Create and work with Smart Objects

Learn how to use Smart Objects in Photoshop on your iPad to apply nondestructive edits

Photoshop on the iPad allows you to work with Smart Objects, just as you would on your desktop. Smart Objects preserve an image's source content with all its original characteristics and enable you to apply non-destructive edits to any layer. Nondestructive edits allow you to make changes to an image without overwriting the original image data.

Convert a layer to a Smart Object

To convert a layer into a Smart Object in Photoshop on the iPad, choose a layer in your image and then do any of the following:

  • Open the Layer Properties panel > Select Convert to smart object
  • Open the Layer Actions panel > Select Convert to smart object

For now, editing a smart object is not supported on the iPad yet. However, you can open your cloud document with a smart object that you created on your iPad and edit it on the desktop application as needed. At the top of the Layer Properties panel, you will see a dialog that conveys the same message.

With Smart Objects, you can perform transforms operations on a layer—Scale and Rotate, Skew, Distort, and Perspective without losing original image data or quality because these transformations don't affect the original image data.

Uses and limitations of Smart Object

For now, editing a smart object is not supported on the iPad yet. However, you can open your cloud document with a smart object that you created on your iPad and edit it on the desktop application as needed. At the top of the Layer Properties panel, you will see a dialog that conveys the same message.

With Smart Objects, you can perform transforms operations on a layer— Scale and Rotate, Skew, Distort, and Perspective without losing original image data or quality because these transformations don't affect the original image data.

While working with Photoshop on the iPad, you can perform edits like brushing, healing, and spot healing on a Smart Object. The app will automatically create a new linked layer on top of your Smart Object and you need not worry about duplicating a layer. To perform operations that alter pixel data, we recommend that you clone your Smart Object layer and place it above your Smart Object layer before applying destructive edits. 

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