Photoshop: Smart Object file being flattened

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  • Updated 3 months ago
  • (Edited)
Hi there! I am writing about a problem which has happened on a number of occasions for me with Smart Objects.

Sometimes, when I am working on a large file with lots of details - I create a smart object from a group that I would like to isolate and work on separately from the main file.

On a number of occasions, upon returning to the main file after saving and closing everything, I have found that the Smart Object has been flattened by Photoshop (no Smart Object link) - and I have lost all the layers and settings within that particular group/section.

Can anybody help or give me any advice about this?
I'm not sure why it happens and how to prevent it from happening in the future.
Any help would be much appreciated - thanks in advance!
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Marianna Orsho

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Posted 3 months ago

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Jaroslav Bereza

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Maybe you used the shortcut without knowing it? Like Ctrl + E ?
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David Bleja

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Not sure what this could be. But in case it helps, you can look for the folder where PS saves smart objects. To see what the folder is, create a new smart object, enter the new smart object, then hit "Save As". This will show you where the smart objects are located. (make sure you have "Save As To Original Folder" checked in Preferences>file handling.

On my WindowsPC machine, they are saved here: C:\Users\dbleja\AppData\Local\Temp

It's possible that next time this happens, you may be able to find the smart object file (.PSB) in there, even if it has disappeared from your project
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Marianna Orsho

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Thank you so much David! I will definitely check this folder!
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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A bit of a mystery unless you have consistent steps to reproduce. I haven't seen other reports of this. Next time this happens, open the History panel in Photoshop. That might give you some clues.
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Marianna Orsho

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Thanks Jeffrey - I will pay closer attention to my steps in the future to see what might be the cause. I don't think it would help to open the History panel because I usually only detect this problem once I've reopened the file. When I save it (before closing) everything seems fine.