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How to Identify Linked vs Non-Linked Embedded Smart Objects


thebestcpu

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Feeling kind of dumb that I don't know this or forgot how to do it.
Sometimes I turn an existing Pixel Layer into a Smart Object for use with Smart Filters. Also, I have situations where I want to make a copy of that Smart Object and have it adjustable independently (know how to do this). Other times I want a copy of the first Smart Object where the copy is linked to the First Smart Object so if I make changes in one, they are duplicated in the other copy automatically.

What I don't know how to do is easily identify what type of copied Smart Object I have. I do not see a difference in the properties panel. I would prefer not to have to make a bogus change in one to see if the changes occur in the copy as an identification process. I thought the filters would help yet no luck with that. The Smart Object in the Layer Panels seem to be indistinguishable.

The picture below shows an example Layer panel with two linked Smart Objects and one that is not linked. The two linked Smart Objects I added a bogus Curves adjustment Layer to show which one was linked to each other. The darker thumbnail is the unlinked Smart Object whose thumbnail shows with no adjustments. The Thumbnail icons have not signs of looking any different from each other.

So what am I missing or have forgotten how to easily identify which SO

Thanks in advance
John Wheeler

SO-with-and-without-linking.jpg
 

IamSam

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What I don't know how to do is easily identify what type of copied Smart Object I have. I do not see a difference in the properties panel.
It may be your version of Ps, but the different SO's are displayed in the properties panel.....
Linked
Screen Shot 2020-08-26 at 11.46.22 PM copy.png

Embedded
Screen Shot 2020-08-26 at 11.46.11 PM.png

It also appears as icons in the layers panel.
Top layer is embedded and the bottom linked.
Screen Shot 2020-08-26 at 11.52.09 PM.png
 

IamSam

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Also.............I'm thinking that you may not be "linking smart objects". Linking means the SO is linked to a parent image/file that is updated when the SO is edited. If you look at the linked SO properties image I posted above, you will see that it also shows a path to the parent file. Being linked, the SO can then be copy and pasted and then paced in multiple documents. In any of the documents, if the linked SO is edited, it will save the changes in the parent image/file as well as all the other documents it was used in.

An embedded SO only updates itslef or copies of itself used throughout the document. This is called syncing a smart object. You can not tell when smart objects are synced.........they all look the same.

I find the easiest way to discern synced SO's is by naming the layers with an appropriate name to remind me.
 

IamSam

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Sorry, I did not see you online and I keep editing my post!!!
 

thebestcpu

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Thanks IamSam
Its possible that it is the version I am using (Photoshop 2019 aka 20.0.5) yet I am not so sure.
I am not using SOs as linked to an external file.
If you could try this on your version it would be much appreciated.

Create a pixel Layer and convert it into a Smart Object. It is an embedded Smart Object not linked to anything yet.
From this lowest Layer, duplicate it with Cmd+J (Cntl+J on a PC). This creates a Smart Object in the second Layer that is linked to the first Layer, yet they are both still embedded (no external link). Label this layer appropriately to keep track
With the bottom Layer selected, right click on that Layer in the Layer Panel and choose New Smart Object via Copy. This will create an new unlinked Smart Object.

To show one is linked and the other is not, open of the lowest Layer Smart Object (the original) which creates a PSB document. Make a change to this PSB file e.g. a curves adjustment Layer. Save the PSB and close it out.

You should see that the lowest and top Layers (the linked ones) will both show a change since they are effectively the same Smart Object yet the middle one does not as it was a separately created Smart Object (though from the original SO)

Now with those three, go look at the property panels, icons details, etc, etc, and let me know if you see any differences. I don't in my version of PS and these are all embedded SOs with no link to an external file.

I am puzzled about how to differentiate them other than my own special labeling or Layer coloring
 
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IamSam

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This creates a Smart Object in the second Layer that is linked to the first Layer,
Yes, I follow this. However these two SO's are just copies and not linked, they are synced. They are not distinguishable in the properties panel.

With the bottom Layer selected, right click on that Layer in the Layer Panel and choose New Smart Object via Copy. This will create an new unlinked Smart Object.
Yes. The SO is not unlinked, it's just not synced to any other SO.
 

IamSam

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Now with those three, go look at the property panels, icons details, etc, etc, and let me know if you see any differences. I don't in my version of PS and these are all embedded SOs with no link to an external file.
Yes. These are either synced or not synced and they will all appear as embedded smart objects.
 

IamSam

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Sorry..............I forgot to add. You have to link a SO by opening it as a linked SO.

Go to > FILE > PLACE LINKED
 

thebestcpu

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Hi IamSam
Copy and paste right from Adobe's helpx file on linked and not linked Embedded Smart Objects:

Screen Shot 2020-08-26 at 11.19.58 PM.png

So Adobe is calling them linked and "isn't linked" to the original SO.
When these are created, they all look the same so how do I tell them apart?
 

thebestcpu

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Independent of the semantics, synced or not synced, linked or not linked they look identical initially and was just trying to find a way to differentiate them to see which ones are connected together (or not)
 

thebestcpu

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Unfortunate that Adobe is using "linked" so many different ways: SOs to external files, SOs within the Layer Stack, and regular pixel Layers to each other (those can be linked too)
 

thebestcpu

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All of the other cases can be found with the Layer Panel filters yet I cannot find one for the two different types of Embedded SOs
 

IamSam

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Yes...............I have read what you have posted........but look at the title.........Duplicate an embedded smart object.

It's the poor use of the term linked. I know this is frustrating because I went through the same thing!! Embedded SO and linked SO are completely different. There are not really two different types of embedded smart objects............only synced or not.
 

thebestcpu

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OK, lets call them synced or not synced Embedded SOs. There are two types of SOs in question here. Ones that are created that are actually multiple instances of the same SO that automatically sync with each other if you make a change to any one of them in the various Layers. There is a second type of SO that was created to be a separate SO (it takes up more memory too) and even though created from the original SO, will not update or sync since it is a totally separate SO and will never automatically sync to the original SO. Two flavors of SOs that from the Layers panel and Property Panel all look the same.

How do I tell which ones are instances of each other that will automatically sync vs the separate SO that will not automatically sync?
 

IamSam

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Unfortunate that Adobe is using "linked" so many different ways: SOs to external files, SOs within the Layer Stack,
I agree. Poor use of the term.

All of the other cases can be found with the Layer Panel filters yet I cannot find one for the two different types of Embedded SOs
Yes. The embedded SO's are all the same.
 

IamSam

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How do I tell which ones are instances of each other that will automatically sync vs the separate SO that will not automatically sync?
I know you may not think I'm following you but I can 100% guarantee that I am.

What you are describing is still only an embedded smart object. There is not a difference between the two other than one is synced and the other is not.
 

IamSam

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It's kind of like all pixel layers are the same even if they have different content.
 

thebestcpu

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There is a parallel there and let me give you an example.

Lets say I create Layers 1 thru 5 all identical pixel layers. I link layers 1,3, and 5 together. If I have no Layer selected, they look identical in all respects, yet if I click on one of the linked Layers, a link symbol shows up in all Layers that are linked together.

I can also use a Layers Panel filter to filter linked and non-linked Layers. PS helps provide some tips on which Layers have this common attribute.

I have not found any visual tips, clues, filters to separate out the SOs that automatically update together and those that were created not to be updated automatically.

So back to the same question. Are there any visual tips, clues, icons, or filters to help separate those that out or am I on my own with either manual labeling or manual Layer coloring scheme? I have not found nay so was wondering if anyone else knew if they existed. Such helpful information seems to be there for many other attributes, yet not for this particular SO attrirbute
 

IamSam

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So back to the same question. Are there any visual tips, clues, icons, or filters to help separate those that out or am I on my own with either manual labeling or manual Layer coloring scheme? I have not found nay so was wondering if anyone else knew if they existed. Such helpful information seems to be there for many other attributes, yet not for this particular SO attrirbute
None that I have found...........not saying there might be a way, but I have not come across it.

This is what has worked for me.
Here I have 4 embedded smart objects.

Original 1, Original 1 copy, and Original 1 copy 2 are all synced.
Original 2 is not synced.
Screen Shot 2020-08-27 at 12.56.37 AM.png
 

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