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Lesson 2. Using the File Browser > Exploring the File Browser

Exploring the File Browser

To begin, you’ll learn to identify the different areas of the File Browser and their uses. Notice the four panes in the File Browser, three on the left and one on the right side of the window.

A. Navigation (“tree”) pane B. Preview pane C. Information (metadata) pane D. Palette menu button E. Address display F. Thumbnails pane

1.
In the upper pane on the left, click the plus sign to expand the Desktop icon. Then continue opening folders down to the Lessons/Lesson02 folder, and select the Digital_Camera_Images folder.

On the right side of the File Browser, thumbnails appear, showing the contents of the Digital_Camera_Images folder.

2.
At the bottom of the File Browser, click the arrow after the Large With Rank option to open the View By pop-up menu, and select some of the other commands, one by one.

  • The Small, Medium, and Large options change the size of the thumbnails.

  • The Details option displays additional information about the image file.

You will work with the Large with Rank option later in this lesson. For now, select the Medium or Large view option.

3.
Move the pointer over the vertical bar separating the left and right panes of the File Browser until it appears as double lines with arrows (), and then drag to resize the panes.

4.
Click the Toggle Expanded View button () at the bottom of the browser to hide the three panes on the left. Then click the same button again to bring back the three left panes.

5.
On the File Browser palette menu (click the arrow button in the upper right to open the menu), choose Dock to Palette Well.

Note

If your screen resolution is 800 pixels x 600 pixels or less, the palette well does not appear. Instead, you can click the Close button on the File Browser or choose File > Close.

6.
In the palette well, drag the File Browser tab out again to the center of the work area or, if the File Browser does not appear in the palette well, choose File > Browse.

Previewing and opening an image

Next, you’ll learn how you can use the File Browser to open images in Photoshop. Before you begin, make sure that the File Browser is open and that the Lessons/Lesson02/Digital_Camera_Images folder is still selected in the navigation pane (upper left).

1.
In the thumbnails pane, select the first image in the group.

A preview of the image appears in the middle (Preview) pane on the left. The lower left (Information) pane displays data about the file.

2.
Move the pointer between the upper and middle panes on the left and then drag upward to increase the height of the middle pane.

The preview image automatically resizes so that it fills the space available in the preview pane.

3.
In the lower left pane, scroll down to review the file information.

The File Browser displays detailed information about the image, including image format, pixel dimensions, file size, and compression.

Because these images were created with a digital camera that exports EXIF data, the information displayed includes the creation date, exposure settings, and resolution. To view only the EXIF data, select EXIF from the pop-up menu at the far left, below the information pane.

4.
With the first image still selected, press Enter or double-click the image in either the preview pane or the thumbnails pane. The image opens in a Photoshop image window.

To open multiple files from the File Browser, select the files in the thumbnails pane and then press Enter. You can select multiple files by the usual methods for your operating system: Click and then Shift-click to select a contiguous range of files, or select them by dragging the cursor across the image thumbnails you want to select; Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) to select discontiguous images.


5.
Choose File > Close to close the image file again.

6.
If necessary, reopen the File Browser by clicking the File Browser tab in the palette well or by choosing File >Browser.

Note

If you opened the File Browser as its own window, it remains open when you perform actions outside of the File Browser. If you opened it in the palette well, without dragging it out as a separate window, the File Browser closes itself automatically when you perform other actions.

7.
Select the last thumbnail (the dark blurry image) and click the Delete File button () on the lower right side of the File Browser. When an alert appears, asking if you if you are sure you want to remove the file, click Yes.

Important

Dragging a file from the File Browser to the Delete File button removes the file from your hard drive, not just from the Photoshop display.


Renaming image files in the File Browser

You’ve just seen how you can use the File Browser to move a file to the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Mac OS). You can also rename the files on your hard drive by renaming them in the File Browser.

There are two advantages to renaming files in the File Browser. First, it’s easier to give the files descriptive names because you can see what the images are without taking the time to open them in Photoshop. Second, you can batch-name multiple files.

1.
Click the arrow next to the View By option at the bottom of the File Browser to open the pop-up menu, and select Large.

2.
In the thumbnails pane, select the first thumbnail. Then click the file name below it to highlight the name, and type Glasses01.jpg.

3.
Press Tab to select the next thumbnail filename. Type Glasses02.jpg.

4.
Deselect the thumbnail by clicking a blank area of the thumbnails pane. Now no thumbnail is highlighted and the preview pane is blank.

5.
In the File Browser, right-click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Mac OS) to open the context menu, and choose Batch Rename. (Or, if the File Browser is not attached to the palette well, you can click the arrow button () to open the palette menu, and then choose Batch Rename.)

6.
In the Batch Rename dialog box, select the following settings:

  • Under Destination Folder, select the Rename In Same Folder option.

  • Under File Naming, type Glass to replace the default “Document Name” entry.

  • Press Tab to jump to the next text box, and select 2 Digit Serial Number from the pop-up menu.

  • Press Tab again to jump to the next option, and select the lowercase version of the extension option on the pop-up menu (not “EXTENSION”).

  • Select the Compatibility check boxes for the operating systems on which you or others might use these files.

Click OK to close the Batch Rename dialog box.

The files are renamed and numbered according to the options you selected, including the “Glasses01” and “Glasses02” files you renamed earlier.

About batch renaming

The Batch Rename command behaves differently, depending on what is or is not selected when you choose the command.

  • If no thumbnails are selected, the naming scheme you specify in the Batch Rename dialog box applies the name changes to all the files in the selected folder.

  • If several—but not all—thumbnails are selected, the command renames only the selected files.

  • If only one file is selected, the Batch Rename command is not available (dimmed on the context and palette menus).


Ranking and sorting image files in the File Browser

The File Browser has a ranking feature that you can use to group and sort image thumbnails. This gives you an alternate way to sort through images beyond the ordinary sort fields available for desktop folders, such as by file name.

1.
In the View By pop-up menu at the bottom of the File Browser, choose Large with Rank.

A Rank text line now appears beneath each filename in the thumbnails pane. A hyphen in the Rank text field indicates that no rank has been assigned to a thumbnail.

2.
In the second-to-last image, click in the hyphen next to the word Rank and type in Close Up. Then press Tab and type Close Up again as the Rank entry of the final image.

3.
At the bottom of the File Browser, click the right arrow to open the Sort By pop-up menu, and choose Rank.

Now the two “Close Up” images are the first two files shownin the thumbnail pane, because they are the only files with any Rank assignment.

Note

The Sort By Rank feature sorts by the alphanumeric order of the different rank names. When you assign ranks to your own files, choose rank names so that they start in the alphabetical order in which you want them to be sorted. It may be easier to assign ranks of A, B, C, and so forth than to use descriptive words as rank indicators. You can also rank files numerically.

Assigning rank in batches

Just as you can batch-rename files, you can assign ranks in batches.

1.
In the File Browser thumbnails pane, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) several thumbnails to select them. (You can choose thumbnails randomly for this exercise, or use some other criteria, such as quality of the photograph, number of items pictured, and so forth.)

2.
Right-click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Mac OS) one of the thumbnails to open the context menu, and choose Rank A.

3.
Using the same techniques as in step 2, select several other thumbnails and assign Rank B to those images. Then assign Rank C to any remaining unranked image thumbnails.

4.
In the Sort By pop-up menu at the bottom of the File Browser, choose Rank again.

The thumbnails are now displayed according to the order that you assigned.

Rotating images in the File Browser

Another feature of the File Browser that goes far beyond the capabilities of a desktop folder is the ability to rotate thumbnail images. Unlike the Rename option, this feature does not alter the actual files until you open them. When you open a rotated thumbnail, Photoshop automatically rotates the image file according to the rotation you assigned in the File Browser.

1.
Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) to select the three thumbnails that are oriented sideways with the open edge of the vase or pitcher on the left side of the image.

(Do not select the thumbnail that is sideways with its open end on the right side of the image. You’ll use a slightly different procedure to straighten that file.)

2.
Click the Rotate button () at the bottom right of the File Browser.

3.
When an alert message appears, click OK.

The three images are rotated clockwise in the thumbnails pane. If you select one of the thumbnails, its image also appears rotated in the preview pane.

The Rotate button rotates images clockwise. Although you could rotate images counterclockwise by clicking the rotate button three times or by holding down Alt and clicking, you’ll use a different technique for the next image.

4.
Select the image that is still sideways, with the top of the vase on the right side of the image. Right-click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Mac OS) the thumbnail to open the context menu, and choose Rotate 90° CCW.

5.
Click OK to dismiss the alert message.

The image is rotated counterclockwise.

6.
With the rotated image still selected, press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS).

The image opens in Photoshop rotated to the proper orientation.

You’ve finished this introductory lesson on the File Browser. As you work through this book, you’ll have other opportunities to use the File Browser in lessons in which its advantages are particularly helpful.

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