Getting the lay of the land

Bridge is indeed a powerful standalone program — complete with menus, tabs, work areas, and a range of specialized views to fit your work. Before you jump into the details of how to manage images, however, take a look at the components of the Bridge work area shown in Figure 5-4:

^ Menu bar: Contains Bridge commands within the File, Edit, Tools, Label, View, Window, and Help menus. Just about everything you want to do in Bridge is found in these menus; I sum up those commands in the next section.

^ Option bar: Contains the Look In menu, Go Up a Folder, the Filtered/Unfiltered Images button, the New Folder button, Rotate Left/Right, Trash, and Switch to Compact Mode buttons.

^ Look In menu: Displays the folder hierarchy, favorites, and the folders you've used most recently. It's a fast way to locate folders that contain images.

^ Favorites panel: Gives you fast access to folders, Version Cue (used to manage the versions of files throughout the Adobe software suite), Stock Photos, and Collections.

Switch to Compact Mode Folders panel Rotate Image

Favorites panel Look In menu Create Folder button

Favorites panel Look In menu Create Folder button

Keywords panel Content area Thumbnail size slider Metadata panel Filmstrip view

Image Preview panel Details view

Versions and Alternates view

Figure 5-4: The Bridge window.

i Folders panel: Shows folder hierarchies and lets you navigate folders.

i Preview panel: Shows a preview of the selected image.

i Metadata panel: Contains information about the selected image (including data from your digital camera on how the photo was shot, aperture, shutter speed, ISO settings, and such). You can add various types of information about the file in multiple areas.

i Keywords panel: Lets you add keywords to the image information so you can organize images by keyword (which really eases file searches).

i Content area: Displays resizable thumbnails of images and basic file information.

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