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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

Difference between Place linked vs Place Embedded in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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All right, what's the difference between placing Linked and placing Embedded? It's up here, 'File', and it's these two. It might seem obvious, but I'm going to go through some of the pros and cons for both. Then some of the tricks to, I guess, make them work efficiently for you. So Embedded means-- I'm going to place an image, and it's going to go inside this Photoshop file. It's going to be fully contained within this PSD. If I link it, it's going to show it in this file, but actually it's going back to this source, the original thing on my desktop, the whole time. Which means if I delete that original file, Photoshop is going to say, "Hey, where did it go? I'm just linking to it." Whereas Embedded means it comes along with this file, and let's look at the pros and cons. 

So this file here, without anything in it is about, where is it? There, it's this one here, it's 28 Megabytes. I haven't included this file in your exercise file, just because it's a really big file, and it's just a demonstration anyway. So let's go to 'File' let's go to 'Place Embedded'. I'm going to bring in this little mockup that I'm working on. It's in a different Photoshop file, it could be anything else. It could be a JPG, could be an AI file. I've got it in here, I'm hitting 'Return', I'm hitting 'Save'. So the Embedded file, it's increased it by a corresponding amount. So this is nearly 7 Megabytes, and it's gone up nearly 7 Megabytes. Let's do the same thing with Linked 'File', 'Place Linked'. Same file, just brought in a slightly different way. 

Looks the same, works the same way, hit 'Save'. Hit 'Save', jump and check it, you can see here, it's only gone up a tiny bit. The biggest drawback, say somebody goes and deletes that one. Say I delete it; goodbye. Photoshop goes - hit 'Save'. - it freaks out. It doesn't really freak out, it actually works kind of fine. Can you see down here, the only thing that's changed is this little icon. A little question mark saying, "I can't find that file", but if you look, the preview in there is nice. You can get away with it being broken, if you do lose one, often you can hit 'Print', and it's hard to tell that it's actually gone, but if I go back and bring it back, you can see the little link icon, it's back to normal. So that's the drawback. If somebody deletes the original file you've linked to, it can cause drama. 

So when would you use each? Basically when I'm working by myself in my own little world, I often just embed. When I'm working at a larger agency where we're all sharing files, and for us all to bring in the same graphic on lots of different documents, we're going to have a kind of ballooning file size, plus anybody needs to make an update to this linked file, everyone's going to have to open up all the PSDs, and try and relink or at least update it based on that. So big agency work use a lot of linking, me, by myself working in my home office, I tend to just embed everything. 

How to know what's embedded and what's linked? Little chain icon is for linked, let's go to 'File', 'Embed', and check out this. I'm going to bring in the second graphic. You see the icon there, just looks like a Smart Object. So a linked graphic has a little link icon, and an embedded icon is just a Smart Object. I'll undo that. So this guy here on the left is embedded, and this one on the right is linked. Let's say your file size is getting too big, and you want this thing that was currently embedded, you want it to link now. So all you do is right click this kind of gray area, not the thumbnail, and say, I would like you to relink to a file please. I'll click on that original graphic. And now nothing much has changed, except now it's linked. It will lower the file size, and if updates are made to that original, it will come along for the ride. 

Two things to note about this updating to linked files, is that sometimes it does it without asking, and then sometimes just won't do it at all. There's no kind of like happy medium, I feel. So I've got this mockup graphic, which is, this one will do, my Mockup Graphic 1. I want to make a change to it, so I'm just going to open it up, but because this file's open, the one that it's placed in to, things happen differently. So I've got my original open. I want to open up that file, I want to make a change to it, something obvious, I'm just going to make it, pink in the background. 'Save' it, 'Close it', and because this is open, it's just gone and updated, doesn't even tell you, which is kind of cool, but also a little bit-- I feel like there needs to be like a, "Hey Dan, something's changed." But it's okay, we know what happened, slightly differently though. 

If I close this down, and save it, so that file's not open anymore. And now I go and make a change, you are now going to be green. 'Save', 'Close'. Go back to the original. Don't worry about that. Can you see there, it hasn't changed. With it open, it goes in, automatically goes, "Hey, you probably mean to update it", whereas here, it gives you this really subtle little icon here, saying, "Hey, I've given you a tiny little suggestion that this thing's out of date." And you can right click it anywhere and say, 'Update Modified Content. So just so you know, with it open, flows through nicely, with it not open, it gives you just the teeniest tiny little hint. Also what you can do is, instead of opening it separately, you can just double click on this little icon here, and will open up that original file. 

I want to go back to that color that I had, I can't remember what it is. Let's just pick, well, it's that color. Awesome. 'Save', 'Close'. Yes please, 'Save'. And it's updated. So regardless of whether you have it linked or embedded, I'm going to show you a little trick. I'm going to distort this, because it's a Linked Object or a Smart Object, it doesn't matter, it's a cool little bit of work flow we can do. So we mock it up, we say-- actually I'm going to go to 'Edit', 'Transform', 'Distort'. I'm going to get this looking, kind of want it to look like it's on an angle, flying out like that. So I've used Distort. I'm also going to get it to clip to the background. Blue color, there it is there. I'm going to move it down the layer order by holding, we're holding down the 'Command' and square bracket, until I find, where is he? Down, there he is there. 

So I got it just above it. And if you've never done this before you can hold down the 'Option' key on a Mac, 'Alt' key on a PC, just to say, clip to this blue box, so it's all kind of tied in there. With it selected as well, I'm going to say, you my friend have a 'Filter', I'm going to use 'Blur Gallery', and 'Iris Blur'. We'll look at blurring a little bit later on properly. Iris blur is just a cool way of setting like a target for a blur. I want it to be down. I want just this kind of like-- I'm faking Depth of Field, that's what I'm trying to do. Click 'OK'. So one of the perks for using File, Embedded rather than copy and paste is you can say, actually I like this one, I like the distortion, I like the blur, but I need the graphic to change. So 'Mockup Graphic 1', I can right click anywhere in this gray area, and I'm going to say, 'Relink to File'. 

So I'm going to say, actually I want to relink to this new version that I've got, this updated version. The cool thing about it is that, can you see, it's a different version, you might not-- Let's go undo, redo, undo, redo. I should have made them obvious, but I've gone through and actually made this nicer, or maybe it's version 2, or the next month's graphs, say it's a monthly newsletter or an emailer, just know that you can go through and go to 'Relink to File'. And that doesn't matter whether you went File, Embed, or 'File', 'Place'. 

One last thing to mention is that if you've got linked files, and you want to send this PSD to somebody, you're going to have to send both this PSD and any linked files. But there's an easy way to do that. If you go to 'File', and come down to here to 'Package'-- I'm going to stick mine on my desktop, I'm going to click 'Choose'. It's just like packaging out of Illustrator and InDesign. It creates a folder with the same name as my PSD, and in here are any linked files. There's my original PSD plus all the links. And it just means that I get to right click this, compress it, and I can send that to somebody in an email, or via Dropbox, and they have everything that they need. If you're on a PC I think you right click the file, and there's one that says, 'Send To', and I think it says 'Zip', something like that. So that is the long version of Embedded versus Linked in Photoshop. I'll see you in the next video.