Export versus Workflow


Today’s Question: Thank you for your excellent course on Adobe Bridge. In watching the lessons, I notice that the Export and Workflow features seem to have a lot of overlap, as they both involve exporting copies of photos. Do you recommend one over the other?

Tim’s Quick Answer: I recommend the Export feature over the Workflow feature, in large part because the Export feature is more streamlined and has less potential for confusion.

More Detail: The Export and Workflow features in Adobe Bridge are both focused on enabling you to create derivative copies of photos quickly and easily. In both cases you can define and save the parameters for how you want photos processed for a particular purpose, and then process selected photos in batch. Both are similar to the Image Processor feature in Photoshop that has long been accessible from Bridge as well.

There are two key differences between the Export and Workflow features. First, with Export you define all the settings for processing images within a single dialog, while with the Workflow feature you use a workspace to define individual components of a workflow. This makes the former a little more streamlined in my view, and the latter potentially a bit more confusing and cumbersome.

The other difference is that with the Export feature you don’t have the option to rename as part of the option to export photos. With the Workflow feature you can include a step to rename the copies of the photos you’re creating. However, since the renaming is template-based, this can actually be a bit problematic. For example, there isn’t an easy way to include custom text for each set of photos you create with the Workflow feature. You would need to use a custom workflow each time you wanted a different file naming structure when processing photos.

Therefore, I recommend the Export feature over the Workflow feature. If you also want to rename the photos after processing them with the Export feature, you can simply use the Batch Rename command (Tools > Batch Rename) to rename the exported copies of photos with flexibility, including the ability to use custom text as a component of the filenames.