I have several layer comps in my document. I also have a smart object (to apply smart filters) which have those same layer comps.

The problem is: when I want to change the layer comp of the image, I have to set the layer comp of my main, edit the smart object source and change its comp too.

Question: is there a way to automate this process — I'm currently using the File > Scripts > Layer comps to files... feature to export all the states of my document) — that is reflecting the change of the layer comp of the main document to all the smart objects.


2 Answers 2


A Smart Object is an embedded document, so any Layer Comps within it are accessible only when that document is open.

The best solution, from your description of the problem, would be to create a separate Smart Object for each layer comp. Using Layer comps to files from within the Smart Object and Placing each of these in the main image is probably the quickest way to get there, then associate each placed object with the appropriate Layer Comp in the parent.

For future projects where this kind of situation is going to obtain, create the first SO in the usual way, then create as many additional ones as you need using Layer > Smart Objects > New Smart Object via Copy to give yourself independent objects. (You can't just copy, because then all instances stay synchronized and a change to one would be replicated in all the others.)

[Added after clarification of the problem] Filters are a different issue entirely. The simplest approach to replicating filter settings (if it's just one filter) would be to create an action that drops down one layer, makes it visible, applies the last filter settings (as in Cmd-F/Ctrl-F) then hides it again. You would apply the filter to the top object in the set then run the action. Assign it to a keyboard shortcut.

If this scenario is one you run into frequently, you can script it to make it more flexible.

  • The main reason I made an SO in the first place was to be able to change the settings of the filters I applied on it only once. My SO is a stack of 5 images, and I didn't want to manually reapply the filter with the same settings on each five. Maybe have you a better way to achieve that?
    – gregseth
    Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 7:38
  • See the added notes. Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 6:14

I didn't want to manually reapply the filter with the same settings on each five

You don't have to. Just right-click on one and copy the layer style, then select all the layers you want to apply it to, right-click and paste layer style.

  • Yep, that's fine for layer styles, but it doesn't work for smart filters.
    – gregseth
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 18:59

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