Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Technique Tuesday - Smart Collections in Bridge CS4

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Smart Collections in Bridge CS4

You can download a pdf version of this tutorial here

Bridge has seen some major improvements in this version.

One of the greatest new features is the addition of smart collections .

These are a collection of all images which fit a specific criteria selected by you.

Each time you add new images which fit this criteria Bridge automatically adds them to your collection without you doing anything.

Collections can be found on the left hand panel of the bridge home screen

As you can see from my screen shot below As you can see from my list I have a lot of smart collections already set up .

This makes it easy for me to find particular elements quickly.

To start a smart collection click on the new smart collection icon on the bottom of that left hand panel – it is the envelope with the gear cog

When you click on this icon the new smart collection menu will pop up

Firstly you need to tell Bridge where to look. I have a folder called scrapbooking that all my scrapbooking kits are stored so this is where I have told Bridge to look.

You can choose whereever you like on your hard drive by using the drop down box and browsing to the particular drive or folder on your hard drive

The next step is the criteria that you wish to limit the choice to.

You are not limited to one criteria .

Each box has various choices that you can pick from -

I wish to set up a collection of brads so I have chosen for bridge to look for all files with “brad” in the filename.

I can limit this further by changing each of the criteria drop down boxes

I have limited the selection further by choosing filetype as png

You could choose to limit this even further by adding more criteria –

Hit save and then remember to name your collection so that its easy for you to see what it refers to ( the default name is just Smart Collection number....)

You can choose to sort each collection by various methods by using the drop down sort by box at the top

When you add new files to your hard drive that fit the criteria you have selected these will automatically be added to your smart collection.

To access each smart collection just click on it in the collections panel on the left hand side of your screen.

Have fun creating lots of smart collections – I hope it makes your organising much easier.


  1. Anonymous9:43 am

    I so hope I get CS4 for a present. This would make filing so much easier.


  2. Quanita9:54 am

    awesome... Haven't upgraded yet, but I am sure going to, I love the idea that the collection is automatically updated.

  3. Ohhh, I like this idea, but I'm still a baby at Elements...and trying to remember everything I have in my DSP folder. Ok, that way of organizing isn't working too well. But it is a nice surprise when I "find" something "new" in my stash! LOL

  4. I was wondering? I am just getting started in organizing all these files...any chance you could export your keyword list?