Photoshop: Trying to delete pixels results in can't remove an item results in warning "The smart object is not directly editable"

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I'm on a mac and this is my first time using Ps...ever.  I'm trying to remove headphones on my daughters picture using either the lasso tool or the tool under it, and I'm able to select it correctly, but once I try to delete (using delete button or the fill button which doesn't highlight) it says the smart object is not directly editable.  Suggestions and thank you.
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Julie Jones

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Posted 2 years ago

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Creative Catalyst

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It's because it's a smart object. In order to fill a smart object, you have to first rasterize it. Right click on the layer in the layers panel and choose "Rasterize Layer".
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Julie Jones

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Thank you! I'm sure I'll have plenty more questions in the future.
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Creative Catalyst

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You're welcome. Glad to help in any way I can.
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Cristen Gillespie

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Let me just add that the Smart Object layer protects the image inside it from being altered (which is a big reason it won't let you either delete or fill pixels on that layer). You can work non-destructively, saving that unaltered image, by first duplicating the layer (Cmd-J) and then rasterizing the top layer as Creative Catalyst has pointed out. If, after performing your edits on the top layer you don't like the result, you can get back to where you were by simply deleting the edited layer and duplicating once more in order to try again.

I know that's a little extra work and makes a larger file, but it's a good idea to preserve as much as you can while you make edits so you can get back to a good point when things go awry, and they will often enough. Working on duplicates like this can spare you having to start from scratch with all your edits, or worse, finding out you saved over your original and now have no way back. If your original is a raw file, of course you can't overwrite it, but if you made edits in Camera Raw, you might not want to have to duplicate all that.

Smart Objects are extremely valuable, but also, as you just discovered, somewhat complex and don't behave like normal image layers. Since you're just starting, take it slow trying to learn all this and don't let yourself stress out too much, but just keep in mind that there are workflows which will make your life easier as you become more aware of the options you have. Good luck, and have fun with it.
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Julie Jones

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Thank you for your reply and I will save this for future work, as I am completely overwhelmed with your verbiage :)  I'm designing a Christmas card for my Dad to send out with his grandchildren on it, and my oldest has autism and likes to wear headphones to block out noise. I think I'm good for this project and will be able try and not stress about learning this software.  Again, thank you for reaching out.  Blessings!