I'm working on a screen layout that has a bunch of linked images. They are all copies of an original that I was using FPO until I had final images. Now that I have the right image, if I choose "Relink to File…" for one of the images, it replaces all of the images.

It seems like the only solution is to import a new image, resize it, and clip it to match the image already in place. Is there no way to break the link between the placed image copies so that I can relink them one at a time?

3 Answers 3


I usually get around this by making the linked image layer into a smart object, then right clicking that layer and selecting "new smart object via copy". If you replace the new instance, it won't affect your other linked objects. Does that help?


There is a manual workaround to solve your problem, without having to re-place, re-positioning and resize your images, that is ,"break the link", as you described.

The essential part of this workaround is to duplicate the Linked Smart Object (LSO) you want to replace to a new document and relink it to the desired file from there, then copy it back to the original document with same position/scale/rotation.

Detailed steps are:

  1. Duplicate the LSO to a new document, using Layer\Duplicate Layer\Document: New.
  2. In the newly opened document, select the duplicated LSO and relink it to the new file, using Layer\Smart Objects\Relink to File.
  3. Duplicate the relinked LSO back to original document, again using Layer\Duplicate Layer\Document: New, or shift + drag-drop the layer to the original document.
  4. Delete the original LSO in the original document.

If you can find a way to make these steps into a script, or record them into an action (and bind it with a hotkey), it will vastly increase the efficiency of this workaround.


I actually found a script wrote by GitHub user joonaspaakko, doing exactly the same workaround. It will be useful if you want to run the operation in bulk: Duplicate and separate linked smart objects.jsx


I don't know if you've hit the arrow to the left of your links, to see every instance you've placed like the image below. Each yellow number shows the page number the image was used on, and the number in brackets tells how many times it's been used in the document.
enter image description here

in which case you can then hit the fly-out menu (or right-click) for each one and relink separately.

enter image description here

However, I usually take the lazy route and drag and drop from finder into each of my image boxes to replace images. Then resize/recrop afterwards.

  • where to find this links panel? I do not see it under "Window"
    – CrazyQwert
    Jun 5, 2017 at 11:05
  • @CrazyQwert I think these screenshots might actually be from InDesign rather than Photoshop...
    – BANG
    Jun 24, 2017 at 4:03
  • @BANG yes, you are right. I did overlook that
    – CrazyQwert
    Jun 24, 2017 at 6:42

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