Bridge: Shared archives (and tags, and collection, and everything)

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  • Updated 4 months ago
We are a team of four designer, in my office. Our images archives is in a network server. Everyone of us have the Creative Collection installed and use Bridge to navigate through the same network folders, already organized in subfolders.
What we really miss is to share the same Bridge keywords as a team. For example, I select an image on my Bridge, I assign it a yellow label, I give it 5 stars and I assign it three keywords in order to be abel to find it really fast, when I need it. At this time, all my three collegues should be able to open their Bridge and to see the image above with all the characteristics I set (label, rating, keywords).

Maybe Bridge could write this informations directly in the MetaData of each image? Or create a local file with them that every Bridge showing that same folder can read and use?
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Sauro Pasquini

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Posted 4 months ago

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James Lockman, Employee

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This is supported in Bridge, however if the network volume is not writable by everyone, then your ratings and metadata won't write to the files. Bridge stores metadata in the XMP section of the file, when it can. When it can't, it will create a sidecar metadata file that will be adjacent to the original file in its original folder. You see these a lot with Camera RAW assets. Assuming that your assets are XMP-compatible, then something is preventing Bridge from writing new metadata to the assets. The idea is that if we inject metadata onto each asset, then the asset AND its metadata are transportable, so you don't need an external database to manage it.

So, check to see that you have write access to the volume. Once keywords have been written on an asset, other users will see that keyword appear in italics in their Keywords panel, but only after they "touch" the asset. "Touching" in the Bridge context means selecting it. Even if you don't "touch" the asset, then the keyword will appear in the Filter panel automatically when the asset appears the current window. Filters don't accumulate, however, you may need to select all to get the keywords loaded.

A better option would be to share your Keywords schema with your colleagues. To share a schema, open the Keywords Panel and then select Export from the flyout menu. Bridge will create a text file that can then be imported into another user's Keywords panel. When they import, new keywords will be added to their Keywords panel, but their existing keywords will remain in place unless they choose "Clear and Import."


There is another option available, which is not documented in Adobe Help but which is documented at my blog. Custom Keywords are available in Bridge CC 2018, and they offer a way to lock down a keywords list across a group, but also to read and write keywords into another record in the XMP besides the Keywords field. Why is this important? Many companies want to restrict the values that appear in Keywords (or other data source) on an asset to ensure that creatives and photographers are using the corporate taxonomy when they tag assets. They might also have external systems that interact with the data, so they need a specific keyword to mean something else when it's stored on the asset. For instance, perhaps you are photographing shoes. The shoe might be known as "Awesome mega bounce," but its part number is "AMB1000." In order to properly align with the Product Lifecycle Management system, the asset needs to have AMB1000 embedded rather than the "human readable" name. Custom Keywords supports that, too.

Custom Keywords relies on XML files, so they are a little more challenging to write. I include an example in my blog. Nevertheless, they are a very powerful tool when it comes to managing the chaos when many people are involved in managing metadata and keywords.
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Sauro Pasquini

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Great response! Thank you. When we tried, before my post, nothing happened. Now, with your explaination on "touch" and everything, things worked just fine.
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James Lockman, Employee

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Glad to help.