how to add one smart object in multiple files in photoshop?

I know I can do multiple iterations of the same Smart Object within the SAME document and have it change all instances, but what about Smart Objects placed across DIFFERENT documents? That would be awesome.

I ask because I’m designing an iPhone app and it uses the same modules over and over across different screens. There are dozens of screens and each time I needs to change a button or text field in a module, I need to fix it one at a time in each file. Sucks!


Once you make a Smart object you can do this:

  1. Right click it and choose Export contents ( This will prompt you to save the smart object as separate .psb file. )
  2. Now, If you duplicate (Ctrl+J) that smart object around inside the document and decide now is the time to make changes to it. Instead of right clicking and going to edit contents, you do this:

  3. Open up the external .psb file. ( Make the changes and save… )

  4. Go back to the work document where you have the smart objects, right click one of the smart objects and choose Replace contents then find the .psb file and replace away. ( This will replace the current smart object contents with the external .psb file to all of the duplicated smart objects in the document. )

Now, if you want to use that .psb file in other documents you can use the top menu File > Place and open up the psb file and press enter.

Once that is done, you may continue with list item 2.

And in list item 1. it doesn’t matter if you already have duplicated the smart object in the document, export the contents from one of those, and then just jump over list item 2.

Big handicap that this feature has is that your smart objects in the work document(s) wont update automatically when you edit and save the external .psb file because they can’t be linked.

So each time you edit the external .psb file, you need to replace the smart object contents in your work document(s) to see the changes.

Source : Link , Question Author : Mansiha Gupta , Answer Author : Joonas

Leave a Comment