How To Edit a Smart Object in Photoshop

We're used to swapping out smart objects to create reusable templates for our mockups, but being able to edit a smart object is also a really helpful option.

This option is particularly helpful when we’re trying to keep the same image inside the smart object and just change its appearance.

Editing Smart Object

Think of a smart object as a Photoshop document within your Photoshop document. We can independently modify the smart object with all the options available in Photoshop for the main document.

photoshop layer panel

Before editing, just make sure the smart object is selected in the layers panel.

Then go to the Layer Menu → Smart Objects → Edit Contents.

editing smart object layer

Or just double click the Smart Object layer in the layers panel and it will open a separate document tab for the smart object.

Smart Object uses a special type of document called a PSB file, full name Photoshop Big.

As the smart object is a Photoshop document, we can use any Photoshop tools, features, filters and even add more layers in it.

Some Examples Of Editing A smart Object

sample smart object layer

Let’s take this image inside a smart object as an example. This image is inside a frame as a smart object like this.

main template with smart object

Flipping An Image Inside a Smart Object

If we open the smart object .psb document and then go to Edit → Transform → Flip Horizontal the image will be flipped.

flipping the smart object image

And after saving the changes, the finished result will look like this.

the changes saved in the main template

Converting The Smart Object Layer Black & White

On the PSB file, click the adjustment layer and choose black and white.

changing the image to black and white

This will transform the image in black and white and after we hit save, the result will look like this.

saved changes in the main template

Adding Photo Filter In Smart Object

Go to adjust Layer and choose photo Filter.

choosing photo filter

Now from the properties menu, choose a cooling filter like this. It cools down the image by adding more blue in it.

adding a cooling filter in the smart object image

After saving the changes made in the smart object PSB file, you’ll see the image in the frame change as well like this.

saved changes in the main template


I’ve only shown a fraction of the things you can do with a smart object. You can basically do any type of editing following the same formula.

Shohidur Rahman

Shohidur Rahman

Hey, I’m Shohidur, the content guy behind Bulk Mockup. In the past, I ran a print on demand tshirt store, where I learned the nitty gritty of the industry. Being in the industry for 7 years I understand the challenges faced by print on demand entrepreneurs of now. My main goal is to help print on demand sellers through the content I produce for Bulk Mockup.

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