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Linked Smart Objects

Jan 19, 2011 9:58 AM

Smart objects need the ability to link their content to external psd's (separate from the current photoshop document). Placed objects in Illustrator can be maintained externaly (or embeded), why not in Photoshop? This would allow a single psd (for instance a website header or footer) to be placed into multple Photoshop Documents. If the placed psd is updated, naturally all documents containing that psd would be updated to reflect the changes. This is a feature im sure any designer who has worked on a large UI project (web sites, web apps) would drool over.


Fireworks offers something called pages... this is not what im refering to. Pages would be an interesting feature in photoshop, but all im hoping for, is that someday Photoshop will handle placed objects more like Illustrator.


ps: Photoshop rocks

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    Jan 20, 2011 6:17 PM   in reply to PeaceFingers
    If the placed psd is updated, naturally all documents containing that psd would be updated to reflect the changes.

    How do you propose that works?

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    Jan 21, 2011 11:37 AM   in reply to PeaceFingers

    OK, its a fair request. And its one I'm sure they are very carefully looking at. It does have problems based on the same fundamental limitation that stops the much requested Auto-save feature being implemented.



    Photoshop files can be enormous. Indesgn and Illustrator are vector based apps. When you link to an external file in these apps, any time reading off the disk is a lot more minimal than it would be in Photoshop.



    To explain one of the the problems, take this scenario: You have a Photoshop file with 20 linked Smart Object documents. You, or someone who's wife you had an entertaining night with last night, then chooses to upsample the linked documents by 500%. You then try and open the master document. What happens? Your carefully worked Photoshop file is now more or less unopenable. Just freezes, while it goes through the automatic process of trying to read in twenty 4 Gig files. The solution is to have an Update all documents command of some sort of course. But the external linking behaviour that Illustrator shows cannot be directly copied satisfactorily . 

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    Jan 22, 2011 12:14 AM   in reply to PeaceFingers



    As a near term solution, have a look here:



    There's a CS4 and a CS5 version, plus it looks like Mike Hale has provided the Flex project for further customization if you're so inclined.


    This doesn't preclude investigations to make your feature request more robust and included as part of a shipping Ps version.




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    Jan 22, 2011 8:09 AM   in reply to SG...

    SG, great link. Something I wasn't aware of.


    Mike Hale's Links Panel works, with a few minor glitches. He updated it with an "Update All" button if you look later in the thread.


    The advantage with this over "Replace Contents", which I assume the OP is aware of by the way, is that it records the path to the external file, and also allows opening of the linked file from within the panel.

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