How To Copy and Paste in Procreate

Procreate, the graphics editing app, allows iPad and iPhone users to get creative on the go. However, if you want to achieve true mastery of this amazing app, it would be best to start with some of the basics.

How To Copy and Paste in Procreate

The copy/paste functionality can prove essential in visual design. Copying individual elements or entire layers is a time-saver and may be necessary for certain projects. This article will show you how to do just that.

How to Copy and Paste in Procreate Pocket on an iPhone

Starting with the iPhone-exclusive version, copying and pasting in Procreate Pocket functions the same as it does in the iPad’s Procreate version. Yet, the process will look a bit different.

You can use several methods to copy and paste layers and elements.

Copy/Pasting via Menu

It’s possible to copy every element on a layer with the “Copy and Paste” menu. Before you try this method, make sure you’re positioned on the right layer. The layer currently active will be copied.

  1. Bring up the “Copy and Paste” menu by using three fingers to swipe up.
  2. Selecting “Copy” will copy the current layer, while “Copy All” will copy the entire project.
  3. Paste the elements to create a new layer containing the copied content.

Copying via Layer Duplication

If you need to copy the entire layer, there’s a way to do it even faster than with the previous method. Here’s how to duplicate a layer in Procreate:

  1. Navigate to the “Layers” panel.
  2. Select the layer you want to duplicate and swipe left on it.
  3. Choose “Duplicate” and a new layer will be created, identical to the one selected.

Copy/Pasting via the “Actions” Menu

You can access the copy/paste function in a different way through the “Actions” menu, although the same result can be achieved using the “Copy and Paste” method. Still, if you want to use this alternative method for any reason, here’s how:

  1. Go to “Layers” and select the layer you want to copy.
  2. Tap “Modify,” which will be in the top left.
  3. Enter the “Actions” menu by tapping the wrench.
  4. Tap on “Add” to bring up copying options.
  5. Similar to the first method, choose either “Copy” or “Copy canvas.”
  6. Paste the copied content by tapping “Paste.”

Copying Individual Elements

So far, we’ve covered methods of copying either the entire layer or all elements within a layer. However, you can copy each element individually as well. Here’s how:

  1. Open “Layers,” making sure the right layer is highlighted.
  2. Go to “Modify” and choose the third icon from the left. It is represented by a stylized letter “S.” This will allow you to use the Selection tool.
  3. Decide which selection method you want to use. The options are Automatic, Freehand, Rectangle, and Ellipse.
  4. Draw the selection area so that it includes the desired element. Ensure the element you want to copy is the only one in the area.
  5. With the element selected, use the “Copy and Paste” or “Actions” menu to copy and paste the selection.
  6. As with other methods, the pasted element will be created on a new layer.

How to Copy and Paste in Procreate on an iPad

As mentioned previously, copying and pasting in Procreate will function the same on the iPad app as it does in Procreate Pocket. Yet, the precise methods will be somewhat different. Here are all techniques to copy and paste on an iPad.

Copy/Paste via Shortcut

If you need to copy the entire layer, Procreate has a quick and easy option for just that:

  1. Swipe down with three fingers to bring up the “Copy & Paste” shortcut menu.
  2. Choose “Copy” or “Copy All.”
  3. Tap on “Paste.”

Copy/Pasting the Entire Layer

If you don’t want to use the handy shortcut, you can copy and paste the whole layer with an alternative method:

  1. Ensure the layer you want to copy is selected.
  2. Tap once on the layer in the “Layers” list to bring up a side menu.
  3. Choose “Copy.”
  4. Tap the wrench icon in the top left.
  5. Select “Add”, then “Paste” which should be the bottom-most option.

Once you complete step 5, the new layer will appear in the “Layers” menu.

Duplicating Layers

Layer duplication is extremely easy in Procreate and consists of only two steps:

  1. Go to “Layers” and select the desired layer.
  2. Swipe left on the layer and choose “Duplicate.”

That’s it – the duplicated layer will appear on the list.

Copy/Pasting Individual Elements

Copying entire layers can be useful but doing the same with individual elements might prove essential in various projects. Luckily, the technique for this is just as straightforward as others mentioned here:

  1. In “Layers,” select the layer containing the elements you want to copy.
  2. Tap the stylized “S” in the top left menu to bring up the Selections tool.
  3. Choose the selection method. The options will be Automatic, Freehand, Rectangle, and Ellipse.
  4. Draw the selection area around the desired object.
  5. Use either the available shortcuts or the wrench menu to copy and paste the element.

As with the layers, the copied element will form a new layer which you can find under “Layers.”

Pasting Layers or Elements to a Canvas

You’ve seen that copying and pasting within the same canvas is very straightforward. If you want to move a layer or element to a new canvas, Procreate makes this process easy, too.

In those situations, you can follow one of the methods outlined here to copy the layer or element. Then, simply go to a new canvas and tap paste.

Copy and Paste Without Losing Quality

Copying and pasting in Procreate shouldn’t cause the pasted elements to lose quality. However, you might see some blurred edges due to other factors.

In particular, if you’re copying from one canvas to another, the quality might drop if the canvases don’t have the same resolution. Here’s why:

When you set the canvas width and height, you’re essentially determining its resolution. The smaller the dimensions, the lower the resolution.

Since resolution dictates how many pixels are in an image, every element in the canvas will have the same resolution. So, if you copy an element from a canvas with a lower resolution to another canvas with a higher one, the element will stay low-res.

The apparent loss of quality will result in low-res edges showing more on a high-res canvas. Making both canvases the same size will help you avoid this issue.

Copying and Pasting With Ease

There are multiple ways to copy and paste in Procreate and Procreate Pocket. Even better, these actions can be performed on individual elements or entire layers.

Now that you know how to copy and paste in Procreate, you’ll have one less obstacle to your creativity. So, grab your iPad or iPhone and start practicing.

Did you copy and paste something in Procreate? Which method did you use? Let us know in the comments below.

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