I've cut and pasted vector art from Illustrator to PhotoShop and chose "smart object" when I pasted it.

Is there a way to convert the smart object to a shape layer now so I can edit the very simple art directly in PhotoShop?

4 Answers 4


You cannot convert a Smart Object to a Shape Layer.

The best option is to double-click the Smart Object, which should open it up in Illustrator, then copy it. Jump back to Photoshop and paste it, choosing Shape Layer when the options pop up. Then delete the Smart Object if desired.

  • How does one paste it as a shape layer? Is it possible if it's a vector? Nov 26, 2014 at 21:31

Alternative: If you right click the smart object layer, it will give you the option to export as a PDF. This PDF will then open in Illustrator as vector art.

  • Hi Ira, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Oct 20, 2015 at 15:00

Now you can do it with better updates of the Photoshop CC (2017), but in order to convert from layers to shapes, you need to use just one color for the vector you're trying to export from illustrator, then copy and paste as a Shape Layer in Photoshop, otherwise it will not allow you to convert the vector into Shape layer.

As you can see in the image I just upload. There is the option to convert to shape layer from Illustrator to Photoshop, I'm using one of the last versions of Photoshop CC 2017. Hope this help a lot of people. God bless you all.

enter image description here

  • You can't convert the object after you paste it as Smart Object unless it's a single color shape or simple objects.
    – Luciano
    Nov 23, 2017 at 10:03

If you right click the smart object layer, you will see the option Export Contents... . It will open Save As Dialogue with default file name:

Vector Smart Object.ai

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