Skip to main content

Foundations of Adobe Photoshop CC

Lesson 8 of 36

Importing Files to Photoshop

Dave Cross

Foundations of Adobe Photoshop CC

Dave Cross

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

8. Importing Files to Photoshop

Lesson Info

Importing Files to Photoshop

So we've launched Photoshop. As of the last couple of versions of Photoshop, it now has this interface that says, "Would you like to open a file you've opened recently? "Would you like to make a new file that's just blank? "Or would you like to open something?" So if we do this, which is, by the way, exactly the same as going file open, there's no difference, or using a keyboard shortcut. They're just different mechanisms to say I wanna open something. Now, let me take a step back and say on your operating system, typically what happens, is when you install Photoshop, your operating system, Mac or PC, decides, "Well, I'm gonna assume that you now want this "to be your editor for things like JPEGs and TIFs." And all those different file fonts we get. So that usually happens by default. Which means, if I'm completely outside of Photoshop, on my desktop on my computer and I double-click on a file, it typically will launch Photoshop because that's the assumption that you want. So that's an...

other way, if you just say, "That file I want right there." Double-click, it will typically open into Photoshop unless it's in some file format that it hasn't worked with before. But as a more visual way, you know, you just click open. You get to the spot that you want through your operating system and say, "This is the file I wanna open." And click open and, well, it opens. And what typically happens, and I'll say typically, because it might not always on everyone's machine, but generally speaking, when we talked before about that fit in window view versus actual size, generally it's gonna open in some sort of scaled-down view so you see the entire photograph. You'll notice that in my case, this is one of my little pet peeves, I don't know why it does this, 'cause it's not quite fit in window view, 'cause there's that little gray space around it. So it scaled it down almost a little too much. Because that extra space, that gray around you see, is nothing. That doesn't serve any purpose. It's just extra space. So, I've got in the habit of opening a file and then using that fit in window either with the keyboard or through the menu, to say, "Let me make it as big as I possibly can." Okay? Now there's another option for getting files into Photoshop, which I actually use all the time, because, I hate to admit it, but I'm not typically that good about naming my files something that makes sense. In other words, if it comes off my camera and it's called, you know, DMC473212 dot whatever, then that's it's name forever. Until I decide to save for something else. So searching for something and looking at the name of files, to me, I'm not good at that. I just have a bad habit of not naming my files. So I use a program called Bridge all the time. To me, Bridge is a wonderful way of finding files visually and it's very closely tied to Photoshop. It actually comes with Photoshop. It's a separate program. But when you install Photoshop, Bridge will be installed. You just might not see it. So if you've never used it before, the simplest way would be go under file and choose browse in Bridge. And then it will open up this file, or this application, I should say. And it's basically a visual browser. So instead of just seeing what I saw before, which is a list of file names in my OS, now I'm seeing graphically, or visually, this is what's in this particular folder that you're currently pointing at. So your job is to point Bridge at the folder where you want to open something. So ideally you have some kind of filing system that makes sense to you, where you put files. So that's where you go. So up at the top here you'll see there's kind of like a little path that shows me I'm on my desktop in a folder called cl beginners, day one, that's the folder I'm in. So if that's not the right one, I can go back to my desktop with all my folders or I can pull down and say, "I know I wanna go to this folder." So basically you're navigating to a place. So Bridge is not a program that puts things in any particular place. So I've heard people say things like, "Well, how do I get photos into Bridge?" You don't. You just direct Bridge to this location and it visually shows you here are the files in this location. One of the things that we have to be aware of, and it's a wonderful feature of Bridge, if you use, I happen to use other Adobe applications, not just Photoshop, so I use Illustrator, I use InDesign, and Bridge sees all of them. So, for example, in this folder you'll see there's a couple of subfolders. There's a JPEG file, there's a PDF file, and there's the actually the original InDesign document. So, just so you know, Bridge is not just a Photoshop tool it's a visual browser for all applications. So if I had an Excel spreadsheet, I would see a little icon. If I double-clicked on it, it would launch Excel. So it's a visual browser for everything. It just happens to have a very close relationship with Adobe products, okay? So, for me, I use this probably more than anything else because I've got so many files in different places and I have my own little filing system for where I put things. Bridge just helps me get past the fact that my file-naming system perhaps is not the most ideal in the world and look at things visually. So when I know I wanna see, "Well I know it's in day one "and we're in the second segment, "so it's probably in this folder, "so here's the files that are in this particular folder." Now, it's gonna show you every file, including ones that Photoshop can't open. So I don't want you to think this is a Photoshop-only browser, 'cause if I go back here. Like this one. This is an InDesign file. Photoshop has nothing to do with that. So it can't open it. It can't deal with it. So the fact that it's in there, just again, just to be clear, this is not a Photoshop-only tool, but it works very nicely with Photoshop, okay? So I navigate to where I want. I say, "I wanna open this file right here." So now I can double-click on it or go under here and choose open and the same keyboard shortcut. So the difference is, Bridge is more visual. And there are options for sizing. For example, in this particular folder, by design, I only have like five photos in it. So I could come down to the bottom and see them a lot larger. So if I'm trying to decide, for example, you've done a photo shoot and you've got slightly different photos taken around the same time. Which one do I want? This way you can see them larger and you're not going just by file names, 'cause if you've done like a photoshoot with, you know, 20 photos taken moments apart, how does a file name help you? 'Cause you have to look at each one and figure out. So one of the things that Bridge does really nicely is you can either do this method of enlarging the thumbnails, just by going like this, or the other option, which is kind of interesting, is you just tap on one of them and then tap the spacebar and it goes fullscreen. Then I can use my arrow keys. And now I'm seeing a really nice, big preview, "Oh that's the one I want. Now let me open that one." Okay? So it's a personal choice. I like using Bridge because, I mentioned, from a file-naming standpoint, when I take files right off the camera, they're just given a generic number next in line. They're not saying like, "Joanne", you know, "against black background." Like some name that makes sense. Now you could do that in Bridge. You could rename files. So if you do a photo shoot and you decide, "I want to rename every photo in here "that makes better sense." You can do that in Bridge, certainly. But just from a standpoint of getting the files into Photoshop, that's why I like Bridge, because it's much more visual. It's still means, ideally, that you need to have some naming, filing system for your photos. So all I'm doing is navigating to folders I've created previously. I could create folders within Bridge. But typically, so as an example, if I do a photo shoot, then I have a folder on my hard drive called photos and inside that there's subfolders for each photo shoot. So I've just finished doing a photo shoot. I would make a new folder with some name that made sense to me like Mike and the date and take all the images off my camera card, drag them into that folder on the operating system. Just no Photoshop, nothing else. Just click, drag and drop like you do for moving files around. Once that had been done, then I would point Bridge to that folder and I would see every single thumbnail. And one of the things that's useful for that, and I'm sure any of you that has a camera has encountered this, where you take a photograph, especially, say, action photos, you take a photograph and you look at the back and go, "Ah, nailed that one." And then you open it in Bridge in full-size and go, "Oh, maybe not. That's a little out of focus." And you don't know that until you see it at a bigger size. So I generally bring all my photos in and then use this full-screen method to go, "Oops, delete." Now, I gotta be honest, I often don't delete files 'cause as a Photoshop instructor I'm like, "Oh, there's something I can show people how to fix." But for the really bad photos that are just like the, you know, it's too dark, or blurry or something like that, then I'll just delete them. Then they're gone. They're still on my camera card, I've just copied them. But then Bridge becomes a way to kinda do a quick, little sort through and see how you're doing, okay? By default if I try to open a JPEG in Bridge it opens up in Photoshop. So I think if they double-click it, is what they're saying. Is there a way to change to some other JPEG viewer other than Photoshop? How would they do that? Well, I will say that, by say, I will tell you how to do that. I'm not sure why you'd want not to open in-- Right. Photoshop. But anyway, Bridge has a bunch of preferences. Here. And one of them is called file type associations. And if you're ever curious about more file formats than you ever even knew existed in the world, they're all listed here, including ones that you don't even like, "What is that?" So somewhere in this big, long list you would find JPEG, you scroll down far enough, and you see it's saying I'm defaulting to Photoshop CC 2017. I didn't do that. That just happened automatically. If you wanted to pick something else you could pick some other setting, okay? Have to be very careful when this dialogue box because I have had something on this machine that's not for public consumption yet. So let's just close this right now, before I get myself in trouble. But that's where you would do it. (laughs) What I would suggest is more likely the case, is if you have a problem where you're trying to open JPEGs and TIFs in Photoshop, it's not working, it's opening in something else, I would use that to make sure it is. But either way that's where... So Bridge is basically a viewer that's by default gonna open in kind of a default set of applications and because it makes the assumption, if you have Photoshop then generally you want that to be the final application. So here's another reason why Bridge could be useful. Is, let me go back to Photoshop for a second, so I have no files open in Photoshop now, and I wanna work on both of these. Not just one. So instead of going file open twice, I have one selected. I haven't double-clicked yet, I just click once, hold down the shift key, and click a second time. Now I have two files open. And if I choose open, it's gonna open both files each in their own window. So quite often in Photoshop, as we'll see, we wanna combine images together. Which means we have to open them first. So rather go file open, file open, bridge allows you to say, "I want this one and this one. "Let me open both of them together." Okay? So, again, the functionality is the same if you go do it yourself going using the file open command multiple times, and do it by file name. Bridge just happens to have the added advantage where you can do things visually, open multiple files, you can rename files, and et cetera, okay? Now, right now I have both Photoshop and Bridge open. So I wanna go back and forth and I could go back here and choose browse in Bridge, which will jump me back to Bridge again. There's always, I don't know why, a slight lag whenever I choose that command. It's like, "Okay, here's Bridge." So there's a shortcut on your operating system. On the Mac it's command tab, I believe on Windows it's alt tab. And that will switch between any application you have open. So for me, I'm constantly going, "Okay, jump back to Photoshop. Jump back to Bridge." So it's just a keyboard shortcut that's going back and forth between your open applications. And that's not a Photoshop or Bridge function. That's an operating system keyboard shortcut that just says whatever applications you have running at the same time, you can switch between them.

Class Description

Join Dave Cross in this beginner friendly class starting at the very basics with Adobe® Photoshop® CC. You’ll learn how to begin navigating the software and what the best practices and work habits are to approach different projects.

Dave will cover:

  • Working non destructively on your files
  • How to resize, crop, and straighten images
  • Using layers with basic layer examples
  • Adding text, color, and painting to images
  • How to retouch and adjust images using selections and masks
  • Learn how to use the tools you need to create the image you want. Dave will demonstrate using sample workflows that take you through projects from start to finish.

Don't have Adobe Photoshop yet? Get it now so you can follow along with the course!

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017



I really like Dave's methodical teaching style. Step by step works best for my learning processes. He also has a lovely voice to listen to during his classes, that is important if you have to listen to someone talk for any length of time. I also like the "dance" he does by explaining what he is going to do, then does it, and then comes back to explaining the choices he made and why. Very, very easy to follow him in his straight forward explanations. He increased my understanding of so many tools I use and so many I have never used. Wow! Photoshop with Dave took away a lot of "fear"! (Wish I had a "happy face" to place here!) I bought this class today because I don't think I can get along without it!

Jim Bellomo

I was so lucky to get to attend this class in person here in Seattle. I have been a fan of Dave's for years and own a number of his courses from Creative Live. When this class was announced I almost decided to skip it since it was listed as a "beginners" class but decided that it "might" be worth it. One of the reasons I wanted to take it was that I am self-taught. I had started with Photoshop 5 (not CS5 but 5) about 15 years ago (at least). I figured it I took this class I might learn a little something that would help me in my work. Well, two days later I have 18 pages of handwritten notes, a whole new way to work and it has already paid off in a huge way in my daily workflow. I bill out my hours at around $100 an hour as a graphic designer and marketing person. That means in the two days that I spent 10 hours a day taking the class and commuting to it, it cost me about $2000 in working time. But it didn't. I can guarantee that I am way ahead on this one. I l learned so much. The real world things I learned will pay off for a very long time. Within one day after the class I had already started changing my workflow to be more non-destructive and faster. Dave is an awesome teacher and I can't say enough good things about this class. Even if you think you know Photoshop, you don't. I teach it in my small world but I learned so much.


A writer and an old person (over 60), I rarely use neat exaggerations like "great" or "fantastic," and never say "awesome" in the currently fashionable manner. However, I would call this class both great and excellently planned. Cross is well-spoken and a consummate teacher with a rarely non-irritating voice. It is information packed, clearly presented, well-organized, and extremely helpful. I wish I could afford his others.