Linked Smart Objects in Adobe Photoshop CC

Another great feature in the latest release of Adobe Photoshop CC is Linked Smart Objects. Linked Smart Objects enable you to place another file inside of a composition as a smart object. Any time that the linked file is saved, those changes are automatically propagated to the linked documents that you have open. (If they’re not open, you will be prompted the next time you open the file.)

For example, you can place a .ai Illustrator file inside of a PSD as a Linked Smart Object, and when you update the content in Illustrator, the content in Photoshop is automatically updated. Check out the video below for more detail.

Be sure to check out the Creative Cloud learning resources to learn more about Linked Smart Objects.

This is a FREE update for Creative Cloud members.  If you’re not already a Creative Cloud member, join today to get the most out of all of the tools that Adobe has to offer!

  • kerpow69

    This is actually NOT a great feature in Photoshop and here’s why. When you get a PSD from an outside source with everything linked and the user who created it doesn’t know they now have to package the file to include all of those links along with the PSD… This is a big problem. Especially since nobody is used to having to do this with PSD files. So Adobe’s killer “time saver” just became a huge bottleneck for a production workflow.

    • Andrew Trice

      This is a new workflow option that can save significant amounts of time. Calling linked smart objects a “huge bottleneck” is misleading and inaccurate. It does not slow down production workflows in any way. The original method of placing smart objects embedded still exists, and as you mentioned, you have the ability to package the PSD for sharing it (with the linked objects) if you choose to use the new linked smart objects capabilities. Adobe provides training and documentation to help users understand these new features (see ), and we have been visiting user groups around the world to help users understand how to use them properly. If your workflow does not lend itself to using linked smart objects, you have the option to not use them. With this feature Adobe is providing more options that can enable new use cases and workflow processes, for a variety of types users.

      • kerpow69

        Its not misleading. It IS a huge bottleneck when the users creating PSDs with links just send the PSD and not the links. That stops production in its tracks until we can get the files (because my designers need to work on them, not just output). This is happening. A lot.

        I get where the benefits are but for now this is a major pain point for us. Its great that Adobe and people like you have been trying to spread the word but most users don’t attend user groups and rarely even look in the help files. Sadly, they just see a new feature and use it without thinking too far ahead.

        • gantic

          Seems like the people you’re working with are the bottleneck then 😉

          This feature is awesome!

          • kerpow69

            To an extent yes, I know I would love it if all my creatives took the time to learn every new feature and know how to incorporate them into a workflow but, alas, that isn’t the world we live in. Time is the rare ingredient here. Oh well, this kind of stuff keeps me employed.