Okay, so here we are inside of the new Bridge, Bridge CS3 and what we are going to do first before we actually start learning the ins and outs of Bridge and how to use it in your workflow. We are going to setup a couple of key preferences just so we are all on the same page as we work together throughout this program.
So the first things I am going to do is, I am going to press Ctrl+K on the PC, Command+K on the Mac. That's going to open up my General Preferences dialog box here and we are going to take a look first at the Appearance section at the very top here and what you can do with these Appearance sliders is adjust the overall tonality of the user interface itself. So if you want the user interface to be brighter, you just simply drag this slider to the right and you will notice that it starts to get extremely light. Now, I don't particularly care for this lighter interface simply because I think it cuts down our readability and it's also bad for when you are trying to accurately perceive color. I feel that a darker neutral gray is better for previewing colors.
So let's go ahead and turn that back down. I really don't like that lighter interface but you may. So if you want to go ahead and change that to whatever shade suit your needs. You can also control the Image Backdrop, the brightness of that. Let me move this Preferences dialog box out of the way, just a little bit so you can see exactly what I am talking about over here on the left-hand side. If you drag this letter to the right, you will notice that the backdrop behind these images gets a little bit lighter. You will also notice that the fonts and letters underneath each image, the captions, they also change their color accordingly to how light or dark the Image Backdrop is. Now, I also believe that this needs to be a little bit darker as well, so we will push that back to the dark side by dragging it over to the left.
Another thing you can change here in the Appearance section of the Preferences panel is you can change the Accent Color here for the Bridge itself. What the Accent Color is, is these little title bars here like for ratings and file types and things like that. So this is just an easier way to kind of see exactly where your different panes are as you are working throughout the Bridge. So I am going to change this to a nice amber color. This is kind of like a bright orange color. This is just going to help me identify the different sections of the Bridge a little bit better.
Now, let's move on and talk about the Behavior section of the General Preferences and this is where you find the ability to Double-click Edits Camera Raw Settings in Bridge. What that means is if you have a Camera Raw file or a file that has been edited by Camera Raw and you double-click that file, it will launch Camera Raw as a stand-alone application rather than launching it alongside with Photoshop. So if you don't feel like you are going to be going into Photoshop to tweak an image, you can just launch Camera Raw directly from Bridge and it will save you a whole lot of time from Photoshop having to load and then Camera Raw having to load on top of that.
So I would suggest you go ahead and turn this on simply because a lot of times when you are working with Camera Raw files, you don't necessarily need to go into Photoshop. So this is a really quick and easy way of accessing that Camera Raw dialog box and bypassing Photoshop launching altogether. Now, let's go head now and we will check out the Thumbnails panel here and there is a couple of things I want you to be aware of in here too. So the first of which is Prefer Adobe Camera Raw for JPEG and TIF Files. This means that you prefer to edit your JPEGs and TIFs using Adobe's Camera Raw plugin. This is an amazing new thing that they have built in the CS3 and it gives you unbelievable control over your JPEGs and TIFs. We are going to discuss a lot more about this in the actual Camera Raw chapter.
But for now, I am going to suggest that you just take a look at this and then after the Camera Raw chapter, you can come back in and change this to whatever preference you see fit. If you feel like you would like to edit your JPEGs and TIFs using Camera Raw, go ahead and turn this on. If you don't think that's useful, then go ahead and turn it off. For now, I am just going to leave it on because it is on by default. I am also going to make sure that I have Convert to High Quality thumbnails When Previewed and what that means is you will have a low resolution preview of your image over here in the Content window until you click on an image and then it will update to be a higher quality. This is going to save you a lot of time in loading your files and how quickly they appear in Bridge once you open up a specific folder. So go ahead and change that to Convert to High Quality When Previewed. That's just going to save you a little bit of extra time and we all know that shaving those precious minutes off of every project is exactly what we are trying to do here.
So that's the last thing we are going to take a look at in this particular dialog box. The last thing we are going to take a look at is the Advanced tab and this is where we take a look at some of the Color Management Settings here inside of Bridge. So we are going to take a look at this little button right up here that says Enable Color Management in Bridge. If we check that on, what that's going to do is allow us to view every single image in Bridge as it's supposed to be viewed in its native color format or space. So for instance, if you have an SRGB image next to and Adobe RGB image, you are going to see a little bit of difference between those because those are in the different color spaces and the same holds true if you were looking at a CMYK image versus an RGB image, you would see a definite difference there as well and also if you are viewing InDesign documents or PDFs or things like that it's going to show you more accurate color previews when you are viewing those files inside of Bridge.
So go ahead and make sure you have that turned on, so that you have a more accurate perception of your color before launching your files into any external applications. Now, the last thing we are going to take a look at down here is the Cache and I want to go ahead and turn on Automatically Export Caches To Folders When Possible. This is just going to help a lot with organizing and making sure that your Cache browser always inside of the same folder as your image is, so that when you open those backup, you'll have all of the same settings and different things like that, that you have applied. Now, a lot of times cache files can take up a little bit of space on your hard drive. So if you feel you are running a little bit low on hard drive space, one of the easy ways to get back a little bit of that is to purge all of your cache thumbnails.
So if you are running a little low on space or you just think you need a little bit of a performance boost, go ahead then and purge your cache every once in a while just to kind of update your system and give you a little bit more space and a little bit faster speed as you are working through Bridge. So now I am going to go ahead and click OK to apply all those settings and now we are ready to take a closer look at exactly what Bridge is and what it can do for you.