Navigate in CS5 Adobe Bridge - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

To navigate in Creative Suite 5’s Adobe Bridge, use the Folders panel in the upper-left corner to choose the folder you want to view. Watch in amazement as previews are created and automatically replace the standard file format icon.

Adobe Bridge may take a fair amount of time to build the preview the first time you use it, so be patient. Either choose Tools→Cache→Build and Export Cache to save this data or choose Tools→Cache→Purge Cache to free up file space.

Select an individual file by clicking it once (twice opens it) or select multiple files by Ctrl-clicking (Windows) or Cmd-clicking (Mac).

With one or more files selected, you can

  • Relocate the files to another location by dragging them to a folder in the Folders panel in the upper-left corner. Use Bridge as a central filing system. Using the commands on the File menu, you can create new folders and delete or move files or groups of files.

  • Read metadata in the Metadata panel in the lower-right corner. The metadata includes important information such as Camera, Flash, and F-stop.


  • Enter your own metadata for any item listed by clicking the pencil icon to the right.

  • Use the Keywords panel to enter your own keywords to help you find your images later.


  • Choose Edit→Find or use the Filter panel to locate your files within the Bridge by entering criteria, such as Keywords, Description, Date Created, and more.

  • Create image stacks. You can select many files in Bridge by holding down the Ctrl key (Windows) or Cmd key (Mac) and clicking multiple files. You can then choose Stacks→Group as Stack or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+G (Windows) or Cmd+G (Mac). It stacks the images into one compact thumbnail.

  • The number of images in the stack is shown in the upper-left corner of the image stack. To reopen the stack, click the stack number; to close the stack, click the stack number again. If you no longer want the stack, you can choose Stacks→Ungroup from Stack or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+G (Windows) or Cmd+Shift+G (Mac).


  • Check under the Tools menu for application-specific tools, such as Photomerge (merging panoramic images), Live Trace (tracing images as vector images), and PDF Presentation.