The way I see it, the more you can do in Adobe Bridge, the better. Bridge is almost like a giant shortcut when it comes to photo editing in many of Adobe’s applications. If you aren’t using Bridge yet, I seriously encourage you to learn about it, to start using it and to make the best of it. It synchronizes so well with Camera Raw and it will eventually save you a fair amount of time. I say eventually here because before you can enjoy those time saving gains, you’ll need to learn all about the program. Luckily, I have a category dedicated solely to it on this website. You can access that category via the top toolbar or right here. Before beginning though, you need to set some realistic expectations. Bridge is first and foremost an organization application. It doesn’t inherently do anything. It does assist with many functions of other programs though, so you’ll become more and more pleased with things as time goes on.
Okay, so I just mentioned that Bridge integrates with Adobe Camera Raw. This is wonderful because Camera Raw is my beginning editor of choice when it comes to working on photographs. Some of the tasks I need to complete in Camera Raw can be completed right in Bridge, which can greatly assist with saving a lot of time. And sometimes, completing these tasks in Bridge is super efficient. Much more efficient than Camera Raw.
In today’s post, I’d like to walk you through one small area of these time savings. When it comes to toying with photos, such as I do with the demo images I use on this site, I don’t always want to keep the edits I perform on any particular photo. Basically, I start off with an untouched image, then I make a few changes to it that have to do with what I’m covering that day and finally, I close the photo out of Camera Raw and/or Photoshop. The issues arise the next time I’d like to use that image. I really try to stay away from duplicating the demo photos I use on this site, but sometimes one of them just screams at me to use it a second time. It’s aggravating to open that photo again in Camera Raw to find a bunch of sliders pushed around. Remember, when editing a RAW file in Camera Raw, any changes you make are stored in an outside text file. When editing a JPEG file, those changes are stored in the meta information. So just because you don’t see an external text file next to any image you’d like to edit (in a folder), doesn’t mean there aren’t any edits applied to it. Succinctly put, I hate it when I have to reset all the sliders in Camera Raw before I use the photo again. It’s a real pain in the butt.
How to See if a Photo Has Been Edited in Camera Raw
To kick things off, let me show you what I’m talking about. I have a small group of images in a demo folder. I’ve used some of these images in a few post, while others I haven’t. In a perfect world, none of these photos should still have edits applied to them. In my world, they do. Let me show you how I can tell.
If you take a look at the above screenshot, you’ll see that I circled two areas in red. Enclosed in the top circle are two small round icons. The one to the left indicates that this particular image has been cropped in Camera Raw and the one to the right indicates that it’s merely been edited in some other way. As for the bottom red circle, again, this one just says that the image has been edited in Camera Raw somehow.
So, the way to tell if a photo has Camera Raw edits applied to it without even opening the image is to see if there are any of these small icons sitting above that image’s thumbnail in Bridge. If it doesn’t have any icons, there are currently no edits applied.
How to Clear Any Previously Applied Camera Raw Settings
I’m going to wrap this post up very quickly and then I’ll perhaps play around a bit below. For now, I’ll tell you that a right-click on any thumbnail in Bridge will open a menu that offers tons of options. Check this out.
The menu item I’d like to focus on today is called Develop Settings > Clear Settings.
If I click on this setting, I’ll immediately see the icon above the thumbnail disappear and the thumbnail itself will likely change in form. It’ll lose its edits, so it will revert back to the way it looked right out of the camera. Most likely, much more dull than it appeared after editing. The best part is (and here’s the time saver), if you want to mass undo edits, you can by simply selecting multiple thumbnails by either holding down the Shift or Ctrl key on your keyboard and then clicking on whichever images you’d like to remove the edits from. It’s very simple. Can you imagine opening each photo up in Camera Raw to clear its settings? Me neither.
How to Copy One Photo’s Edits to Another
Since I’m here, I may as well tell you how to copy one image’s edits to another, right in Bridge. After all, you may have a large number of photos that were taken in a similar setting. Why not just edit one of those photos and then quickly and easily apply those changes to all the others? (I recognize that there are a few ways to go about this, but this is just one of them.)
To accomplish this, all you need to do is right-click on the edited image you’d like to copy from. Then, select the Develop Settings > Copy Settings menu item.
Then, you’ll need to right-click on the individual thumbnail you’d like to paste the edits to and select the Develop Settings > Paste Settings menu item.
Once you do that, you’ll be presented with the Paste Camera Raw Settings dialog box. Inside this box are check boxes that represent many areas of Camera Raw. Be sure that any area you’d like to edit on the new image is checked and then click the OK button to apply those changes.
And that’s it! Of course, if you’d like to paste those settings to multiple images, you can use the Shift or Ctrl click method for selecting as many images as you’d like, either in sequential order or randomly.
I hope I clearly explained how to clear any preexisting edits that have been made in Adobe Camera Raw, in Adobe Bridge. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this post, please leave them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!