Procreate 4.2 Tutorial – Gestures and Customisation

Welcome back to my tutorial on using Procreate! I’ve talked about the Art Gallery features and how to organise your gallery in the previous post. For this post onwards, I will be talking about the canvas interface. In this post, I will be showing you the gestures available in the Procreate app. They are shortcuts and actions you can do to aid your drawing process. They are also highly customisable.

Canvas Gestures

Below are some useful gestures that you can use in Procreate.

Paint, smudge or erase with your fingers, experiment with speed. Or you can connect with a stylus like an Apple pencil.

Tap once with 2 fingers anywhere on the canvas to undo. 250 undos, tap and hold for multiple undos.

Tap once with 3 fingers anywhere on the canvas to redo , tap and hold for multiple redos.

Quick shape, draw a stroke and hold your finger/ stylus, it will change to a perfectly straight line. try other shapes like circles, rectangles, triangles etc.

Drag 3 fingers quickly left and right to clear the current layer,

Pinch with 2 fingers inward or outward to zoom in and out.

Rotate the canvas with 2 fingers.

Quickly pinch 2 fingers inwards to fit the canvas to screen

Drag 3 fingers down on the canvas for some shortcuts: cut, copy and paste

Tap with 4 fingers for full-screen mode, the toolbars will disappear, tap again with 4 fingers to show toolbars again

These may seem like a lot to remember but they are pretty intuitive and you will be able to get used to them in no time!

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Customised Gestures

To customise gestures, go to actions, prefs, gesture controls (at the bottom).

You will see a list of available actions on the left. select one and you will see different options you can choose to customise that action on the right. Each action can have multiple gestures, but each gesture can only be assigned to one action.

Most of the actions are pretty straightforward. Some may need a bit more explaining.

Assisted drawing

Assisted drawing is used together with the drawing guide action. You can find it in Actions -> Canvas -> Drawing Guide. You can edit the drawing guide by pressing edit drawing guide below it. You can only edit the drawing guide when it’s turned on. I will talk about the drawing guides in more detail in future posts.


Quickshape is used to create straight lines and geometric shapes like ovals and rectangles. draw a line or a shape that you want and hold your finger or Apple pencil until the shape changes to a perfect shape. When that happens, keep your finger or Apple pencil on the canvas, move it around to change the size and rotation of the shape or line. Release when you are done. You will be able to edit the shape more by tapping on the edit shape option which will show up just below the tools bar.


There are 6 quickmenu slots. To edit them, press and hold until the options show up. Scroll around and pick one.

If the gesture invoking the quick menu is by touching the canvas, hold and drag your finger or canvas to the desired action to select it quickly.

The quick menu can be dismissed by tapping anywhere.

Keyboard shortcut

You can also pair a compatible Bluetooth keyboard to your iPad and use keyboard shortcuts. You can find the list here.


Gestures and shortcuts are very useful and convenient, setting them up the way you like them is going to help you creative workflow more efficient. I personally use these gestures all the time.

Don’t have an ipad for Procreate or prefer digital painting from your laptop?

Try out the Clip Studio Paint 30 days free trial!

It is the app for artists, designed for drawing & painting. Open the door to creativity without limits, with specialized features for illustration, comics, manga, webtoons, concept art, design, and animation built-in.

It is the main software that I use for my digital drawings. It is a cheaper(one-time payment!) alternative to Photoshop.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and has found it useful. If you purchase anything through the affiliate links that I’ve provided, I’ll get a small amount of commission (at no extra cost to you!) which helps me continue writing art-related blog posts and tutorials like this one.

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