Six shortcuts to turbocharge your workflow.

Tips & Tricks March 2, 2022

There is nothing quite like entering your flow state to get your creativity charging. That image in your mind’s eye transferring seamlessly to the canvas is a magical feeling. While most people already enjoy entering the creative zone that is Procreate’s big blank canvas, why not try out some of these latest tricks and combos to keep you in the flow and out of the multi-layered menus? We guarantee you’ll spend more time doing what you love and lot less of what you don’t.

Short cut your way to success with QuickMenu.

Perfect for customizing Procreate shortcuts to the way you work.

QuickMenu is Procreate’s secret weapon for setting up shortcuts to all your favorite actions at the flick of a finger. Although it has been a feature for some time, many don’t realize it’s waiting to turbo charge your Procreate experience. Featuring a fully customizable six button radial menu, you can set your most used Procreate actions to instantly activate without ever leaving the canvas. And, best of all you can set multiple QuickMenus for your various workflows such as sketching, inking, coloring, or any other regularly performed tasks.

Step 1: Go to Actions > Prefs > Gesture controls > QuickMenu to set a gesture to activate your QuickMenu.

Step 2: Return to your canvas and perform your chosen gesture to activate QuickMenu.

Step 3: While QuickMenu activated, tap and hold any of the six buttons to select and assign an action to customize QuickMenu to your liking.

Bonus: Commit your favorite shortcuts like a boss with a quicker drag motion or flick towards any Action button.

From renaming your menu to creating multiple shortcut sets, QuickMenu customizes Procreate to your preferred workflow. And once you’ve set it up and mastered quickly activating your favorite actions, you’ll be working faster than ever without having to take your eyes off the canvas.

Flip and draw with Page Assist.

Perfect for sketching ideas, note taking, life drawing, scrapbooking and comic creation.

Procreate has always been great for sketching out quick ideas, but did you know Page Assist can make it even quicker? Ideal for concepting and ideation, or for those wanting to turn iPad into their own personal art journal or comic creator. Combining Page Assist with QuickMenu gives it that classic sketchbook flow and feel of finishing one idea then flipping to a new page to get on with the next completely uninterrupted. All in two simple steps.

Step 1: Head to Actions > Canvas and toggle Page Assist on to turn any Procreate document into this handy flip-book style format.

Step 2: Add the Next Page and Previous Page shortcuts to QuickMenu.

Now you can flip through and add pages without having to touch your timeline or layers panel. Perfect for keeping your flow going, and getting those ideas down before they disappear.

Nail that perfect shape or line with QuickShape.

Perfect for instant and precise shape and line making.

QuickShape feels like magic every time it snaps those rough hand-drawn lines and shapes into perfect forms in the blink of an eye. But did you know there is more to QuickShape than just perfect shapes and straight lines?

Create: Draw a line or shape and hold on the canvas. The stroke will then ‘snap’ into a perfect line, arc, poly-line, ellipse, triangle, or quadrilateral shape.

Control: Keep holding on the canvas, then drag to scale or rotate your shape or line. Or, hold a second finger on the canvas while dragging to rotate the equilateral shape in fifteen-degree increments.

Edit: After you’ve lifted your finger or Pencil from the canvas to create the shape, you can tap Edit Shape in the notification bar at the top of the canvas. Various shape options and transform nodes will appear to help further adjust your shape.

This underrated Procreate feature not only saves time but it is also smart and intuitive for a smoother workflow. All while giving you the control over tweaking shapes even further with Edit Shape.

Set and forget with Brush Size Memory.

Perfect for inking, outlining and lettering.

Consistent brush size and opacity settings are vital when outlining or inking and you can easily achieve this by having your favorite settings for your go-to brushes stored using Brush Size Memory. Represented as small horizontal marks on the brush slider, these settings mean you can keep perfect stroke consistency, return to a piece at a later date with brush size and opacity settings intact, or even carry them across to a completely new canvas. Best of all, you can set up to four of these memory settings for each and every brush in your library. Just like your favorite collection of fine-liner or brush pens that comes in a pack of different sizes, but all you need to do is flicking one finger.

Step 1: Tap the light grey marker on the brush size/opacity sidebar, and tap the + sign in the top right of the brush size or opacity preview window to memorize.

Step 2: Tap, slide or flick up or down near the memory mark(s) to quickly switch between settings.

Now you can reproduce perfectly consistent line weights and opacities as you work on your next comic frame or art-piece. This works hand-in-hand with Recent Brushes. Haven’t discovered Recent Brushes yet? Read on…

Find your favorite and Recent Brushes instantly.

Always have your favorite brushes to hand.

We all have our go-to brushes, but finding them as more and more new brush packs get added to your library is another matter. As is trying to remember the fifth last brush you picked up when trying out some different brushes. But, locating your favorite brushes can be fast and simple. Sitting at the top of Brush Library is the Recent brushes folder, and it is here you will find your 8 most recently used brushes.

This is a great time saver, but even more useful is the ability to pin a brush to permanently keep it easily within reach. Swipe left on any brush located in Recent brushes to reveal the Pin button then tap. A star will appear in the top right of the brush keeping it at the top of Recent brushes until you decide to Unpin it. Should you ever need to find the original source folder where a Recent or favorite brush lives, you can also swipe left and tap Find.

Layer Select on canvas for a non-disruptive workflow.

Find layers without entering the Layer panel.

Layers have become ubiquitous in digital art, helping artists separate out their compositions into complex yet relatively easy-to-manage pieces. But every digital artist also knows layers can be not-so-easy when it comes to finding where an individual piece of your art puzzle sits within a layer stack, especially if that object happens to sit hidden in a grouped layer. This is where Layer Select comes in handy. Layer Select is a shortcut that finds any layer without having to open the Layers Panel, even if that layer sits buried in a collapsed grouped layer. Best of all, it does this with a simple finger touch or tap of your Apple Pencil.

Step 1: Tap Actions > Prefs > Gesture controls > Layer Select.

Step 2: Toggle on a Layer Select shortcut (our favorite is Modify button + touch).

Step 3: Use your preferred shortcut gesture to tap an area of your canvas. This will display the layer that part of your artwork exists on as a small pop-up panel and select it.

If there happens to be multiple layers dedicated to the area you tapped, a mini layer-stack of pop-up panel appears, letting you select the exact layer you wish to work on. This saves you diving into the layers panel and keeps you focussed on your artwork.

Try out these features the next time you are creating in Procreate to see if they suit your way of working. Practice makes perfect, but once committed to memory we think you’ll find they save you a heap of time, and more importantly keep you creating more and tinkering less.

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