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How to not Smart objects can not edit borders tools grayed out

New Here ,
Sep 18, 2022 Sep 18, 2022

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Does anyone know why you can't add a simple border to a "smart" object? Why is everything so limited with them? It's so frustrating! Why even have an option you can't edit on software meant for editing?! And why do the most basic functions take 22 steps? I can add a border to the same image in MAC pages with a simple click! They figured out a way... then again, they're probably not relying on a million how-to tutorials either... so disappointed after all the money it costs just to have PS....you'd think it would be the opposite...

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Community Expert ,
Sep 18, 2022 Sep 18, 2022

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The short answer is don't use smart objects, stick with regular layers. You apparently don't need that level of complexity.

 

It's always been a basic rule of smart objects that you cannot alter pixels directly in it. No painting, no cloning, etc.

 

A smart object is a pretty complex thing. It is not the image itself, but a representation of it. An image of an image, so to speak. But that makes a lot of things possible, that wouldn't be possible on a normal layer.

 

You can either rasterize the smart object, to turn it into a standard regular layer, or open the smart object and do your edits, then close and save.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 19, 2022 Sep 19, 2022

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Hello, the issue might be that by default, placed images are smart objects.

If you do not need its features (scaling, smart filters) I would recommend to go to disable the "Always create smart objects when placing" in Edit (PC) or Photoshop(Mac) >Preferences >General. 

 

That said, adding a Stroke Layer style with its position setting set to "inside" would give you an easy border, even on a smart object.

I hope this helps! 

 

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New Here ,
Sep 19, 2022 Sep 19, 2022

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I appreciate the feedback. I dragged and dropped a prof photog jpeg as a smart object to fit the canvas size I need for specific distribution. Unfortunately, that option was the easiest to scale a photo to the canvas. I've also scrapped that and tried to open the jpeg instead. An inside border does not fit the needs of this project...it has to be an outside miter (simply "square") edge. I've changed everything to miter and the edges still come out as rounded on the jpeg. The render-picture frame is also useless...it's a bunch of cutesy option I don't need. I've spent too much time trying figure out how to coax this program to do some very basic/simple steps to get this one project done...time I should be spending on the project itself...and it'll cost me the project. I found a site I can upload my photos to that will do exactly what I need and send the finished product back in 24 hours. I keep rights and will now have a digital and hard copy. Any edits I need going forward can simply be uploaded now to another program. It's great PS has so many intricate tiny...time consuming...non-basic features, but sometimes you just need to get a job done on a deadline...without 52 tutorials that don't help anyway... 

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New Here ,
Sep 19, 2022 Sep 19, 2022

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  • I appreciate your time and feedback. I'm not trying to change the photo itself...all I want is a simple border around the image with square edges. And if the option is grayed out by being a smart object...there's no alternative. I've watched every tutorial on how to add this one very simple stupid effect and my conclusion is it just shouldn't be this difficult. It's so basic. Sometimes I just need to do some quick edits, and apparently Photoshop is just not set up for that. Thank you for reading my response, and again, for your time and feedback. It is appreciated. 

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New Here ,
Sep 19, 2022 Sep 19, 2022

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I'm starting to believe all my other photog friends that it's set up to be so complicated just to have all the tutorials... 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 19, 2022 Sep 19, 2022

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Photoshop is professional-grade software. It was never designed to be simple, it was designed to be complete. Like any professional tool, you need to learn how to use it.

 

If you want something simple, and don't need the advanced capabilities, there is Photoshop Elements. Or a whole range of consumer-oriented apps either free or very low-cost. It sounds like the full Photoshop may not be for you.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 19, 2022 Sep 19, 2022

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You can easily add a border to a Smart Object.  If you want to add the border outside the existing pixels, you need to add some Canvas to accommodate the border. It can be advisable to add canvas uniformly to avoid the SO being moved from its original location.  

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