How to Copy and Paste Smart Objects in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Copy and Paste Smart Objects in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

Before you copy and paste artwork from Illustrator into Photoshop CS6 as a Smart Object, be sure to check the PDF and AICB (no transparency support) options in the File Handling & Clipboard preferences in Illustrator. Leave the default of Preserve Appearances and Overprints selected.

By doing so, you can control how your artwork is rasterized in Photoshop. If left deselected, Photoshop rasterizes the art without your vital input. Follow these steps to copy and paste artwork as a Smart Object from Illustrator into Photoshop:

  1. Open your desired Adobe Illustrator file in Illustrator.

  2. Select your artwork and choose Edit→Copy.

  3. Switch to Photoshop. Open your desired Photoshop document or create a new document.

  4. Choose Edit→Paste.

  5. In the Paste dialog box, select the Smart Object option and click OK.


    Your image is imported and appears in a bounding box, and the Layers panel shows that you pasted the image as a Smart Object.

  6. Using the bounding box, transform (scale, rotate, and so on) your image to your desired dimensions and position it on your canvas.

    Perspective, Distort, and Warp transformations are unavailable to Smart Objects.

    Because you chose Smart Object in the Paste dialog box in Step 4, remember that you can transform your artwork without degrading it before you place it into Photoshop. Like with the Place command, the native file data is embedded into the Photoshop file, and the art is rasterized on its own layer after the artwork is committed.

  7. Commit the artwork by double-clicking inside the bounding box, pressing Enter (Return on the Mac), or clicking the Commit (check mark icon) button on the Options bar.