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Organizing Your Digital Media: Using Adobe Bridge

How to organize and work with digital media files (images, videos, audios) on your Windows or Macintosh computer

Created by Health Science Librarians

Using Adobe Bridge

Using Adobe Bridge

Adobe Bridge is a file browsing program that is very popular with graphic and media designers.  Bridge is a standalone program and is available for both Windows and Macintosh, but is only available with the purchase of another Adobe program (it is packaged with other Adobe software and is free). If you own an Adobe program, you probably also have Adobe Bridge. 

Bridge Interface

When you start up Bridge, you see its interface, which is made up of several panels. The appearance varies depending on its current preferences (Adobe Bridge menu > Preferences), and how it appeared when it was last closed. 

You can browse files by clicking on folders in the FOLDERS panel (upper left of screen).

Scroll through thumbnails for the currently-selected folder in the CONTENT  panel (middle of screen).  When you click on a thumbnail, a preview of it appears in the PREVIEW panel (upper-right of screen).  

The name of the current Workspace is highlighted at the top of the window (in the above example, Essentials). You can change this by clicking another name or by going to the Window menu. The Window menu also allows you to change panel visibility by clicking on panel names. 


Ratings, keywords, and filtering

Bridge Ratings and Keywords

Star ratings that have been assigned appear just beneath an image thumbnail and preview. You can assign ratings to a selected image by clicking on the dots just beneath the thumbnail or by choosing a rating from the Label menu.

Add keywords to a selected image by clicking on an existing keyword in the KEYWORDS panel or typing a new one in the text field at the bottom of the KEYWORDS panel.


The current keywords for an image appear in the KEYWORDS panel just below the tab.  To delete a keyword, uncheck it in the KEYWORDS panel, or choose Remove Keywords from the panel menu, which appears when you click on the menu icon at the top-right of the panel.



To look at a subset of images in Bridge is called filtering.  To do this, click on criteria in the FILTER tab. The following example shows images filtered by three keywords.