Can I Include Layer Groups in Smart Objects in Photoshop?


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This is the second part of my two part question. The first part had to do with adjustment layers being included in Smart Objects and this one has to do with layer groups being included in Smart Objects. I should actually be saying "converted" to a Smart Object, but I see these things as repositories, so I'll say "included in."

Anyway, As I progress and explore new avenues of what Adobe Photoshop is capable of, I'm noticing that the number of layers in the Layers panel is getting rather high. I've grouped some related layers together, which is working wonders. I recently read that once a layer or a group of layers is converted to a Smart Object, it's possible to apply a filter to everything inside of it. Is this true? First, can I convert a group of layers to a Smart Object and second, can I apply a filter to the entire Smart Object group of layers? That would be awesome if I could. Thanks!


Hi Kody,

This is a good question. I'll fist answer this one and then I'll hop over to your other one to answer that separately. You're going to be very happy when you hear that yes, you can convert groups of layers to Smart Objects. I think you can pretty much convert anything in the Layers panel overall to a Smart Object. Also, when I say "groups," I mean two or more individual layers that have been selected as well as multiple layers that have been placed into an actual layer group. Either of those examples are fine for conversion.

The best part about converting layers or groups to Smart Objects is that once completed, you can apply filters to anything in the basket of layers (Smart Object). So go ahead and start strategically converting groups to Smart Objects and then experiment with what filters do to it. Remember, blending modes and opacity adjustments work well with Smart Objects, so use them often.

Read this post for more information: