working in Illustrator and switched over to the Bridge, the boomerang would have sent us to Illustrator. You get the idea. It's a boomerang after all. All right! So, such charming little boys, right there. I'll leave you with that. In the next exercise, I am going to take you on a whirlwind tour of the Adobe Bridge.
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