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Using Bridge with Photoshop Elements 9

A lot of Mac folks are unhappy about Adobe’s decision to include Organizer with Elements 9 in place of Adobe Bridge, which came with previous Mac versions. (The Organizer used to be just for Windows.) If you have an older version of PSE that included Bridge, you can still use it with Elements 9, although there’s one big issue with doing so. More on that in a bit.

One thing that’s going to be different is navigation. Obviously you can’t launch Bridge from ┬áthe handy button in the PSE editor’s interface anymore. So just go into your Applications folder, find the Adobe Bridge folder for your version of Bridge, find the Adobe Bridge application itself, and launch it. Then go over to the Dock, and click-hold its icon->Options->Keep in Dock. From now on use the Dock icon to launch Bridge or make it the front application when it’s running.

Choose to keep Bridge in the Dock

If you left your old version of Elements installed when you installed Elements 9, Bridge should work just the same way it always did. As a matter of fact, if you upgraded from PSE 8, Bridge CS4 should automatically choose PSE 9 instead of PSE 8 for all the file formats you had it set to open in Elements.

If for some reason that doesn’t happen, it’s easy to fix: Go to the Bridge preferences:

Location of Bridge preferences menu option

and then choose File Type Associations. Go through and find the various file types you want Bridge to automatically send to Elements, then choose Elements 9 from the pulldown menu to the right of the file name:

choose Elements 9 as the application to open a file type from Bridge
Click for larger image

That’s all there is to it. You can continue to use Bridge just the way you always did.

Now as for the one big issue: The big problem with continuing to use your old copy of Bridge is that you can no longer updater the Bridge version of the raw converter. If you get a new model camera, you won’t see thumbnails for your raw files, only the image names, and you can’t use the Bridge version of the raw converter with those images. But you can still send them to Elements to work on them with the PSE version of the raw converter. (If your PSE 9 raw converter isn’t up to date, just go to Help->Updates and Elements should update it automatically. This is a change from earlier versions of Elements, where you had to install raw converter updates manually.)

If you’d already uninstalled Elements 6 or 8 and you’d still like to use Bridge, just reinstall the older version of Elements and follow the steps above.

If you have Windows and you happen to have Adobe Bridge (maybe you have Illustrator, for example), then you can do more or less the same thing, adjusting for the system differences (no Dock, for instance).