In web design we often have a number of elements in a design that are the same across multiple pages and designs. Typically this might be the website navigation menu and some side bar elements. In this question I am terming these objects.

I want to have a set of common objects that I use in multiple PSDs. When one of the objects is updated then this change should automatically be reflected across all of the PSDs that reference it.

These objects are likely to just be a few PSDs sitting in a folder that are pulled into the overall page design PSDs.

How can I do this with Photoshop? Perhaps there is a better or complimentary tool out there that deals with this problem. Any suggestions welcome.


1 Answer 1


Sadly this can't be achieved within photoshop, i had the same problem and tried it with smart objects, but with no luck. Any Smart Object is embedded into the psd, its no longer a reference.

See my question for the topic: Working with .psb in a psd

  • Yeah I had similar experience to you with Smart Objects before - not really sure what the point of them is to be honest if they cannot support this central objects stuff.
    – Treffynnon
    Dec 1, 2011 at 11:43
  • AFAICT, it works decently in Illustrator, but not in PS. I actually thought they did cascade their changes in PS, but I was wrong.
    – horatio
    Dec 1, 2011 at 14:51
  • Yea, the CS products just look the same, but there are different teams on each software, sadly ...
    – ueberkim
    Dec 8, 2011 at 9:26

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