So I know how to create a duplicate of a smart object and edit it independently from one another by using "New Smart Object via copy". I found that trick on this forum and it works well. However, my situation is a little different. I'll try to explain:

  • I was given a file with existing smart objects...with the text all in English...In properties it's called Layer 201.psb and its an embedded Smart Object.
  • There are 10 different layouts that use this same smart object on separate layers (different shapes, sizes, masks and positioning of the smart object).
  • My mission is to maintain each of those layouts, yet for each one create a new set of 10 layers with the text in Spanish. So, I don't want to create a new object via copy 10 times on each layer. Or else I would end up with Layer 201.psb, layer 202.psb, etc...and kind of defeats the purpose of a smart object.
  • Ideally, I would like to end up with a Smart Object Layer 201.psb used on 10 layers that are all in English, and Smart Object Layer 202.psb used on 10 identical layers that are all in Spanish. (and then for some files, a new set of 10 all in Portuguese, a new set all in German, and so on)
  • I have hundreds of files, so need to streamline the easiest way to maintain separate sets of smart object layers.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


  • If I understand you correctly it seems that you could simply copy your file and have a separate file for English and Spanish. You would, of course, loose the connection between the graphics in those two files and any change to the graphics would have to be done in every language file. Can't really see any other way. I seldom do text in Photoshop. This is one of the reasons why.
    – Wolff
    Oct 17, 2019 at 15:42
  • Hey, Wolf, Wish I could create a separate file for each language, but my client wants them in the same file as layers. I don't use photoshop much for text either these days. Again, my client supplied the files to me already fully built out in photoshop. I just need to build out versions in different languages. Oct 17, 2019 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


I have sort of a similar to @Wolff's comment idea, but a bit easier to maintain.

Here're are my SOs:

enter image description here

  1. Duplicate your image using Image > Duplicate

  2. Select all the smart objects in the duplicate doc and using the Move Tool move them to the original document holding the Shift button: this way they'll get to the same positions as original layers

  3. Well, that's it. New smart objects share the same parent file, but it's a new parent file. Duplicates along with original SOs in my beautiful example:

    enter image description here

So why this works? Embedded smart objects are unique for each document (there're several bugs related to this but not in this case) so when you create a duplicate, SOs are still linked to one parent file, but their connection with a parent file from original document is broken.

  • Thanks, looks like this could work. I'll give it a try. Oct 17, 2019 at 17:50
  • son of a gun, it worked like a charm. Thanks so much!! Oct 17, 2019 at 17:58
  • 1
    +1. You might save some time if you instead of shift-dragging the layers to the original document just select them, right-click them, select "Duplicate Layers..." and choose the original document.
    – Wolff
    Oct 17, 2019 at 18:39

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