When you browse the internet, you create favorites within Safari, Firefox or Explorer, in order to give you a shortcut to sites that you visit frequently. Having these “favorites” saved and organized allows you to navigate quickly and easily to web sites you visit most often, without having to type long and cumbersome URLs into the address bar of the browser.
When you work with Adobe’s creative suite, and manage multiple projects on your computer, you can use Bridge CS4’s “favorites” feature in much the same way as you would create shortcuts in your browser. Bridge Favorites allows one-click navigation to all your commonly used file folders within your system.
When you open Bridge in its default “Essentials” workspace, the Favorites panel appears in the top left of your screen. However, Bridge in its original configuration contains only a few basic entries in the favorites panel: Bridge Home, Computer, Desktop, Documents, and Pictures (if you’re using Windows XP, “My Computer,” “My Documents” and “My Pictures”). This is nice, but it doesn’t reflect the way most of us really work.
For example, I tend to organize a lot of my work into some main categories, and keep the files in folders on my hard drives associated with those tasks. I have separate areas for:
- Camera Raw Import – files that I import from my cameras,
- Projects – which for me are client related folders,
- My Src – which is where I keep a lot of my doodling and miscellaneous artwork,
- PS Battle – where I keep images related to my weekly battles on the NAPP user forums.
I have shortcuts to all these file areas, stored on diverse physical disks, all within the Bridge Favorites panel.
Creating these favorites is as easy as dragging and dropping. For example, let’s say I want to add a “Blog” folder where I keep projects related to my postings here. I would simply navigate to where the “Blog” folder is located, and drag it into the Favorites panel. It’s that easy:
When you drag to the panel, a solid bar appears between or below the existing entries, and you can drop it right into that location to create a new shortcut. Be careful not to drag it directly ON to an existing entry, as that is the method for copying files!
Once you’ve created your shortcuts, you can actually hide the Favorites panel, as there is a way to access it at any time. Just click in the application bar (in the path bar area, click the little downward pointing triangle next to the navigation buttons). All your favorites are listed there in a quick, easy to access pop-up menu:
I strongly recommend you use the “Favorites” feature in Bridge. It is truly a powerful way to navigate your system, and once you’ve set this up to match your workflow, you’ll never be frustrated again clicking through endless levels of folders, hunting for the same old location you’ve used every time.