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Linked Smart Objects

01_linked_smart_objects_photoshopIn a recent update to Photoshop CC Adobe introduced Linked Smart Objects. They work the same as Smart objects but with a unique, and helpful difference, they link back to the source, let’s look at an example;

(Not familiar with regular Smart Objects? Here’s an explanation)



Here I’ve got an image that I’d like to add a symbol to. Its a separate file and labels this image as a Photoshop Tutorial for beginners. Here it is in Bridge;


I could Place this as normal, but for this I wonder if I might need to change it later, so I’ll use the new Place Linked from within Photoshop;


I browse as normal and choose the relevant file to Place it into Photoshop.



You’ll notice that it looks just and behaves like a normal Smart Object.


No change as yet, until we click the tick at the top of the screen, or press return to accept the Smart Object. In the Layers Panel you’ll see that the Smart object is there but it has a chain on it rather than that ‘sticky note’ icon we usually have. This tells us this is a Linked Smart Object.

07_linked_smart_objects_photoshopNow I decide that this isn’t a Beginners three star tutorial (whatever one of those is, maybe I should start grading them?) and want to change it. Well, as a Smart Object we can of course by double clicking it and opening it as if it were a separate document (If you’re ahead of me here you’ll know that that’s exactly what it is).



So you can see that here I’ve changed the text from Beginner *** to Novice *****.

Click the tick to accept the changes;



And click Save to save the changes made to the Smart Object. Now the magic happens! Linktusmartusobjectus!

The image is updated just like a regular Smart Object, but let’s take a look at that original image in Bridge;


Hang on, what’s this? The original has updated too Hedwig!

But, now I’ve opened a different image and Placed the Same image as a Linked Smart Object and changed it to read Expert ** .


Let’s see what thats done to our first image;

14_linked_smart_objects_photoshopThat fooled you, you thought it was going to say Expert ** didn’t you? Photoshop knows this and that people like me will forget that it’s been linked so it very kindly gives us a warning triangle, (like when you have forgotten to install the right fonts);



But what if this wasn’t an oversight and you want it to read Expert **? Easy enough, right click on the layer and choose ‘Embed Linked’ and it’ll update and remove the “Oi Eric” triangle.


Happy Linked Smart Objecting!





About Eric Renno (434 Articles)
Eric’s background in video editing with Adobe Premier led to his interest, and then obsession, with Photoshop. Starting TipSquirrel.com as a hobby he is proud to have gathered together and be a part of The Photoshop Nuts. Known as only “TipSquirrel” for two years, Eric ‘went public’ when he was a finalist in The Next Adobe Photoshop Evangelist competition. He’s also been a finalist in Deke’s Techniques Photoshop Challenge. While still taking on some freelance work, Eric has recently become a Lecturer at Peterborough’s Media and Journalism Centre where he enjoys sharing his knowledge as well as learning new skills. This realisation that he loves to teach has made Eric look at altering his career path.

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