Adding replaceable text to Smart Objects


I've started to use Smart Objects because you only have to edit them once to modify all instances of the object. I have run into a problem though. I want to add replaceable text to a Smart Object so that individual instances of this object can set their own text. It reminds me of how PowerPoint's slide masters work: the general layout is set globally, but the content can be modified on the slide itself.

Is this possible using Smart Objects? If not, is there a better way to do it? Here's a screenshot that illustrates my current situation.

My current situation

I want to be able to edit certain parts of these objects so that I can make something like this with one Smart Object:

What I'd like to do

7/1/2014 12:38:00 PM

Photoshop does have Data sets. They can do something like what you want, but it has always been a bit weird in the sense that you can only export files .psd. You can of course convert them to other formats, but it's still odd that you can't export to other format straight away.

You can do this following without an external file, but I'm going to explain the external file method, as it is a bit better.

So here's how:

I'm going to assume this is a business card...

You can make a text file with values separated by commas or tabs, but I prefer to use both.

For example I would make BusinessCard_dataset.txt that looks like this:

The first row contains variable names. All the following rows are data sets.

So essentially I have 3 different text frames/layers that will all get 2 different text content.

Name,       Number,         Email

He-Man,     000 0000001,    [email protected]
Skeletor,   000 0000002,    [email protected]
  1. To begin importing this in, you need to have layers in the document, otherwise the menu item will be greyed out.
  2. From the top menu: Image > Variables > Define...
  3. In the Variables window, you first map layers to variables.
    • Select appropriate layer
    • Check Text replacement
    • In the Name: text input, write variable name corresponding to the name in your text file's first line (Name, Number, Email).
    • Note that the variable names are case sensitive.
    • Repeat this to each layer that should have replacement text.
    • enter image description here
  4. Now from the dropdown list at the top left corner: Define, select Data sets.
  5. Click the Import... button and import in your text file.
  6. If you click on the Preview checkbox, you can click the arrows to preview each dataset to see if that they are correct.
    • enter image description here
  7. To export these, you can go fro the top menu: File > Export > Data sets as files.... This is pretty self-explanatory
  8. The next part depends on what format you want the files as, but as I would save them in pdf format, I would go to: File > Automate > PDF Presentation. It's pretty self-explanatory as well. Just select all exported dataset ps, select Save- s: Multi-page document and export them as a multi-page pdf with one business card on each page and different details on each one.
6/30/2014 12:22:00 PM