Photoshop: Using an artboardconcept because they don't know how to use the concept of a good old library on a psd level

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Jaap Nauta

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Posted 2 years ago

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Cristen Gillespie

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I think you have to be more descriptive of what a "good old library on a psd level" can do. InDesign has had a good old library, as I understand libraries, from day 1, but it's a multipage application at its core.

The artboard concept is adapted from Illustrator. It allows for a multipage document in an app that doesn't really support multiple pages, and the pages can be all different sizes. Yes, it aids in reusing elements on the different artboards, which a library can also do, but it organizes a project into one file, which is more than any library can do, and that has enormous benefits not only to keeping a project and its assets together, but also in productivity.

It also makes it easier to visualize a complex project. Try storyboarding or building mockups by opening and tiling multiple document windows, compared to using artboards. Further, you can add commands as Illustrator has for duplicating objects across boards automatically, even to placing them in the same location (or use Live Effects to do that), creating instances rather than full objects, making the final size of the project considerably smaller if you do share elements, while  ensuring that links don't get broken,  and you can have a variety of options for exporting and printing that is far more difficult to do with individual documents.

Artboards in Illustrator are quite versatile, and I expect Photoshop to further develop the feature here. You can still work with just one artboard and multiple libraries in Illustrator, and in Photoshop, you don't even need to use an artboard at all. You can work with a single document and its various libraries of assets. The Creative Cloud library is gradually becoming more useful, able to handle more elements, and to keep them available for different projects.

Would just having a library, even a much better library, be as versatile?
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Max Johnson, Champion

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This sounds like another "Photoshop should do everything all the other Creative Suite programs do natively" rant rather than a well thought out bug or feature request...

If you would like to simulate a library, you could make a group or artboard called "Library" and put a copy of any smart-objects you make into it with their visibility turned off. Then only edit smart objects through those layer instances. Not a perfect solution, but it shouldn't bloat your PSD too much.
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Jaap Nauta

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Now it is not a problem anymore. Thank you so much!
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Jaap Nauta

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I understand the artboard and I also understand that it is a versatile tool. The point is that artboards in visual editing applications shouldn't be necessary when the app and interface was build in a object oriented manner.
Because users are asking for it Adobes software becomes a collection of tools without any coherence. That makes it difficult to work in it for those that have understanding of the software itself. 
The workspace of visual editing application like photoshop should be an artboard itself. The fact that elements/layers/paths/whatever used in a file can only be used if a unique copy is made is very strange in this millenium.  Adobe has no idea what they are doing at all with this huge collection of tools doing the same or slightly different things in all kind of different ways. Artboard is another proof to me for this blind strategy of Adobe.
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Max Johnson, Champion

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Ah, that makes sense now, yes. I think what you are suggesting are dynamic-views or a kind of multi-crop preview that is a duplicated image of the main artboard, but at a different crop/resolution/layercomp. And displayed like artboards are now: all together in the document window.
Does that sound more like what you need? Cause that would be AMAZING.
(Edited)
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Jaap Nauta

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Yes Yes that is exactly what I mean! But than without using using a computer!