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Disable Smart Objects in Photoshop



The official Adobe Photoshop logo on a dark background.

Depending on how you use Adobe Photoshop, Smart Objects can be one of your favorite features or a source of constant annoying dialog boxes. If you are in the last camp, here’s how to prevent Photoshop from placing everything as a smart object.

What are Smart Objects in Photoshop?

But first, let̵

7;s see what you are losing.

Smart objects do a few different things, but their biggest advantage is that they keep the original data from the embedded image or vector file. They are one of the ways you can work non-destructively with Photoshop.

comparison image showing the difference between a smart object with a new size and a rasterized layer with a new size

For example, in the composition above, the image on the left is the original image, the image in the center is a smart object that has been reduced in size to 10% and then enlarged again, while the very blurry mess on the right is the image. rasterized layer reduced to 10% and then enlarged again. As you can see, the Smart Object kept the original image during the transformation, while the rasterized layer lost a lot of data.

This means that when you create a composite image, you can move, resize, crop, filter, use adjustment layers and otherwise mess around with how things look without fear of making some changes that can’t be undone. On the other hand, if you’re working with rasterized layers, the only way to try something new is to undo everything you’ve already done and start all over.

On the downside, the bonus of a rasterized layer is that you can edit them directly without getting annoying dialog boxes.

preview image with annoying grid dialog for smart objects

How to Stop Photoshop from Making Smart Objects All the Time

Whenever you add an image or vector to a Photoshop document, it will be embedded as a smart object by default.

To change that behavior so that they are enclosed as rasterized layers, go to Edit> Preferences General on a PC or Photoshop> Preferences> General. on a Mac.

Uncheck ‘Always create smart objects when placing’ and click ‘OK’.

preferences dialog that disables smart objects that are embedded by default

How to convert a layer to a smart object

Of course, even if you add a rasterized layer to a Photoshop document, you can convert it to a smart object if you want to perform nondestructive editing. Right click on the layer and select ‘Convert to Smart Object’.

converting a regular layer to a smart object




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