After I put a drop shadow on text, then save -> exit -> reopen, I cannot edit the text. When I click on the Type Tool Icon and then click on the number, it just shows the paths. Any suggestions?

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Then when I reopen the doc, it converts the text to an outline.

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Note: File was handed off from a previous designer and is an embedded smart object within Photoshop and being opened from within Photoshop by double-clicking the vector smart object layer. This results in the file opening in Illustrator.

  • Seems to me that it is not text anymore, but an outline. Maybe you have either used the white selection arrow, or you have chosen type -> outline?
    – benteh
    Feb 14, 2014 at 18:05
  • expanded text converted to shapes, thus it can be editable only as a shape
    – Ilan
    Feb 14, 2014 at 18:06
  • @Ilan how can I stop it from being expanded?
    – evan
    Feb 14, 2014 at 18:13
  • expand command is voluntary command - you pressed it from menu probably or did "Create outlines" from right click menu... don't do it and it will not happen. the drop shadow can be applied to text as is
    – Ilan
    Feb 14, 2014 at 18:19
  • 3
    Then chances are the original AI file was an older version. That's why things are being outlined when you save. You could replace the Smart Object with your new .ai file and it won't happen again (at least until Adobe alters backwards compatibility again).
    – Scott
    Feb 14, 2014 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


Illustrator files as Smart Objects in Photoshop are dependent upon the version of Illustrator they were created in.

For example, if you create an Illustrator document in Illustrator CS4 years ago, then embed it in Photoshop as a smart object. Today you only have Illustrator CC, so when you open the Photoshop file and double-click the vector Smart Object, it opens in Illustrator CC. Then when you save in Illustrator, the file gets back-saved to the legacy version which created it, in this case CS4.

There were changes in Illustrator at version CS6 (16) which causes anything using a gaussian blur (glows, shadows, etc) to be expanded when saved to anything prior to CS6. So, if you open the CS4 smart object, apply a drop shadow to live text, then save. The file gets saved to CS4 and since the gaussian blur in CC is not compatible with CS4, the type gets outlined so that appearance is maintained.

The simplest solutions are to:

  • Use the version of Illustrator which created the file originally to edit the smart object.
  • Re-save the file using Save As.. as a native Illustrator file for the version you are currently working in, then replace the smart object in Photoshop with this new, updated, vector file.

Your type was turned into Outlines. Once your type has been changed to outlines it cannot be edited with the type tool. I always make two copies of type, one to test out different variations and another to correct the kerning, tracking, leading and such. Hope this helps.

  • Alright thanks, good to know. Quite frustrating for all the items I've already done and need to go back and edit though. ugh
    – evan
    Feb 14, 2014 at 18:12
  • Yeah no problem, glad I could help. I would watch out, you might have pressed the key command to execute the command. For future reference the command is CMD - Shift - O. This is the shortcut for Creating Outlines. Might have accidentally pressed the combo or hit it from the drop down menu. If you could accept this answer that would be great too. Hope this all works out for you. Feb 14, 2014 at 18:25
  • I just updated my question with new images, I tried to recreate it from scratch. So when the document gets reopened, it will always convert text to an outline if it had style (drop shadow) on it?
    – evan
    Feb 14, 2014 at 18:27
  • I just tried it out myself and I have no problem, the type is still editable. In your images it looks like you are doing more than a drop shadow. Explain to us your step process, so that we an get a better understanding of how this is happening to you. Feb 14, 2014 at 18:33

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