Procreate® Handbook
Version 5X
Interface and Gestures

Gestures

Don't let controls get in the way of your art 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 the Apple Pencil works best with Procreate, you don’t need one to start creating. You can paint on the canvas with your fingertip.

Pro Tip

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

Pinch to Zoom

Use a pinch to zoom in and out of your artwork to move 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

Pinch and Twist to rotate your canvas to an angle that works for you..

While pinching the canvas, twist your fingers in a circular motion to rotate your canvas.

Quick Pinch to Fit to Screen

Fit your canvas to the screen by using a quick pinching motion.

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

For the best results, Quick-Pinch then lift your fingers from the screen at the end of the gesture.

To return to the exact view you had before your Quick-Pinch, do the Quick-Pinch gesture in reverse.

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Two-finger Tap to Undo

Quickly 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 Undo a series of actions, tap and hold two fingers on the canvas. After a moment, Procreate will rapidly step back through your most recent changes. To stop, 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 clear. This behaves like a save, and your changes become permanent.

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

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Three-finger Tap to Redo

Redo lets you Undo a step with a three-finger touch.

To Redo any action you have Undone, tap the canvas with three fingers. Your fingers can be together or apart.

Rapidly Redo a series of actions by holding three fingers on your canvas.

Three-finger Scrub to Clear

Clear a layer in an instant.

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

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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.

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Four-finger Tap for Full Screen

Work on your art with one brush and zero distractions.

When you want focus on your work without any interface, tap four fingers on the screen. This invokes Full Screen mode, where the interface slides away giving you a clean view of your canvas.

To bring the interface back, four-finger tap again, or tap the Full Screen indicator in the top left corner.

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Draw and Hold for QuickShape

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

Draw a line or shape, then keep your finger or stylus held on the canvas after you’re done. Your stroke will snap into a straight line or the closest detected shape.

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

Learn more about QuickShape.

Precise Slider Control

Simple, accurate sliders provide pinpoint control.

Every slider in Procreate can set for more precise control. Grab the slider, move your finger away from the sidebar, then drag up and down. This allows the slider to adjust in smaller increments. The further away from the slider you finger gets, the finer the control.

Layer Gestures

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

Pinch to Merge

Combine two or more layers into one.

On the Layers pinch two layers together to merge those layers. Any layers between them will also merge into a single combined layer.

Learn more about Merge.

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Tap to select Primary Layer

Select a Primary layer.

On the Layers panel, tap any layer to make it active. This layer will change color to bright blue, and is now your Primary.

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.

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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. Secondary layers 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 still only appear on your Primary layer.

Learn more about Primary and Secondary layers.

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Two-finger Tap for Layer Opacity

Adjust the transparency of a layer or selection.

On the Layers panel, two-finger tap a layer to make it Primary and bring up the opacity controls. Drag left and right on your canvas to decrease or increase the transparency of this layer.

If you make a selection and then two-finger tap the layer to alter opacity, the change occurs only within the selected area.

Learn more about layer opacity in Layer Blend Modes.

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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. Any transparent area will behave like a mask and remain untouched.

Alpha Lock lets you texture, detail, or shading elements of your artwork without painting outside the lines.

Learn more about Alpha Lock.

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Two-finger Hold to Select Layer Contents

Select the contents of a layer.

On the Layers panel, two-finger tap and hold layer with to select the contents of that layer.

This will select only the parts where you have drawn, painted, or pasted images. Non-transparent parts of the layer won't be selected.

You can make 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 toggled on or off. You can set up multiple shortcuts for the same function, or deactivate shortcuts from functions you rarely use. Shortcuts that trigger by touch-and-hold can use a slider to set the delay before it triggers.

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

Learn more about Gesture Controls.