When you have a high number of files to sift through after shooting a lot of video or photography, the last thing you want to do is confuse the heck out of yourself when it comes time to organize your work. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could place all your assets in a folder and have everything in plain view? Wouldn’t it also be nice if you could hit a button when you review a photo or video clip that you don’t want to use that would make that file disappear? Wouldn’t it be the best if, while the file disappeared, it wasn’t actually deleted? It was just hidden?
Well, I’ve got a surprise for you. Our favorite file organizing application (and more) offers exactly these features. Adobe Bridge is a master at getting files organized and streamlining workflow. What I just fantasized about above – no problem. Just a few pushes of a few buttons or a couple of simple mouse clicks. You’ll be able to reduce the number of files staring you in the face to the smaller number of quality shots you want to keep. Without ever deleting a single thing. I’m not sure about you, but I certainly have experienced “delete regret.” You know, when you delete that file you thought you’d never use and then want it back later on.
In today’s post, I’ll be working with some sample shots in an effort to explain how they can be easily organized. I’ll, what they call, “reject” the ones I don’t want and keep the ones I do. Then, I’ll show you how you can hide the rejected assets so they’re not in view anymore. Hiding files is perfect for making your work area super efficient. Finally, I’ll show you how to unhide the rejected files and even unreject them. All right inside of Adobe Bridge.
The Content Panel
I’ve gone ahead and launched Bridge and browsed to the folder I’d like to work in. Here’s a screenshot of all the visible thumbnails.
For this post, I’ll pretend that these visible thumbnails are the one’s I’ll be using for a project. Out of the twelve showing, I’d like to use only eight of them.
Now, before I go any further, I want you to know that while I’m using photos in this post, you can do the same thing for any file type. This technique isn’t limited to certain types.
Since my project calls for specific photos, I’m going to reject the boy’s face, the bull, the cat and the camera. To do this, I’ll hold down the Ctrl key on my keyboard and click each one of those thumbnails. They should become highlighted once I do that.
In order to reject these selected files, I can do two things. I can either head up to the Label > Reject menu item and click.
Or, as you can see in the menu, I can use Alt+Del as the keyboard shortcut. Let’s see what the thumbnails look like after I reject them.
A Reject label has been added to each of these thumbnails.
Hiding Rejected Files
While rejecting files is fun, it doesn’t really help if they are still visible in the Content panel. It’s only after they’re hidden that we experience the magic of cleaning things up.
To hide a rejected file, head up to the View > Show Rejected Files menu item and make sure it’s not checked. If it is, the files will be visible and if it’s not, they won’t be.
I’ll click this menu item now.
As you can see from the above screenshot, the rejected files are no longer visible. They haven’t been deleted, so they’re safe if you even want to use them again. They also haven’t moved anywhere and if you browse their origin folder on your computer, they’ll be perfectly workable. It’s only in Bridge that they’ve been hidden.
To unhide the hidden files, simply visit the View > Show Rejected Files menu again and check it. That will bring the thumbnails back in all their glory.
You would think there’s a menu item to unreject files. I mean, it’s only fitting that if you reject something that you could reverse course. Apparently not. I had to play around a while to discover exactly how to do this.
To unreject the files I initially rejected, I’ll once again select each of the thumbnails. When they’re highlighted, I’ll visit the Label > No Rating menu item and click.
Doing this will clear out the Reject label and bring the files back to their original state. It’s that easy.
I hope this post helps you with organizing your workspace in Adobe Bridge. I know it can make a huge difference in cases where the photographer takes many shots of similar items where only a few are kept. Oftentimes, it’s not the intention of the photographer to delete anything – the only thing they want is for the bad ones to disappear. In these types of cases, Bridge’s Reject feature is perfect.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this post, please leave them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!