Running Camera Raw In Adobe Bridge
Now that we’ve discussed the advantages, let’s look at a couple of ways to open and work with Camera Raw directly from within Adobe Bridge, without using Photoshop. Here, I have Bridge open on my screen and I’ve navigated to a folder on my desktop containing a few images that were captured in my camera’s raw file format. At the moment, I do not have Photoshop open, just Bridge. I’ll select one of the images by clicking on its thumbnail. Note that I’m single-clicking, not double-clicking, on the thumbnail. We only need to click once to select a image (we’ll look at what happens when we double-click in a moment):
Clicking on an image to select it in Adobe Bridge.
Once we’ve selected an image, there’s a couple of ways to open it in Camera Raw so that Camera Raw will be hosted by Bridge (without opening Photoshop). One way is to click on the Open in Camera Raw icon at the top of the Bridge interface:
Clicking the Open in Camera Raw icon.
Another way is to go up to the File menu in the Menu Bar along the top of the screen and choose Open in Camera Raw:
Going to File > Open in Camera Raw.
Either way opens the Camera Raw dialog box so we can begin processing the image. Notice, though, that we can still see Adobe Bridge in the background (I’ve moved the Camera Raw dialog box out of the way a little bit to make Bridge easier to see). This tells us that Camera Raw is being hosted by Bridge. Photoshop remains closed as it should because there’s no need to have it open. It would just be using computer resources for no reason:
Adobe Bridge is still open and visible behind the Camera Raw dialog box.
So, let’s say I’ve done all of my image processing in Camera Raw, I’m happy with the results, and I have no further need to open the image in Photoshop. In that case, I’ll click the Done button in the lower right corner of the Camera Raw dialog box to accept my settings and close out of it:
Clicking the Done button to close out of Camera Raw.
And now, since Camera Raw was running in Bridge, as soon as I close out of the Camera Raw dialog box, I’m right back where I started in Bridge so I can quickly select my next image:
Closing the Camera Raw dialog box instantly returned me to Bridge.
Running Camera Raw In Photoshop
Let’s compare that with what happens if Camera Raw is being hosted by Photoshop. Again, there’s a couple of ways to launch Camera Raw from Bridge so that it will be hosted by Photoshop. First, click once on an image in Bridge to select it. Then go up to the File menu at the top of the screen and choose Open:
Going to File > Open.
Remember, File > Open in Camera Raw will host Camera Raw in Bridge, while File > Open will host it in Photoshop (as confusing as that may seem). Or, a faster and more common way of hosting Camera Raw in Photoshop is simply by double-clicking on the image you want to open. This selects it and opens it in Camera Raw at the same time:
Double-clicking on the image to both select and open it.
Whether you go to File > Open or simply double-click on the image thumbnail, the image opens in Camera Raw as it did before, but this time, Camera Raw is hosted by Photoshop, not Bridge. Photoshop itself will automatically open first, and then the image will open inside the Camera Raw dialog box. It may seem like nothing is different. Camera Raw itself looks the same as it did before. But something is different. If we look closely, we see Photoshop, not Bridge, in the Background. This is how we know that Camera Raw is being hosted by Photoshop:
Camera Raw is now running inside of Photoshop instead of Bridge.
I’ll again click the Done button in the lower right corner of the Camera Raw dialog box to close out of it, just as I did before:
Clicking again on the Done button to close out of Camera Raw.
But this time, look what happened. I’m still in Photoshop, even though I have no image open and no particular reason to be here. My workflow has hit a bit of a dead end:
Closing Camera Raw left me in Photoshop with nothing to do.
To get back to Adobe Bridge from here so I can select another image to work on, I’d need to go up to the File menu (in Photoshop) and choose Browse in Bridge. This will switch me back to Bridge, but obviously, it would have been faster if I had been returned to Bridge automatically, which is what would have happened if I had been running Camera Raw in Bridge to begin with:
Going to File > Browse in Bridge to return to Bridge from Photoshop.
The Bridge Preferences
Now that we’ve seen the advantage of hosting Camera Raw in Bridge, wouldn’t it be great if we could have Camera Raw hosted in Bridge simply by double-clicking on an image? As luck (and Adobe) would have it, there is! We’ve seen that by default, double-clicking on an image in Bridge launches Camera Raw hosted by Photoshop, but there’s an option in the Bridge Preferences to change that behavior.
To open the Bridge Preferences, on a Windows PC, go up to the Edit menu (in Bridge) and choose Preferences. On a Mac, go up to the Adobe Bridge menu and choose Preferences:
Go to Edit > Preferences (Win) or Adobe Bridge > Preferences (Mac).
This opens the Preferences dialog box set to the General options. In the middle of the dialog box, in the Behavior section, is an option that says Double-Click Edits Camera Raw Settings in Bridge. By default, it’s disabled. Click inside its checkbox to enable it:
Selecting the “Double-Click Edits Camera Raw Settings in Bridge” option.
Click OK to close out of the Preferences dialog box, and now, every time you double-click on an image in Bridge to open it in Camera Raw, you’ll be hosting Camera Raw in Bridge.
And there we have it! That’s a quick tip on the advantages of running Camera Raw in Adobe Bridge vs Photoshop!
Written by Steve Patterson.