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Importing layers from PSD into another PSD File

Participant ,
Apr 11, 2024 Apr 11, 2024

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Hi all!

 

I have one main document and want to place/import several PSD files, including an image with a layer mask to make the image transparent. When dragged and dropped as an object, to adjust the layer mask, I need to "edit content," which is an extra step I would like to remove.

 

Is there a way to import layers from another PSD into the open PSD (preferably by drag-and-drop)?

 

Thanks in advance for your time and sharing the knowledge 🙏🏻

Cheers!

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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Open both images and drag the Layer (edit: either from the Canvas or the Layers Panel) to the other image window. A reason not to use tabbed view.

In tabbed view it is naturally also possible but a little less convenient. 

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Participant ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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I knew about the open/drag function, but when I did this with several at once, my windows became a mess and I got confused about which ones I did and did not do. 🫣

 

That is when I thought, let's ask to make sure I am not missing out on some cool feature to automatically fuse different PSD files into one, having all the original layers accessible. But, if I understand correctly, there is non. Right?

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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I may not fully understand what you mean. 

If you want Layer/s from one file inserted in many images there have been options for a long time; I would prefer a Script but even an Action combined with Batch should suffice. 

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Participant ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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I have several PSD files, with 2 layers. One of the original image (set as background) and one layer including the image with a layer mask (making it transparent). The aim is to drop them in one single main file, where I would have either just the layer with the layer mask or both layers imported. If the transparency was not done correctly, I would be directly able to adjust the layer mask instead of double-clicking, opening the smart object, doing the adjustments and saving again.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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It obviously makes a difference what layer is selected, if any, in the target document, so I like to select the upper most layer so the new layers will be placed at the top of the stack.  If I am copying severral layers to a new document, then I would either group them, or combine them as a Smart Object.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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You can also duplicate selected layers from an open doc to another open doc.

 

I wrote a script to stack files retaining layers here:

 

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Participant ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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Thanks Stephen! This indeed looks to be doing kind of what I am looking for... but the canvas settings etc should remain from the "main" document. Now the size is enlarged due to the other files being bigger in pixel size.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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You can disable the following line of code by adding a couple of double forward slashes in front of it:

 

//


From:

 

activeDocument.revealAll();

 

 To:

 

//activeDocument.revealAll();

 

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Participant ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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And which or how can I make sure the main document is the one everything is added to? I tried making sure alphabetically the name would be first, but it did not work.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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The script wasn't designed for your exact situation.

 

You could try changing the following alphanumeric order from:

 

inputFiles.sort().reverse();

 

To:

 

inputFiles.sort();

 

 

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Participant ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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I understand @Stephen_A_Marsh. I tried, but for some reason, it only opened the main template PSD and not the transparent masked PSD images (automatically created by the API of removed.bg)

 

Aka, it's not as simple as I hoped... and that can also be the answer, right 🤗... nope, it is not an existing feature or script doing this. But it does give me a foundation of thinking and scripting. Maybe I should look into a MacOS script that creates 1 file to be dropped in the template file like your script, remove the redundant original layers, and save it. That way, I only have to open 1 file besides my template and select/drag/drop all layers from the combined file.

 

 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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Did you try my other suggestion of selecting the source layers then using Layer > Duplicate Layers and selecting the destination document?

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Participant ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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To be honest, not yet, because it would require me to open all the remove.bg transparent files and doing this for each file, loosing track of the ones I did or did not do. Either by not closing and selecting in a specific order, or closing after I am done, and accidentally hit cmd+W 2x and closing one I did not do yet.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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After duplicating you can just close the doc without saving, that way when you're finished the only open doc is the target/destination doc.

 

If you can supply test files a script could be written for your specific situation. A layered after file would also be good.

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Participant ,
Apr 13, 2024 Apr 13, 2024

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Hey Stephen, It is related to the process of warping, resizing and placing I asked here @c.pfaffenbichler created a great script for based on a manual added 4 point path. But seems to be causing some unwanted cases and deeper investigation.

 

This is based on creating transparency after the warp/resizing/move because the images were not transparent. But with remove.bg the transparency is much better (than using the object selection, which misses the box, or using the wand to select the white) ... but not always perfect and some manual mask adjustment is needed.

 

Creating the example file you asked for revealed to me that having transparency in the form of a mask before these steps is not efficient / possible. Not only the image needs to be warped/resized/moved but the mask itself as well. Which sounds impossible. So, it is better for me to go back to the drawing table to find the best solution and process before asking for assistance with a script. I do not want to waste too much of your and @c.pfaffenbichler  generous and genius minds. I already feel so much in debt to both of you without having anything to repay the favor.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 12, 2024

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quote

When imported as an object, to adjust the layer mask, I need to "edit content," which is an extra step I would like to remove.

But depending on the use of the placed elements (multiple instances, transformations, different Color Spaces, use in multiple images [in the case of linked smart objects], …) the benefits can outweigh that inconvenience. 

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