1. I have two layer with the same smart object. If I edit the smart object, both layers are updated (nice!) PSD with two layer of the same smart object

  2. I copy these layers to another file (by dragging them) enter image description here

  3. In the new file, both smart object are unlinked! If I edit one, the other will not change. enter image description here

How can I copy the smart objects to a new file so that they remain linked?

  • Copy 1 to the new file, then duplicate it within that new file.
    – Scott
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 17:10

1 Answer 1


In all versions prior to the Jan 2014 update to Photoshop CC that's just the way Smart Objects work, unfortunately.

Photoshop CC, as of Jan 2014, allows you to choose between embedding and linking when creating a Smart Object. Linked S.O.'s behave just like linked files in Illustrator or InDesign. If the external (linked) file is edited and saved, all the Photoshop documents it is linked to can update accordingly. This external link is maintained when S.O.'s are copied from one document to another, so this would give you the functionality you're looking for.

To link, rather than embed, an object as a Smart Object, either hold down Alt/Option while dragging it into Photoshop or use `File > Place Linked...".

  • Interesting. I have a bunch of "embeded" smart objects in a file. Can I convert them to "linked"? Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 11:06

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