Quick Tips

Smart Object Instead Of Stamp Visible

For years I’ve been telling people to press Command-Option-Shift-E (PC: Ctrl-Alt-Shift-E) to make a merged copy of all visible layers. The only problem with that method is it’s a snapshot, so if you change the underlying layers, the merged version will not change. Instead, select all the layers and convert them to a smart object (Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Object). Now you can work on that layer, but still have live access to all the original layers just by double-clicking on the smart object.
by Dave Cross



  1. Leslie Nicole 25 October, 2011 at 03:14 Reply

    This is awesome! I use the Stamp Visible all the time and always have to go back and do over if I want to change. Question though. Does this increase the file size and / or processing demands?

    So, I’ll often do my base edits – spotting, levels or curves, hue saturation, editing – merge and then run a filter like Topaz Labs on the result. How do you suggest handling this? I’ll have to do some playing around.

  2. Michael LoBiondo 27 August, 2012 at 12:05 Reply

    I use the Stamp Visible all the time and it selects all the “visible” layers. I’ve even created an action to do this quickly. With the Smart Object version, is there a way to select all the layers with an action or keystroke instead of having to select them one by one? Some of my images have 2 layers, some 13.

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