FOLLOW UP on SO (Smart Object) QUESTION:
1) SO Linked to Creative Cloud Library Object
2) SO Linked to Local File Object
3) SO Embedded in Layer Stack
SOs created by #1 and #2 have their own unique SO symbol in the Layer Thumbnail. You can create duplicate Layers of these SOs and those new Layers will also be linked back to the original files. Updates to the linked files will be reflected in the duplicate SO Layers.
SOs created by #3 can be done by a variety of methods two of which are:
- File > Place Embedded
- Select a Layer or multiple Layers and use the Layers > Convert to Smart Object
Layer copies of SOs created by approach #3 can be done two different ways and have different characteristics
3a) Copies made by Layer > Duplicate Layer creates a new instance of the first Layer. If changes are made to either of those SOs in their own Layer, then all changes will show up in all instances of that SO
3b) A new independent copy of the SO can be created vis Layer > Smart Objects > New Smart Object via Copy. In this case, instead of another instance of the same SO, this command creates a new and separate SO. If this new SO is opened and modified, the changes only affect that new SO and the original SO remains unchanged.
Turns out that SOs created by either #3a or #3b methods both have thumbnail symbols that are identical. So my original question was how do I tell them apart.
The initial conclusion was to modify the Layer Labels as they are created to keep them straight. A good practice yet only works if one keeps on top of that practice.
I did find another way to tell them apart though indirect. If one double clicks on the SO, it opens up in its own PS document. The file opened is a PSB file.
All SOs that are a copy of the same instance (method 3A) will have the same PSB file name!
All SO, that are a new separate copy (method 3B) will have a different file number (an incremented number appended).
Not sure how useful that is yet glad there is a way to differentiate without depending on manual labeling or modifying a SO and see which ones changed together.