Back when Adobe engineers were developing CS4, the social network phenomenon was just hitting the mainstream, and there was no way to predict the popularity of these types of sites. However, in the development cycle for CS5, it was apparent that social media connectivity had to be included, and the result is a direct connection from Adobe Bridge CS5 and Lightroom 3 to several popular photo sharing sites.
In this tip, we’ll take a look at Bridge CS5’s new Export Panel, and we’ll explore the mechanism for uploading images to Facebook, Flickr, and Photoshop.com.
Prerequisite: Adobe Bridge CS5 version 4.0.2 or later
To start with, check your Adobe Bridge CS5 version (click on Help > About Bridge…) and make sure you are using at least version 4.0.2.x – the earlier version that originally shipped with CS5 had an error in which the Export Panel was disabled. If you need to update, you can choose Help > Updates… from Bridge’s menu, or get the download directly from Adobe for Windows or Mac.
Using the Export Panel
Once you have verified you are running 4.0.2.x or later, go ahead and open the Export Panel. You can find this panel in the lower left of the Essentials workspace, or if it isn’t visible, choose Window > Export.
Your Export Panel should show four export modules – the basic building blocks for your export activity. As these are modular, it is entirely possible we will see more export modules become available in the future.
If you don’t see the four modules, click the flyout menu and choose “Manage Modules.”
Make sure all four are checked. If you don’t see the four listed, click the little gear, and from ITS flyout menu, choose “Check for Updates.” When you’re through, click the small “Done” button at the bottom to return to the Export Panel main window.
Configuring a Preset – the hard part
Well, not that hard, just a little tedious. You can start using the export modules directly, but every time you use them you’ll have to go through a long export process. Use presets to streamline this operation, by saving all the work for re-use. You can create multiple presets; for example, you might have several presets for Facebook depending on whether you want to send the images to your wall, or a specific album. We’ll step through the Facebook setup first.
In the Export Panel, highlight “Facebook” and click on the “+” icon at the bottom to Add a new Preset.
The “Add Preset” dialog appears, and the first thing you will need to do is authenticate with Facebook. Note that you will need to authenticate every time you create a new preset, even with the same service, but you won’t need to authenticate when you actually export your images. Click on “Sign In.”
Two things happen: Your browser will be launched, and you’ll see the authentication page from Facebook. You’ll need to enter your credentials, and you can check “Keep me logged in to Adobe Bridge Export Panel.”
Meanwhile, Bridge is waiting for this step to complete. Once you’ve logged in on Facebook, switch back to Bridge and click OK in the authorization dialog:
Now you can see the list of your existing Albums on Facebook. You can choose one of them or even create a new one with this dialog box. In this example, we’ll create a new album to upload some images from Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk.
In the New Photo Album dialog, we can name the Album, and enter some text for the location and the description of the album. Note that the description will appear on the Facebook album, as well as on the wall posting when you upload. Most importantly, you can set the Privacy here as well. Do you want the album visible to “Everyone,” “Friends of Friends,” or “Only Friends.” For Facebook, I choose “Only Friends.”
Now, make sure the new album is selected, and we move to the second screen in the Add Preset dialog – the Image Options:
Within the Image Options, the first section deals with Image size and quality. You can choose not to resize, or to manually resize. For Facebook, I typically resize my images to a maximum of 800 pixels on a side. Typical Photoshop resampling methods are available, use Bicubic Sharper for down sizing images. Set your image quality as desired.
Be sure to check the box “Always Render From Fullsize Image,” otherwise your image might be generated from a low res preview (why would anyone want that?).
Finally, we have the option to include metadata. You can choose to include everything, Copyright data only, Copyright & Contact Info only, or everything EXCEPT Camera and Camera Raw info.
You can apply a metadata template as well, which can either be appended or can overwrite (replace) data in the image.
And finally, you can even add keywords within the preset. Keep in mind, these keywords apply to every photo you will ever export to this album.
Last but not least, don’t forget to give your preset a name! Make it descriptive, as you will want to have several for each service.
After naming the preset, click “Save” and your preset should appear in the Export panel. Note that presets you create are listed in normal type, while the generic modules are listed in boldface. Here I have three Facebook presets listed, each associated with a different destination:
Exporting your images – the easy part!
Now for the exporting process. Once the preset is created, Exporting is really simple. Just highlight the images you want to export, and drag and drop them on the preset.
At this point, you’ll see a small triangle next to the preset icon, indicating there are images in the queue. Additionally, there is a new “X” icon (Clear the Queue) and an arrow icon (Begin the export job). Before starting the job, you are free to drag additional files. You can even drag files to more than one preset, then fire them all off simultaneously.
Once you’re ready to export to Facebook, simply click the arrow icon. The job will export, and a status window will pop up, showing the progress. If you start multiple export jobs, the status window will show the progress of each.
Once the export is complete, your photos are ready for viewing!
Exporting to Flickr and to Photoshop.com is just as easy. Spend a few minutes to set up your presets in advance, then just drag and drop to upload your photos with a single click from now on. It’s just that simple!
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