I have encountered a problem, or at least an annoyance, with the way that "Layer Comps" work with linked layers. I understand the reason for the design choice and I am not claiming it to be a bug, but I still don't know how to efficiently work around it.
I have a number of layers that I want to position in different arrangements such as making a collage. I create a Layer Comp including Position for each of these arrangements. Later, I add a layer mask, or I make some corrections to one of the layers using masked adjustment layers, an Overlay layer (dodge and burn), or something else that needs to remain aligned to the original layer. I clip and link these layers to keep them together.
The problem arises when I then recall one of the existing Layer Comps: these adjustment layers are not moved along with their master layer. Likewise the mask on the layer itself is also misaligned when any of the preexisting Layer Comps are loaded despite being linked to the image layer.
This results in me either manually realigning all the masks and Overlay layers or (usually) scrapping the Layer Comps and starting over.
There are two aspects to this question:
For an existing PSD with a considerable number of Layer Comps that I do not want to have to recreate is there a clean method to add a layer mask, masked adjustment layer, or other aligned layer to one of the collage elements?
When creating a new document and wishing to avoid this problem is there a better method than defensively making every layer (element) a Smart Object? I find that this considerably increases the size of the file and I wish to avoid that if I can.