I have a smart object whose size in edit mode is 1000x1000 with a transparent background and an image layer that is 800x800 (centered).

enter image description here

When I use the smart object, the transparent space around the image layer isn't preserved.

enter image description here

Compare with the case when the background is opaque:

enter image description here

Why is the transparent area not preserved when using the smart object?

  • Hi Hejazi. To me it's not very clear what your question is. Do you think you can rephrase your question or add some screenshots? – Sergey Kritskiy Feb 4 '20 at 9:35
  • @SergeyKritskiy Sorry for not being clear enough. I added screenshots for the smart object in edit mode and as an embedded object. – Hejazi Feb 4 '20 at 10:06

Thank you for the screenshots! When you convert a layer, Photoshop uses its transparency to define SO dimensions, but here're two workarounds that can help you to keep the document size:

  • select your layer and a background layer, convert them to SO: this will force SO to be the size of the largest selected layer. Double-click SO to edit it, remove the background layer, save. Your SO will stay the size of the canvas:

    enter image description here

  • Save your file as a copy, then use File > Place (linked or embedded: depending on your needs). Embedded layer will keep dimensions of the placed document:

    enter image description here

However if you want to use Export functions and don't what your layer to be cropped, you can expand layer bounding box by adding an empty layer mask:

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the suggestions. I tried the first workaround but the problem is still there. Just select the layer and check the size in the Properties panel and you will see the smaller size. This is the size that matters because it'll be the size of the exported image when you export the layer as an image. – Hejazi Feb 4 '20 at 11:18
  • The same applies to the second workaround. The problem looks to be in the way Photoshop detects the size of the layer contents ignoring any space around the content. – Hejazi Feb 4 '20 at 11:34
  • When you use Quick Export or Export As... the file is cropped to transparency and this has nothing to do with smart objects. For exporting simply add an empty layer mask to your layer. – Sergey Kritskiy Feb 4 '20 at 11:54
  • Yes, you are right. I found the same answer here (graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/q/116166/130359) and it worked for me. Would you please update the answer so I can accept it? – Hejazi Feb 4 '20 at 12:03
  • 1
    Yes, it's done. – Sergey Kritskiy Feb 4 '20 at 12:06

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