October 25, 2009

Creating contact sheets in Bridge CS4

I still see a fair number of people searching for info about Photoshop’s semi-retired Contact Sheet feature. This 1-minute video shows how it’s been replaced with a better alternative in Bridge CS4:

Posted by John Nack at 7:39 AM on October 25, 2009


  • Mike Reys — 8:34 AM on October 25, 2009

    In terms of workflow, if you have Lightroom, do we create the sheet within Lightroom, or would you still go to Photoshop (and is this integrated? what about virtual copies?)

  • tenaitch — 8:35 AM on October 25, 2009

    This is wrong, as you cannot print the file that bridge cs4 has created directly from bridge. You have to save the file, reopen the file in acrobat and then print. Then go and delete the file when your finished.
    Plus you cannot create a contact sheet from currently open files or from images that have not been saved to file after adjustment.
    For me the contact sheets are temporary files for cd covers, test prints and sample sheets and are not kept.This new way of creating a conatct sheet is slower and less convenient in the long run than the old contact sheet action.

  • Daris Fox — 9:56 AM on October 25, 2009

    The main problem I have with the new Bridge CS 4 method is that it doesn’t allow custom InDesign templates to be used. I use use sheets with branding to identify what sheets are mine to clients. I know the programmer updated the program for Bridge, but I felt this was a feature that should never be dropped. What happened to the integration of all the suites?
    So in light of this the CS 4 method it’s a big regression.

  • Steve DiBartolomeo — 10:19 AM on October 25, 2009

    For some reason I can’t see the video for this. I’ve disabled my ad blocked, my popup blocker, deleted Apple’s Quicktime, removed and re-installed the current flash.
    I am running Mozilla 3.5 on Windows XP.
    I can see other videos – Oct 20 and Oct 17th no problem.

  • Tonya Doughty — 10:25 AM on October 25, 2009

    I was one of those people searching for it just yesterday. Doesn’t work for me this way though. If there was am option to open the file in Photoshop afterwards (and be unflattened so I had access to each image individually, not a PDF) then it would work.

  • Jean-Claude Tremblay — 10:58 AM on October 25, 2009

    Introduced with CS4, the contact sheet take time to get used to, especially if you are used to the photoshop version or the Indesign script. But I find it faster now to do it in Bridge Cs4 with the output module. Some features are still missing in it like the ability to save custom template. That why after having some analyzes I have found their is a way to save them. It involve too many steps to include in this comment, but I have write and describe on my blog how you can do it. Go see: http://bit.ly/16L9Lf

  • Chris Combs — 12:24 PM on October 25, 2009

    It seems very silly that the new replacement for Contact Sheet and Web Photo Gallery is *less* customizable.

  • Chana Messer — 12:43 PM on October 25, 2009

    I actually liked the old times when we did contact sheet in InDesign… I am ok with moving the feature to the bridge but still loaded it to my PSD CS4.

  • Chana Messer — 12:46 PM on October 25, 2009

    I am creating my contact sheet within lightroom. so I do not have to go out of LR while I am working. Virtual copies become normal copies once you export it!

  • Luis Garcia — 3:29 PM on October 25, 2009

    I would like to select some thumbnails inside Bridge, and hit Ctrl+P to print them without having to save first another file and open another application just for printing. The settings could be saved inside Bridge, like size of the thumbnail, what extra info gets printed, etc.
    That prints are mostly used for reference, chek mark, etc, temporary things. No need for another file in the hard drive. Just directly printing from Bridge, to any printer including the Acrobat PDF just in case it is needed.
    It is only a suggestion. Great blog this one.

  • Eric Peacock — 7:24 PM on October 25, 2009

    Removing the InDesign contact sheet for CS4 makes no sense – some people actually need to generate a contact sheet with linked files that can be updated. Also, the template option is pretty darned useful (I’ve built a whole department’s workflow on it).
    I’d have hoped you’d have left it in even with the revised Bridge method.
    One reason we’re not excited to get CS4. When we do we’ll probably invest in a third-party option for InDesign instead.

  • John Eakin — 6:33 AM on October 26, 2009

    If you need something really customizable and still want to work within Photoshop CS4 check out
    It’s terrific.
    [Good tip, John—thanks. –J.]

  • Heather Moreau — 11:19 AM on November 01, 2009

    Under tools in Bridge I have no option to edit with Photoshop whether it is to make a contact sheet, use the image processor, or do anything. The only options I have are to adjust metadata and save the cache. I think I am missing a start up script…. although in the preferences the photoshop start up script is checked already. Any idea how I can fix this?

  • boson — 5:36 AM on March 13, 2010

    When I go to Output in Bridge CS4, there is no panel on the right side. It’s grey, empty, nothing. If I go to the little sheet icon at the top left and click on Output to Web or PDF, nothing happens. I swear I haven’t tampered with the layout or anything else.
    And I hate PDFs, you can’t copy and paste them into documents, they’re annoying and you can’t really edit them. What was so wrong with outputting to any file format you want? Like a JPEG? What’s wrong with JPEGs? What if I want to draw little arrows on the contact sheet to compare images? I can’t do that! I don’t see how this is faster. I can wait 2 minutes. This does it in 12 seconds but then requires me to open it in some fancy application that takes 3 minutes to load, then to save it as a JPEG, open it in Photoshop, then save it AGAIN for the third time. No it’s not faster! Please stop removing features from Photoshop. Let people decide. Isn’t this what Photoshop was all about in the beginning anyway? Letting people do something in 100 different ways! They also removed the Extract feature as well. They really thought the Quick Selection tool, which is just another Magic Wand, will do a better job.
    I’m used to keeping every single version of Photoshop installed anyway, since nowadays making a good image requires the use of 3 different versions simultaneously.

  • Richard Deon — 12:26 PM on July 28, 2010

    This website has been compromised by an anti-war activist, see the video above
    This 1-minute video shows how it’s been replaced with a better alternative in Bridge CS4:


  • Glenn Primm — 10:25 AM on August 23, 2010

    Is anybody moderating this page? Where is the contact sheet video? Also, the link to John Eakin’s CSX script (above) takes us to a webpage that has a broken link to the download server. I refuse to load multiple versions of PS on my laptop, life is too short.

    In the meantime, here is a solution I found on Photo.net, via member Robert Chura:

    If you would like to continue using the legacy ContactSheetII and/or Picture Package plug-ins, please follow these steps: 1. From the Photoshop CS4 install disc, drop the ///Goodies/Optional Plug- Ins/Automate/ContactSheetII plug-in into the //Adobe Photoshop CS4/Plug-ins/Automate folder (this is for both Contact Sheet and Picture Package). 2. From the Photoshop CS4 install disc, drop the ///Goodies/Presets/Layouts folder into the //Adobe Photoshop CS4/Presets folder and restart Photoshop. Optional: To add this legacy functionality back into Bridge (as a menu item): 3. From the Photoshop CS4 install disc, drop the ///Goodies/Optional plugins/ Bridge Startup Scripts/photoshop_contact_sheet_ii folder and the photoshop_contact_sheet_ii.jsx file into following locations and then restart Bridge. 8/29/2008 Photoshop Optional plug-ins Read Me 3 of 6 Macintosh: //Library/Application Support/Adobe/Startup Scripts CS4/Adobe Photoshop/ Windows XP: //Program Files/Common Files/Adobe/Startup Scripts CS4/Adobe Photoshop/ Windows Vista: //Program Files (x86)/Common Files/Adobe/Startup Scripts CS4/Adobe Photoshop/ Contact Sheet II v10.0 by Sarah A. Kong, Foster Brereton, and Charles A. McBrian Picture Package v10.0 by Sarah A. Kong, Foster Brereton, Russell Williams, and Dave Rau ©1997 – 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved.

  • steve — 12:23 PM on August 24, 2010

    Until the linking gets fixed, the video can be found here: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/1-minute-cost-busters/creating-a-contact-sheet-of-images-in-adobe-bridge-cs4

  • nina — 7:49 PM on September 01, 2010

    Can anyone tell me why I can’t see any Output features? I need to make a contact sheet for a class, but my Bridge CS4 program doesn’t show output anywhere. I’ve tried downloading the Output Module update, I’ve tried changing the Preferences options, I’ve tried purging the cache. Nothing works! I have the contact sheet II feature in Photoshop, but the assignment is to make a contact sheet using the Output module in Bridge… please help!! Thanks…

  • nina — 7:50 PM on September 01, 2010

    I have Windows Vista, by the way…

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