February 12, 2007

Killing ’em softly with Bridge, Lightroom

I take a ton of photos, most of which turn out to be quite mediocre. Until now I’ve been using the Delete key in Bridge to blow away the rejects & move on to the next photo in line. That works well enough, but the move is kind of severe, throwing your photo into the trash. It would be nice if there were a way to "soft delete" images–flagging them for the dead wagon, but not yet moving them to the trash. So, I’m glad to say that both the new version of Bridge (available on Labs) and Lightroom (shipping very shortly) offer methods for doing this:

  • When you hit the Delete key in Bridge CS3, you’ll get the option to mark an image as a reject. If you choose this option, hitting Delete will mark your image with a red "Reject" label. You can then choose to hide (or show only) the rejects via the new Filter panel. Here’s a screenshot of both. You can remove the rejectedness of an image by marking it No Rating (via the Label menu, or via Cmd-0/Ctrl-0).
  • Lightroom lets you reject an image by hitting X while in the Library module.  To reject it and move to the next in line, hit Shift-X.  (The same convention works for setting a Pick–hit P and Shift-P.)  And from the bottom of the Library window you can click the flag icons to hide the rejects, so that they disappear when you flag them as such.  Hitting Cmd-Delete/Ctrl-Delete will then offer to remove the files from the Lightoom database, or to move them to the trash.  Note: I don’t know how much of this stuff is wired up in Beta 4 of Lightroom, but it’ll be working as described in v1.0.
10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

Help improve Dreamweaver, Flash -> Win fame, glory

Okay, maybe not fame, but how about $1000 or a copy of Creative Suite 3?  Those are the prizes (5 of ’em) being raffled to folks who help Adobe improve our Web tools by the Adobe user research team.  They’re using a technology called ClickStream (more about them & their privacy policy) that records how often menu items, tools, etc. are used in each application, from which we can gain insights into what’s important & should be improved.  If you’re interested, please see the note below from researcher Sharma Hendel.  Cash and software aside, I think it’s a great (and pretty painless) way to help improve the tools that thousands of people use every day. [UPDATE: Sorry, I didn’t notice that participation is limited to US residents. Lame, but I guess doing business across borders is harder than it should be. –J.]

I’m a user experience researcher with the Flash & Dreamweaver teams and I’m looking for Flash and Dreamweaver users to help us out with a massive project.  If you’re a regular Flash or Dreamweaver user and would like to help out, please check out the information below. 

This is a product improvement study with folks who use Flash or Dreamweaver several times per week. The project entails downloading and installing a small program that anonymously collects information about the features you use in Adobe products and other applications. All eligible participants will be entered in a prize drawing either $1000 or one of 5 copies of Creative Suite 3 (to be released later this year).
If you are interested, please take this survey to determine eligibility.  Then download the ClickSight™ software – a program developed for Adobe by Clickstream Technologies. (Mac Users: Currently, ClickSight runs only on Windows PCs.  We will be conducting a Mac-based study later this year.  If you are a Mac user and would like to be involved, please email info@clickstreamtech.com).

Thanks!  You are helping make our Web applications even better!

Sharma Hendel (shendel at adobe dot com)
User Experience Team

3:47 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

Why Adobe doesn’t touch proprietary raw files

Touching the bits of raw image formats that aren’t publicly documented well (or at all) seems like a bad idea, bound to end in tears. Microsoft is advising customers not to edit metadata using Vista, saying,

Microsoft has received reports of compatibility issues with Nikon NEF files after installing version 1.0 of Nikon’s raw codec posted in January. Tagging the raw files through Windows Vista or the Microsoft Photo Info tool after the codec is installed appears to cause these files to become unreadable in other applications, such as Adobe Photoshop. [Via]

I’m sure the problem will get sorted out soon enough, but it does illustrate why Camera Raw and Lightroom insist on using sidecar data files for raw formats other than DNG. It’s less convenient, but we’ve seen far too many conflicts arise from touching metadata in these other formats. DNG was designed with flexible internal storage of metadata in mind, and now Lightroom and Bridge offer conversion to DNG as part of their photo-import processes. (For what it’s worth, on my MacBook Pro, converting an 8MP CR2 file to DNG takes roughly 1-1.5 seconds–not a bad price for portability & reduced file size.)

1:47 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]
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