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Smart Filters in Photoshop

Smart Filters in Photoshop can do wonders for your projects. They are as useful as they are simple to learn. Read along with us to understand why exactly they are called Smart. Hiding, reordering, duplicating, and even deleting a Smart Filter has been explained in detail in this guide. In addition to that, you will learn how to edit them and apply masks to them. 

Understanding Smart Filters in Photoshop

Before we start, it is important to remember that any filter can be used as a smart filter. The only difference is that they are applied on a Smart Object which makes them Smart Filters. There are many advantages of using Smart Filters in Photoshop. The main advantage is that they are non-destructive which means that they do not affect the original quality of the image. So after Smart Filters are applied, their layer appears below the layer of the Smart Object on which they are applied.

Apply Smart Filters in Photoshop

Converting for smart filters in photoshop
As you already know, applying a filter on a Smart Object, automatically makes it a Smart Filter. Hence, the first step is to select a layer in the Layers Panel. This is used to add Smart Filter on the whole layer. However, if you want to apply the Smart Filter on just a small portion, you can make a selection. Moreover, if you want to apply a Smart Filter on a regular layer, just head into the Filter menu. After that simply select Convert for Smart object. Now that you have selected the layer, you must select the Filter that you want to apply. You should know that any filter, even the third-party filters that you might have, can be used for this purpose. Basically, the only requirement is that they must support Smart Filters in Photoshop. Otherwise, there are only a few filters that cannot be used and they include Liquify, Pattern Maker, Vanishing Point, and Extract. Finally, you just have to set filter options to do it. If a Warning Sign appears next to the Smart Filter layer, then it  mean that the image is not supported by the filter.

Using Smart Filters


Smart Filters in Photoshop that have options for editing can not only be edited, you can set Blending Options for them as well. Firstly, double click the Smart Filter layer which you can find in the Layers Panel. Next, simply set the filter options. By using these two steps, you can edit these Filters. Additionally, editing blending options for Smart Filters are quite similar. Simply, select the ‘Edit Blending Options’. You can also find it next to the Filter Layer. Finally, set the blending options as you see fit.


Hiding Smart Filters in Photoshop is pretty simple. Just press the eye icon which will be present next to the Smart Filter layer. If you want to hide all the Smart Filters at once, simply press the eye icon next to the line of Smart Filters. In order to unhide the filters in both methods, you have to click again in the column.

Reorder the Smart Filters

You should know that you can apply Smart Filters in Photoshop from the bottom up. In order to reorder them, simply drag them up and down in the Layers Panel.

Duplicating the Smart Filters

To duplicate the Smart Filters, simply press Alt and Drag the filter to a new Smart Object. In macOS, you can press Option and then drag the Smart Filters.


Drag a single Smart Filter in the drag icon to delete it. For multiple filters, go to Smart Filter in the Smart Object layer and then select Clear Smart Filters.

Applying Smart filter in Photoshop

Mask Smart Filters in Photoshop

Masking Smart Filters is a great advantage because it gives you control over which parts of the image will be affected by the filter. In the Layers panel, you have to click the filters mask thumbnail. A border will appear and after that, you have to make a selection from any of the editing tools. Now comes the final and main part of the masking process. If you want to hide some parts of the image, simply paint the mask black. Conversely, paint it white if you want to show some parts of the image. Another alternative is to paint the mask grey if you want the mask to be partially visible. Also, you can set the opacity of the mask in the Masks Panel. Simply slide the density slider to change it as you see fit. Feather Slider is also present in the same submenu if you want to feather the mask edges.

Master these tools

Photoshop can be a complicated software in order to use for newbies. If you want to become a master of this software, join our photoshop master class. It will teach you both the important aspects and used of Photoshop. You will learn everything form removing the background to using Smart filters in Photoshop. You can also increase your photography knowledge by reading articles about different topics such as bulb mode, exposure, macro photography and much more.


Learning Smart Filters in Photoshop is quite easy. By now this guide surely has answered all your questions regarding them.

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Have a nice photoshoot! 

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