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I'm in the middle of creating a framework for design in Photoshop and we have ran into a slight issue. When the framework is open, it currently takes up over 7GB of RAM..

I was wondering, is it possible to import Photoshop groups from another PSD? For example, we would have our base template PSD which has the core elements, then lets say a user wants only the Photos group, they can simply import that group into their template PSD without opening up the other PSD, therefore saving on RAM, CPU time etc.

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You could try Place embedded or Place linked.

So there is File > Place embedded... that lets you import other documents, such as: .psd, .psb, .ai, .pdf, etc...

When you right click a smart object, you get these options:

  • New smart object via copy ( Cmd+J does the same thing. Copied smart objects share the same content, so if you edit one of the duplicate smart objects, they all update. )
  • Edit contents ( Double clicking thumbnail gets you there as well )
  • Replace contents
  • Export contents

The downside of place embedded is that you will always have to manually Replace contents if you make edits to the original file and you want those changes to transfer to your work file.

In Photoshop CC and CC 2014 you'll have additional File > Place linked.... It works exactly the same, but as the original file is edited, it'll automatically transfer to your work document.

  • Thanks. I knew about this however it doesn't quite work the way I need, as edits you make need to be made to the original imported document. If the psd I'm placing has different types of groups, then they can't be edited directly in the template document – K20GH Aug 22 '14 at 14:47
  • @K20GH The way Place linked works, is that you are always editing the original document. So if you right-click a Smart object that was placed using Place linked and you go to Edit contents, it opens up the original document and updates those changes to your work document(s) when you save. If you've ever linked documents in Illustrator, it works exactly the same way. – Joonas Aug 22 '14 at 15:23
  • I'm not sure how the "can't be edited directly in the template document" is related to this, but that is true. All Smart objects are edited within a separate document, and frankly that sucks. – Joonas Aug 22 '14 at 15:27

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