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Linking Smart Objects in Photoshop Using These 4 Easy Tricks

by Mehera Bonner
featured, photo & video, Photoshop Basics

Photoshop Week 2017 is almost upon us, and it’s time to buckle down with your computer and learn some new tricks of the trade. We’re bringing some exciting Photoshop courses to you this year (head over here for a full list of what to expect), but let’s get a jump-start with a quick tutorial in Linked Smart Objects. This Photoshop CC feature is part of a huge update and is especially handy for photographers who want to change a smart object in one document, and then have it automatically change in their original Bridge document as well.

Linking smart objects in Photoshop

Check out this easy step-by-step guide to familiarize yourself with Photoshop’s latest and greatest feature.

Step 1: Open up an image in Photoshop, head over to the File menu and scroll down to Place Linked. You’ll be able to select the image (or logo) you want to appear on top of your original image, do a quick resize, and then start editing.

Step 2: Once you’ve sized your image, hit enter and you’ll have yourself an embedded Linked Object. (Note: you’ll know it’s a Linked Object because you’ll see the Linked Object icon in your Layers Panel.) If you want to edit this Linked Object, you can double-click on the thumbnail in the Layers Panel, or click “Edit Content.”

Step 3: Once you click “Edit Content,” Photoshop will open up your image in its own window and you can go to town. Simply make your changes, save the file, and close it. Not only will the changes be automatically be updated in the master document, if you return to Bridge, you’ll notice that your original image has also been updated.

Step 4: In order to get a Linked (not Embedded) Smart Object from Bridge, you can drag the Smart Object to the image you want to place it in. Every time you update and edit the Linked Smart Object, the original will automatically update in bridge! Just keep in mind that Photoshop won’t manually update any previous files you had made using a different version of your Linked Image, it will only update the master Linked Image itself. However, if you want previous files to be updated with the new version of your Linked image, you can click the warning dialogue and manually update. You can also right click and choose “update modified content.”


RSVP to our 5th annual Photoshop Week event – broadcasting LIVE on May 15th to the 20th, 2017. Featuring over 42 classes from 16 world-class instructors, spread out over 6 days a- there’s going to be something for everybody. Check out the lineup and be sure RSVP to save your spot for exclusive content and reminders – click HERE for more


To learn more about Linking Smart Objects, including some helpful troubleshooting, check out the tutorial from Adobe Principal Evangelist Julieanne Kost below!

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Mehera Bonner

Mehera Bonner is a freelance lifestyle and entertainment writer. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and two children.