Photoshop: Can someone please explain to me the purpose of cloud library files and how to turn it "off"? They are useless and frustrating.

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 4 days ago
  • (Edited)
I hate the new "feature" where Adobe auto adds every single freaking image or icon, etc to the cloud library.

It is terrible for so many reasons:

1. EDITING DOES NOT UPDATE THE LINKED FILES. This is my single biggest complaint with Cloud library files. If I import a vector file into a PSD and then double click on it to edit the file in Illustrator, it pops up fine. But then once I make my edit and click save, go back to Photoshop and the file doesn't update! This makes the whole concept completely pointless. I have to reimport the stupid file every single time or just convert it to a regular trusty smart object and then edit it (voila! It works fine then). Maybe this is just a bug on my system idk... I can't imagine this is how its supposed to work.

2. PSD files are no longer self-contained and trying to edit someone else's PSD who isn't part of your Adobe organization is now impossible as it says the cloud files are missing.

3. Even though I turn off cloud syncing after the above headaches to try to get rid of this stupid thing.... every time I import a file it still makes it a cloud library file (even though its not syncing) and pulls up the stupid cloud library panel in Photoshop which then minimized my FAR more important Layers panel. wtf?? This is the opposite of cohesion and seamless integration.

4. I feel like it has increased import times of vectors and such (which were already absurdly long -- I've currently been waiting about 5 minutes to import a tiny Adobe AI file into Adobe Photoshop. Why does this happen?? You're made by the same company. Vectors are far worse than raster images.

How do I turn this stupid thing off? It is so annoying.
Photo of Patrick Mauldin

Patrick Mauldin

  • 30 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
  • frustrated

Posted 2 weeks ago

  • 1
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 1169 Posts
  • 315 Reply Likes
> I hate the new "feature" where Adobe auto adds every single freaking image or icon, etc to the cloud library.>

I'm not sure why you're having this happen. When you select New Library from Document for the first time, or do anything to invoke that dialog, at the bottom you can uncheck Move Smart Objects to Library and replace with links. You can check Do Not Show Again. And finally, you can click Cancel and you shouldn't have Adobe do anything automatically with your libraries again. It's a preference, of course, so if you delete all your preferences for any reason, it will come back again the first time around. After that, if you invoke the New Library from Document, a smaller version will show up (minus all the colorful Creative Cloud illustrations), but after it creates the library, it shouldn't automatically switch to the Libraries panel OR add anything to a library.

> 2. PSD files are no longer self-contained and trying to edit someone else's PSD who isn't part of your Adobe organization is now impossible as it says the cloud files are missing.>
Yup. That's on them to learn the difference between linked and embedded, and if they give you a file with links, they should also package it with those links. This is InDesign 101. It's just now inside Photoshop. You need to educate your clients/collaborators, I'm afraid.
As for auto-updating—I'm not seeing what you're seeing. On my Mac with High Sierra, if I edit a placed AI object in AI and save, the document is updated. The Library item won't be updated if I'm editing an Embedded object. Just the object. If I placed linked from the library, then both the document and the library object is updated.
I'm also not noticing any delay between AI  and PS when working with a library item that I embedded or linked. So to understand what's going on there, you'll need to post more information about your system, what version and OS you're running, as well as what version of PS you're using.

I'm sorry you're having so much trouble with libraries, but you can indeed turn them off if you click the right checkbox as I said above—I agree they didn't make it as easy to spot and know how to turn Libraries off. It won't help at all, of course, with files you receive with missing links. Those of us who have used InDesign (and earlier) layout software, are used to this sort of thing, but it takes time for others to catch on. It sounds to me like you can probably just never add anything to a library and work with Smart Objects the same way you used to most of the time, at least once you get Libraries to stop adding files from your document.<G>
Oh, you have to watch out for Swatches, too. When you create a new swatch and mean to add it to Swatches, notice the Add to my current library at the bottom, and make sure it's not checked. And the New Style dialog. . . IOW, keep an eye out for it offering to add anything it can add to the Library. A convenience for many, and you only have to make sure one time while your Preferences are intact, as it remembers what you checked and doesn't automatically enable the feature every time you open the dialog to save something.
It might be a good idea if just once you followed the link in one of those dialogs that said Learn more about Libraries so the feature doesn't feel like a weed taking over the place.  '-}
Photo of Patrick Mauldin

Patrick Mauldin

  • 30 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
1. I think part of my problem is that due to a number of bugs with Adobe Photoshop and AE, I've had to reinstall / delete all preferences a number of times. This in turn makes it feel like every time I paste a vector file from Illustrator that it keeps trying to pull into my library, which I'd prefer to just do away with completely. I've turned off auto-adding to library for now so hopefully that should keep it at bay for a while.

2. I understand Indesign and I know how it functions with links as opposed to embedded files. I would argue that the use cases of Indesign & Photoshop warrant that difference. Photoshop tending to be used mostly for more single document single artboard type work and Indesign tending to be used for long multi-paged documents. So I feel it is far less necessary in Photoshop than ID. ID also keeps its file sizes super small. Yet, when I paste a number of cloud files into a PSD file it still increases the size by a fair amount. It just doesn't seem to be near as effective. A lot of times the files I'm getting from other people are via the client. I don't have access directly to the original designer to let him know that he forgot to embed his cloud files... its just frustrating.

3. When I add files from the Cloud library into a document, then edit and save. It updates correctly. The problem I was having before was when I would paste an file directly into the document as a smart object and it would get auto-added to the library. When I would edit that one and save, it wouldn't update.

4. AI Smart object embedding in Photoshop has always been 50/50 for me (taking a logo file ai for instance and dragging it into Photoshop). Sometimes its immediate and sometimes it literally will take several minutes for Photoshop to finish processing the import. Can be very frustrating and I'm not sure if there is a pattern as to what causes it.
Similarly but slightly different.... just last night, I would paste a vector shape (not import the whole file like above) into Photoshop and it would appear immediately, but then the progress bar would pop up for adding to the cloud or something.....  Now that I turned off all of that, the cloud issue seems to have gone away but the importing thing I'm not so sure.