What Are Smart Objects in Adobe Photoshop?

In Adobe Photoshop, a Smart Object is a special type of layer that enables you to embed or link an image or artwork, and work on it without losing any quality or information. This means that you can apply different transformations, effects, filters and adjustments to the Smart Object non-destructively (i.e. without altering the original content).

Please note that "Smart Layer" and "Smart Object" are often used interchangeably, but "Smart Object" is the more commonly used term. In Adobe Photoshop, the official term is "Smart Object", which refers to a layer that has been converted to a Smart Object. Some people may refer to it as a "Smart Layer" because it appears as a layer in the Layers panel, but both terms essentially refer to the same thing.

You can convert any layer to a Smart Object by right-clicking on the layer and selecting "Convert to Smart Object" from the context menu. This can be useful, for example, if you want to apply non-destructive transformations, filters, or adjustments to a layer that has already been created.

When you double-click on a Smart Object layer, it opens up the original file, where you can edit the content of the Smart Object. Once you save and close the file, the changes are reflected in the Smart Object layer in your main document in real-time. This means, for example, you can make changes to the original artwork in Adobe Illustrator, and see those changes reflected in every smart object that uses it.

Smart Objects can also be used for applying smart filters, which are non-destructive filters that can be edited and modified after they've been applied. This is useful if you want to experiment with different filter settings or if you want to make changes to a filter at a later time.

You may rasterize a Smart Object by right-clicking on the layer and selecting "Rasterize Layer" from the context menu. However, once you rasterize a Smart Object, you will lose the ability to edit the original content non-destructively.

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