Eliminating Flattened PSD Syndrome: Accurately reflect updated workspace upon save of a "non-editable" PDF

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  • Updated 3 years ago

This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Photoshop: How did I get a flattened PSD after saving PDF?

Objective: Need to accurately reflect updated workspace upon save of a "non-editable" PDF.

For example:
We have two files.
Non-layered PDF: "file.pdf"
Layered PSD: "file.psd"

We "Save As" the open PSD document.

We save as a PDF instead of PSD

After pressing "save" The dialog options are displayed with "Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities" selected by default.

I do not want others to have access to editable content in Photoshop, so i disable this.

Upon saving, I return to the Photoshop Interface.

Notice that the file has changed from "file.psd" to "file.pdf". Currently this saved file cannot contain these layers because they have been disabled when it was saved. The layers currently show however as if this was being edited.

This is the cause of all problems. How can a file that is not able to be edited by photoshop show a workable file with layers in Photoshop?

My suggestion would be:
Upon save of a file that does not have "Photoshop Editable Capabilities", display the file as if it were opened after save. As in, display the flat PDF that the faile currently exists as and not as in its PSD editable state.

This has caused many people issues, and a quick search will show horror storys of people saving flattened versions of PSDs because of this problem. Here is why this is extremely important:

I am still in my PDF that displays layers (even though apparently the file I am in cannot contain "Photoshop editable" layers).

I make a change to a layer (since I still have layers to work on apparently).

Now I wish to save my changes to my original "file.psd" document. Since I am in "file.pdf" currently I use the "Save As" option.

I make the change from PDF to PSD as my file type. Notice that the warning mentioned at the bottom describes as requiring to be saved as a copy. The user at this point blows this off since they won't be saving it as a copy of the PDF. They will be saving it as the PSD.

Since I want to update the original file "file.psd", I remove the word and space " copy" from the filename.

Herein lies the problem...
Consider this: The file I am currently working in is a PDF without photoshop editing capabilities, however, it somehow still contains workable layers in the user interface.

Since that was present, I made changes and am about to save as a PSD. If saving as a PSD and I have layers present, naturally I am going to automatically think I will be saving with layers. the only indication otherwise is a tiny alert icon present next to a checkmark that says "Layers"

I, the user, never unchecked or checked the "Layers" check box in the "Save As" dialog box. I unchecked the "Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities", but never touched the option in "Save As". This is thought because the file I am in still has the layers from before since they were never flattened in the workable document.

Naturally this would mean, that it is in its default state and nothing should be concerned. Further, the warning talks about "Save as copy", which the user already blew off since they are saving over the old file in a different file type.

In addition, the Layers check box "!" indication here is extremely easy to not notice when saving back and forth between PDF and PSD files, and it is not clear what it means.

The only notice that is displayed when the user saves is the warning to override the PSD file, of which it is accepted.

When the user then saves, the file displayed is still "file.pdf" with layers.

Since the user saved over the PSD version with the updated changes, they close the file. The file then warns that the PDF does not conform to what is being displayed in the editor. The user selects "Do not save" because they have already saved the PSD and PDF files to the specifications that they wanted at the time. In the user's mind, the PDF is flat, and the PSD is layered.

After exiting the file (and possibly Photoshop), the user then returns to the PSD document, "file.psd", only to find that countless hours (possibly more) of work have been lost due to a simple check box that was changed without the user making the change, and a tiny yellow "!" mark that made no sense anyway.

All of this can be avoided by:

When the user saves a file into the PDF format and un-checks "Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities"... upon the save being completed, the PDF in the user interface editor should be displaying the PDF in the state it is currently in -- that state is a flattened PDF, NOT a fully editable document.

Not changing the editor to reflect this state change, causes major issues for people.
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Brian Pohuski

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  • sad this has caused so many issues for people

Posted 3 years ago

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