I mean the basic image in DPP. If I could toggle between that and what the sidecar file renders, both, in Bridge, I'd get a better idea of where I was taking the file. I noticed that if I deleted the sidecar file, Bridge again displays the untreated file.
I have to enter into this discussion since your name is quite similar to mine, Janes. If you plan to use ACR as your default raw converter you should get Real World Camera Raw
by Fraser and Schewe. ACR is too complex a program to learn from a few comments on the forum.
If you download a batch of raw photos from the camera to a folder and then open it in ACR you will note that the thumbnails that are initially displayed are those from the embedded JPEG image as rendered by the camera with the settings you have chosen in the camera. ACR then begins working and the thumbnails are replaced one by one with those derived from an ACR rendering using the default ACR settings. As mentioned above those default parameters are stored in a sidecar .XMP file unless you have chosen to have them stored in a central location by ACR (the Camera Raw Database).
ACR does not read or use camera settings except for the white balance and the ACR defaults are a rather neutral and bland appearing rendering, which you can then edit using the ACR adjustments. If you want the ACR rendering to be similar to that of the camera, you should apply the Camera Standard profile or one of the other camera profiles that Adobe supplies with ACR. If you want, you can change the ACR default rendering with the flyout menu to the right of the basic ACR settings.
I use Nikon rather than Canon, but if DPP is like the Nikon raw converter, it can store its settings in the raw file so you can use them later. ACR will ignore these settings. If you want your own editing settings to be stored in the raw file with ACR, you can convert the raw files to DNG using the DNG converter and then edit the DNGs in ACR. The editing parameters will be stored in the DNG file and a sidecar file is not used.