davidvb's profile

17 Messages

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660 Points

Thu, Apr 28, 2011 3:48 PM

Closed

Implemented

Photoshop: Externally Linked Smart Objects: Please consider a "References" tool to create links to layers or folder groups

I'm a UI designer and some of my PSD's become very complex over time which makes it extremely hard for our developers to find what they are looking for.
A search-tool in the layers palette would be helpful as well but what would be at least as welcome is a "reference" tool where i can add URLs (to Jira tickets for example) but more importantly add reference links to actual layer groups or layers. (After effects' way of linking layers would be perfect for that)

An example: if a developer is looking for a certain design they just need to click a link I provided for let's say "Login UI - final step - updated" and they simply go there in the layers panel by clicking a reference link.

This way others can use my complex ui psd's without problems.

Official Solution

Adobe Administrator

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16K Messages

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296.7K Points

11 y ago

Hi David,

Check out this Links Panel that let's you create Linked Smart Objects to external files.

Here's an article with tutorials from Viget Inspire: Linked Smart Objects in Photoshop

Adobe Administrator

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16K Messages

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296.7K Points

I know it's not perfect, but hopefully it's a worthwhile tool short of a built-in solution.

Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Digital Imaging

17 Messages

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660 Points

i will give it a try when i return from vacation! i see there are some stability issues on cs5 so ill mess around with it at home first.. :) Any chance of something like this ever making it into Photoshop by default?

Adobe Administrator

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16K Messages

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296.7K Points

Yup. It's a possibility. We have a lot of requests on our plate so we'll see.

I recommend using this panel with tabbed documents turned off.

Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Digital Imaging

17 Messages

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660 Points

I bet! A live search(filter) in the layers panel (like in the AFX plugin panel) would be easier i suppose. i would pay extra for just having that feature! haha

Champion

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1.1K Messages

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21.6K Points

DvB, you should make a separate suggestion for each idea. They will have more visibility than if they are buried in a different thread.

Official Solution

Employee

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156 Messages

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2.7K Points

8 y ago

Hi,

Please check out the new 14.2 update for Photoshop CC:
http://blogs.adobe.com/photoshopdotco...

Julieanne Kost gives a really nice walk thru of the Linked Smart Object feature here:
http://youtu.be/PVvhR5Yj_ag

regards,
steve

27 Messages

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542 Points

10 y ago

Ok, I don't know if this one is technically possible, but it worth a shot I guess...

To pass it on as good as possible I'll have to describe it on the example.

Let's say we have the image of the product - the image itself is huge, has a lot of layers. We have to create some labels on top of the product image - let's say a few versions.

Now, it would be great if we could work on that labels on separate files, but having a preview of the product (as a 'preview' layer?).
Instead of having all the layers of the product image in each of the label image file we could have just one layer (flatten product image).

So the file would weight less, Photoshops performance would be better... and if we have to change anything in the product image it would reflect in all of the label files.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop: Preview or Reference Layers (Linked Smart Objects).

6 Messages

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142 Points

10 y ago

I'd love to see changes to Smart Objects propagate across different files where the same smart object is used. If you're working on designs for high-resolution tablets it's not really feasible to store all screen designs in one document, which means you can't use Smart Objects for common interface elements.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop: Smart Objects propagating across multiple files.

17 Messages

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660 Points

Exactly! This is one of the biggest things structurally wrong with photoshop's file handling in a "new" media world. This and the neglect of web design specific UI sollutions..

Adobe Administrator

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16K Messages

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296.7K Points

10 y ago

Dear Adobe Gripe #13919:

"Please allow a Photoshop file to link to several psd components, making components within your psd easily updatable, much like Indesign. Componatize man!!!"

Adobe Administrator

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158 Messages

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14.3K Points

10 y ago

Dear Adobe Gripes #12402 & #4540

"Please give smart objects the power they deserve by linking them to real files, and then auto-updating the files with the smart objects."

"Please make 'Place' in Photoshop work like in InDesign. Updates to external file = Updates in Photoshop."

14 Messages

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222 Points

10 y ago

I'm also a UI designer, and I've been frustrated by the same. So I've been working to build on and improve beyond the links panel plugin mentioned above. Take a look and let me know what you think -- I'm interested in adding more features to it to support UI designers like you and me.
You can get it at: http://CanLinkIt.com

17 Messages

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660 Points

owww that is sweet! Will try it soon!

14 Messages

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222 Points

Thanks, David! Please let me know what you think after you try it.

17 Messages

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660 Points

I'm very impressed! Even more so after disabling the extension and seeing that the created reference layers are still functioning! Very nice work sir!

Are there any serious issues I should be aware of (like crashing PS for example) or is this ready to use in production?

Is it already CS6 compatible? :)

17 Messages

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660 Points

i've tweeted about it here: https://twitter.com/#!/davidvb/status... Didn't find your twitter handle though.

17 Messages

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660 Points

Actually it just crashed on me just now when I pressed "Update All." My test file had just 1 reference layer containing a PNG that I had color inverted.

Adobe Administrator

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16K Messages

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296.7K Points

10 y ago

Hi Aaron, thanks for sharing. FYI - Looks like you YouTube video isn't showing. You probably need to use the legacy embed code option from YouTube for it to work on this site.

14 Messages

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222 Points

Thanks for the tip! I fixed it.

4 Messages

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112 Points

10 y ago

I am a design professional using Photoshop and other Adobe products on a regular, daily basis. I'd like to suggest a feature/modification that would greatly improve usability for professionals creating deep/rich PSDs for large-scale projects:

While it is currently possible to embed PSDs into each other - once embedded, there is no live connection between the original and the nested copy. You are essentially creating a parallel file. Changes made to the nested or the original PSD do no affect each other. This can be problematic when versioning (and accidentally pulling out-dated assets).

Why can't the nested PSD be a portal to the true original? Changing the nested version saves your work in both files (treating them as one). If you want to access only the original file (perhaps its smaller/lighter for quick revisions than opening a heavy master document) you can do that easily without worrying about re-importing/replacing the nested version.

EX: I'm working on a website that contains a rotating banner. The banners are becoming more and more rich/complex. Makes sense for exporting to create the banners in their own PSD. I'd like to place the banners PSD into the website comp so that my client can see a screenshot of the whole at any given time. Now that its nested, I essentially have two parallel files. I'll edit work daily and will quickly lose track of what file I made the change on. WHAT IF THEY WERE THE SAME FILE!?

Does this feature/modification resonate with any other serious Photoshop users? I wonder if this concept has been addressed and if there is a legitimate reason for why we don't have it as a feature.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Nested PSDs for large-scale design projects.

14 Messages

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222 Points

Hi Alex,
Did you take a look at the CanLinkIt plugin yet? The video and link are in the comment right above this. I think it does what you're describing. If it doesn't, can you describe the feature you're looking for that would improve CanLinkIt? I might be able to implement it.

- Aaron

4 Messages

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112 Points

Thanks Aaron,

I just checked it out and I don't seem to be getting the desired results. When I try to New Link to a PSD, nothing happens. I'm able to link other files (jpgs, pngs) but not existing multilayered PSDs. That is really what I'm trying to accomplish.

Am I experiencing an error? Or is CanLinkIt meant to handle only non-PSD file types?

14 Messages

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222 Points

Hi Alex,
Yes, it sounds like there's a problem. It's probably a bug in CanLinkIt.

I'm uploading a new version that will have some fixes very soon -- I'll post when it's up and it would be great if you could try it out (and if it doesn't work, I'll post how to send me the logfile that will let me fix the problem).

14 Messages

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222 Points

Hi Alex,
I've uploaded a new version that fixes some problems that were on macs. You can download it at http://CanLinkIt.com.

If it still doesn't work, I'd be happy to look into and try to fix it, I would just need you to send me some more information. The info I need, including steps on to find and send me your log file, is posted here:
http://www.canlinkit.com/contact/su

4 Messages

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112 Points

Hey Aaron,

Thanks for the support. Link to PSD is functioning now!

I'm having a new issue though. PSD's brought into my file come in scaled up about 1/3 (ex: my 100px X 100px file comes in to the master file and shows its at 100% but its at 133px and pixilates). I'm able to scale down to about 75% and work with it but I'm pretty sure that's not how you want it to function.

I'm on PS CS5.1 on Mac running Lion OS. If you need me to screencap anything or more info let me know.

Thanks again.

17 Messages

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660 Points

10 y ago

A related issues that i had hoped would be addressed in CS6 but hasn't in the beta is inline editing of smart objects...

Currently it's pretty tedious to adjust an element, let's say the color of a button inside a smart object, so that it matches it's background better. Because it opens in a different window without the actual background its positioned on.

My wish is that it would behave like any layer group (after double clicking), (or like code folding if you wish, for you coders out there) so that you can actually see what you are doing without having to saving and undo a 100 times in this trial & error process.

15.1K Messages

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195.8K Points

Smart objects generally cannot be edited "inline". They have different document sizes, depths, color modes, and can be vector files that Photoshop can't even edit. Only rarely would it be even remotely possible to edit "inline" (and then you'd lose most of the benefits of having smart objects)

11 Messages

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238 Points

10 y ago

This relates specifically to web design and projects with multiple pages. Is it possible to create a way to easily link common elements across several PSDs (e.g. having a global navigation PSD that, when edited, would automatically update across all the comps within your project?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop: Linking files and common elements.

1 Message

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62 Points

10 y ago

I would love to see global smart objects that can be used across multiple files. For example when designing a website I can have 1 global smart object file called header embedded into all the files and then only need to change it once to update all the psd's.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Global smart objects.

2 Messages

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72 Points

10 y ago

Hello,
Like everyone else, I'm interested in such a feature. One good idea could be to use Bridge or mini bridge to do that.
Great job, keep going.

Thanks

14 Messages

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222 Points

Hi Xavier,
Did you see the link above for the plugin at http://CanLinkIt.com ? I think it may do what you're looking for.

2 Messages

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72 Points

Hi Aaron,

Yes, in fact I had already installed it on my CS6 beta, before to post there. And it truely does the job most of the time. But there are still some issues, UI diffrencies, problems in links stability.

14 Messages

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222 Points

Hi Xavier,
I'm curious -- what kinds of problems are you running into? If you're finding bugs or problems, you can post about them here or at http://www.canlinkit.com/contact/su

5 Messages

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156 Points

10 y ago

It would very useful to have an option to save Smart Objects as external documents and have them linked to Photoshop documents instead of always being embedded into them.

It could work similar to InDesign's links and the main advantage would be to be able to reuse the same Smart Object in several Photoshop documents.

Let's imagine a scenario when an unapproved logo is used on several designs (separate PSD documents) to show how it works, and it has been resized and edited with layer styles differently in every case. When the client asks for changes on the logo, the designer has to replace all instances of the same logo in each document. It would be much easier to be able to save the logo as an External Smart Object, or Linked Smart Object and use that in all the designs so when that external file is edited, upon opening the Photoshop documents it will automatically update to its latest state.

The disadvantage of this is that it will lead to missing links once the linked Smart Objects are not available or renamed. It could be handled the same way again as in InDesign. The user should be able to reembed the Smart Object or update it, replace it and so forth.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Shared Smart Objects between Photoshop documents.

2 Messages

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74 Points

10 y ago

What if smart layers could point to other actual Photoshop Documents.
You could have shared design-elements between different documents. For us working with web and app design, this would be a killer feature, especially if you could share those Smart Layer documents in a team.

Edit: Just realized, there is a similar topic here: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Smart Layers with external files..