Today’s Question: I’m still using Adobe Bridge to manage my photos, as it works well for me. One issue I have run into, however, relates to searching for photos in subfolders. If I have been to the same place several times I make a folder for the place, and then a subfolder for each trip within that folder. Is there any way to search for images matching specific criteria (such as keywords) within all of the subfolders at once, rather than searching in each subfolder one at a time?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can filter images across all of the subfolders below the currently selected folder (or even across an entire hard drive). Start by selecting the parent folder containing the subfolders you want to search. Then go to the menu bar and choose View > Show Items from Subfolders. This will cause the images from subfolders to be shown along with those from the current folder, and you can then set filter criteria on the Filter panel to filter among the full set of photos that are now displayed.
More Detail: It is important to keep in mind that because Adobe Bridge is a browser that does not make use of a central catalog for managing photos, the process of browsing and filtering images across multiple folders (or across an entire hard drive) can be a bit slow.
This performance issue is one of the key reasons I favor Lightroom over Adobe Bridge for managing my photos. Because Lightroom makes use of a central catalog, you are able to filter images across many folders much more quickly.
That said, you can indeed browse across multiple subfolders and set filters based on those multiple folders by making use of the “Show Items from Subfolders” option on the View menu.