Photoshop: Hot switching linked smart objects, within a Smart Object

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  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
Being able to switch or replace a linked smart objects - within a smart object would make for an incredibly powerful user interface tool.

So for example, if I am designing a friends list layout, I could have one smart object, with an instance of a profile image and a variable for the text.

Example 1 (top example) - I suppose I could have different layer comps for each of the user picture inside a smart object that would allow me to visually display a multitude of profile pictures, but making layer comps is currently a little time consuming since there is no layers > layer comp option. I would have to manually change the visibility until I get the layer I need, give it a name, rinse and repeat. Affter doing so, I would have to change the layer options to display these, which feels like double handling.

Example 2 (top example) - If I were able to have the user picture as a smart object with a dynamic linked image inside of it, I would be able to repurpose it infinitely! If I were working on a huge grid of similar objects, (which i'm sure you will agree is is quite a common scenario in interface design) instead of a smart object bloated with hundreds of images inside it, I could have one dynamic, lightweight and reusable tool!!

In addition to the aforementioned text variable, one tiny smart object could dynamically power hundreds of mockups across entire whole projects. The ability to change elements such as this and have it reflected across an entire project would be invaluable.

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Daniel Haans Guusman

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  • EXCITED!!

Posted 4 years ago

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Chris Cox

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You already can swap out smart object files: Replace Content.
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Daniel Haans Guusman

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Oh wow, thats pretty cool! I did not know that was there. Layer > Smart Objects > Replace Content for anyone looking.

It would be really helpful to have an interface for this as mentioned though?

Also it behaves a little irrationally, replacing content with something of the same size occasionally causes it to shrink or enlarge the new content? It would be great if it had an option to try and normalise the size based on the existing content. If they were the same size, place them at the same size. If the new one was larger, try and fit it proportionally to the existing etc.

The dialogue also defaults to the documents folder, rather than remembering your last chosen on OSX..
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Daniel Haans Guusman

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Hi Chris, any further thoughts on improving the interface and behaviour of replacing smart objects?