Why I Still Use the Bridge (Sometimes)

Yesterday when I was talking about clearing up space on my hard drive I mentioned the bloated cache files from using the Adobe Bridge.  That brought about the question, “Why do you still use the Bridge?”  I know, it’s slow and bulky and obviously creates large cache files but even with all that going against it, there are still a few reasons why I keep finding myself going back to it again and again.

♦ – My number 1 reason is just for browsing purposes.  I’m not always the most organized person when it comes to my image files.  I use Lightroom to upload my camera images but I have a lot of images that didn’t necessarily originate from my camera.  I know that I should someday sit down and load these into Lightroom but by browsing with the Bridge, I can find them quickly and get on with my day.

♦ – Number 2, I like the way I can interact with Photomatix directly from the Bridge.  Lightroom 2 has started to address some of the HDR creation issues by allowing images to be loaded directly into the Photoshop HDR process but this is just to create HDR files.  When I am using the Bridge, I can go directly from HDR file to Photomatix with a simple CTRL click.

♦ – Number 3 is the freedom to search alternate image locations.  I have a lot of images on DVD and external drives.  I could load these into Lightroom but then I would just be increasing the size of my catalog for images that I might only want to look at once or twice a year.  The Bridge allows me to browse these offline storage locations as needed, find the files I want, and then be done with them.

♦ – Number 4 and probably the saddest reason of all, old habits are hard to break.  When you get comfortable with something, it’s hard to let go and I guess Adobe feels this way too since they are continually updating the program.  I have been using the newest version of the Bridge (CS4) in its beta format and Adobe has made some great improvements, not just to the layout but also to the speed and usability.  I can’t really talk about any of it quite yet but it really is a better program than it used to be.

So there you have it.  My name is Jeff, and I’m a Bridge user.


  1. I’m right there with ya — but I don’t even use Lightroom. I’m also digging the new stuff in the CS4 bundle. Can’t wait to start talking about it!

  2. #3 alone is worth keeping Bridge for me. I use Lightroom for most of my photographs, but it’s great to have Bridge when working with files I won’t necessarily want to keep with my main library.

  3. Wedding, Bridge whats next? Good points Jeff, Although from the work I have been doing lately, Lightroom is money! Shoot! Edit! Develop! Export Jpegs to Smugmug directly with plugin! Bam! Next —

  4. I really like Bridge, and now that I’ve seen the improvements in CS4, I’m glad I didn’t abandon it.

  5. Lyndon Hunt says:

    Will metadata/keywords be automatically accepted by Lightroom as I `ve spent ages applying them to my pictures in Bridge?? Will I have to put all my pictures into one big folder before putting them into Lightroom or will Lightroom search thru subfolders Via keywords etc. to find th pictures I need???????? I thank you in advance for any information you can give me

  6. Jeff,

    Looking back to your April 6, 2010 email about BR versus LR I wonder if you can expand on this comment that you made:’ When I am using the Bridge, I can go directly from HDR file to Photomatix with a simple CTRL click.’

    I am new to BR and would like to speed up my Photomatix Pro workflow, but I find working from Aperture very slow as a file preview tool. Your help would be appreciated.



  1. […] The other day when I wrote about how I still use the Bridge I received a question from one of my readers concerning the transition from Bridge to Lightroom.  […]

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