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Smart Objects help protect the information in an image file by adding a layer of security that prevents you from working directly on the image layer. Some edits, such as resizing an image, can have a negative effect on the pixels in a regular image layer, but will leave the image information in the Smart Object untouched. You can easily convert regular image layers into Smart Objects, or you can use the Place command to automatically add an image as a Smart Object. Camera Raw also allows you to open an image in Photoshop as a Smart Object.