photoshop: what do »don’t apply layer comp« and »last document state« for smart object’s layer comp settings reference?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 1 year ago
When passing on Smart Object-heavy files to costumers I try to flatten the content of the Smart Objects as much as possible and if Layer Comps are involved it can necessitate maintaining those in the Smart Object. 
But in trying to automate the determination of whether the Layer Comps have to be maintained or can be disregarded I have come upon something something that seems odd to me. 

Setting Smart Objects’ Layer Comp setting to »Don’t Apply Layer Comp« and »Last Document State« can result in different appearance. 

• So which state of the Smart Object does »Don’t Apply Layer Comp« refer to exactly? 
• Or rather why does »Last Document State« not necessarily represent the appearance of the opened Smart Object? 

I can naturally provide the file for testing. 

Adobe Photoshop Version: 2017.1.1 20170425.r.252 2017/04/25:23:00:00 CL 1113967  x64
Operating System: Mac OS 10.12.5

Thanks in advance on any explanations! 
Regards, 
Pfaffenbichler 
Photo of christoph pfaffenbichler

christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

  • 1208 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes

Posted 1 year ago

  • 1
Photo of Max Johnson

Max Johnson, Champion

  • 432 Posts
  • 198 Reply Likes
The short answer is that the "last document state" is literally a layer comp, but as a recovery snapshot of the document in case you accidentally applied a comp and messed up all your layer states.

So you can make some changes that may or may not trigger that comp to update itself, and save a file with the "last document state" a couple steps behind what is on-screen.

I would recommend only ever using the "don't apply layer comps" option if you want the actual current saved state.
Photo of christoph pfaffenbichler

christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

  • 1208 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes
Thanks you for the information. 

Frankly that seems less than ideal and quite the opportunity for messing up in automating tasks. 
Photo of Max Johnson

Max Johnson, Champion

  • 432 Posts
  • 198 Reply Likes
I would agree, but I'd also bet good money that someone would have complained if they'd left out the "last document state" option. :)