Photoshop: Accidentally saved a flat PSD after saving PDF

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1. Save a layered document as a pdf WITHOUT LAYERS (common for print)
2. Save the same document as psd, and "layers" are unchecked by default.

This has resulted twice in me losing hours of work by accidentally saving a flattened PSD.

Anytime a PSD is saved it should [by default] include the layers; no matter what I chose to do the last time I saved.

How often would you purposely save a flattened PSD? Never, so why would it EVER be a default?
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jim hunt

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  • confused

Posted 6 years ago

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Chris Cox

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It isn't a default - it is something you set, and Photoshop remembers.

And yes, flat PSDs are useful sometimes, just as flat PDFs, JPEGs and TIFFs are useful..
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jim hunt

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Yes, that is what I mean by "default"—that Photoshop remembers.

Think of huge layered psd becoming completely flattened with no way to recover the layers. It's a disaster. There should at least be a warning dialogue box that says "are you sure you want to save this psd without layers?"
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Chris Cox

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That doesn't work too well, since you are already telling Photoshop to save the file without layers (via explicitly turning off the layers checkbox).

But I'd think we should flag the document as unsaved so that when you go to close it you get warned that not everything was saved.
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jim hunt

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"via explicitly turning off the layers checkbox"... There are 2 places this can be done.

NOTE: I don't turn off the layers until I am in the "pdf specific" saving preferences, so photoshop should remember that, and not make the unchecked layers box a "global" saving preference.
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jim hunt

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Image 1: Layers checkbox on initial screen.



Image 2: "Do not preserve editing capabilities" ("PDF specific - the one I uncheck)



Somehow this PDF specific option gets remembered by photoshop as a global saving preference. Do you see what I mean?
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Chris Cox

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Yes, I can see how you would get that confused.
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jim hunt

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Thanks for your time Chris...I hope this can make it onto a revision list.
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Gracjan Donarski

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Just did the same thing. Perhaps he's not the only one who "would get that confused". Perhaps you need to rethink how your software handles that kind of situation. Unbelievable.
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Andy Twomey

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A way around this is to work from a cloud drive, like google drive. Even if you, say, flattened your PSD to temporarily do something and forgot to step back in the history before saving, all your earlier saves are backed up with time codes and can be restored or downloaded directly.
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Dan Hartcher

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I was working on a file over 2 days, i never closed it during the time but i kept saving it. i saved 10 views as separate pdf's and then saved the whole working file as a psd. It wasnt until today when i finished and closed it did i find out that it didnt save any layers. There goes 2 days of work.. Thanks, youd think something so crucial would be made more obvious. This will happen to absolutely every person the first time they save as a pdf and then save as a psd file. Heart breaking stuff

Funny 5 years later and still the same issue that could be so easily fixed..
(Edited)
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Basant Awasthi

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how to fix?
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April Wheeler

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!!!

This just happened to me, and I was being so careful! I even dragged the original file down into windowed mode and created a duplicate before flattening it to save as a PDF. I then closed that one without saving, and before I shut down my computer I specifically saved the original as a PSD to make sure the layers would be in-tact when I got back!!!

I am so unbelievably angry right now. 

I get to work today, and my boss is asking me what happened to the PSD, it's flat and he had wanted to extract assets from it for an animated version to put on the ad screens.

I'm frantic now, because I don't have TIME to re-create this #*@& ad - I have another deadline! I came in on my day off to work on this, damn it, something so catastrophic should NOT be so easy that it can happen by accident!!
(Edited)
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Paul Zubrinich

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Just happened to me too. I saved a PDF without "Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities". Then when I saved as a PSD I could see that all the layers were there. No warning. Then of course when I re-open, the layers have been flattened. Ridiculous that it works like that. Hours of work lost because of terrible UI design.
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Jason Bensen

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Just happened to me too. It's such an easy mistake to make I can't BELIEVE Adobe wouldn't make a recovery option. Anyone have a solution to recovering the old save file back when it had layers? (One that doesn't involve restoring my system to a month ago nor freemium software that doesn't work?)
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Elzie B Hickerson

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Maddening! Happened to me too. I suppose saving multiple versions as you work might help - especially before creating a PDF, but how long does that setting remain in effect? When you open another file and save it will it flatten the next file? 

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Vilhelm Skjærpe

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Adobe team: This is a serious "bug" in the Photoshop UX! You need to address this. Like many others, I just lost 3 days of work. I do not not blame Adobe for my negligence to observe messages on the screen, but this is NOT good UX.