Learn how to use the Adobe Asset Link panel to access, use, and upload digital assets stored in AEM Assets, without leaving your Creative Cloud app.

Adobe Asset Link strengthens collaboration between creatives and marketers in the content creation process. You can now access content stored in Adobe Experience Manager Assets (AEM Assets), without leaving the apps you are most familiar with. You can seamlessly browse, search, check out, and check in assets using the in-app panel in the Creative Cloud apps: Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

You must have a valid Creative Cloud for enterprise subscription to use Adobe Asset Link. See complete details of the prerequisites.

Adobe Asset Link in-app panel

Adobe Asset Link is installed as an extension in your Creative Cloud apps. Your IT admin has to configure and deploy the panel. Once installed and configured, you can open it from the Extensions menu. 
  • Choose Window Extensions > Adobe Asset Link.

For easy access, you can configure your workspace to include the Adobe Asset Link panel. For more information, see Manage Windows and Panels.

Adobe Asset Link panel
Adobe Asset Link panel

A. Current location B. Sort list C. Search field D. Search location E. Panel menu F. Filter options G. List/Grid View toggle H. My Checked Out Assets I. Checked Out Status icon J. Context menu K. Refresh button 

Current location

(A) displays your current location. You can click the drop-down arrow to go back to a parent folder.

Sort list

(B) allows you to sort the assets or search results alphabetically, by size, and by last modified.

Search field

(C) allows you to search for assets, type a keyword in the search field and press Enter.

Search location

(D) Lets you target your search on a particular location, for example, a folder, collection, or the entire AEM repository.

Panel menu

(E) displays actions that you can perform on the panel, such as configuring and closing the panel.

Filter options

(F) allows you to filter search results across AEM, Creative Cloud, and within specific folders and collections by file type and asset modification date.

List/Grid View toggle

(G) allows you to switch between the list view and grid view.

My Checked Out Assets

(H) displays all the AEM Assets that you have checked out.

Checked Out Status icon

(I) displays on an asset's thumbnail if the asset is checked out. It represents that the asset is locked and only the person who has checked it out, can modify it.

Context menu

(J) displays the actions you can perform on the asset. Depending on the status of the asset, these options currently include Check Out/Check In, Cancel Check Out, Open, Download, Place, Find Similar, and File Details. Each asset has a context menu.

Refresh button

(K) reloads the assets or search results in the panel. It can be useful when uploading a new asset or when multiple users are working concurrently in the same folder.

You can use Adobe Asset Link to work with and modify assets stored within your organization's digital asset management system–Adobe Experience Manager Assets. With the in-app panel, you don't require a browser to download or upload assets. The Adobe Asset Link displays digital assets from your AEM Assets instance. You need not sign in to AEM Assets.

To edit an asset, use the Adobe Asset link panel to browse or search for the asset. Then, check out the asset from within your Creative Cloud app. After editing, you can check the asset back in, without leaving the app. You can also use Adobe Asset Link to browse "read-only" assets in AEM Assets. Typically, these assets are files such as logos, standard designs, or templates that you can download and use, but cannot modify.

Adobe Asset Link also prevents conflicts by indicating whether assets are already checked out and preventing other users from overwriting checked out assets.

Once you open the Asset Link panel, it displays all files and folders that you have permission to read. You can search and browse digital assets stored in AEM Assets. Also, you can search for assets stored in your Creative Cloud account.

  • To search for assets, folders, or collections, type a keyword in the search field and press Enter. By default, the scope of search is set to "All," which means it is a global search. All relevant assets, folders, and collections within AEM Assets are displayed, not just the entities in your current location. Assets in your Creative Cloud Assets account are returned in a separate section below.
  • For faster and more targeted results, you can search directly within a folder or collection. First, navigate to the lowest folder or collection that contains the artifact you’re looking for. Then, change the option in the drop-down list to the left of the search field to “In Folder” or “In Collection.” Depending on your location, the options in the drop-down list change dynamically.


  1. The selected option in the search drop-down list automatically resets to “All” after you close the search results, or navigate to a new folder or collection.
  2. When you search within a folder, all matching assets and child folders within the current folder are returned. When you search within a collection, only matching assets, folders, and other collections that are direct members of the collection are returned.
  3. If you search for collections from the top level, only individual collections are returned in search results. Assets or folders within the collections are excluded. In all other cases (for example, within an individual collection or in a folder hierarchy), all relevant assets, folders, and collections are returned.

  • To close the search results, click  in the search field, which brings you back to the location where you were before the search. You can also delete the text manually, and then press Enter.
  • To navigate back up the higher sections of the content hierarchy, use the breadcrumb next to “Inside.” If you are in the Asset Link panel, you can focus on the drop-down using the keyboard shortcut “Shift + B,” and then navigate using arrow keys. To select a location, press Enter.


If you are in the Asset Link panel, you can use the Tab key to bring focus on the context menu. To open the context menu for an asset, press Enter. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the context menu. To select an action, press Enter.

 For the keyboard shortcuts to work, you must first select the Asset Link panel. Otherwise, keyboard actions are governed by the shortcuts of the respective product, for example Illustrator.

Search and browse assets
Search and browse assets


The search functionality in AEM analyzes asset metadata, asset name, and the path of assets, folders, and collections. For optimal use of AEM's search functionality, review the following guidelines:

  • Special characters (periods, underscores, and dashes) used for an asset split the search into individual terms. Each term is part of the search index. For example, an asset named blue-running-shoe-12.jpg will contact blue, running, shoe, 12, and jpg in its search index.
  • Any phrases entered into the search field with special characters split the search into separate items. Each item is used in the search.
  • Use double quotes to convert your search into a specific phrase, rather than searching on the individual items. For example, “blue running shoe” requires that results have the full phrase. The search phrase “shoe 12” returns results that include shoe followed by 12, separated by either space or a special character.
    • The search functionality analyzes metadata fields. Therefore, generic numeric search, such as searching for 12, can return many results. For better results, enclose the search phrase in quotes, or ensure that the number is contiguous to a word without a special character (for example shoe12).
  • To broaden the search, use an asterisk before or after the search word. Exact matches are returned for single words. For example, searching for run without an asterisk does not return any other variation of the word (unless run is specifically used in the metadata of the asset). Review the following examples:
    • Run* will return running
    • *run will return outrun
    • *run* will return all possible combinations
  • To exclude a word from search, specify a dash before it. For example, running -shoe returns results that contain running, but not shoe.
  • Use the plus sign to remove asset tags from the search parameters and limit matches to asset file names/titles and metadata. For example, +shoe only returns assets that include the word shoe in their metadata. Assets that are tagged with shoe are excluded.

Similar to proprietary assets, Adobe Stock images that reside in AEM Assets, whether licensed or not, are displayed while searching and browsing. Stock images appear in the same folder location that they reside in within AEM assets along with any relevant proprietary assets.

Unlicensed Stock images that are displayed in the panel retain an official Adobe Stock watermark, licensed Stock images do not. All Stock images include a reference to AdobeStock in the file's name, and a Stock icon indicated with "St."


To work with Adobe Stock assets in AEM Assets, you must have an enterprise Adobe Stock plan and AEM 6.5 or AEM 6.4 with at least Service Pack 2 deployed. For more information, see Use Adobe Stock assets in AEM Assets.

Unlicensed image from Adobe Stock
Unlicensed Adobe Stock image

Find Similar

Adobe Asset Link also allows you to use an asset to search visually similar results within AEM Assets. Powered by machine-learning with Adobe Sensei, the visual search displays results with aesthetic characteristics related to your target image.

To find images that are similar to an asset, open the context menu of the asset and choose Find Similar. The Search field then evolves into a Similar field with the asset’s thumbnail and its title/name. And, similar assets appear in the panel results.


To use the Find Similar feature, ensure that you have the Smart Content Service enabled for your organization and AEM 6.5. For more information, see Enhanced Smart Tags.

Find Similar
Find Similar

To close the results, click  in the Similar field.

You can quickly and easily access AEM Assets Collections from within the Asset Link panel. The panel displays collections—Static Collections and Smart Collections—as per the permissions assigned to you. To access collections, do the following:

  1. In the Asset Link panel, navigate to AEM Assets Collections.

  2. To view the folders and files within a collection, select the collection.

The Asset Link panel allows you to add new assets to AEM Assets from within your creative app. You can create assets using Creative Cloud apps that you are familiar with—Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, or InDesign CC—and upload them to AEM Assets.

To upload an asset to AEM Assets, open the asset in your creative app and do the following:

  1. In the Asset Link panel, navigate to AEM Assets > Files, and select a folder to upload the asset.


    In the current version of Adobe Asset Link, you can only upload to a specified folder, not into Collections or an individual collection.

  2. The Upload Asset button is present if you have the permissions to add an asset to the folder you have selected.

    Click the Upload Asset button.

    Upload Asset
    Upload Asset
  3. Click Upload.

  4. If an asset with the same name exists in the selected folder, the Name Conflict dialog box displays.

  5. To save the asset as a new version of the existing asset, click Create Version.

    Clicking Keep Both, the existing asset stays as is, and the new asset is uploaded appending 1 to the name. For example, if the name of the existing asset is summer_brochure.jpeg, the name of the new asset is summer_brochure1.jpeg.

To see the new asset in the folder, click the Refresh button or navigate away from that folder location and return.

You can sort assets in the Asset Link panel alphabetically, by size, and by last modified. To sort assets, click the Sort drop-down list, and select an option.

You can also run a search, and sort the assets that are displayed as a result.


When displaying the contents of a folder or collection, the sorting function only affects the order of assets. Child folders and collections are always displayed before assets and are ordered by name.

Sort assets
Sort assets

You can also filter assets in the Asset Link panel by file type, and by last modified. To filter assets, click Filter options, select an option, and click Apply.

You can also run a search, and filter the assets that are displayed as a result.

Filter options
Filter options

When you apply filters, a blue dot displays next to the filter options icon.

Filters applied
Filters applied

The filters stay applied as you browse through the folders and collections, until you clear the filters manually. To clear the filters, click Filter options > Clear All > Apply.

Adobe Asset link provides several ways you can use an asset in your creations.

  • To incorporate an asset on the document you are currently working on, drag-and-drop the asset to the artboard. This action embeds the asset in the document.
  • Alternatively, open the context menu for the asset, and choose Place.
  • InDesign Frames support drag-and-drop and Place. Select the desired frame and then drag-and-drop or place the asset using the context menu. Currently these actions embed the asset in the document.
  • You can also download a copy of the asset. Open the asset's context menu, and choose Download. The file is downloaded to your default download folder.


Both place and drag-and-drop actions are equivalent to embedding the asset in the current version of Adobe Asset Link. Direct linking of assets in InDesign will be added in future versions to increase the capabilities beyond embedding.


When you drag-and-drop, the asset is rendered on the document that you are working on. To get the full resolution asset, download the asset first. You are prompted to download the asset for full resolution each time, because the asset may have been modified while you were working.

Drag-n-drop assets
Drag-n-drop assets

When you check out an asset, files are stored in a location specified by the check-out configuration. By default, it is set to Creative Cloud Files.

To modify the check-out configuration, do the following:

  1. Choose Check Out Configuration from the panel menu.

  2. From the Check Out Location drop-down list, select Creative Cloud Files or Hard Drive.

    Creative Cloud Files

    The checked out assets are synced to the cloud using the Creative Cloud desktop app. However, ensure that File Sync is enabled and not paused.

    If you're using Adobe Asset Link from another device, the assets are available there as well, and can be checked in from there.

    Hard Drive

    The assets are checked out to a local folder on your device. It is recommended that if you're checking out assets to your local folders, check in the asset from the same device.

    Checked out files are saved in the same folder structure as on AEM Assets. The parent folder, however, depends on your check-out configuration.

    AEM Assets path Creative Cloud Assets path Hard Drive path


    Creative Cloud Files\AEM Assets\pictures\fall\blue-wall-architecture.jpg

    C:\Users\<User name>\AEM Assets\pictures\fall\blue-wall-architecture.jpg


    After the files are checked back in, they are no longer available in the location specified in the Check Out Configuration.

  3. Click Save.

To modify your assets, you can check out AEM Assets directly from the creative app you are working on, and can immediately begin making edits. To check out an asset, do the following:

  1. Click the More Options button below the asset.

    Check out an asset
    Check out an asset
  2. Click Check Out.

    The Asset is checked out from AEM Assets, and opens in your Creative Cloud app. The asset thumbnail displays a checked out status icon.

    Behind the scenes, the files are stored in the folder specified by the Check Out Configuration until they are checked back in. All checked out assets are saved into a master folder named AEM Assets in Creative Cloud.


    Do not move, rename, or delete an asset from the check-out location. Changing the file path breaks its link with AEM Assets and you cannot check in the asset.

You can collaborate with other users and share a private folder from your Creative Cloud account with specified users. Collaboration works seamlessly, if your check-out location is set to Creative Cloud Files. You can access the file using Creative Cloud and share it.


Once you check in an asset from the Adobe Asset Link panel, the asset no longer appears in your Creative Cloud Assets.

To collaborate using Creative Cloud Assets, do the following:

  1. Modify and save the checked out asset.

  2. Navigate to your asset using the Creative Cloud Assets website. Alternatively, you can browse to the asset on your device using Finder or Explorer.

    • If you are on the website, click the folder's More Options button, and choose Share.
    • If you are on your device, from the context menu, choose an option to share.

    To know more about collaboration, see Collaborate on Creative Cloud Libraries and folders.

You can easily check in assets back to AEM Assets with proper versioning and comments after you have finished editing them in your Creative Cloud app.

To check in an asset, do the following:

  1. Click the asset's More Options button and select Check In.


    After editing your asset, ensure that you save it (Ctrl+S) before checking in.

    Check in an asset
    Check in an asset
  2. Add your comments and click Check In.

    The comments you enter appear in AEM Assets along with the version of the asset.


    After check in, the assets will be automatically moved from the AEM Assets folder specified in the Check Out configuration into a deleted folder.

    Add Comment
    Add Comment

To discard the changes made to a checked out asset, you can cancel the check-out. Canceling the check-out releases the asset and unlocks it for other users to check out and modify it. Canceling check-out will result in the changes being lost.

To cancel the check-out, do the following:

  1. Click the More Options button below the asset.

    Cancel Check Out
    Cancel Check Out
  2. Click Cancel Check Out.

  3. Click Continue.

    The Asset is released and removed from the check-out location. The asset thumbnail no longer displays a checked out status icon.

    Cancel Check Out Dialog box
    Cancel Check Out Dialog box

You can access file details for assets in AEM Assets—thumbnail, basic metadata, and versions—from within the panel.

To access the file details, open the context menu, and select File Details. You can also click directly on the assets thumbnail or asset’s name directly in the panel to access the file details. To view all versions of an asset, click the Version drop-down list.

File Details
File Details

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