Layers in Procreate often contain few or even only one object. If you need to adjust several elements at once, each can be on a separate layer. Editing layers individually is not particularly productive. Selecting multiple levels is the perfect answer to this problem. Once you've selected multiple layers, your customizations will be reflected on each layer. Fortunately, layer selection in Procreate is straightforward.
This article explains how to select multiple layers in Procreate, both iPhone and iPad versions. You will also read about different ways to edit the selected layers including copy and paste or delete.
How to select multiple layers in Procreate on an iPhone
- Go to the Layers panel and find the layers you want to select. You will see that one of the layers is already selected, indicated by its blue color. This happens by default.
- To select a layer, simply drag it to the right. Once the layer turns blue, you'll know it's selected.
- Selecting additional layers is just as easy. You can repeat the previous step for each level. When new levels are selected, the previous ones are not deselected.
How to select multiple layers in Procreate on an iPad
Selecting multiple layers in Procreate on an iPad is the same process as on an iPhone. We will outline the method here for the sake of clarity.
- Tap on the Layers panel to bring up the Layers menu. You will see a list of layers with one already selected. You can recognize the selected layer because it is highlighted in blue.
- Drag your finger right over a layer you want to select. If the action is performed correctly, the plane will turn blue.
- Repeat step 2 for any additional layers you want to select. You can do this for as many layers as you want - selecting new layers doesn't deselect the previous ones.
Copy and paste selected layers
Copying and pasting a single layer in Procreate is relatively easy. However, the fastest technique used for this does not work on multiple selected layers. This is because you would have to tap on a layer to open the copy and paste settings. This way the method would not be applied to all levels.
The same applies to the Duplicate option. This tool requires you to swipe left on a single layer. This means that you cannot duplicate multiple layers using this method.
To copy and paste multiple layers, you need to create a new canvas and drag the layers there. How to do it.
- Create a new canvas and make sure it's formatted correctly. It is best to use the same format as the original canvas as this will ensure that the objects on the layers are not distorted.
- Return to the original canvas where you selected the layers you want. If you haven't selected multiple layers, now would be a good time to do so.
- Tap and hold all selected layers. The promotion applies to the entire selection.
- Once you hold down the selector, use your other hand to tap on "Gallery" in the top left.
- With the gallery open, start dragging the selected layers until you reach an empty area inside the gallery. Do not release the selection yet.
- While still holding the layers selected, open the new canvas you created in Step 1.
- Finally, position the layers in the middle of the new canvas and lift your finger. You'll know the layers are being imported when a loading screen appears.
Copy and paste selected layers by grouping
An alternative method to the one above would be to group all the layers you want to copy. This allows you to continue working in the same canvas, but it has a downside.
Merging multiple layers makes it impossible to work on individual layers. Instead, they represent a single object in Procreate, and any changes you make to them affect the whole.
On the plus side, this method is much easier and gives you a backup version of your project.
- In the Layers panel, select each layer you want to copy by swiping right.
- When multiple layers are selected, you'll see two options at the top of the Layers panel: Delete and Group. Use the Group option. Note that this step does not merge the layers.
- At this point you can copy the group. This option is available under group actions. Once you choose to copy, the panel will say New Group.
- After the group is copied, each individual layer within it is still available. If you want to merge all layers into one, you can do it while they are grouped.
- To merge layers, you can use the Flatten option. Note that editing individual layers is not possible after merging.
Select all levels
Procreate doesn't offer a "Select All" option when it comes to layers. You cannot auto-select every layer on your canvas.
This means that you have to manage the selection manually. While the method for doing this is very simple - you just have to swipe right on each layer - it can be time-consuming when you're working on a large number of layers.
You can make the process a little easier if you get into the habit of merging finished layers. For example, if you have two layers with two objects that don't need further editing, you can group those layers and then collapse them into one.
The selection method still requires you to manually select each layer, but you can handle fewer layers.
Delete selected layers
Unlike selecting all layers, deleting multiple layers in Procreate is not only possible, it's also very easy. To do this, you can use two different methods: deleting the selection or deleting groups.
How to delete a selection of layers.
- Select the layers you want to clear by swiping right on each layer.
- Once the layers are selected, you'll see Delete and Group options at the top of the Layers panel. If you choose Delete, the selected layers will be removed.
The layers can be in one group, or you can have multiple groups of layers. In this case, the process will be even easier.
You can delete a single layer group just like you delete a layer.
- Open the Layers panel and find the group.
- Swipe left to view the menu. You will see Lock, Duplicate, and Delete options. You should tap on "Delete". Once you do this, the group and all layers within it will be deleted.
If you have multiple groups, the process of deleting is the same as deleting multiple layers.
- In the Layers panel, select the groups you want to delete by swiping right. Note that you can also select additional individual layers.
- Tap on the “Delete” option at the top right.
Deselecting layers and groups in Procreate
Selecting multiple layers is a very useful feature, but you can't fully use it unless you know how to do the opposite - deselect layers.
Working in multiple layers can be confusing and you can choose the wrong layers. In this case, you'll want to know how to reverse the action before proceeding. Deselecting layers in Procreate is practically effortless.
You deselect a layer the same way you selected it—by swiping right on the layer. This method also works for groups.
Protect your project while working with multiple layers
The changes you make to multiple layers are complicated to undo at best, or permanent at worst. That means you need a backup in case something goes wrong.
The best way to back up your project before you start working with multiple layers is to simply make a copy of the entire project. Once you have done that, you can take drastic action and feel confident that you can revert to the previous version.
Unlock the possibilities of level selection
Once you master selecting and working with multiple layers, various processes in Procreate become much faster. By editing multiple layers at once, you can quickly make significant changes to your artwork.
In this article we have given you all the essential tools for working with multiple layers. We showed you how to select, deselect, copy and paste, and delete layers. Along with the rest of the tools in Procreate, this knowledge will prove to be a powerful asset to your creative endeavors.
Did you manage to select multiple levels? What did you do with the selection? Let us know in the comment section below.
How do I select multiple layers? ›
Press-and-hold the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and, in the Layers panel, click directly on the layers you want to move to select them (each layer will become highlighted as you click on it).How do I mass select in Procreate? ›
To select multiple layers in Procreate, open your Layers panel and swipe right on every layer you want selected. Your primary layer will be highlighted in bright blue. The other layers you've selected will be highlighted in dark blue. Swipe right on each layer again to remove it from your selection.Can you move multiple layers at once in Procreate? ›
You can control and edit multiple layers at once by layer selections. Perform bulk moving, grouping, deletion or transformation. Procreate Pocket offers Primary and Secondary layers selection to give you finer control.How do I select multiple layers in Procreate IPAD? ›
To select multiple layers in Procreate, slide each layer that you'd like to select to the right. The selected layer will then be highlighted in blue, indicating that it is selected. You can then deselect the layers by sliding them to the right again.Which key used to select multiple layers? ›
To select more than one layer, Ctrl+click (Win) or Command+click (Mac) each layer that you want to select. To deselect a selected layer, Ctrl/Command+click it again.How do I group layers quickly in Procreate? ›
To group layers in Procreate, select each layer that you'd like to group by sliding it to the right. Then, click the “Group” button that populates at the top of the menu when you have multiple layers selected.Is there a quick selection tool in Procreate? ›
Select sections of your artwork in an instant. Tap the Selection button to bring up the Selection toolbar. Tap Automatic. Now you can tap other areas on your canvas and Automatic mode will add them to your selection.How do you select all layers in Procreate without merging? ›
Put all the layers you want to move into a group, select that group (in the checkbox) and move it with the cursor button. You can take layers out of the group again when you're done. You can also put groups into groups.How do you select multiple layers to delete in Procreate? ›
Select all the layers in your layer panel by swiping right on each of them. Then click “delete”. Procreate will then come up with a message to ask you if you would like to delete all of the layers, and you can select “yes”.How do you select all layers in a concept? ›
Use Layer Selection to select all layers. Tap on the active layer to open the layer options popup. Tap on the selection arrow icon to select everything on the layer. Then tap once to select another layer and tap on it again to open the layer options.
How do you select multiple parts at once? ›
Select multiple objects. Press and hold Shift or Ctrl while you select the objects.What is the shortcut to select multiple layers in Photoshop? ›
From the Select Menu: Command + Option + A (Mac) / Control + Alt + A (Win) will select all layers. Note: hidden layers are included in this selection, however the Background is not selected with this shortcut.