Your Complete Guide to Adobe Bridge

Over the course of seven articles, we’ve covered many features of Adobe’s file management software: Bridge. The links to each article are listed below, along with short descriptions of the content contained. And don’t forget to bookmark this page so you can refer back to the series later!

Even better, why don’t you download the eBook version of this series? Download Your Complete Guide to Adobe Bridge [PDF-30pg-3.3MB].

Oh, and one more thing… I found a nice collection of videos that cover various aspects of Adobe Bridge. So even if you’ve read through the articles, be sure to check them out again and watch the video I’ve embedded at the bottom of each post.

Adobe Bridge: Introductions

PART 1 of this series covers basic introductions to the software and the concept of using Adobe Bridge as a photo management tool. We explain what the software is, what it can do for you, why it’s better than other software, and some basic computer requirements for running the application. If you’re totally new to this software or if you’ve never even tried it, start here and get your bearings.

Adobe Bridge: Workspace

PART 2 of this series covers the concept of workspace within Adobe Bridge. We take a look at some default workspaces, the parts that make them up, and how you can use those parts to define your own custom workspace. Having a solid understanding of your worspace will present you with an increased comfort level with the software, thus increasing your productivity and effectiveness.

Adobe Bridge: Importing

PART 3 of this series goes into importing photos from your camera and a few features of Adobe Bridge that are associated with this action. Each of the options within the import dialog are covered in detail, and we look at metadata templates and how they can be used to automatically apply extra information to your photos.

Adobe Bridge: File Preparation

PART 4 of the series talks about preparing our photos after import and before processing. We go over some basic workflow topics such as deleting photos, applying location metadata, basic keywording, and batch renaming of the files. Though not all of these steps are critical for every photographer, they are presented as a method of good practice.

Adobe Bridge: File Processing

PART 5 in the series introduces the notion of bulk processing photos. Not intended to be an in-depth guide on the Adobe Camera Raw software, we walk through some of the basic adjustments that you’ll need to make your photos look better than when they came out of the camera. We also look at a method for applying image adjustments without even opening the files in ACR.

Adobe Bridge: Organizing

PART 6 covers more detailed methods of organizing your photo collection. We look at some of the tools available in Adobe Bridge such as the star system, labels, and search functions. And as an extension of search capabilities, we talk about how to create collections and a few possible ways to use them for organizing and maintaining your archive.

Adobe Bridge: Tips and Tricks

PART 7, the final installment of this series, lays out various tools and tricks not covered in the previous 6 discussions. We look at a few different ways of applying keywords, a more detailed discussion of the keyword panel, a good use for copy & paste functionality with ACR settings, batch processing with Photoshop via Bridge, and using stacks for those larger photo shoots.

So if you haven’t been following along with the series, start digging in! And if you have been following, are there any major points that I missed or need to clarify? Any other questions about the software or my workflow?

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Wonderful !

May 7, 2008 6:08 am

Hello Brian,

thanks for your information on Adobe Bridge. I use the combination of Bridge an Photoshop myself, but i have found out, that I need to enter metadata still on Photoshop, because some field values don’t seem to be taken up by Bridge. For example the Copyright-Field “Copyrighted / Unknown / Public Domain”, where I enter “Copyrighted” in a Metadata-Template, will show, when I apply it with Photoshop, but not with Bridge. A bummer though, because keywording and applying metadata with be so much faster by only using Bridge.

May 7, 2008 6:08 am

This is FANTASTIC!!! Thank you.

May 7, 2008 7:23 am

Great service you have been providing the community and thanks for putting it all together as an ebook.

Niels Henriksen

May 7, 2008 7:28 am


Hats off to you Brian. This is a great series.

May 7, 2008 10:29 am

Brian – thanks for pulling all these together into one post. I was just thinking I needed to go back and bookmark each one. But even better is that you put them all into a pdf file – that rocks! Thanks again.

May 7, 2008 10:33 am



Thanks for the ebook Brian. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. I liked the way you put it all together.

May 10, 2008 8:07 pm












I’ve been searching for a while for something like this ebook of yours. Thanks a lot for all the useful information you gathered. Mary

July 7, 2008 5:46 am


Just upgraded from a PC to an iMAC primarily for my digital photography (PC was getting too slow for the job). This move also required me to upgraded from PSE 5.0 (win) to PSE 6.0 (mac) and thus I encountered the new Bridge application. Bridge is much different from what I was used to on the PC. Thanks for putting together this guide, it really helps with getting back into the grove of using a digital workflow.

Also, after reading your guides, I decided to switch to RAW format; I didn’t realize what I was missing when I shot with JPGs. I always thought that shooting/storing hi-res JPGs was enough. My only wish is to be able to go back and reshoot all of my pervious work. :-)

Thanks, keep up the good work (photo wise as well as tutorial wise).

July 18, 2008 7:39 am

Thank you so much for putting together this tutorial! It’s very generous of you to spend the time to write it. It’s very clear and useful. Thank you!

July 19, 2008 8:38 am



Nice, I never paid attention to the bridget software – I started using it 2 weeks ago, it saves me a lot of time.

January 19, 2009 4:06 am

I started using bridge once I started shooting more pictures for sports and needed a better way to review and trash them.

In preferences there is an option to not require Ctrl + Number to use the labels/ratings – I find that i can then quikcly apply labels/ratings to images. I use a rating of 1 for an image that is to be removed – as it is faster than alt+delete to reject them.

I’ve also found that pre-building a folder of cache when you have 1500 images, can certainly speed up the work flow – although it still can lag up sometimes on larger folders.

March 21, 2009 2:25 pm

Just starting to use bridge in my workflow. Thanks for the tutorials.

April 10, 2009 5:10 am

While I’m late to the game here I just wanted to thank you for this concise Bridge tutorial. Well done.

April 10, 2009 12:22 pm

Thanks for covering things about Bridge that I can’t find in the manuals. I wish that Bridge had a memory of what’s been imported! Unknowingly, I imported several hundred photos, of which only about the last 20 were “new” and got several hundred duplicates. After this I read my manuals and then Googled “Adobe Bridge”. That’s when I found your great web site that explains the problem. Shame on Adobe, it doesn’t seem any great feat to design Bridge to NOT import duplicates! The documentation on this is really poor. That’s why your Fine Art Photoblog is so Great!

Don

May 11, 2009 8:12 pm





Just wanted to echo pretty much everything already said. Thankyou for taking the time and patience to put together this guide. An amazing resource!

July 22, 2009 12:24 pm

Thanks for taking the time to do this! I’m definitely going to take a closer look at Bridge!

September 2, 2009 7:51 pm




hi, i would like to ask about one thing. is it possible in adobe bridge if we want to print right away about the specific keyword? what i’m trying to describe is: if we already organize the folder, and then if one day, i like to print just for the specific keyword folder with all the metadata information (IPTC core, file properties, etc), is it any way to do that particularly? thank you.

September 8, 2010 1:42 am

If the keywords are already applied to the images, just use your metadata filter to show only a specific keyword. Then you can select all the images with that keyword.

September 8, 2010 7:53 am

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