How To Duplicate In Procreate

One of the fundamental functions of Procreate is the duplicate function. Duplicating allows you to create another layer identical to an existing layer, and there are several benefits to knowing how to do this quickly. 

But how do you do it? If you are new to the world of Procreate, it can be a tricky one to master and leaves many of us feeling overwhelmed, dreading powering the app up and not knowing what to do.

How To Duplicate In Procreate

Well, no more! The following article will break down exactly how to duplicate layers within a Procreate project, as well as how to perform some of the other functions you’re likely to use for every project.

We’ll also be looking at some alternative ways to duplicate layers. 

How To Duplicate Layers In A Procreate Project

There are a few different ways to duplicate within a Procreate project, but the most basic method is duplicating layers. This method will also apply to text because the text will be its layer. 

The first step to duplicating layers is, naturally, opening the Layers panel. You’ll find this at the top right-hand side of the Procreate interface. Once you’ve opened this tab, select a layer by tapping on it. 

Now that the layer is selected, swipe left on it, and three different options will come up: duplicate, lock, and clear.

Tap ‘duplicate’, and a new layer will appear directly above the original layer within the Layers panel. This layer will be identical to the layer below it- even the name will be the same.

So, that’s the fastest way to duplicate a layer within a Procreate project. But what if you only want to duplicate part of a layer, rather than a whole layer? 

Duplicating Sections Of A Layer 

It might be that you only want to duplicate a specific part of a layer. To do this, you need to first check that the layer in question is activated. Then, head to the Selections Menu, which you’ll find on the top toolbar. 

Once you’ve accessed this menu, you’ll be given multiple different options at the bottom of the Procreate interface.

One of these options will be Add. Enable this, and then you’ll need to pick a method of selection. There are four different options. 

Automatic will activate an algorithm that will automate a selection once you swipe over an area of the layer with your finger.

If you’ve tried Automatic and it hasn’t selected the part you intended to select, then you can try the three other options, one of which is Freehand, which lets you draw with your finger the area you’d like to select. 

The Rectangle option will allow you to select an area of the layer in the shape of a rectangle or a square, simply by swiping around the part of the layer you want to be selected.

Finally, the Ellipse option will generate a rounder selection of the area you’d like to select, which you’ll also create by swiping. 

Most of these options are fairly straightforward (and they either work or they don’t); it’s the Freehand option that requires some precision on your part.

To use Freehand, draw a line around the area you’d like to select. The completed selection will be indicated by a dotted line around the area. 

To duplicate this area of the layer, you’re going to want to head to the Actions menu, which you can access by tapping the icon on the top left-hand side of your interface- the one that looks like a wrench.

From this menu, tap Add. 

Once you’re in the Add menu, hit Copy, and your selected area will be copied to the clipboard. Then hit Paste, and the area will effectively be duplicated into your project in the form of a new layer.

You’ll be able to see this in the Layers panel. 

Copy And Pasting A Section Onto A New Canvas

You can also copy and paste part of a layer into a new canvas, and it’s much the same process.

Simply tap Selections, then use Freehand (or one of the three other selection tools, if you don’t need to be so specific with your selection) to draw a line around the area you intend to bring to a new canvas. 

Hit the wrench icon, and when the options appear, choose Copy. Next, create a new canvas, and once it’s loaded hit the wrench icon again. Remember to enable Add, which is as simple as tapping said word. 

Tap Paste, and even though you copied the selection in a prior canvas, it will be pasted into your new canvas. 

Copy And Pasting A Layer Onto A New Canvas

Naturally, you can also copy and paste entire layers onto a new canvas. Head to the Layers panel of your original canvas and select the layer you’d like to copy to a new canvas. 

Tap the layer and hit Copy, then create a new canvas (or select another existing canvas), and hit the wrench icon. Enable Add, and then select Paste. You’ll now see a duplicate of the layer in your Layers tab. 

Selection Tools

We’ve covered how to use the Freehand selection tool, but there are three other options: Automatic, Ellipse, and Rectangle. Here’s how to use each of these tools effectively. 

Automatic

Once you’ve tapped an area that you’d like to select and it’s automatically highlighted in the corresponding section, you can adjust how big this section is by tapping the threshold percentage bar under the menu at the top of your interface.

Slide right or left depending on if you want less of the layer selected or more of the area selected.

Sliding your finger up this bar will widen the selection. 

Rectangle 

This is the option that allows you to select a rectangle or square-shaped section of your project.

All you need to do to use this function is tap the area you’d like to select, and then adjust with the same finger the size and the shape of the rectangle that will appear. 

Once the rectangle or square is covering the right area, take your finger off of the screen. If you’d instead like to select an area as an exact square, tap and drag with two fingers rather than one finger. 

Ellipse 

This is most similar to Rectangle and lets you select an area in an oval or round shape.

Tap the area you’d like to select and then, in the same way, you adjusted the size of the rectangle or square with the previous tool, tweak the shape and size of the ellipse. 

Once the shape is covering the area you wanted it to cover, let your finger go. If you want to select an area in an exact circle, use two fingers instead of one. 

Conclusion

There are a few different ways to duplicate within a Procreate project, and with this guide, you should be able to make use of each of these methods with ease.

You’re unlikely to be using all of them, and you might never use some of them, but it’s useful to know how to perform all these functions regardless. 

You’d most often be duplicating layers, for which there is a specific function. But for duplicating specific sections of your projects, you’ll be copying and pasting, which is just as simple as the actual Duplicate function.

Michael Moore

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