How to Use Smart Objects in Photoshop

How to Use Smart Objects in Photoshop

August 19, 2019 100 By Peter Engel


Hey, everyone! Howard Pinsky here with a short
tip on why you should be using Smart Objects, whenever you get the chance. Here’s a free template that I released a few
days ago on IceflowStudios.com, which is perfect for designers looking to showcase their business
cards on their portfolio, and if I select the layer that contains the image of my business
card, you can see, in the Layers panel, that it’s been converted into a Smart Object. Now before I get into why this is so important,
let me first show you how frustrating this edit can be if you don’t use a Smart Object. Over in this document, I have the back of
my business card. To make the transport easier, I’m going to merge all the layers with Command
or Control Shift and E, or Merge Visible under the Layer menu. Once the layers have been merged, I can drag
it over to my template document. Now comes the fun part! This layer needs to be transformed
to fit the slanted business card. Entering Free Transform Mode with Command or Control
T, I can now hold down just Command or Control to edit the perspective of this layer. Each
corner can be dragged to match the perspective of the business card. Now, while this certainly did what we wanted,
editing the card at a later point would require you to repeat that whole process. What a pain!
Let’s now look at the smarter way, using Smart Objects. Hmm, that joke sounded better in
my head. Anyways, as I said earlier, the business card
layer is a Smart Object, and just like any Smart Object, a simple double-click on the
thumbnail’s layer will bring up the containing document. Now, any changes you want to make
to the business card’s design, can be made right here. You can either create your design
right in this document, or bring in a design you’ve already created. So let me hop back over to the back design,
but this time, instead of merging all the layers, and losing all that data, you can
simply drag the layers of this document over to the Smart Object’s document. Then once
you save the Smart Object, with Command or Control S, the template updates with your
new design. And the best part of this, is it’s completely
editable! At any point, you can double-click on the Smart Object, and edit away. Your changes
will appear on the cards once you save. And that’s how you can use Smart Objects to
quickly and easily update designs like this, which again, you can download for free on
IceflowStudios.com.