Using Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5
Using Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5
In this final exercise of the chapter, I'm going to introduce you to the Mini Bridge, which lives inside Photoshop. Now, just so that you have a little bit of context here, I'm going to take you on a walk down memory lane. Photoshop CS5 is the same as Photoshop 12, by the way, same diff. The first version that switched over to a CS application was Photoshop 8. So, Photoshop 8 became Photoshop CS. Before that, there was a thing called Photoshop 7. Many of you old-timers may remember it.
It had this thing called the File Browser, which allowed you to inspect the contents of a folder and see the images as a bunch of thumbnails. Then basically, the File Browser grew up and moved out of the house and it became the Adobe Bridge. Well, the prodigal son has returned home in the form of the Mini Bridge inside Photoshop. It's an AIR app, meaning that it's this little Flash/HTML application that runs inside of some of the CS5 apps. It's interesting! It's a little bit clunky.
It's a first version. But I think some of you may find it to be terribly helpful. So, let's go back to Photoshop. I'll either click on the Boomerang icon or I can use that same keyboard shortcut I used to get here in the first place, Ctrl+Alt+O or Command+Option+O on the Mac. I have opened this image Stylish young couple.jpg that's found inside the Felix Mizioznikov folder inside the 03_open_org folder. To get to the Mini Bridge, you can either click on this little Mini Bridge icon over here in the right-side panels, or you can go up to the Mini Bridge icon up here in the Applications bar, or you can drop down to the File menu and choose Browse in Mini Bridge.
Any of those options are going to work and bring up the Mini Bridge, like so. Now, with any luck, you'll browse to the exact same folder that you're seeing inside of the Bridge. That may or may not happen. You may, by the way, need to wait a few moments for the Mini Bridge to initialize, here inside Photoshop. So, expect to wait a moment or two, or the Mini Bridge may take you to the Home Page view. Let's go there, just so that we're all on the same page. I want you to change your settings by clicking on the Settings icon here. I'll just show you this one, Bridge Launching, just so you have a sense of what's going on.
When you're working with the Mini Bridge, it likes to have the Bridge open in order to browse files. So, that's essential, the two are trying to work hand in hand with each other. So, what it needs to know if the Bridge is not running, should it display the Home Page and do not start the Bridge until Browse Files is clicked, and we'll see that in just a moment, or, should it automatically start the Bridge in any case. You may want to always just start up that Bridge every time you bring up the Mini Bridge. It's totally up to you. When Mini Bridge opens the Bridge, should it use the existing window? That's what I'd say, or should it use a separate Bridge window? By the way, you can choose a New Window command inside the Bridge in order to browse to a different location, so you can have basically multiple bridges running at the same time.
Anyway, I would say, just use the existing window. It requires less RAM. Anyway, I'm going to switch back to Settings here and then I'm going to click on Appearance. I'm going to go ahead and reduce the brightness of the Image Backdrop a little bit. You can also take your User Interface Brightness down, which I am a fan of, but, notice that if you take it way down, your text remains black. So, you're not getting that reverse type effect that you have in Bridge. So, you might as well brighten it up a little bit. You definitely want to Color Manage the panel. Leave that checkbox turned on. Go back to Settings.
In fact, at this point, I would suggest that we browse the files by clicking on this tiny, little Browse Files icon and we will go back to the Browse view. Now, as I say with any luck, you're going to be somewhere inside your open_org folder. But that's not a guarantee. Navigating inside the Mini Bridge is not my favorite experience. You can visit recent folders incidentally by clicking on this Recent Folders button. It should show you all the folders that you've visited recently inside the Bridge, which is good. That's very helpful. Then we have this Clock icon, which should allow you to select from recently visited folders as well.
Anyway, I'm going to switch over to the Felix Mizioznikov folder, so that I can see this collection of images. Then I'm going to reduce the size of my Navigation Pod. That's what it's called, by the way. If you click this down-pointing arrowhead, you'll see that you have a Navigation Pod and a Preview Pod. How in the world do you get to the Preview Pod, you might ask? Well, first of all, I'm going to show that you can go ahead and increase or decrease the size of your thumbnails using this slider. You also have the option of filtering your view.
Notice this little funnel. It's the same as that Star icon in the Bridge. It allows you to filter according to star ratings and labeled items and so on. You can also clear out the filter if you want to. One of the interesting things is it'd be nice to have all those keyboard shortcuts that you have inside the Bridge. But that's a focus issue, because, this Mini Bridge is running inside of Photoshop. Ctrl+Alt+A, for example, which clears the Filter inside the Bridge. That's Command+Option+A on a Mac. That's already assigned to a command under the Select menu.
Notice that it allows you to select all layers inside of your image. So, Photoshop gets the big keyboard shortcut. It's what it comes down to. But there are some keyboard shortcuts that the Mini Bridge has. You just have to watch your focus. Anyway, next door, this guy right there allows you to change your sort order from Filename let's say to Date Modified, something along those lines, you also can turn on and off, Ascending Order, if you so desire. All right, but let's say that you want to preview one of these images. Well, click on the thumbnail. It's very important, by the way, that you click on it.
That not only selects the thumbnail that you want to preview, but it also makes sure that the Mini Bridge has focus as opposed to Photoshop having focus. Then you press Shift+Spacebar in order to enter the Preview Pod right here. If you want to, you can make the panel larger, so that it takes up more room on screen. Of course, the preview will enlarge as well. I'm going to close out of that. The other thing you can do is take advantage of the Full-Screen Preview. So, click on the thumbnail again to make it active. I'm clicking on Peek-a-boo.jpg.
Then I'll press the Spacebar in order to enter that Full-Screen Preview. Now, I can cycle between the various images inside this folder by pressing one of the arrow keys. So, I'm pressing the Right Arrow key to go to the next image, then the next one. Gosh! I love that image! Then this one right here, and then, finally, this one, which is now a readable file, because I changed its extension from JPEG to TIFF. Awesome! Then once I'm done, I can cycle back around, of course. But once I'm done, I'll press the Escape key in order to return back to Photoshop. Now, it's very important for either Shift+Spacebar or Spacebar to work that the Mini Bridge has focus.
If you click out here in the larger image window, why then Photoshop suddenly has focus, and if you press say the Spacebar, you're going to get the Hand tool, as I'll explain in the next chapter. So, just so that you have a little troubleshooting advice, make sure the Mini Bridge is active, if you want to apply keyboard shortcuts to it, including, incidentally, if I click on Peek-a-boo, and then press the Enter key, that will go ahead and open the image inside of Photoshop as you can see. I'll press Ctrl+Plus or Command+Plus on the Mac to zoom in.
You can also do this number and we'll be seeing more of this kind of stuff in the future. But I could go ahead and grab Sunglasses at dusk.jpg and also grab Radical low angle.jpg by Ctrl+Clicking on it or Command+Clicking on that image on the Mac. I'll drag these images into Peek-a- boo.jpg and drop them into place. Notice what happens here. I'll go ahead and collapse the Mini Bridge for a moment, so we can see what's going on. At first, I'm presented with the placement of the first image I selected.
I can scale it if I want to. We're going to see more of that in the future. Let's say, I like its size and placement. I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. Then I'll be invited to place the second file, so you can actually drag-and-drop multiple images into each other, thanks to the Mini Bridge in CS5. I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to accept the placement of that image as well. They both arrive on separate layers. They happen to be these things called Smart Objects, which are containers that protect layers. I'll explain how Smart Objects work in great detail in a later chapter.
That gives you a sense, I hope, of what's going on with the Mini Bridge. In the next chapter, I'll demonstrate the myriad ways to zoom and pan images, the fundamentals of navigation here inside Photoshop.
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