If you’ve used the built-in contact sheet generator in Adobe Bridge, you know it only gives you the option to generate PDFs (or Web galleries). That’s nice — but there’s a much better way.
I’ve blogged in the past about Bob Stucky’s great scripting solution, which enables you to invoke InDesign from within Bridge, in order to generate a truly editable InDesign contact sheet.
I’m tickled to announce that Bob has updated the script for CS5, and it’s even better than before. You can now include your Bridge ratings (in color!), and create separate masters for the first page and the remainder of the document. You can completely customize a template and invoke it when you create the contact sheet. It’s quick, it’s slick, it’s really trick (and I love it).
Bob has posted a video here, showing all the cool new features.
As before, the Bridge Contact Sheet is priced at a paltry $30 (and it’s easily worth at least twice that). It can be purchased here. (NOTE: The Contact Sheet solution for CS4 is still available on the Creating Scripting suite, if you haven’t upgraded to CS5.
IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that you need both Bridge CS5 and InDesign CS5 to benefit from this; apparently some very confused users have not understood that a script that works from within Bridge to wake up InDesign would have nothing to wake up if they didn’t already have InDesign (as we say here in Dixie, “bless their little hearts”). 😉
I’ve found this solution indispensable for creating contact sheets when I do retouching jobs: I view the contact sheet in InDesign to evaluate all images at once. It’s so easy to see all the photos together simultaneously and determine whether they’re as consistent as I thought (is the singer’s dress exactly the same shade of green in every image?). If I need to fix an image, I can use Edit Original in InDesign to crank up Photoshop, perform the necessary edits, and update the InDesign file. Easy peasy.
If you’re a printer or photographer who wants to create scatter proofing sheets, this solution is quick and painless. The ability to create a custom template with your logo and company information lets you create output that’s not just practical, but marketable.
TIP: Generate a contact sheet using the default settings, and then examine the Object Styles that are used for the caption frame (“captions”) and image frames (“images”), as well as the Paragraph Style (“labels”) that’s used for the caption text. When you create a template, you can include these styles, modified to suit your preferences. For example, I modify the “captions” Object Style to delete its black stroke, and change the “images” style to center the images.