Editing Copies of Smart Objects & Other Smart Object Tips in Photoshop


  • Select everything you want converted to a smart object, right click the layer in the layers pane, and click ‘convert to smart object’
  • Right-click it again, select ‘Duplicate Layer’
  • LOCK one of the layers, and right click the layer you want to edit and select ‘edit smart object’,
  • If you dont lock the layer, your changes will be applied to the duplicate as well
  • Save the edited object, and close it, you are now free to edit it again any time without needing to lock the duplicate

Tip 1:

  • Hide the Smart Object you want to edit, then save a copy of the document as a PNG file
  • Open your smart object for editing
  • Create a New layer at the bottom of other layers
  • Drag and Shift+drop the PNG to your smart Object to your new bottom layer
  • Lock the PNG to use it as a reference for your other editing
  • After finishing your Edit, Hide the PNG layer before saving
  • Save & Close

Tip 2:

  • Hide layers instead of deleting them
  • Link hidden layers and put them into a folder, or…
  • Create a new smart object with all your hidden layers

Tip 3:

  • To take a layer or part of an image out of a Smart Object & return it to the original document:
    • Open the Smart Object for editing
    • Select all the elements you want to extract
    • Make the window of the smart object smaller
    • Drag and Shift+drop to your original document (creates copies)
    • Hide the items you extracted in your smart object
    • Save & Close your smart object

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