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Monday, September 3, 2007

October 2007 HelpLine

A Bridge Too Far

Labels: HelpLineHow To


Helpline October 2007
• Switching Hard Drives
• A More Stable Lens
• Staying Late 

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Switching Hard Drives

Q) I had to replace my C drive and, as a result, reload all my software. This meant resetting preferences in my programs, etc. I had spent considerable time in Adobe Bridge classifying my pictures in various categories. Now that I reloaded CS2 and Bridge from scratch, those categories are "lost." I have the old C drive set up so I can access some of the information on it. Is there a file I can copy from the old drive onto the new drive that would restore my categories in Bridge?

Dick Cole
Via the Internet


A) Adobe Bridge is an application designed to manage your media files and is useful for browsing through your image files, doing batch processing and adding metadata to tag your files. You can create your own keywords and then use a simple check box to ensure consistent tagging of image files. To keep the keywords organized, they're grouped into categories like Events, People and Places. The categories are keywords, as well.

When you changed your hard drive, you broke the link between Adobe Bridge and your keywords. The keywords are stored in an XML file called Adobe Bridge Keywords.xml. When you installed Adobe Bridge on your new drive, a default keyword file was created, and that's why you don't see all of your hard work.

XML (which stands for Extensible Markup Language) is the new way of storing some types of data. It's very flexible and excels in sharing data across different computer platforms. XML files are text-based and can be viewed in many web browsers and text editors. So if you want to see what the Adobe Bridge Keywords.xml file looks like, you can open it in a web browser or a text editor and see all of the keywords. If you do this, I recommend that you don't try to edit or resave the file unless you feel very comfortable doing so. Even then, I recommend that you save the original as a backup in case you make a mistake.

XML is a tagged language. You'll see that each keyword is considered an item. A typical keyword in XML might look like: <item name="Minneapolis"/>.

So let's see how we can restore those keywords that you worked tirelessly to create. Part of this process being described is for Windows computers. In Mac OS X, use Spotlight to locate the file mentioned above on both your old and new hard drives and skip to step 4 in the instructions below.

1. Quit any open applications. While the keyword file is only used by Adobe, it's good practice to stop any applications that might interfere with any dialog boxes or file copying.

2. Open up your new C drive, then locate and open the Documents and Settings folder. Next, find the folder with your login name. If you log in as Dick Cole, find that folder and open it.

3. Look for the Application Data folder and open it. Sometimes the folder is hidden, unfortunately. If you can't find it, go into My Computer or Explorer, and from the Tools menu, select Folder Options. On the View tab, locate Hidden files and folders in the list, select Show hidden files and folders, then click OK. If you still can't see the Application Data folder, repeat step 2.

4. Next, look for the Adobe folder and open it. Finally, look for the Bridge folder and open that. You should see a file called Adobe Bridge Keywords.xml. Rename this file to Adobe Bridge Keywords.old.

You don't really have to do this step, since you didn't like the default keywords, but I always use this kind of safeguard when I copy application support files. It helps prevent overwriting files by accident. Using this method, if you were to copy the original file from your old drive to this location and you get the File exists, overwrite? warning, you'd know that you're copying the wrong file, since you renamed the default file. It might seem like overkill, but this good habit can save you from making some big mistakes. (And it doesn't really take much time; it probably takes more time to read this explanation than to do it!)

5. Now that the destination is ready to accept your original keyword file, go to your old C drive and drill down to the folder mentioned above: Documents and Settings/Dick Cole/Application Data/Adobe/Bridge/. Find the "Adobe Bridge Keywords.xml" file and copy it to the same location on the new C drive. Launch Adobe Bridge, and your keywords should reappear. If this process is successful, you can go back into the Bridge folder and delete the Adobe Bridge Keywords.old file.


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