Ive got a 12.5mb photo. Ive imported it into Photoshop as a smart object then placed 2 adjustment layers on top of it : brightness / contrast + Vibrance.

When i go to save the photoshop file the resulting file is 117mb.

Seeing as the adjustment layers are just non destructive 'settings' and the image itself is only referenced why is my file so large. My thought is that it might be caching a compiled version of the smart object + adjustment layers = final image that weighs 117mb, but this is only a hunch that its doing this.

How can i get this file to come out smaller ?

  • Is the original file the same resolution (in pixels) as the psd one? And, yes, a jpg file can be very efficient when compressing the file.
    – Rafael
    Oct 25, 2015 at 17:22
  • @Rafael yeah they are both 5000 x 3800 px
    – sam
    Oct 25, 2015 at 17:31
  • That does seem like a huge difference, but psd is not the same thing as jpg, It obviously has to save way more data.
    – Joonas
    Oct 25, 2015 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


JPEG file size will change when opened in Photoshop. When you open the JPEG file in Photoshop, look at the lower left corner. It will display some information, if the document size is not displayed click on the arrow to choose that. You will see that the Photoshop document size being probably close to 70 MB. The layer being converted to a smart object and then a couple of adjustment layers will result in the final file size you see. There is nothing unusual there. If the file has to be smaller in size you have two options

  1. Flatten the image
  2. Down-size it

Here is the screen capture of the lower left corner showing the document size after I opened an 11MB JPEG file.

enter image description here

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