Photoshop: Option to save layers in PSD is turned off, if you disabled layers saving to PDF.

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  • Updated 1 year ago
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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?

You loose all layers when doing the following:
- save a multilayer PSD file as Photoshop PDF without the option Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities
- you still see all layers
- save the file as Photoshop PSD
- close the file and open the just saved PSD file -> only one layer exists even though all layers were visible at the time the file was saved!!!!

When saving the PSD, you have to check the [ ] Layers box in the Save As dialog. It's apparently being cleared when the file is being saved as a PDF.

--> The box should not be cleared.
also see the following discussion:
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Amadea Erhard

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Posted 9 years ago

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Brett N, Official Rep

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When you save the file as a PDF, your working file (PSD) takes on certain properties of that file format. Since you've disabled the "Photoshop Editing Capabilities", you've told your working document that you are no longer interested in keeping those layers. So when you go to save as PSD, that attribute is carried over into the Save dialog box.

You can do one of two things about this. Either choose to re-enable the Layers option when saving as PSD, as you describe above. Or you can choose to save the PDF "As a Copy". When you save "As a Copy", the attributes you give to the PDF will not be applied to the working file (PSD) because they are considered separate files.

This is also the reason you do not see similar behavior if you save first as JPEG then as PSD. JPEGs don't support layers, but that attribute doesn't carry across to the PSD because when you save as JPEG it automatically enabled the "As a Copy" option (in fact, you cannot disable it).
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Amadea Erhard

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I saved the file as a PDF without "PS Editing Capabilities" in order to get a small PDF file. I was unaware that this also changed the attributes of my working document and since I always have layers option turned on I didn't pay attention when I saved the working document as a PSD file again. In fact I did some changes to the layers and saved it as PSD and then all the layers were gone. Unfortunately I overwrote my old PSD file.

You're right, I should save the PDF as a copy. This is far better than what I did. Well, this won't happen to me again. At least I learned something.

Thanks for your explanation, it helped.
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Jo Ann Way

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled PSD to PDF Bugs....

So i have a PSD file ive been saving as i work on it then
When I save a file as PDF in Photoshop CC it saves the PDF fine
But it changes my working PSD file to a PDF in Photoshop on the screen
then i try to close the file and it tells me its not saved in the right format to keep the layer information so i resave my file as a PSD only it does not acknowledge the layers anymore in the file and the new PSD save is now one flat layer
this has happened to me now a few times and i dont know how to resave my file to keep all the layer information after it has been saved as a PDF

its very frusterating as ive lost all info now on a couple of files and had to recreate them

of course im smart now an i dont bother to resave after, but if i save a PSD im working on as a Jpg it does not change my PSd file in photoshop to a Jpg all of a sudden and same with many of the other save options

why does it change the entire file to a PDF if i save it as one??


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J Polander

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Saving PSD should not allow Layers off at all, or at least not so easily.

There have been posts about this before, but it still is not good. There is the exclamation mark if you have [ ] Layers but that's definitely not enough. And there are still situations where it defaults to [ ] Layers and then you can accidentally press Save unknowingly (having saved PSD as PDF and then saving again and changing to PSD and it likely defaults to [ ] Layers). So it is still too easy to catastrophically save a PSD with layers off by accident.

If you are saving a PSD file and you seleced [ ] Layers and press Save, I suggest that it would ask "You have chosen to save a flattened Photoshop .psd file. Would you like to keep a backup with Layers on?" Then, in case you're just quickly clicking Yes, Yes (as typical), you would at least have a backup of your PSD with layers.
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David Willson

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For me, the problem was how I was opening the file from Lightroom.  I was opening the copy of the  PSD  and not the original file. The copy did not have the layers but the original did. 
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Jerry Boomer Wang

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I have the exact same problem; because the way Photoshop handles saving .pdfs is completely different from how it handles saving other files (jpegs, pngs, etc.), and as others mention, there's a scary lack of communication from the program when I'm about to accidentally flatten my working file, this has happened to me more than once, and I think it has less to do with a lack of user understanding, and more with this interface/process of saving .pdfs needing some small(?) but significant improvements. The way the program currently handles this is just not good (lost time/money).
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tracey miller

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I wish Adobe would change this.  So many of us have lost so much work due to this flawed designed function.  I have lost entire Photoshop documents merely by selecting 'Save As' to save a pdf, which is how it's done with every other program that most people work with.  Photoshop is the only program that functions this way and it is entirely backwards!  I keep thinking that they will fix this and they never do.
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Elias Kamaratos

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This is such a terrible feature of Photoshop!  Of course you disable layers when you want to save as a PDF because it reduces the size so you can send it to the client for review easier.  WHY DOES PHOTOSHOP CHANGE THE PSD FILE AS WELL???    So there is no way now for me to recover hours of work and I have to start from scratch?  C'mon Adobe fix this!
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DIma Sintez

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Completely disappointed...Photoshop.
-1 day in my Life
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Gil Umine

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That's just a freeking, stupid behaviour. Why would I ever want that to happen?
OFC when exporting PDF I just want one layer.. but ofc PSD need all  WTF Photoshop go home your drunk

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