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P: Saved my .PSD file, but upon opening all my layers are GONE

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 13, 2017 Mar 13, 2017

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So I was working on something pretty important for school. I saved it as a PDF once so I could print it and turned the check mark off at the "keep photoshop ability" thing in the PDF dialog box (So not in the save as box, but the dialog box you get after you choose .PDF and say save) cause it was going to be used for simple print, then I re-saved my photoshop file that I had open as a .PSD file since I noticed it had changed the file name to that of the .PDF, I even checked if it still had the layers, and it still had them.

 

I close the program, I return to it an hour later and all my layers are gone. They all merged together as one background layer. When I had last saved it the layers were still there, yet now there aren't. I tried going to the properties of the PSD file, to see if there were previous versions, but there was nothing. I tried looking in the Autorecovery, but yet again NOTHING.

 

I dont know what I did wrong, since the layers were still there when I had SAVED my PSD file... This was a very important file with schoolwork and everything that I had in hidden groups and layers are gone.

 

I dont know if anybody else has had this problem and if this can be fixed....

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Apr 12, 2022 Apr 12, 2022

Hi all,

 

We're happy to announce the April 2022 release of Photoshop 23.3. This update includes the fix for this issue.

 

To update Photoshop to 23.3, click "Update" in the Creative Cloud desktop app next to Photoshop. More detailed instructions for updating

 

Let us know if the update resolves the problem for those affected and share your feedback with us.

 

Thanks,

Nikunj

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 13, 2017 Mar 13, 2017

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When you use "save as" PSD you need to ensure that the "Layers" option is checked - it is normally by default.

If you gave it a new filename you may still have the old saved version on your drive. If you gave it the same filename and have overwritten the old then you have lost the layers.

Unless....

Did you save it to the Creative Cloud Files folder ? If you did, you may be in luck as the old versions may still be available on the cloud copy of the folder. Old versions are still available for 10 days provided you have the storage room.

I know it is a bit late now - but for the future the best practice is incremental PSD saves on important files e.g filename A.psd ; filenameB.psd etc

Dave

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Community Expert ,
Mar 13, 2017 Mar 13, 2017

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I've heard of this before. I think it qualifies as a bug, or at least undesired behavior.

then I re-saved my photoshop file that I had open as a .PSD file since I noticed it had changed the file name to that of the .PDF

That's the key. When you save the file subsequently you actually save the flattened PDF version, not the layered PSD you thought you still had open.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 13, 2017 Mar 13, 2017

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Just followed the steps in first post.

If you uncheck the "Preserve Editing capabilities" it saves a flattened PDF but also it unchecks the "Layers" box in the Save As dialogue.

So, although the layers are still intact in your open document, if you then go on to Save As and change the document type to  a PSD you have to re-tick the Layers box again - otherwise you are saving the PSD as a flattened file.

Dave

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Community Expert ,
Mar 13, 2017 Mar 13, 2017

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OK, so that's what happens.

Either way, a trap easily fallen into. This behavior should be changed.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 13, 2017 Mar 13, 2017

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I agree,

If a document has layers and the saving format supports them (TIFF, PSD PSB) the Layers box should always be checked on opening "Save As"

I'll raise a request

Dave

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Community Expert ,
Mar 14, 2017 Mar 14, 2017

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Photoshop does print PSDs unless you are transferring to another program that does not read PSDs.

As a safeguard, use the Image > Duplicate command  and run your save as PDF on the duplicate. You keep the Master psd file from harm.

And of course I cannot emphasize keeping backup copies of your masters for such disasters.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 14, 2017 Mar 14, 2017

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I actually did checkmarked that when I re-saved it...so that's why I am so confused by it.

the file still had layers, the layers tab was checked, it had everything.

I looked at the time it was last saved and it doesn't even match up the last time I saved it, since the last time I saved it was around 4 PM - 4,30 PM, but the file says the last time it was edited/saved was around 3 PM (which is the time I saved the .PDF)


I actually dont know if it's in my CC files folder...but I think I didn't...

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 14, 2017 Mar 14, 2017

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Yeah I think I should keep that in mind when I do that the next time...

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 14, 2017 Mar 14, 2017

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It's weird cause I have done this a few times like this.

Save the PSD
Save as a PDF to print, uncheck the photoshop abilities in the PDF Box that pops up after your save it as a PDF
Resave it as a PSD cause the file had become a PDF, check if the layers box is checked (which it is.)

But then all the layers were still in tact..... so it baffles me why they aren't right now..

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Community Expert ,
Mar 14, 2017 Mar 14, 2017

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I can't recall the details, but this precise situation has been up before. I think there may be a bug in here somewhere, if Dave's suggestion of rechecking Layers isn't enough.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 14, 2017 Mar 14, 2017

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Well that's a bummer if it's a bug... cause I did it this way before and it saved it nicely with all the layers intact, and I did the exact same steps yesterday for that one file and lost everything.. so if it's a bug, it's a pretty shitty one..

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Community Expert ,
Mar 14, 2017 Mar 14, 2017

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Hi
I couldn't reproduce as a bug - but that "feature" where the Layers checkbox becomes unchecked is just stupid. I have raised this.

Dave

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New Here ,
Jun 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017

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I could be wrong but I just don't understand why the save as a pdf action overwrites your psd file. That just seems a poor design feature.

I think people are almost never trying to convert files to a pdf. in a way that it changes the psd file completely to something uneducable as far as layers etc.

I think people want to save a copy so other people can see what is being designed and approve etc.

To me its like doing something in a Word doc and then saving as a pdf to share to others and the pdf overwrites the word doc!?  I mean really, how many people actually want to overwrite their psd to a pdf? I can delete the psd later if I want, but why make us risk overwriting our work in that has been done in the psd?

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Community Expert ,
Jun 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017

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Hi Bob

Saving as PDF does not overwrite the PSD.

What does happen though is this: If you uncheck preserve editing capabilities when you save the PDF and then go back and try to save the same document as PSD, the layers checkbox which normally defaults to checked for PSD becomes unchecked. If you spot it and check it - no problem, if you save as a different name - less of a problem in that your original is still there. If you do not spot it and don't change the name your newly saved PSD will overwrite your old PSD but without saving the layers.

Dave

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Community Expert ,
Jun 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017

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Image > Duplicate can make a copy of your PSD with all layers and up to date edits in Photoshop and you save it as a PDF and junk the duplicate PSD when done.

It's a command I use a lot when I do not want to put my master PSD at risk.

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New Here ,
Jul 25, 2018 Jul 25, 2018

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Hi Dave, I have been working with Photoshop for 30 years, this is a new 'feature' of CC 2018 update which has caught me out a few times now and makes no sense to me at all. I have lost valuable and time consuming work because of this. In the past, I have been able to save a PDF file from my PSD layered doc and have carried on working in the layered PSD file with no problem. Now, I have to check a layers button or lose everything. As has been pointed out, most PDF saves are to send art to clients, I certainly don't want to over-write my PSD layered file. It is counter-intuitive and a serious design flaw on Adobe's part.

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New Here ,
Jul 30, 2018 Jul 30, 2018

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Yes this is so very frustrating. I has only just started happening to me - fortunately I have been able to recover as my fileserver  puts a copy of the file in the recycle bin.

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New Here ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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This is still happening and I've lost hours of my own volunteer work.  I'm even more upset to know that this is a known problem that has not been changed.  Please, please remedy this.  I pay out of pocket to subscribe to Adobe for the purpose of doing volunteer print design.  Everyone knows how terrible it is to lose hours of work, but this has now happened to me TWICE on a very time consuming document.  The first time I lost my layers I thought I had made an error.  This second time I looked it up, and I am so, so upset that this is a known issue.

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New Here ,
Sep 18, 2019 Sep 18, 2019

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Years later, this is still an issue. Like others here, I lost a bunch of work to this "feature". Is this going to be changed?

 

"If you uncheck preserve editing capabilities when you save the PDF and then go back and try to save the same document as PSD, the layers checkbox which normally defaults to checked for PSD becomes unchecked. If you spot it and check it - no problem, if you save as a different name - less of a problem in that your original is still there. If you do not spot it and don't change the name your newly saved PSD will overwrite your old PSD but without saving the layers.

Dave"

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New Here ,
Sep 18, 2019 Sep 18, 2019

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same here...

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New Here ,
Nov 14, 2019 Nov 14, 2019

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Still a problem, just lost a lot of work as well. Please fix this issue, it is so counterintutive.

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New Here ,
Dec 29, 2019 Dec 29, 2019

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i having the same isue im using ps cc and i have a 1g fils but when i opend it in photoshop...it only one layer...[cursing removed by moderator]

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New Here ,
Jun 09, 2020 Jun 09, 2020

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When you save to a PDF, Photoshop gives you a warning that this will happen.Warning.jpg

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New Here ,
Jun 09, 2020 Jun 09, 2020

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If you use File > Automate > PDF Presentation, you can save a PDF without overriding your settings in the Save As dialog box.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 01, 2021 Jul 01, 2021

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I'm new to CC but have worked in PS for decades as well. I just ran across this problem too and can confirm it has not been fixed. How frustrating!! I've had to redo my work, too. I won't beat a dead horse here but as others have pointed out, WHY!?!? It's NEVER been like this, why change something people have gotten used to doing? I've been making copies of the PDF without saving layers for every single one of the versions and only just now finding out it overwrote ALL of the copies I worked on. I saved all of them as separate psd's but created all in PDF so they're all toast now. It's unreal. PLEASE fix this for any future people who will also run across this post after it's too late!

 

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