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Recently we have moved from using Fireworks to using Photoshop for mocking op website designs. As I've been used to Fireworks for doing this, I'm running into some issues organising my mockups. Where in Fireworks there are pages and states to organize your design, I'm only aware of layer comps in Photoshop. However, it doesn't seem like a very smart idea to handle completely different pages in a design with layer comps. What is the most efficient way to handle multiple pages and, regarding repeating elements, can you use smart objects across files and change them once and have them update across your designs?

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Multiple files. Or a file with multiple layer groups (not comps). You can't link anything to multiple Photoshop files, each Photoshop file is wholly self-contained. –  Scott Oct 9 '13 at 12:24
    
Multiple layer groups is definitely the way to go. For common elements, put them in a group that remains visible while toggling visibility of all the unique page elements (groups) –  John Oct 10 '13 at 20:18
    
Use multiple files. Because front-end developers not good with photoshop as designers and this will make them work easier. Also you can use layer groups for hovers etc. –  Ferdi Çıldız Jan 24 at 14:31
    
Note: As of the Photoshop CC2014 release my comment above is no longer valid. It is now possible to link files within Photoshop CC2014. –  Scott 12 hours ago

2 Answers 2

I can only speak of personal experience, but I tend to contain my web designs in Photoshop to a single file with different layer groups, as suggested in the comments. This has the upside that all visual 'language' is identical, for I copy any layer I need from elsewhere in the file. No header type that accidentally has another font size, or standard colours that are just a tad off.

Even if not a single graphic element is shared between two pages, I still use the same file, to be able to pull styles and such from existing content instead of slipping up while copying them by hand.

The additional plus is that I need to organise my layers well in order to keep the document usable, never a bad thing. It also does set up the file to be used for presentation with layer comps, if needed.

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I'd like to use illustrator for my web layout, with swatches, symbol and multiple page handling, but...
but, I work for a company where PhotoShop is the way to interact with IT department.
I use a single psd file and layer comps to handle different state of my layout. It's a bugged function, when you move a layer you have to re-check all comps but is the best compromise I've found.

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