How to Replace Smart Objects Contents – Tutorial

Today we will see how easy it is to replace smart objects contents in a photo layer. There are many things to learn about Smart Objects, but we will only discuss those that apply to this particular project – no need to go into overload mode!

Our recent Christmas card tutorial resulted in a file with multiple layers of Smart Objects. I will be using the layered project file from the Christmas card tutorial to show you these steps. If you have not done that tutorial, you can download and use a smaller file from our Resources Library after completing the form at the bottom of this post. Once you are subscribed to the Resources Library you can download the file and save it to a place you can find easily. You will need to right-click on the zip file to uncompress the contents, and then you are ready to begin work.

Follow These Steps to Replace Contents of Smart Object Photo Layer

Sometimes we may want to send different photos to different groups on our Christmas card list. The beauty of bringing the photos into the project as embedded Smart Objects is that they can easily be replaced so creating multiple versions of the card is no problem. Here are the steps.

1. Open the project file and select the DDoo1015-CC-03-Tut-12-PhotoC layer.
2. Right-click on the layer and select “Replace Contents” from the list in the window.

Click on images to open larger image in new window or tab

replace smart objects contents

3. Navigate to the photo file you wish to substitute into this layer and click “Place.”
replace smart objects contents

Voila! The new photo replaces the original photo in your project. replace smart objects contents
Repeat this step for each photo in the project. How easy is that!?

Note: You may need to adjust the size or placement of the new photo. That happened on my 3rd photo, the horse in the left frame.
replace smart objects contents

The photo needs to be moved and positioned within the frame. With the correct photo layer selected, simply click on your move tool (top of the toolbox) then click on the photo and drag it into the position you like.
replace smart objects contents

Uh-oh. The photo is too small to completely cover the black background. No problem. Just click Command-T (Mac) (Windows key on PC plus T) and hold down the Shift key while you pull one of the corner handles of the bounding box to enlarge or reduce the size. Click the checkmark to accept the resizing.(Holding the Shift key assures that the aspect ratio will be maintained).
replace smart objects contents

Here is my final card with the contents of the smart object photo layer replaced.
replace smart objects contents