In my .psd file I have many layers, and within those layers are many Smart Objects. These Smart Objects also have their own set of layers that I would like exported as well when I choose the Export layers to files script, but alas they do not. Anyone have any solutions for this problem?


Addendum for clarification (hopefully!):

I'm creating game level mockups in Photoshop which include some fully rasterized layers (for background elements and such), as well as Smart Objects which link to other Photoshop documents that contain animations that have been converted from frames to layers (these are for later use as animated game sprites). From my main game level mockup document, I would like to be able to export every layer in that file, as well as all layers in every linked file at the same time. Ideally if the 'Export Layers to Files' script had an option to include layers in linked Smart Objects I would be a very happy man. Hope this makes a bit more sense!

  • Are you trying to export Smart objects as they are or the layers inside Smart object ?
    – Joonas
    Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 9:37
  • The Smart Objects already export as they are just fine, but what I would like is the layers inside of them exported as well.
    – xianman
    Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 18:10
  • just rasterize them..
    – Jack
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 6:47
  • @Jack Exporting Smart objects to files does exactly the same thing as to first rasterizing smart object and then exporting the layers
    – Joonas
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 7:42
  • xianman My answer stands firm. There is no way to export the layers into files from inside Smart object unless you go to the Edit mode of smart object and there export them to layers.
    – Joonas
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 7:48

2 Answers 2


Because Smart Object's are much like normal layers in the document.. ( ...much like.. ) It gets exported as one layer discarding all the layers inside Smart Object.

Probably the first solution one might think to try, would be to "Ungroup" or "Unlink" Smart Object. On that note we stumble to one big big "booohoo" *sniff* side of Smart Object's. You can't do such a thing.

Unless theres a plugin or something that I dont know about, you can't Ungroup a Smar Object.

Unless you manually go to Edit mode and Duplicate the layers inside Smart Object into the work document. Then you could export the layers.

You could also make Action that makes it easier for you to save every separate Smart Object as layers in the Smart Object edit mode.

Theres one good thing I had in my mind.

  1. Double click open all smart objects. Double click the thumbnail ( doesnt really take that long unless you have millions of them. You might want to use Ctrl+TAB to get back to work document after double clicking )
  2. Close the work document.
  3. Make action where you just save layers as files as you normally would and close current document Ctrl+W and stop the action recording.
  4. Then you can basically play this function for all opened smart objects by pressing play on the action or by pressing hotkeys until you are out of documents to do this in.

If you happen to have separate .psb files opening those in a bulk would be much faster than opening smart objects separately from within the work document..

  • I tried the Action route once with this problem, but quickly got frustrated... maybe I'll try it again!
    – xianman
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 7:59
  • @xianman Theres one good thing I had in my mind. Double click open all smart objects. Close the work document. Make action where you just save layers as files as you normally would. Close current document Ctrl+W. stop the action. Then you can basically play this function for all opened smart objects separately. I'm putting this on my answer to make it easier to read.
    – Joonas
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 8:09
  • That sounds like a good plan... thanks for all your help!
    – xianman
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 18:08

This is what i understood..

You can rasterize the smart object layer and then can export them with all common layers possibly this will work.

And you can edit/ungroup smart object layer as well just right click and select edit contents

enter image description here

by this a new document will pop up asking you to save in the same folder as .psb, read that message carefully, after getting this window you can edit those layers which you already have in your smart object layer...when you'll save this document you can see the effects in your original document.

For a better understanding please see this link....

hope this is clear and useful

  • Edit Contents does not equal ungrouping smart object, it just shows the content from the separate .psb file that is included in your work document. It's not ungrouping, it's much like opening a Group ( folder ) thats all.
    – Joonas
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 7:54
  • you can delete or hide unwanted layers and can perform your task..
    – Jack
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 10:53
  • True, but the term ungroup is so wrong as you just show something that is by default hidden rather than take it apart.
    – Joonas
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 11:55

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