If you know about Adobe Bridge, then you'll be happy to discover it's younger sibling, Mini Bridge, included as part of Photoshop CS5. Mini Bridge gives us the best features of Bridge, all compacted down into a collapsable panel in Photoshop. In Mini Bridge, you'll not only be able to view and navigate through your images, you'll also be able to view images as slideshows, create favorites, and more.
Okay, let's take a look at Mini Bridge...
The best place to get started is to open up the Mini Bridge panel. Oddly, even though it's a panel, it isn't found under the Window menu along with all the other Photoshop panels. Instead, Mini Bridge jumps into action when we choose File > Browse In Mini Bridge. Alternatively, you can click the Launch Mini Bridge icon on the Application bar.
If you hover your mouse over Browse Files in Mini Bridge, you'll get a tooltip explaining that Mini Bridge is powered by the full Adobe Bridge. When you click Browse Files, Adobe Bridge will launch in the background, and the Mini Bridge panel begins filling in with content.
Now, there are several ways to browse and navigate through your images using Mini Bridge. For example, try using the 'Computer,' 'Home,' 'Desktop,' 'Documents,' and 'Pictures' folders in the Navigation pane on the left. This is just like navigating through folders on your hard drive. Another way to navigate through your images is to make use of Favorites, also seen over on the left. To add a folder to your Favorites, simply right-click on it and choose Add To Favorites.
Once you arrive in a folder that you'd like to browse, you can increase or decrease the size of the image thumbnails by dragging on the slider at the bottom of the panel. You can change how Mini Bridge will preview images by using the menus in the bottom right corner.
Of course, once you find an image that you'd like to open in Photoshop, simply double-clicking on it will get the job done!
Another option I'd like to mention is the ability to search for images. Notice the Magnifying glass in Mini Bridge's top-right corner? Clicking it will open a search box, which you can use to find images quickly. This comes in handy, especially when I forget where I've saved certain images.
So there's a quick look at working with Mini Bridge. As you can see, it's a fast, simple way to browse images and locate the files you're after. Now, if you'd like to know about working with the full Adobe Bridge, be sure to check out The Basics of Adobe Bridge. See you there!
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