I was wondering how do you create or save an image properly so that I'd be able to open it on Photoshop and resize the image without being pixelated.

I have been downloading free icons online and I always choose to download the PSD file. When I open the PSD file, it will a square shaped icon on the bottom right:

Icon files downloaded online

Our graphic artist (still a student and is currently an OJT) creates images using Adobe Illustrator, but when he saves the file as PSD and I open it using another computer, it won't have the square icon, so when I try resize the image (small to large) it will be blurred/pixelated, unlike when there's the square icon on the layer (apologies as we don't know what it's called that is why we don't know where else to post and ask this, as we are not an expert on this field).


If it is "smart objects" the icon is different:

Smart Object

  • Have you asked your graphic artist? He should know and he can check the images ... Welcome to GD.SE!
    – Mensch
    Feb 23, 2015 at 12:40
  • Thanks @Kurt :) He doesn't know yet as he's still a student. He kept on trying but it only works for him if he opens the file on his PS. When I try it, the small icon doesn't show. So when I try to resize it and make it larger, it pixelates.
    – Mizuki
    Mar 5, 2015 at 3:31

2 Answers 2


The square icons represent Vector Layers or Shape Layers in Photoshop.

They are drawn with vector tools in Photoshop or created in Illustrator then copied and pasted into Photoshop as Shape Layers.

enter image description here


What you're looking for is called a Smart Object. Basically making something into a "smart object" makes it into a symbol that can be resized as needed without distortion (unless you you do something greater in size then the original).

This may not answer all your questions, but it'll set you on the right path.

This may help out as well: http://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-smart-objects-in-photoshop--cms-20268

The illustrator to PS problem sounds like a linking issue.

  • the icon for smart object is different though, but thanks for the info. We'll read the article.
    – Mizuki
    Feb 23, 2015 at 7:16

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