My Favorite New Bridge Feature

Bridge CS3Bridge CS3 offers a lot of important improvements over the Bridge 1.0 that was included in Creative Suite 2. Interface improvements, stacking, comparing, importing, and much much more have all been added, and Bridge remains an excellent cornerstone for a Photoshop Camera Raw driven raw-workflow. I covered most of the the new Bridge features in my Photoshop CS3 First Look book, but Adobe managed to sneak in one or two more before the final release of the software. Here’s one of my favorites.

Increasingly, adding metadata to your images is an essential part of any post-production workflow. Metadata has obvious uses for keeping your image library organized, and for searching for specific images. But as social networking and photo sharing sites continue to develop and evolve, you’ll find more and more reasons to have your images tagged with relevant metadata. Perhaps the most important reason to be diligent about your image tagging is for ownership and protection of your images. The standard IPTC metadata spec includes fields for Copyright, Owner, Credit, and more. If you do no other metadata tagging, you’ll at least want to add a copyright to any images that you place on the web, or distribute electronically.

In CS2, you could define metadata presets within Photoshop, and then assign these preset batches of metadata to any images from within Bridge. Having to go to Photoshop to first define your presets was a real headache, though. Fortunately, with CS3, Adobe has rectified this problem and you can now define presets directly from within Bridge. Simply choose Tools > Create Metadata Template, and you’ll be presented with a simple box for defining a preset group of metadata tags.

Bridge CS3

Give the template a name, check off any items that you want to include in the template, then fill in the fields accordingly.

To apply this template to any images, select the images in Bridge, then choose Tools > Append Metadata > [template name] or Tools > Replace Metadata > [template name]. Append metadata will add the fields that you’ve entered to the existing metadata of each image, while Replace Metadata will completely replace the metadata of each image.

Finally, if you want to alter a metadata template that you’ve already defined, choose Tools > Edit Metadata Template > [template name].

That’s all there is to it. Bridge’s new metadata tools make it simple to create, apply, and edit metadata for entire batches of images.

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