Photoshop: I save a PSD file with layers, save as a PDF, reopen the PSD file, and all my Layers are gone.

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

Problem: I save a PSD file with layers. Next I Flatten Layers, change the Image Size and save as a PDF. I close the file. When I reopen the PSD file, all my Layers are gone.

Help
Jazzstronaut@yahoo.com
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Anthony Graziano

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Posted 7 years ago

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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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»and save as a PDF.«
I suspect you may have saved the pdf »As a Copy« and subsequently saved once more, thus overwriting the psd, or you may have opened the pdf instead of the psd.
Because the way you described it it seems highly unlikely to have happened.

Anyway, the flattening and resizing may not be strictly necessary as you could save the pdf without »Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities« checked and choose a lower Resolution under »Compression«.
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Anthony Graziano

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Hey thanks for the info. I'm going to start saving the PDF without Flattening and resizing. Also, I know this is sort of redundant but I think I'll resave the PSD file after the conversion to PDF... just to be on the safe side.
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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If you perform a Save As as pdf without »As a Copy« checked then the open document is the pdf, not the psd.
So take care not to mix those up!
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Anthony Graziano

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Well it happened again... I'm not crazy. I was very careful this time and sure enough I saved it as a PSD first. Next I flatten the layers and lower the size and saved as a PDF. when I was done with that I pushed Ctrl Alt Z twice to return to it's layers and the right size. Saved it as a PSD again. closed it..open it again and layers are gone. I'm so frustrated... there's got to be a glitch.
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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If you saved the psd why don’t you just save the pdf with »As a Copy« checked and use File > Revert to get back to the saved, layered psd?
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Jon Prue

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This is a glitch. I too am having the issue and contacted adobe support.  We screen shared and I opened a new doc, created 3-4 layers, saved it...CORRECTLY... then reopened and BOOM, they were all merged together into one layer. It's not a "Save as Copy" issue.
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Jon Prue

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I realize this post is 7 years old, but I'm having the issue now with Adobe CC and the new High Sierra update.
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Robert Steele

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I'm having the same problem suddenly in Photoshop CS5.1. I'm saving PSD with layers as PDF with layers; layers still visible in PDF; closing file; reopening file... no layers! It has nothing to do with checkboxes or any of the rest. I have been able to work around it by using Photoshop CC 2018.
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Danny Ngo

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Hey, I'm having the same issue, this is really frustrating. I save a lot of my files in PDF for clients and I can't do any edits with the layers merged. Using Adobe PS with High Sierra.
(Edited)
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Anthony Graziano

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Here's more proof that I'm not crazy. I flatten the layers and change the the size like down to 1200 pixels. Save as a PDF. When I go back to my PSD file the layers are gone, However the size is still at the original size NOT the 1200 pixels. Which means there's no way I was resaving it as a PSD with the PDF format. there's got to be a glitch.
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Richard Owens

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No glitch.

When you flatten the layers you are merging all the layers into ONE layer.

Rich
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Jeanne Rubbo, Employee

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Hi Anthony,

I've been looking into this issue with another user. If a layered file is opening as a flattened document, it's possible the layered PSD image became corrupted at some point and Photoshop is just loading the flattened composite.

I suggest running a disk scan to see if there are any weird hardware issues that might be causing this. Also, try resetting Photoshop's preferences, just to rule out a corrupted preferences file.

Could you send a copy of the PSD file (the one that became flattened) to jrubbo AT adobe DOT com?

Thanks!
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john cau

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i have been experiencing it to, and i took one extra step, i merged all visible saved as pdf then undid my merge added a new layer and saved it as a psd. when i open up the pdf it looks normal, but when i open the psd not only is it all merged to one layer, b the extra layer i added after i undid the merge is also part of the 1 layer.
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Chris Cox

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When you saved as PDF, did you save it flat (without layers)? Photoshop will remember the "no layers" choice you just made.

Then you saved as PSD again, and didn't turn layers back on?
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Anthony Graziano

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I figured out what I was doing wrong. I didn't pay attention to the SAVE OPTIONS info when saving it as PDF file. When saving to a PDF, make sure you select "save as a copy" under Save Options. Then save your PSD file with "Layers" under the SAVE OPTIONS info. It's sort of weird because I never really had to pay attention to that before but now its very important to always check the Save Options button.
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Anthony Graziano

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UPDATE: Ok I thought everything was worked out but just now, My office co-worker just tried a test. She has Photoshop CS6. She opened a PSD file that she had been working on and saved it with the name TEST, as a PDF with the save options "save as a copy" & "layers". Once she did that, her PSD file lost all its layers and didn't give her an option to undo or step back in the history or revert. She closed the file and reopen the original PSD, under the original name and all her layers were gone. This is not a fairytale, I watched the whole thing unfold. There’s definitely a glitch!
What I do now is simply, save my PSD file to Jpg files. Then open the Jpg files and convert to PDF. I’m not taking any more chances of losing my layers.
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Bertil Boisen

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I just experienced the same problem.

Saved as I always does when making a PDF file for my customer... BOOM! All layers in the PSD file is gone.

Filesize is exactly the same as it were before it flattened the PSD file...
- I'm thinking and crossing my fingers that my layers are still intact somewhere in the file?
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Chris Cox

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No, the layers in the PSD file are gone - because you didn't turn the "layers" checkbox on again after saving the PDF without layers.
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Bertil Boisen

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I didn't touch the "layers" checkbox when saving the PDF.
What I did was to go through that step and then uncheck the "keep editable options" or whatever it's called (My adobe CC is set to Danish, and I can't change it to english!?)
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Chris Cox

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Yes, you did by saving the PDF without layers (which are the "editable options" you mention). Then the save dialog remembers your choices, and you didn't change them when saving your PSD (which had to be a "save as" or "copy" because you were saving without layers).

And you can download whichever languages you wish with the CC subscription.
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Becca Cacioppo

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having the same issue – this was never a problem before I got Adobe CC.
I was working in a PSD file with multiple layers, saved my .PSD file then did a "save as" and saved a PDF with a separate file name - did not check any boxes or un-check any boxes and when I went to re-open my PSD file (that was saved BEFORE making the PDF) all layers are gone. I have been using PhotoShop and making PDFs for client-proofs, etc... for more than 10 years with no issue until Adobe CC. OP is not crazy or doing anything wrong. I just lost more than 6 hours of work.
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David J. Barber

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Very poor design feature - I've just lost 2 multi-layer documents after saving as PSD, then as PDF. The PSD files are now flat! Ridiculous that *any* .PSD master file can be overwritten without a *HUGE* warning! 
"Save as a copy" is not intuitive IMHO, as it's a different file format. User interfaces should default to preserve original master files at all costs and "Save as a copy" should be default on and a warning if it's turned off. 
(Edited)
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Charmie Drafke

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Me too. This is a waste of my time having to recreate the file. :(
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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Always check »As a Copy« when saving pdfs off of layered files. 
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Jon Prue

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Again, people are doing that (Saving as a copy) and it's still happening... Hence glitch. This is straight from Adobe Support.
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Jon Prue

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***FIX*** I was able able to fix it. In the save dialog box at the top box it says [ADOBE PDF PRESET] - [HIGH QUALITY PRINT - MODIFIED].... Change it to just [HIGH QUALITY PRINT] and it now works. I have no idea why it switched, but this fixed it.
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Gina Walker

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I guess this problem still exists?!? I've been saving PSD as PDFs on a project that has multiple files. Been doing this for the last few weeks when making multiple edits to the files. Then, BAM out of the blue, I lose my PSD layers on one file while saving as a PDF. And, yes, all the proper checkboxes were on. Then I created a test PSD file and observed all the options, and all was well. Saved a PDF and my layers were there, intact. There's definitely something. Maybe my one file corrupted? Maybe those who continue to have the problem may have a hardware issue along with it? At this point, I'm weary of saving a PSD as a PDF. Going to opt for a JPG going forward, then converting to PDF if need be.
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Hammad S

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Someone is sending me a pdf with layers. Another co-worker is able to open it with the layers there. I, however, can't open the pdf with the layers. I get one flattened image. ......?
(Edited)
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Gina Walker

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Wow. That's odd. I never considered this as a possible solution to my existing problem of a flattened PDF. I'll have a coworker open it and maybe they can save it back to a layered PSD or another PDF. Maybe that may resolve it?
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Jacob Perl

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I just lost over an hour of work thanks to this "feature". I even gave the PDF a different name when saving and it still overwrote my original PSD. It makes no sense that saving as PDF does not behave like all the other "save as" options, i.e. to create a NEW FILE rather than overwriting the current one. Adobe, please address this. (CC2017)
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Laura Montalvo

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It happened to me twice. Call me paranoid but now I create my source psd file, save a pdf copy for the client, but... straight away come back to my psd make a minimal modification, move a layer a tick, create an invisible dot and resave it..  I can't afford to loose precious time once again...
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Diana M. Esquivel

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Basically everyone who responds acts like a smartass but don't provide a useful answer and discredit the problem. It is easier to say you don't know or don't answer at all.
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Jon Prue

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Absolutely.
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Anthony Graziano

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Yeah it's a glitch. I now save all my PSD files as jpgs and then convert the jpgs into PDF.  

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