Procreate Handbook

Version 5X
Interface and Gestures


The controls will never get in the way of your art again with these intuitive gestures.

Basic Gestures

Move around your canvas, undo/redo, clear, copy, paste, and find useful menus at your fingertips.

Touch to Paint / Smudge / Erase

Tap on the Paint, Smudge, or Erase tool, then touch your canvas to begin.

While Procreate works beautifully with the Apple Pencil, you don’t need it to start creating. Simply start painting on the canvas with your fingertip.

Pro Tip

If you use Apple Pencil with Procreate, you won’t need to paint with your finger anymore. Instead, set the one-finger tap as a handy shortcut to bring up QuickMenu. You can change this and other multitouch shortcuts in Gesture Controls.

Pinch to Zoom

Zoom in and out of your artwork to move swiftly from fine details to the big picture.

Place your fingers on the canvas and pinch your fingers together to zoom out. Pinch your fingers apart to zoom in.

Pinch-Twist to Rotate

Easily rotate your canvas to the angle that works for you.

While pinching the canvas, twist your fingers to rotate your canvas.

Quick Pinch to Fit to Screen

Quickly fit your canvas perfectly to the screen in a single movement.

Quick Pinch is the same gesture as Pinch to Zoom, but performed much faster. When you quick-pinch, your canvas will pop to full size in the interface.

For best results, pinch and lift your fingers from the screen at the end of the gesture.

To return to the exact view you had before you quick-pinched, do the quick-pinch gesture in reverse.


Two-finger Tap to Undo

Rapidly undo one or more of your recent actions.

To Undo your previous action, tap the canvas with two fingers. Your fingers can be together or apart. A notification will appear at the top of the interface to let you know which action your Undo affected.

To rapidly Undo a series of actions, tap and hold two fingers on the canvas. After a moment, Procreate will start rapidly stepping back through the most recent changes you made. To stop undoing, lift your fingers off the canvas again.

Procreate can Undo up to 250 actions.

Pro Tip

If you return to the Gallery or exit Procreate, all Undo states will be cleared and your changes will be permanently saved.

To adjust the length of the delay before rapid Undo begins, go to Actions > Prefs and adjust the Rapid Undo Delay slider.


Three-finger Tap to Redo

When you Undo a step too far, Redo is just a three-finger touch away.

To Redo an action, tap the canvas with three fingers. Your fingers can be together or apart.

As with Undo, you can rapidly Redo a series of actions by holding three fingers to the canvas.

Three-finger Scrub to Clear

Instantly clear a layer.

‘Scrub out’ the layer contents by dragging three fingers side to side in a scrubbing motion.


Three-finger Swipe to Cut/Copy/Paste

Invoke a floating menu with all the Cut, Copy and Paste options you need.

Swipe three fingers down the screen to call up the Copy Paste menu. This menu has buttons for Cut, Copy, Copy All, Duplicate, Cut & Paste, and Paste.

Learn more about the Copy Paste Menu.


Four-finger Tap for Full Screen

Work on your art with one brush and zero distractions.

When you want the interface to take a step back so you can focus on your work, tap 4 fingers on the screen to invoke Full Screen mode. The interface will slide away to give you a clean view of your canvas.

To bring the interface back, tap with 4 fingers again, or tap the Full Screen indicator in the top left corner.


Draw and Hold for QuickShape

Draw a shape or line and let QuickShape 'snap' it to perfection.

Draw a line or shape, and keep your finger or stylus held on the canvas when you’re done. After a moment, your stroke will snap into a straight line or the closest detected shape.

While holding your finger down, tap with another finger to snap to the closest perfect version of that shape.

Learn more about QuickShape.

Precise Slider Control

Simple, accurate sliders provide pinpoint control.

Every slider in Procreate can be manipulated with precise control. Grab the slider, then move your finger away from the sidebar, and drag up and down to adjust the slider in smaller increments. The further away from the slider you get, the finer the control.

Layer Gestures

Work quickly and efficiently in the Layers panel using these simple gestures.

Pinch to Merge

Combine two or more layers into one.

On the Layers panel, pinch two layers together to merge those layers, along with any layers between them.

Learn more about Merge.


Tap to select Primary Layer

Select a Primary layer.

On the Layers panel, tap any layer to make it your Primary (active) layer. Your Primary layer will appear as bright blue.

You can only have one Primary layer at a time. Any drawing or painting you do will affect this Primary layer.

Learn more about Primary and Secondary layers.


Swipe Right to select Secondary Layer

Select a Secondary layer.

On the Layers panel, swipe right on any layer to add it to your selection as a Secondary layer. Your Secondary layers will appear as dark blue.

You can only have one Primary layer at a time, but you can select as many Secondary layers as you like. Drawing and painting will only appear on the Primary layer.

Learn more about Primary and Secondary layers.


Two-finger Tap for Layer Opacity

Quickly adjust the transparency of a layer or selection.

On the Layers panel, tap a layer with two fingers to bring up opacity controls, then drag left and right on the canvas to decrease or increase the transparency of the current layer.

If you make a selection and tap the layer with two fingers to alter opacity, the opacity change will occur only within the selected area.

Learn more about layer opacity in Layer Blend Modes.


Two-finger Swipe Right for Alpha Lock

Lock the content and transparency of a layer.

On the Layers panel, swipe a layer from left to right with two fingers to lock that layer’s transparency.

Any further drawing or painting will only affect the existing artwork on that layer, leaving transparent areas untouched.

Alpha Lock is is ideal for adding texture, detail, or shading to an element of your artwork without painting outside the lines.

Learn more about Alpha Lock.


Two-finger Hold to Select Layer Contents

Select the contents of a layer.

On the Layers panel, tap and hold on a layer with two fingers to select the contents of that layer.

This will select only the non-transparent parts of the layer - parts where you have drawn, painted, or pasted images.

You can take all sorts of actions on the selected area: paint it, transform it, copy it, feather or clear it, and much more.

Learn more about Layer Selections.

Customize Gestures

Create your own shortcuts and tweak your Gestures to suit your workflow.

The Gesture Controls panel gives you the ability to modify shortcuts for a variety of tools throughout Procreate.

Tap Actions > Prefs > Gesture Controls to open the Gesture Controls panel.

Most shortcuts can be toggled on or off. You can set up multiple shortcuts for the same function, or deactivate all shortcuts from functions you rarely use. Where a shortcut can be triggered by touch-and-hold, you can use a slider to set the delay before that shortcut triggers.

You cannot assign the same shortcut to two different features. If activating a shortcut on one feature causes a conflict with another feature that already uses the same shortcut, a yellow warning icon will flash up next to the conflicting feature.

Learn more about Gesture Controls.