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The Bridge window

Panels and panes

The Bridge window contains three panes: a large pane in the center and a vertical pane on either side (A, next page). Each pane contains one or more panels, which are accessed via tabs: Favorites, Folders, Filter, Content, Preview, Metadata, and Keywords. Panels in the side panes let you manage files, filter the display of thumbnails, and display image data; the large central panel—the one you’ll use most—displays image thumbnails. You can hide/show or resize any of the panels or move any panel into another pane.

We’ll explore some of the panels in depth later in this chapter, but for now, here’s a brief summary:

The Favorites panel displays a list of folders that you’ve designated as favorites, for quick access. Via check boxes in the Favorite Items area of Bridge Preferences > General, you can control which folders appear in the top part of the panel. To add a folder to the user-created list of folders in the lower part of the panel, drag the folder from the Content panel (the center pane) or from the Finder into the Favorites panel, and release the mouse when the plus sign pointer displays; or click the folder and choose File > Add to Favorites. To remove a Favorites folder from the list, click it, then choose File > Remove from Favorites.

The Folders panel contains a scroll window with a hierarchical listing of all the top-level and nested folders on your hard drive.

The Filter panel ★ is dynamic, meaning the categories listed (such as File Type, Keywords, Date Created, and Date Modified) change depending on what data is available for files in the current folder. For example, if you haven’t applied ratings to any files in the current folder, you won’t see a Ratings category. Should you apply a rating to a thumbnail, the Ratings category will magically appear. Click an arrowhead to expand/collapse a category. Click a listing within a category, and only thumbnails that match the listing will display in the Content panel; click again to uncheck the listing and display the files that were filtered out. This is a new, fast way to sort and display images.

In the center pane of the Bridge window, the Content panel displays image thumbnails and/or thumbnails for nested folders within the currently selected folder. The file name and other file data are listed below each thumbnail.

The Preview panel displays a larger preview of the currently selected image (or folder) thumbnail. If you select a video file, the Preview will display a controller for playing the video. You can also preview two or more selected thumbnails in this panel for quick comparison, and magnify areas of a thumbnail with a loupe.★

The Metadata panel lists information about the currently selected thumbnail: a quick summary in the “placard” at the top ★ (B, next page) and detailed listings in categories below. The File Properties category, for example, lists the file name, format, date created, date modified, etc. To expand or collapse a category, click the arrowhead.

You can use the IPTC Core category in the Metadata panel to attach creator, description, copyright, and other information to the currently selected file. (IPTC is an information standard for transferring and publishing text and images.) Click the field next to a listing, enter or modify the file description information, press Tab to cycle through and edit other data, then click the green Apply button apply_iptc_button.jpg in the lower right corner.

If a digital photo is selected, the Camera Data (EXIF) category displays the camera settings that were used to capture the photo. If the photo was edited in Camera Raw, those settings will be listed in a category called Camera Raw (like the Filter panel, this panel is also dynamic). To learn more about the Metadata panel, see Bridge Help.

Use the Keywords panel to assign descriptive keywords to images, such as an event, name, location, or other criteria. You can find image thumbnails via a keyword search, or display files based on keywords using the Filter panel.

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