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Using Adobe Bridge for file management


Bridge is a powerful tool that Adobe now allows everyone to download for free. Within the application, you can manage thousands of files, quickly labeling and culling a photo assignment so designers and writers can quickly find the best images.



  • Students will organize images from a photo assignment using Adobe Bridge using labels and metadata.
  • Students will batch rename files to avoid repetition.


Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.9-10.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.



2 days, but ongoing throughout the year



Image folder containing practice files

Slideshow: Using Adobe Bridge

Image files to be downloaded from camera or card on day 2

Computer lab with projector and Adobe Bridge CC installed

Locations for image files to be stored and archived (server, external drive, cloud storage, etc.)

Rubric: Using Adobe Bridge


Lesson step-by-step

Day 1:

Students will need a folder of images to practice with during the demonstration. Use this folder of images to practice labeling, adding metadata, etc. Performing these operations on files that will be used for publication is not a good idea. Staff photographers have plenty of images that will not be published. Create a folder of these for student use.

Direct instruction — 50 minutes

Present the slide show in a computer lab situation so students can follow along. If the teacher would like to use the slides as a guide while demonstrating using Bridge on the projector, that may be the best way to present.

As Bridge opens, change the default window tab from Favorites to Folders near the upper left corner. Students should then navigate to the practice folder of images. If there is only a single folder of practice images on a server, students need to copy it to a folder on the local computer they will be using. This can be done within Bridge by dragging and dropping, using the file system presented under the Folders tab.

Resize the thumbnails in the Content panel to personal preference. There is a slider near the bottom right corner that allows resizing.

Click on the first image in the Content panel and adjust the edges so the Preview panel is sized to your liking.

If the panels disappear or are so messed up you don’t know what is going on, try resetting by going to Window>Workspace>Reset Standard Workspaces.

Select all the images in the Content panel. Using Tools>Batch Rename, rename the set of images so that the file names are “Testing” with the original number suffix.

pic 5

Additionally, before managing files by selecting and labeling, all these images need metadata. Select all the images in the folder again. In the metadata panel below the Preview panel, scroll to Creator under IPTC Core. Type the photographer’s name on this line. Use your own name in the demonstration.

Again select all the images in the folder. (Alternately, go to View>Review Mode) Using the arrow keys, do a quick look at the images so you get an initial impression of the good, the bad and the ugly. You could give initial star labels during this first viewing using Command-1 through Command-5.

Filter the view so that only the starred images appear in the Content panel (click all the stars in the Rating categories.) Use the magnifying tool to insure that the subjects are in crisp focus. Reject (command zero) any images that are out of focus. Any images that you remove the stars from will now disappear from the Content panel.

After making these selections, you can use the Description field under the Metadata panel to add caption information. Keywords can also be added to improve searchability later on. Use names, event, etc. Spending some time adding these details will speed up the production process later on.


Day 2:

15 minutes

Students go through the same day 1 process for their own images from a camera or card.

Begin the process by downloading the images using File>Get Photos From Camera…

In the Photo Downloader window, be sure to set the download location to the proper place, otherwise your images could end up anywhere.

10 minutes

Students can Batch Rename from within the Photo Downloader dialog. If they use the Advanced option, they can add Creator metadata as the images are downloaded. Also decide if images are to be deleted as they are downloaded. For archive purposes, there is also the option to save in an additional location.

30 minutes

As photos are captioned in the Description field, include as much information as possible. While a full three sentence caption may not be required or necessary in this field, important information such as who is the photo, the result of the event, etc. should be included. Reporters who choose one of these images can flesh out the rest of the caption information.


As images are used in publications, staff should use an established Color label to identify images that have been used. This avoids repetition across publications.



Your photographer’s job is not done after they shoot an event. They should be the ones who download, rename and label their images with appropriate metadata.

Advanced students should work on full 5W&H captions for each starred image they produce and placing them in the metadata for each photo.

Lower achieving students may be the ones who initially download images to the proper places.