Managing your image files with Adobe Bridge

For those who use the Adobe Suite in their workflow, you may have had Adobe Bridge when it came bundled with Photoshop but never bothered to use it. Or rather, opened it by mistake when attempting to open a new Photoshop file, and then quickly closed it again. I had always thought it was a tool made for photographers, but I recently decided to give it a try, and I’ve found it so helpful for my workflow that it’s now the first application I open when starting my day. If you’re not currently using Bridge, here’s a quick summary of the features that make it a great tool for illustrators to view and manage images:

  • When working on projects (such as picture books or graphic novels) with a large number of image files, Bridge can make it a whole lot easier to compare them all together to check for things like the color scheme across the series, pacing, or consistency of any little details. And, you can easily open any image type in its native application directly from Bridge if you need to make a quick correction. You can even open multiple files at once. Once you make your correction and save the file, it’s view is automatically updated in Bridge
  • You can get thumbnail previews of pretty much any image type (.PSD, .AI, Cam RAW, PDFs, Indesign files, Videos) that normally windows explorer or the file viewer on mac will not generate previews for
  • It’s great when viewing large groups of images – where a quick drag of the zoom bar will increase or decrease the thumbnail sizes, allowing you to customize your view and see all your images as a whole, or zoom in to check details on a smaller group of images
  • The Path bar is a great tool, and with it you can quickly and easily get to the folders and files you need. Right-clicking on a folder will show you all sub-folders within

The path bar at the top of the Bridge window is a really convenient and quick way to get to your files. It has a lot of nice functionality that makes it super quick to use (see it in action in the video links at the end of this post)

  • When viewing files you also have the option to view multiple sub folders at the same time (this can be really helpful if you have groups of imagesfor a project in different sub folders you want to compare or preview all together)
  • You can easily drag thumbnails around to reorder them any way you like, or sort them based on any number of preferences (filename, date, color profile, label, rating, keywords). This can be helpful if you are comparing a group of images and want to place them next to each other
  • The Output view lets you quickly and easily batch create PDFs, contact sheets, or web galleries for groups of images directly from Bridge. This is a really nice feature if you need to prepare an archive of a group of images for client viewing

There are many viewing options, and the Output view is really handy for batch exporting groups of images

  • If outputting a group of images or even various file types for a job, it’s very easy within Bridge to check the color profile for all the files to make sure they are the same (this is very important when sending files for printing)


To get a feel for the interface and see some of the very useful features in action, check out this quick video tour by Martin Perhiniak on Tuts+–psd-17633

Here’s another great video covering the basics of the Bridge interface on –



Leave a Reply