Why am I loosing my layers from my PSD files?

Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2017 Oct 26, 2017

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After creating a layered PSD file I save it. Then I flatten the image and save as a PDF. When I go back to the PSD file I loose all the layers (it is also flattened). I have been doing it this way for many years. This unwanted flattening of the original PSD has just started happening. I cannot afford to loose the original layers as changes alway are needed.

Is this some new change to Photoshop?

Please halp me.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Sep 15, 2021 Sep 15, 2021
@CandyC941 wrote: I save the PSD 1st, then save a flat PDF and then I go back later to open up my PSD file, and it's flat.
Hi @CandyC941  You responded to a post from four years ago in 2017 and things have changed. In the post you replied to from 2019, @davescm succinctly called this a "gotcha" and this issue has been solved by Adobe. As of 22.4.1, use Save a Copy to save png, jpg, pdf, etc. You will not lose your Photoshop layers. As of 22.4.2, you can revert to the previous behavior ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2017 Oct 26, 2017

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When you export a psd file to a pdf is this box checked?

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2017 Oct 26, 2017

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I am not sure, because I do not use export, I use Save As. Even so, what woukd that have to do with the original layered PSD? If I am saving as a PDF from the original layered PSD, why is it changing (flattening) the original PSD?

It has never done that before. Something has changed.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2017 Oct 26, 2017

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Do you have Autosave enabled under Preferences > File handling?

in your workflow, you mentioned that you flattened after a save, then did “Save As.” If you left the file open after flattening, before the save as, it might have auto saved.

I recommend saving as PDF first and flatten after saving the PDF - if you need it flattened. Don’t make destructive changes on your original document, as it takes a simple click to lose your work (I have done this when closing a file - “Do you want to save?” “Yes.” Click. Wait! I mean NO! Arggh).

Mike

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2017 Oct 26, 2017

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I do save as layered PDF first, then flatten the pdf. What is happening is when I go back to the original layered PSD, it is also flattened. This has happened many times recently. At first, i thought I might have made a mistake, but I have been very diligent and now notice it is happening on its own. It is very costly to me to have to spend time recreating Layered PSD's on every job.

I think there is a bug in the recent updates that is causing this.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2017 Oct 26, 2017

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Hi,

Can you let us know the process you are following to flatten the pdf saved from Photoshop and this is happing on Mac OS X or Windows.

Vishu Aggarwal
Adobe Certified Instructor, Professional and Expert

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2017 Oct 26, 2017

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Using Mac OS X, here is a step by step analysis of what I do:

1) Create an original multilayered document, go to file > save as > and choose Photoshop PSD and I save as: filename.psd.

2) Then while filename.psd is still open, go to file > save as > and choose Photoshop PDF ad save as: filename.pdf.

3) Then while filename.pdf is still open file, I flatten the image and go to file > save as > and choose same document name in my folder (filemane.pdf).

4) When I re-open filename.psd it is flattened (only one layer).

I have used this same method for years and never lost a layered file.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2017 Oct 26, 2017

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3) Then while filename.pdf is still open file, I flatten the image and go to file > save as > and choose same document name in my folder (filemane.pdf).

In step 3 - you are overwriting the document as a flattened file. Try doing this step in the same way however when you do a save as File Name-flat.pdf.

When you open your filename.pdf it will be layered because when you did the Save As you changed the name so that it wouldn't be overwritten.

That said there is an easier way:

1. Open original layered .psd file

2. Save As .pdf and Uncheck the Layers box as shown in the screen shot above.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2017 Oct 27, 2017

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Hi,

Are you doing the same steps as I have done in following video - https://youtu.be/ajtRER4bIwE

You can see in video I don't face any issue working with PSD & PSD PDF. Also make sure that "layers" is checked in options while saving the PSD.

Can you share the video the way I create you that we can visually see the issue.

Vishu Aggarwal
Adobe Certified Instructor, Professional and Expert

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Advocate ,
Oct 26, 2017 Oct 26, 2017

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Moved to Photoshop forum.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2017 Oct 26, 2017

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I opened a layered psd doc, Saved it as a layer test.psd (so as not to overwrite my original document). Flattened the test doc and saved as a pdf. I was able to open the layered test doc without any issues.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 04, 2019 Nov 04, 2019

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I just started having the same problem. HELLLPPP!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2019 Nov 04, 2019

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Hi

It is not a bug but is , IMO, bad interface design.

When you save as a PDF you will see this warning :

2019-11-02_15-24-01.jpg

 
 

If you choose not to Preserve Photoshop Editing capabilities :

2019-11-02_15-25-50.jpg

The next time you save as a PSD then the layers box will be unchecked. There is a warning which you can click and read but it is not very prominent

 

2019-11-02_15-27-25.jpg

 

So the layers box needs to be checked before saving. Many people get caught out once with this "gotcha".

 

 

Dave

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New Here ,
Sep 15, 2021 Sep 15, 2021

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I am having the same problem now, and I am a mac user. I save the PSD 1st, then save a flat PDF and then I go back later to open up my PSD file, and it's flat. Mac does not have the "layers" check box anymore when saving a PSD. This is madness, please help! Screen Shot 2021-09-15 at 9.57.15 AM.pngScreen Shot 2021-09-15 at 9.57.24 AM.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 15, 2021 Sep 15, 2021

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@CandyC941 wrote:

I save the PSD 1st, then save a flat PDF and then I go back later to open up my PSD file, and it's flat.


 

 

Hi @CandyC941 

 

You responded to a post from four years ago in 2017 and things have changed. In the post you replied to from 2019, @davescm succinctly called this a "gotcha" and this issue has been solved by Adobe.

 

As of 22.4.1, use Save a Copy to save png, jpg, pdf, etc. You will not lose your Photoshop layers.
As of 22.4.2, you can revert to the previous behavior in Preferences > File Handling > File Saving Options if you prefer:

  • Enable Legacy Save As
  • Do not append Copy to filename

 

See this help page for details and cautions:
https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/saving-images.html  

~ Jane

 

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New Here ,
Sep 15, 2021 Sep 15, 2021

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Yup thanks I wrote Adobe got some help that was the exact solution thanks Jane. I had to enable "legacy save as". Take care!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 15, 2021 Sep 15, 2021

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You're welcome, Candy, I'm glad it's working for you now 😊

~ Jane

 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 04, 2022 Apr 04, 2022

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LATEST

It's hard to hold back my anger but I will.

 

The new save behavior lost me a well organized, multi layered document, filled with important and hard to recreate smart objects.
And what makes it even worse, I saved regularly - but not incrementally - to a cloud. Because of the cloud service I rarely save incrementally, that's wasted space for me.


I tell you what I did:
1. I opened a document, I did a test if I could save multi page PDF-s from a multi-artboard PSD document (I couln't BTW). I unchecked the keep editable toggle, my fault I know but who would have known what's coming.
2. I deleted the artboards and started working in the file, in classical layered organisation instead
3. I hit save as, changed the PDF to a PSD (NO WARNINGS, NO SAVE OPTIONS) and continued to work happily in the file for another 5 hours or so, saving again and again, over my PSD, knowing my data is saved.

Except it wasn't. All those saves were flattened.

And here comes your fault in it. I checked the legacy save and did the same test.
When after the saved (flat) PDF I try to do a Save As command and change it to PSD, the Layers option is there and checked by default! I don't even have to think about it and I never have before.
Of course, why would I not want to save layers in a PSD? That's why I use PSD-s for 20 something years.

But in the new version there's simply no options at Save As and literally NOTHING tells you that from now on you'll save flattened files. I learned my lessons but this is a horrible-horrible design choice.
You should at least change the save as PSD default so this won't happen with others too.

Thanks.

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