P: Smart Objects: Auto-convert JPGs to PSD

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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If you drag an image into the canvas and have the option enabled to convert it to a smart object automatically, when you try to edit that smart object you are unable to save it to update it. Instead you get the usual save dialog and if you save in the default folder (temporary items) it doesn't actually update the smart object.

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Adobe Employee , Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011
I think this is because you are placing a file type without layer support - like JPEG. The workaround is the save the file to a new location as a PSD after you've edited and choose Layer> Smart Objects>Replace Contents... and select the PSD you created to replace the JPEG file you originally placed. I've made this a Feature Request. Hit the upvote at the top of the page to add your voice.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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I think this is because you are placing a file type without layer support - like JPEG.

The workaround is the save the file to a new location as a PSD after you've edited and choose Layer> Smart Objects>Replace Contents... and select the PSD you created to replace the JPEG file you originally placed.

 

I've made this a Feature Request. Hit the upvote at the top of the page to add your voice.


Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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When working on a Smart Object (by double-clicking its thumbnail in the Layers panel or by going to Layer>Smart Objects>Edit Content) do not use the File>Save As command when you are finished. This will create a copy (Save As always creates a copy) of your smart object. The saved edits will then be in a new file that is not a smart object in your original file. Always use the Save command, you should not see a dialog asking where to save the file at all (smart objects are not separate files, they are embedded in your original file but become a file in your Temp folder when you open them for editing).

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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These are the steps to replicate my problem.
1- Create new PSD file
2- in Preferences > General, enable Place or Drag Raster Images as Smart Objects
3- drag a JPG from finder into the newly created PSD file (it should make it into a smart object)
4- double click on smart object and it'll open up the JPG - make any changes to it and try to Save. It'll bring up the file path dialog for me.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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That's the exact workflow I used (except I used a TIFF originally, I double-checked with a JPEG). It works correctly for me. I go to File>Save, no save dialog, the changes are saved, and now viewable back in the New PSD (what I previously referred to as the "original file").

Sounds like Photoshop is acting up on you. You many want to try resetting the preferences and trying again.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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It does the same thing with my work colleague though 😕
Tried it with PNG?

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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Also works correctly here.

Guessing that's CS5.
Are you sure you've installed all the updates for Photoshop?

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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I have not - I will now

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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4. make a change to the file (You must add a layer)

Then you'll see the problem that Edward is seeing. This is a long-standing workflow problem with creating a smart object from a non-layered file type and wanting to add layers.

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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Same problem with PNG. if you add a layer, File>Save... will pop a dialog. If you want to keep your layers you need to save it somewhere else and the contents aren't updated with the change.

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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That is correct - need to add a new layer.
Basically I think that any image dragged into the canvas should be saved as a PSD smart object, not as a JPG. Or have it be clever enough to save as PSD if you add a layer to an image.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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We have to keep the original file contents for the smart object. (drag a JPEG, then we have to store it as a JPEG)

Changing the file type later, might be possible.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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So, as described, this isn't a bug. He's saving the file under a new name (because of the extension change), and Photoshop can only update from the original file name (pretty much the same as any app that supports linked files).

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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Right, but we should recognize this and offer to replace the contents. The workflow isn't obvious to the user. Their intent is modify and replace contents (they don't really care about the details that the file type needs to change)

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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Please feel free to change it to an "idea" instead of bug, but definitely not obvious workflow at all.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2011 Apr 05, 2011

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I'm not sure we can recognize a "save a copy as" from saving as a new format. Smart Objects are not omnicient, and we try to minimize the connections between parent and child documents.

But we should at least warn the user if they save a child file under a new name.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 22, 2012 Jan 22, 2012

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Hi Genius,

I am using PS CS3 and one of my PSDs became a Smart Object somehow.......... WHen I opened it ... all layers were merged........... I clicked on the Smart Object part in the Layer window and my layers were restored........... not I made a lot of updations & changes to it........... I saved the file ..... closed it and opened it............. all my latest changed have gone......... How can I get them back......... please help.......... Lots of time wasted............ Thanks in advance........

Regards,
Thendral

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LEGEND ,
Jan 22, 2012 Jan 22, 2012

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That doesn't sound related to this topic. It sounds like you don't know what smart objects are or how they work. You probably want to read about smart objects in the Photoshop help so you'll have some idea how to work with them.

Also, the period key is stuck on your keyboard - you should get that checked.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 23, 2012 Jan 23, 2012

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Definitely not related. But my guess is your solution is to select the Smart Object and choose Layer>Smart Objects>Export Contents... to export the original document out to a separate layered file.

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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Engaged ,
May 11, 2012 May 11, 2012

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I found this randomly while searching for an explanation as to why CS6 keeps opening the "save as" dialog everytime I update and save the contents of an smart object. I don't know iF something changed from cs5 to cs6 in this regard, but strangely enough, I don't recall having this trouble before. Maybe I was being lucky?
Anyway, thanks to you I've found out that including a jpg as smart object via dragging or replacing smart object contents is the culprit of the "save as" dialog appearing everytime. Honestly, I don't really understand the explanation (I mean, I get it, but... come on, I think "smart" objects should be a little smarter in this regard, shouldn't they? Or at least include some warning) but nevermind, at least now I know how to prevent this issue from happening. THANKS!

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LEGEND ,
Jul 19, 2012 Jul 19, 2012

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I think that you are misunderstanding, Edward, so let's go through what you are doing step by step..

- when you add the JPG by drag-drop, whether as smart object or not, it becomes a part of the original PSD Photoshop file.

- if you set auto-convert or manually converted the added layer to a Smart Object, that just allows non-destructive adjustments to that layer. The original JPG source is always present.

- Now, if you edit that source, the layer is broken out temporarily as another Photoshop file -- in a temp area. You then edit that temporary file.

- Photoshop could do many things to the file. Let's say you add an adjustment layer. Now there are two layers in the Photoshop image, and it can't be a JPG any more if saved.

- This is why the dialog when you first asked to edit the Smart Object source warned you: it says that if you get a Save As dialog when closing it, then you must _flatten_ the modified source. After flattening, so that there is now again only one layer which includes your adjustment, you will be able to simply Save, which will update the temporary file.

- Once you have successfully Saved and closed the temporary, you see it back in the original Photoshop file, automatically. The modifications will show.

Edward, that is how Photoshop has worked, I think, up to CS6, which I just installed. CS6 is able to use multiple layers for the temporary, and indeed hidden within the Smart Object. At least it is able to do this with all the types of layers I've tried adding when editing the Smart Object source. It still gives the warning dialog about flattening if you get the Save As dialog on trying to close the edit, so there may be some remaining cases where it acts the old way.

In any case, you see the principle now? At least up to PS CS6, you have to have your edited source flattened so it can be saved in the original JPG form. That's the rule, and then Photoshop will automatically retrieve the edited temporary file once it is closed, merging the result back as the now-modified source for the original Smart Object.

Regards.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 08, 2012 Nov 08, 2012

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I'm adding to this thread since I just upgraded from 5 to 5.1. Just so people know, the "save as" dialog started occurring after that upgrade. I never had a problem with jpg smart objects before that.

Just so we're clear, the "save as" dialog box is a BUG that Adobe needs to fix quickly. There should never be a dialog box, ever after saving a smart object and regardless if the image is a jpg or not.

Adobe, fix this problem! Until then, I'm asking my IT guy to downgrade me to photoshop 5.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 08, 2012 Nov 08, 2012

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No, this has always been an issue with smart objects -- if you save the child file to another filename or filetype, the association is lost. We even warn you about that when you first edit a child document.

This is not a bug, this is a limitation of smart objects and the way they work (by linking and embedding files).

This is no different than using linked files in InDesign and changing the name of a linked file - then the parent document can't find it.

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Engaged ,
Dec 02, 2012 Dec 02, 2012

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Just a question - as I said some months ago, I was having the feeling that the "Save as" dialog was appearing without apparent justification every now and then. Now I have decided to investigate the issue a little further, and definitely there's something going on that I'm not aware of: let's say I drag and drop a JPG file to my document, and I have it automatically converted to a smart object layer.
Then I can double clic it, edit it and, as far as I don't go outside the jpg limitations (namely, having just the background layer when saving the document), everything is fine and I can go back to my original document and see the changes reflected there.

What I have found out is that some jpg files allow for this behavior, while others always pop up the "Save as dialog". The only modification I am doing (for testing purposes) is clicking with the brush tool in the background layer.

Then I hit Ctrl+S (File/Save) and as I say, even though I'm doing exactly the same kind of modification, it turns out that some jpgs never display the save as dialog when doing this (everything goes fine), while others always display the "Save as". Of course, if I carry on and "save as", the jpg gets unlinked from my main document and I am not able to update it anyway (I have also tried to add a layer and re-flatten to a background layer before saving to no avail).

Since this behavior is 100% consistent depending on the file I chose, I assume there's a logic for it, some reason (color space? file name? some option that was checked at the time the original jpg was created?), but I haven't been able to find the answer. Of course, it could also be something is not working in my computer, but I will try to check it on my laptop too.

I'm asking out of curiosity more than anything, since I already stopped using jpgs as smart object when some time ago I started noticing strange things happening, but it irks me to know that there must be some explanation that I simply am not aware of...

Thanks in advance for any insight on this matter.

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Engaged ,
Dec 02, 2012 Dec 02, 2012

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Sorry, STUPID ME, it's not the "Save as" that gets displayed - it's just the jpg compression option!! I would swear it was the other way around but I just checked again. After choosing the compression, it saves (no "save as") and the smart object gets updated, so everything seems to be fine. Please excuse me for formulating the wrong question, but I would have sworn it was the save as dialog that was getting shown.

Even so, the rest of what I just said stays the same: some files always show it (the first time I'm saving) while others never do. Is there some reason for this?

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LEGEND ,
Dec 02, 2012 Dec 02, 2012

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The JPEG compression options get saved in the Photoshop specific data inside the JPEG file. If that data is there, and you're doing a "save" we can skip the compression options dialog. If that data is missing (like if you used SFW without metadata, or metadata was removed by another program), then we have to prompt with the options.

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