Today’s Question: Adobe Bridge seems to only show me the photos that appear in a given folder. Is there a way to see all types of files that are in those folders instead of only the photos?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can view all files within the folder you are currently browsing in Adobe Bridge by choosing View > Show Hidden Files from the menu.
More Detail: By default, Adobe Bridge only displays files that are saved in supported file formats. To the photographer that often means only image files, such as your RAW captures, Photoshop PSD files, TIFF images, JPEG images, and other supported image formats.
However, Adobe Bridge also supports a wide variety of other file types, including audio and video file formats, for example, as well as a variety of document formats (such as Adobe PDF files).
Adobe Bridge will not, by default, display non-supported file types, which in some cases may be inconvenient. If you want to browse all files of both supported and non-supported file types within Adobe Bridge, you can turn on the “Show Hidden Files” option.
Keep in mind that enabling the “Show Hidden Files” option may create considerable clutter when you are browsing your files. For example, if you process your proprietary raw captures using Adobe Camera Raw, an XMP “sidecar” file will be created containing the metadata related to the adjustments you applied within Adobe Camera Raw. The XMP files are hidden by default in Adobe Bridge, because there is generally no need for a photographer to interact directly with those files.
When you enable the “Show Hidden Files” option, you may very well see an XMP sidecar file for every single raw capture within the current folder, which could translate into seeing two files for every image in that folder.
So, while it can certainly be useful in certain situations to be able to view hidden files in Adobe Bridge, the clutter caused by this option can be a bit distracting. I therefore recommend that if you need to enable the “Show Hidden Files” option that you only keep it turned on for as long as you actually need to browse non-supported file types in Adobe Bridge, and then turn the setting off again.