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I read somewhere that before you save your photo you should merge the layers, including watermarks, before saving then save. My question is this:

Is there any benefit to merging the layers (or merging a copy of the original layers) before saving the photo as a JPG?

Note: I am using Photoshop CS6 and PS's Save for Web

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No, merging layers will make your file smaller, and that's about it. – Johannes Sep 19 '12 at 2:50
up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is an outdated piece of advice related to using images in older layout programs that were not Photoshop-aware. It has no relevance to Save for Web. A jpeg is a flat file, and Photoshop takes care of the flattening (and conversion to sRGB for web use) automatically.

In general, practice non-destructive editing: never flatten a PSD, never change original pixels in an image and never make an edit you can't undo or modify later, except when it's absolutely necessary. These days, with adjustment layers and smart objects, all of these are rarely necessary.

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