Say hello to Mini Bridge, another built-in timesaver in Adobe CS5. It provides instant access to your images right within Photoshop and InDesign. So you don’t have to leave the programs to access a photo, you simply navigate to any folder, view thumbnails within the panel, then drag and drop ’em right into your layout. Pretty cool, eh?
Mini Bridge is always just a click away. You can also enter text in the search bar, filter items by rating, and more. After all, this is still Adobe Bridge—just a teeny, unobtrusive version. When you need to organize your photos or perform mondo batch operations, you’ll want to launch the main Bridge app.
If, like me, you use Photoshop and/or InDesign on a daily basis, then beat a speedy path to Adobe Labs and download Configurator 2.0 (it’s free!). This little application lets you design your own custom panels—putting the tools and commands you use most frequently right at your fingertips. Creating a panel is a snap, just drag and drop from a list of commands and toolbar icons. Arrange them any way you want, grouping items from various menus into a convenient layout. Below, I made two panels (the top one for Shop, the other for InDesign) in less than 5-minutes. They’re a work in progress as I’ll surely be adding more items, and deleting others.
See how the panel even includes Tool Tips. This is handy if your panel is filled with lots of esoteric icons.
Note the item “1 pt” in my InDesign panel below. That’s for quickly placing a 1 pt border around an image—something I do all the time.
I find having my own panels faster than using keyboard shortcuts (and there’s nothing to memorize!). Of course you can still customize Photoshop’s interface, creating different layouts for different tasks; highlight menu items and hide commands you never use. It’s all good stuff and streamlines the workflow, but nothing beats having your own panel right on the screen.
Do yourself a favor and download Configurator 2.0 right here.