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?

  • 1
    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
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 12:24
  • 1
    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
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 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. Commented Jan 24, 2014 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  • Note: As of the Photoshop CC2014 release my comment above is no longer valid.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
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 22:20
  • @Scott I've been using this feature lately as well. Still have to get used to it a little but definitely solves some of my problems by allowing reuse of components across different files. Thanks for your suggestion.
    – Wim Mulder
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 9:04

3 Answers 3


This is my solution

open an Indesign or Illustrator file and place in it a several .PSD files each .PSD have his own name.

Now when you want to edit the booklet open the page that you want in Photoshop and edit then return to Indesign or Illustrator to export your work.


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.


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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.