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Next Hidden Gem: Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5

Bryan O’Neil Hughes, senior product manager for Photoshop, is literally traveling the world, sharing his favorite Hidden Gems in Photoshop CS5 at tradeshows, workshops and special events. This week, he’s headed to London and before he took off, we talked about the eighth video in the series which focuses on Mini Bridge.

Mini Bridge is literally the “mini-me” of its big brother Bridge – an image and asset management system that many Photoshop users have come to rely upon. As a customizable panel, Mini Bridge makes finding and opening images fast and convenient.

What was the genesis of Mini Bridge? How did it come about?

Bryan: Mini Bridge is really just Bridge running in a panel; the power of a stand-alone application with the convenience of not having to leave Photoshop. We heard a lot of feedback that people enjoyed the power of Bridge, but didn’t like switching back and forth between applications. For those who have been with us awhile, think of it as a much faster and more flexible File Browser (which preceded Bridge) with considerably more control over its appearance and layout.

What is the best way to use Mini Bridge within the Photoshop workflow?

Bryan: I open all files through Mini Bridge; not only can it see all of my files (raw imagery, PDF content, 3D – which the Finder cannot), but I can quickly build panoramas and HDRs directly from its fly-out, or drag-and-drop layered content for composites. My personal workflow is Lightroom select images (which I’ve processed globally) pushed out as originals to a folder; then those opened through Mini Bridge in CS5. I used to think that was unusual, but it turns out a lot of people work that way – there are many who do it via Bridge, not knowing that Mini Bridge can really streamline the experience.

What are the benefits of utilizing Mini Bridge?

Bryan: I should probably explain a couple of key differences between Lightroom and Bridge. Lightroom is dedicated to photographic assets; for pulling those off of the camera and into a library, there isn’t a better solution. However, if you’re browsing non-photo assets or are looking to just point and see (rather than import), Bridge is extremely effective and fast. Bridge was built to preview and process just about any image, so you can leverage that power in Photoshop via Mini Bridge and enjoy most of the power of Bridge anywhere on screen (or even another monitor).

Bryan will be stopping off in NYC on his way home from London to host a Sunday 9:30 am morning photo walk at the CNET Gotham pop-up store in Soho. If you’re in the area, join him to see more Hidden Gems in Photoshop CS5!

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Hwere do we meet?

I was on that walk in NYC (and glad Brian could keep his eyes open). He demo the tutorial maker at the Hasselblad/Bron Color workshop day of the PhotoExpo (or whatever they call it this year) a couple of weeks before and he said on the walk it’s up on-line, but I can’t find it. Can you point me in the right direction to find it?

I’ve just recently upgraded to CS5 and I’m excited to use the mini bridge but it’s unbelievably slow. It’s so bad I can’t use it; the photos take forever to load and the pointer is so slow to respond that I forget what I was trying to do. I assume I need to change some settings but I have no idea where to start.

I am taking a class on digital photography. I was told that I had to have photoshop. I bought Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.. I’m not computer savy. We are working in Bridge now. My instructor said I should have Bridge in photoshop. I can’t find it. Can you please help me. I’m wanting to work on my class work at home.

Thank you
Pam Williams

I THOUGHT THIS WAS VERY WEAK FOR A BEGINNER. NOTHING ON HOW TO PUT IMAGES IN MINI OR GET THEM OUT. I DIDN’T NEED A HISTORY LESSON.

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