Procreate Handbook

Version 5X

Interface and Gestures

Use Selections to quickly isolate parts of your art for repainting, editing, transforming, and plenty more.


With an active selection, you can protect the important parts of your artwork.

Selections enable you to make a range of edits to an isolated area of your artwork. You can paint, smudge, erase, fill, and transform a selected area without affecting anything outside it.


Tap the Selection button in the top menu. It will bring up the Selection toolbar, offering you a range of ways to define the area you'd like to edit. These modes are explored in greater detail below.

A moving dotted line displays the boundaries of any selection you make.


Undo and Redo

While drawing a selection, two-finger tap to Undo your last action, or three-finger tap to Redo.


Tap any other tool to commit your selection. Now, instead of a dotted line, the area outside your selection is shaded with semi-transparent moving diagonal lines.


Once an area is selected, you can paint, smudge, erase, fill, and transform that area while preserving everything around it untouched. Tap the tool you want to get started. You’ll notice that both the Selection button and the button you just tapped are now highlighted.


To cancel the selection you’ve made and exit back to your artwork, tap the Selection button again.


Select content with a fluid hand-drawn line. Tap to make a polygonal selection. Use a rectangle or ellipse to quickly nab the area you need. Or simply touch, and let the Automatic selection tool do the work for you.

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Selection Button

In the top menu bar you’ll find a ribbon symbol. This is the Selection button.

When you tap the Selection button, it will bring up the Selection toolbar.


Selection Mode buttons

The buttons along the Selection toolbar at the bottom of the screen offer four different ways to select your content.

When you first activate Selection, it defaults to the Freeform mode. This is just one of the four different methods to manipulate your content. All four options are explored more fully in the Handbook sections to follow.

  • Automatic mode selects an entire area with a single tap. As with ColorDrop, you can change the threshold of this selection by dragging your finger.
  • Freehand mode lets you hand-draw your selection shape by drawing a fluid line, or tapping to create a polygonal line - or combining both approaches.
  • Rectangle and Ellipse modes give you the ability to make a quick selection by dragging a shape around an area of content.
Pro Tip

You can switch between modes for even more control and flexibility as you craft your selection.



Adding an area to your existing selection gives you the flexibility of building up complex selection shapes in stages.

Add works differently depending on the selection method you’re using.

In Freehand, Rectangle, and Ellipse modes, tapping Add once lets you draw another freehand selection independently of your existing selection. Tapping Add a second time combines these two selections into one.

In Automatic, the Add button is greyed out because the function is a built-in part of that mode - simply tap on any area of the image at any time to add it to your Automatic selection.



If you’ve selected too much, or your selection is the wrong shape, cutting it down is easy with Remove.

This function is the equal and opposite of Add. Once you have made a selection, use Freehand, Rectangle, or Ellipse to select the area you want to edit, and tap Remove.



Turn it inside out with Invert.

If you’ve made your selection around a shape, but actually want to delete the background, simply tap Invert to reverse the inside and outside of your selection. Tap it again to switch back.


Copy & Paste

A simple tap delivers one of the most commonly-used features in digital art.

When you’re satisfied with your selection, tap Copy & Paste. The selected content will be instantly duplicated onto a new layer labelled From selection.



By default, selections have crisp edges - but sometimes you want a softer effect.

When you’ve made your selection, tap Feather to bring up a slider that diffuses the edges of your selection. At 0%, your edges stay perfectly crisp. As you push that percentage higher, the edges of your selection get softer. You can watch the selection preview change in realtime as you adjust the slider.


Save & Load

Store the selections you use over and over, and recall them whenever you need them.

Tap Save & Load, then tap the + button in the top right corner of the Selections pop-up to store your current selection.

Tap a selection in the list to reload one you have previously saved.

Save & Load is explored in greater depth in Advanced Selections.


Color Fill

Automatically fill a selection for any of the Selection Modes with a color.

Tap Color Fill so the Paint Bucket turns blue, then tap a Selection Mode. Make a selection to automatically fill it with your current color. Any extra selections made while Color Fill is on will also be filled with your current color.

If in Freehand Selection mode, Tap the circular node to close the selection and fill it with your current color.

Tap Color Fill a second time to exit.

Pro Tip

Changing your current color before exiting Color Fill will change the color of any selection that has been previously filled.



Sometimes you need to start afresh.

Tap Clear to get rid of your current selection. If you’ve done this accidentally, a two-finger tap will undo the Clear and reinstate the selection.