Hi, my Photoshop CS6 PSDs are getting flattened if opened by any previous versions of Photoshop, depsite not being saved just opened. When I open the original in CS6 again, all layers are merged. Where there were 12 layers, there is now one. This is causing loads of problems. Please advise.
You are storing something in your PSD files using Photoshop CS6 that's not compatible with the older version of Photoshop, and the older version is reverting to opening the flattened composite (such composite is stored in the file when you choose the Maximize Compatibility of PSD and PSB Files option in preferences).
If you want to use older versions of Photoshop on your PSD files created with the newer version and maintain all the features, of course you'll have to limit what you do using the newer version to features that are fully supported in the older version as well.
If you're unsure of what it is that's not compatibile with the older version, put up a screen grab of your Layers panel, or better yet post a small PSD file somewhere and I'm sure someone here will be able to look at it and make some suggestions.
The problem is that when I open the file again in CS6 all the layers have been lost, everything is now on one flattened layer, despite the fact that the file has not been saved by the earlier version of Photoshop.
If the file has not been saved by the user, are you seeing the file on disk being changed? I find it hard to believe that without Photoshop saving the file it's being changed somehow. I've never seen Photoshop write to a file without being commanded to do so.
Is this reproducible? If so, please provide a PSD file with which it can be reproduced. I'm sure the Adobe engineers would be incredibly interested in seeing it.
Reopening the original in CS6 we find all the layers merged, but with no background layer. Tried to replicate the issue, but not luck so far. 2 days worth of work had to be redone. The 'Modified' time stamp still shows the original saved time.
Did you happen to do a Save As another format prior to saving the PSD? There are certain operations (e.g., saving as a PDF if I recall correctly) that can unexpectedly flatten a document. You might not have noticed the flattening of the layers then saved the PSD.
I really don't think this has anything to do with opening the file in an older version of Photoshop.
Yes, thank you, Conroy. Now I think of it that was the true basis behind my post above. It wasn't that the Save As PDF operation had flattened the image, it was that it had turned off the option Conroy showed for subsequent operations.
You can reproduce it like this:
1. Open a layered document.
2. Save As - PDF, disable Preserve Editing Capabilities.
3. Save As - PSD, note that the above mentioned checkbox is now OFF.
This is a nasty gotcha, and while the little caution symbol is there it's not that noticeable. Maybe Adobe should draw the red border around it as we have done.
I have been loosing many PSD's because of this, I don't want to save my PDF's with Layers because it takes up to much space.
Is there any way to get back my lost work? The PSD files are still huge with only 1 image on the screen.
If you have saved no document with layers then no, there is no way to magic the layers back into existence.
Be vigilant of the "Layers" option and keep a layered PSD/PSB (or TIFF) master file of a layered work unless you are 100% certain that you'll never need the layers again. Disable "Maximize Compatibility" when saving PSD/PSB to reduce storage space.