Question: I’m working on a large project where I’m attempting to duplicate, or make copies of, a Smart Object I created previously. I need about five copies and I intend to edit each one so it’s different from all the rest. The problem I’m coming across is that after I make the copies and then try to edit those copies, each and every Smart Object is updated the exact same way. It’s like they’re all connected somehow. I am getting very frustrated. Making copies is easy in that all I do is use the Ctrl+J keyboard shortcut. I’d rather not have to open, or place, individual layers and then convert each layer to a Smart Object because I intend to perform this task in the future and the Smart Object I’ll be creating then will be much more complex than the ones I’m working with today.
So my question is, is there a way to make copies of Smart Objects in Photoshop that will be different from one another after I edit them? Can I make it so they’re not connected together? Thanks ahead of time.
Answer: You are on the right track, but if you want each duplicated Smart Object to have its own source image, you’re using the incorrect duplication process. With the way you’re doing it, each and every copy will be linked to the same source file. I don’t think that’s going to help you in your situation.
To create unique source files for your multiple (copied) Smart Objects, you’ll need to use any of the selection tools. Just click on one in the toolbar to activate it and then right-click on the canvas of your first and only Smart Object. When you do that, a menu will appear. Inside of that menu will be an option called New Smart Object via Copy. Click that and watch as a new and totally separate Smart Object is created in your Layers panel that has a totally separate source image or file. This should get you where you need to be.