Visual file browser for InDesign CS2

livebrowseLiveBrowse is a plug-in that lets you view a folder of images and other files that can be imported into InDesign; but I have to wonder why I’d spend nearly $100 on a plug-in when Adobe Bridge, which comes with InDesign CS2, does generally the same thing. In fact, when one considers all the other features Bridge offers, I can’t see the need for LiveBrowse at all.

The plug-in does work as advertised, however. You select a folder to view, which will show any image that InDesign can import—including snippets—and you can also see Word and Excel filenames. LiveBrowse has four views, each with different size previews, and there’s a Refresh button to update folder changes.

Whenever I changed preview sizes, I had to wait for new previews to re render for complex images (large, layered PDFs), and sometimes I had to click Refresh to see a preview. In Bridge, there was also an initial delay, but not when changing the preview size. In LiveBrowse, you can only have one folder viewable at a time, while in Bridge, multiple folders are viewable in separate Bridge windows. The plug-in did manage to show the previews of some DCS2 files that Bridge didn’t. You can drag files from the palette onto the layout, but place only one file at a time. In Bridge, you can select multiple files and drag them onto a layout.

If this plug-in worked in InDesign CS, it would be very useful, but in CS2, it’s unnecessary. Cacidi Systems makes some very useful plug-ins, but I think this one should be given away free as a promotion.—David Creamer

PRICE: $99
FROM: Cacidi Systems
FOR: Mac and Windows

HOT Convenient palette for viewing images
NOT Bridge does the same thing for “free”