Adobe Bridge

Adobe Bridge is a free digital asset management tool. On the media team we use it to catalog our best video, photos, logos, and music for future use. The goal is to build a content library so that we don't have to scour the internet every time we need a photo or some bed music for a video. Adobe Bridge does a great job of storing ratings, keyword tags, and filtering through files based on size and orientation. It does a poor job of syncing that data between computers. We have to handle that syncing manually and for that purpose we use git, a versioning tool used by mainly programmers. This tutorial will explain:

  • Import new media into Bridge
  • Sort through that media
  • Attach keywords 
  • Create collections
  • Share those collections with other media team members

Importing New Media

 All of the photos, videos, logos, and audio are stored primarily on the shared RAID server at the cooper center. You need to be hired to the media team with an eservices account to access it. For instructions read this tutorial.

First create a folder to hold the assets you're going to add to the library. Folders must be in the correct containing folder. For this example we're working with photos so we create a folder named with the YYYYMMDD Description of Photo Set inside the Photo folder. Once that folder is created set the label to purple to indicate that this folder needs to be sorted through. Green labels indicate that the folder has been sorted already and red means the folder is in the process of being sorted.

Creating a folder

Now copy all the photos into that folder with no subfolders within it. Before you copy them, you should delete any photos that are under 500 KB in size. Our videos are 1920x1080 pixels in size so we don't want to waste time with small photos. Bridge will now start creating thumbnails and you can start editing the metadata when that is completed.

Select all of the photos and add metadata to reflect where it came from and if there are any usage restrictions on it. Under IPTC Core enter in the Source and Rights Usage Terms. These photos came from Sorensen's Box account and they own the photos so we can use them freely. If there is no credit that needs to be included just enter None into the rights usage box. Apply this metadata to all the photos by selecting them all (cmd +a) and then entering the metadata in the right column within the essentials view.

Usage Rights

Now you can switch to the libraries view and start adding ratings. You assign ratings using keys Cmd+1-5. Here's how our ratings work. 

  1. It's garbage. Delete it.
  2. Crummy photo but worth keeping
  3. Decent photo but may have some composition or focus issues
  4. Fantastic photo with great composition, in focus, and interesting subject matter
  5. Perfect photo USE IT ASAP


After you're done rating all the photos, delete all the 1 star ratings. Make sure to delete them off the disk when it prompts you. We don't want to waste server space. Before you move on to keywords, you need to make sure you're list of keywords is the most up to date version. Skip ahead to the last section to learn how to sync your libraries keywords and collections before moving forward. Now focus on the best rated photos first and attach keywords to groups of photos. Try to make the keywords as useful as possible. We want them to be descriptive and accurate. Try to use already popular keywords as well.

Create collections

Before you start with collections make sure you have the most up to date version of the library. Skip to the last section to learn how to update your keywords and collections metadata. You should have an idea as to what collections you want to make. For these photos I created a Sorensen Class Photos collection and a Sorensen Portrait Photos collection. I attached keywords to the photos I wanted in those collections and setup a smart collection to automatically import the photos of rating 4+ that had that keyword. Once you finish creating your collections you can push your changes to the git repo to share them with others. 

Share those collections with other media team members

There are two sets of files we need to update to make sure our collections are in sync. These files are located at username/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Bridge CC 2019/ on mac machines. To keep these files in sync we track the versioning of these files in git. Miles can setup your account with the git repo one time and then you're set on that machine forever. We need to make sure we sync the Collections folder and the Adobe Bridge Keywords.xml file.

Open up Github Desktop and fetch the changes from the remote repo. Then pull those changes into your local copy. If you see any other files that the collections files and the keywords.xml file in your GitHub app, get miles to fix it before doing anything else.

GitHub Desktop

Only commit changes to files that are in the Collections folder or the keywords.xml file. All other files need to be ignored. You can ignore them by right clicking the file in the changes window and selecting ignore this file. If that doesn't work then someone has already added the file to the repo and miles needs to manually remove that file from version control. If you don't have any errors then enter a description into the message field and press commit. Then press push origin to make your changes live.

Push Origin

For miles you can quickly start fixing things with this command:

cd Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/Bridge\ CC\ 2019/

git rm --cached filename

git rm -r --cached foldername