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In Photoshop I can copy and paste Illustrator paths as a smart object, and then double click this smart object to edit it in Illustrator.

When I duplicate this smart object (say to change the colour scheme of a logo I'm designing and offer a client multiple colour schemes) and edit the newly created smart object, BOTH objects change.

It's one of those Adobe quirks where I'm not quite sure if it's a feature or a bug :)

Anyway, in order to offer separate colour schemes of a logo in one .psb file, I'd like to know how to edit derivative smart objects independently of each other :)

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possible duplicate of Disable link to copied smart objects if not what you are asking hope it helps. –  Gramps Jun 18 '13 at 18:13
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2 Answers

  1. Right click on smart object layer
  2. Click "new smart layer from copy"

The new layer that's generated can be edited independently of its "parent".

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When a smart object is duplicated as a new layer (command or control + J) it remains linked or nested with original layer. These layers can be given any type of effect. However when a smart object is double clicked it opens into a new window and any editing in this layer will make similar changes into the duplicated layer.

If one wants to edit all the smart object separately without affecting others all the layers should be duplicated as new smart object via copy. This command is available under layer menu in smart object, on the drop down menu in the layer or right clicking on smart object.

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