Open as Smart Object

These two commands open any image file as a smart object. The imported smart object appears in the Layers palette as the only layer.

This lets you, for example, filter your picture non-destructively (screenshot).

For opening RAW photos we strongly recommend "Open as Linked Object" command.

In this case, at any time, you can re-open the image with Edit Smart Object command in the ACR window and adjust its exposure, sharpening, or white balance settings.

A video on this topic is available here.

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Non-destructively filtered RAW image