preserving smart object vector data from PhotoShop to PDF

Community Beginner ,
May 19, 2021 May 19, 2021

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I design book covers, and often that includes creation of vector art for foil and varnish areas. My workflow generally starts with a front cover created in Photoshop, which I import into InDesign (as a .PSD or .PDF). When the layout is complete, I export a print quality PDF from InDesign for the printer. The problem: I haven't found a way to maintain all vector data from the Photoshop file when I export it. Shape layers and text often stay vector, but the smart objects always turn to pixels. In other words, how, do I ensure vector-based smart objects are not rasterized when they are converted to PDF?

Attached is an example, where my PRINT PDF does have vector type and shape layers, but the smart object (the ornament just above the word "MY") has unhappily rasterized.

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How to, Import and export, Mac

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Adobe Community Professional , May 20, 2021 May 20, 2021
»Thanks, JJMack. I understand what you are saying, but I am hoping that there is a way, when exporting the Photoshop fille as an Acrobat PDF, that the vector information which is in a smart object can be retained, the same way it is with a shape layer.« There is not.  Shape Layers and Type Layers are vector content in the file itself, vector smart object are vector content within a smart object.  Edit: Considering what one can do with a Smart Object (Transformation, Puppet Warp, Adjustments, F...

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LEGEND ,
May 19, 2021 May 19, 2021

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When it comes to Photoshop Vector Smart Objects layers the vectors are in the Object file. There are no vectors in Photoshop for the layer. If you open the smart object you will find the vector file opens in your vector editor like Illustrator.  There are no vector in Photoshop.  In Photoshop pixels are rendered for the layer using  vector graphics like a browser will render a svg image. In Photoshop you have pixels and the object  Photoshop does not support vector files.   Photoshop can import some vector file types as a single raster layer that may have transparency.   

 

When it come to PDF there seems to be at least two forms of PDF  a Acrobat PDF Format and a Photoshop PDF format.      A Photoshop PDF is like a Layers PSD when you open a Photoshop PDF in Photoshop it opens as a layered Photoshop document. All your layer will be there.  An Acrobat PDF can not be opened by Photoshop.  If you try to open a Acrobat PDF  Photoshop will switch to an Import PDF dialog where you can open Pages and images as documents. 

JJMack

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Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2021 May 20, 2021

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Thanks, JJMack. I understand what you are saying, but I am hoping that there is a way, when exporting the Photoshop fille as an Acrobat PDF, that the vector information which is in a smart object can be retained, the same way it is with a shape layer. Surely there is a way. if not, then I hope Adobe developers will add it 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 20, 2021 May 20, 2021

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»Thanks, JJMack. I understand what you are saying, but I am hoping that there is a way, when exporting the Photoshop fille as an Acrobat PDF, that the vector information which is in a smart object can be retained, the same way it is with a shape layer.«

There is not. 

Shape Layers and Type Layers are vector content in the file itself, vector smart object are vector content within a smart object. 

 

Edit: Considering what one can do with a Smart Object (Transformation, Puppet Warp, Adjustments, Filters, …) it does not seem realistic to expect vector output for them. 

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Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2021 May 20, 2021

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That makes sense. I guess I hadn't thought of it that way. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 20, 2021 May 20, 2021

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The shape in question in the design seems simple enough, why not just set it in Indesign?

If you need to keep it in Photoshop it should work fine as a Shape Layer and saved in a pdf. 

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Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2021 May 20, 2021

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True, in this example the shape is simple, and your proposed solution will work. Thanks 

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