Inside Adobe Bridge and Version Cue: Part 2 | 3 | WebReference

Inside Adobe Bridge and Version Cue: Part 2 | 3

Inside Adobe Bridge and Version Cue: Part 2

Using Metadata

Ignoring metadata, as you've probably done in the past, won't cause you to suddenly become unproductive and disorganized—but being aware of the rich metadata that already exists in your files will definitely benefit you. Here's an example to give you an idea of some of the information that lies at your fingertips. I have a folder full of imagery that I like to use for desktop backgrounds, shown in Figure 1-24.

Figure 1-24.

Some of the images are incredibly clear, are a reasonable size for my 1600 x 1200 desktop (so that they aren't scaled up or down too much), and have good tonal values. An example of such an image (a close-up of the game Tongiaki) is shown in Figure 1-25. However, the tonal values of images made with digital cameras tend to vary with the brand and model of the camera (unless the images have been adjusted in Photoshop, which requires a certain level of skill). I was curious to know whether any one camera was better than another for these types of images, so I pulled out a few of the better images and checked to see what cameras they'd been made with. As it turns out, for my purposes there's a certain Olympus SLR with a macro lens that takes excellent pictures.

Figure 1-25.

To really take advantage of metadata in your Adobe Creative Suite files, you should be thinking about how you'd like to organize and access your files in the future. Even if you're already über-organized, metadata will make your life much easier. And if you're a little messy or cluttered, the metadata that's already in your files should help you to organize and keep track of them.

Either way, adding just a bit more information manually—for instance, including the project name in all files related to a particular project—can net you a huge time savings in the future. Even if you keep all the files for a project together, there's a good chance that you'll have used at least one common or generic file in the project that you grabbed from some other location. Let's say you have to use a dinner menu over and over again in a project. To update the menu, you might want to grab some images that you've used before in a totally different context, and it'll be a lot easier to mark each of those images with the current project name than it would be to manually move or copy them into a common folder. Identifying the projects files belong to in their metadata can also save your hide if at some point you move one of the project files from the original project folder.

Adding Metadata in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, GoLive, and Bridge

Each of the Creative Suite applications automatically saves metadata with files, but you can manually update the metadata as well. Choose File → File Info, and you'll see a dialog box that looks something like the one in Figure 1-26.

Figure 1-26.

You can use this dialog box to add all sorts of information to your file that will help you identify it in the future. Enter whatever info you'd like, click OK, and then simply save the file—the metadata will be part of the file from that point forward.

Searching Metadata in Bridge

Bridge allows you to search for an image based on metadata contents.

To search for an image:

  1. Choose Edit → Find.

Figure 1-27.

You can search any and all metadata in the images in the current Bridge folder.


One of the big challenges for all but the most casual Creative Suite user is how to ensure consistent color throughout the creative process. Having one or more pieces of hardware without accurate color profiles can lead to lost time trying to fix apparent color problems during the preparation of an image, or to unpleasant surprises when it comes time to pick up a full-color print job. Three components have an impact on creating an accurate color profile: the monitor, the input device (such as a scanner or digital camera), and the output device (usually a color printer). Thus, you'll need to consider three types of color profile:


An accurate monitor profile is critical because you will make decisions regarding the colors in your files based on what is displayed on your monitor. If your monitor is not accurately color calibrated, you have no chance of making good decisions.


These profiles describe what colors your scanner or digital camera is capable of capturing.


These profiles describe the color space of desktop and commercial printers.

For most situations and device combinations, it is highly recommended that you use one of the global color settings that ship with Creative Suite 2. Don't change advanced settings unless you know what you are doing or are specifically instructed to do so by your service bureau or a commercial printing professional.

Setting Global Color Settings

Setting global color settings has never been easier, thanks to Bridge. You can now specify global color settings with just a few mouse clicks.

To set global color settings:

Figure 1-29.

You can also open this dialog from the bottom of the Bridge Center window, by clicking "Open Color Settings." The Bridge Center will also indicate whether your Color Management setting is synchronized throughout your CS2 applications.


Although it is incredibly useful to be able to make sophisticated changes to files (such as rotating or cropping a scanned image, adjusting the brightness and contrast, or correcting an unwanted color cast), making these changes manually to a large number of files can be incredibly time-consuming. This is where task automation comes to the rescue. Bridge allows you to select a file or a folder and then apply an action—a series of commands from a specific application—to the selected file or to all files within the selected folder.

Applying an Action

Applying an action is a simple matter of locating the file or folder you want to work with and then selecting the desired action from the Tools menu.

To apply an action:

  1. In Bridge, navigate to the file or folder to which you want to apply the action.

  2. If the necessary application is not already open, it will open and a dialog box will appear with various settings specific to the action that you have chosen. Specify the settings that you want to use, and click the OK or Apply button.

Excerpted from Adobe Creative Suite 2 Workflow by Jennifer Alspach, Shari Nakano and Steve Samson. ISBN 0-596-10236-4, Copyright © 2006 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

Created: March 27, 2003
Revised: March 27, 2006