Would you like to see a menu?

As with any typical Windows or Mac program, Bridge comes equipped with a full set of menus — offering just about every function you'll want to perform (except maybe brewing coffee). For example, if you want to open an image, click the thumbnail, choose FileOOpen, and voila!

You could also just double-click the thumbnail to open the document. Often you have many ways to perform the same or similar functions in Bridge — and, for that matter, in Photoshop. The functions you choose from other parts of Bridge can also be found in the menus:

I File menu: If you're used to working with Windows or Mac programs, the File menu should be familiar to you. Shown in Figure 5-5, the File menu is where you can open a new Bridge window, create a folder, open a file or choose which program to open it in, close Bridge, or send a file to the Recycle Bin/Trash. You can also add information about the file (metadata) to an image via the File Info command.

I Edit menu: I'm a frequent visitor to the Edit menu (see Figure 5-6), mainly because that's where the Undo command is. Sure, the Bridge menus show you the keyboard shortcuts, but for casual users, using the menus is easier than memorizing all those keyboard commands, such as Undo Ctrl+Z (^+Z on the Mac). You'll also find the familiar Cut, Copy, and Paste commands here in the Edit menu.

One command I use frequently is Apply Camera Raw Settings.

It copies the exact Camera Raw Figure 5-6: The Edit menu. settings made to one image and applies them to multiple images — a great timesaver! (There's more about that technique in Chapter 6.)

Figure 5-5: The Bridge File menu.

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Figure 5-7: The Tools menu.

An especially nifty Edit menu command that I use often is Duplicate (Ctrl+D [Windows] or [Mac]). Using it, you can easily make an exact copy of an image — handy for creating more than one version to work on at the same time. The Duplicate command is also the very thing when you want to create a "working" version of an image while leaving the original in pristine, untouched condition. Bridge automatically adds copy to the filename of the newly created duplicate.

Tools menu: The Tools menu (shown in Figure 5-7) is home to many of the Bridge and Photoshop automation features. Batch Rename (for example) is a huge timesaver — you can reuse it to rename any number of files you've selected in the Content area, and save those files to another folder. And the Photoshop Services command links you to Web resources where you can upload your images to have them printed —

as proofs, or in book, calendar, or greeting-card format.

Choosing the Photoshop command will take you to Photoshop's automation features, including:

• Batch: Run Photoshop Actions on any number of images selected in the Content area.

• Contact Sheet II: I'm sure you're curious to what happened to Contact Sheet I, but I'm sure II is better! Here's where you can select any number of images in the Content area, and almost instantly create contact sheets from those images.

• Image Processor: Yet another great timesaver! If you want to convert a number of images from one format to another (say, PSD to JPEG), the Image Processor is the Photoshop automation tool for you.

• Merge to HDR: Using this new feature in Photoshop CS2, you can merge a number of images into one HDR (high dynamic range) image. It's an advanced command that can be a powerful technique. Combining different versions of a same image, taken at different exposures, can help you compensate for difficult lighting situations. Merging underexposed and overexposed versions of an image together (using Merge to HDR) would give you a single image from two or three — maybe with striking results!

PDF Presentation: After selecting images in the Content area, use PDF Presentation to create presentations of those images that you can post to a Web site or e-mail to friends, family, or clients.

Photomerge: Stitching together images to create panoramas is easy using Photomerge. I show you that feature in more detail in Chapter 13.

Picture Package: If you remember school pictures from back in the day, or currently have your own kids in school, Picture Package is where you can create your own 8x 10-inch print; it includes various sizes of your chosen photos.

Web Photo Gallery: This is one of my favorite automation features of Photoshop. Quickly and easily create your own photo Web site. As a guy who's developed many Web sites over the years, I can tell you this utility really works well! You can choose a Web site template, select photos to display by selecting thumbnails in Bridge, and there's your gallery. Hey, it's so easy — and this Web site doesn't even have to send development offshore to be completed! Using Web Photo Gallery is a no-brainer way to share, admire, or just show off your photos.

i Label menu (see Figure 5-8): The Label menu provides all the options for applying ratings and labels to images. (I show you how to use these features in Chapter 6.)

i The View menu: The View menu is where you find the options that control how Bridge displays itself on-screen. The commands to display your thumbnails in Thumbnail, Filmstrip, or Details mode are in this menu as well. You can also sort your thumbnails or show only certain types of images (such as all files, graphic files, or Camera Raw files only) by using this menu.

One neat feature I recently discovered while playing with the View menu is Slide Show (Ctrl+L, on a Mac). Starting Slide Show allows you to view your thumbnails in fullscreen mode (as in Figure 5-9). Slide Show can be another way to view and evaluate images in Bridge, or simply to show off some cool photos on your computer.

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Figure 5-8: The Label menu.

Figure 5-9: The Label menu and Slide Show.

^ Window menu: The Window menu contains all the different workspaces (different views of Bridge; see Figure 5-10) that you can choose while working in Bridge. Let's face it — digital photographers have different personal tastes when it comes to working in Bridge and Photoshop; the Window menu accommodates them by letting you specify different working conditions:

• Default (Ctrl+F1, on a Mac): The Default workspace provides the best of everything Bridge has to provide. The Favorites, Folders, Preview, Metadata, and Keywords panels are displayed along with thumbnails.

• Lightbox (Ctrl+F2, ^+F2 on a Mac): The Lightbox workspace changes your Bridge view to Thumbnails only. You still have access to all Bridge menus, but the panels are gone.

• File Navigator (Ctrl+F3, ^+F3 on a Mac): The File Navigator workspace shows you thumbnails in the Content area and the Favorites and Folders panel. This view allows you to view thumbnails in folders that you can navigate in the Folders panel.

• Metadata Focus (Ctrl+F4, ^+F4 on a Mac): The Metadata Focus workspace presents Bridge with a smaller thumbnail view with the Favorites, Metadata, and Keyword panels displayed.

• Filmstrip Focus (Ctrl+F5, ^+F5 on a Mac): The Filmstrip Focus workspace provides a thumbnail view of your images, with a larger preview of a selected image in the main portion of the Content area. No panels are displayed.

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i Help menu: The Bridge Help menu gives you links to Photoshop's updated Help program, and the convenient Updates command. Bridge doesn't really have its own help section, but Bridge Help (F1) does link you directly to the Bridge section of the Photoshop Help application (shown in Figure 5-11).

The Updates command in the Bridge

Help menu links you directly to the Figure 5-11: Bridge Help. Adobe Photoshop updates area of adobe.com. This useful feature makes getting software updates for Photoshop, Bridge, and Camera Raw easy. I recommend checking for updates every month.

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