How to Copy Something on Procreate: A Fun and Friendly Tutorial


Are you looking to learn how to copy something on Procreate? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced digital artist, Procreate offers a variety of tools and techniques to help you create amazing artwork. In this article, we will guide you through the process of copying and duplicating elements in Procreate, so you can enhance your creativity and efficiency. From simple shapes to complex illustrations, mastering the copy feature in Procreate will unlock endless possibilities for your artwork.

Understanding the Basics of Copying in Procreate

Before we dive into the step-by-step tutorial, let’s familiarize ourselves with the basic concepts of copying in Procreate.

1. The Importance of Copying

Copying is a fundamental skill for any digital artist using Procreate. It allows you to duplicate elements, experiment with different variations, and save time in your creative process. Whether you want to create symmetrical designs, work on multiple versions of an artwork, or reuse elements in different compositions, copying is an essential technique to master.

2. The Copying Process

The process of copying in Procreate is straightforward and intuitive. When you copy an element, it creates a duplicate on a new layer while keeping the original element intact. This functionality allows you to modify and manipulate the copied element independently, giving you greater flexibility and control over your artwork.

3. Copying vs. Duplicating

In Procreate, the terms “copying” and “duplicating” are often used interchangeably, but they have slightly different implications. Copying creates an exact replica of the selected element, while duplicating duplicates the selected element with all its associated attributes. Understanding this difference can help you choose the right technique depending on your specific needs.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Copy Something on Procreate

Now that you have a solid understanding of the basic concepts, let’s dive into the step-by-step tutorial on how to copy something in Procreate.

1. Select the Element

The first step is to select the element you want to copy. This can be a shape, a layer, or even an entire artwork. Use the selection tool to precisely outline the element you wish to duplicate. To ensure accuracy, you can zoom in for a closer view of the canvas.

2. Access the Copy Function

Once you’ve selected the element, access the copy function. You can find this option in the top toolbar or by tapping on the wrench icon to open the Actions menu. Look for the “Copy” or “Duplicate” option and tap on it.

3. Paste the Copied Element

After copying the element, navigate to the desired location where you want to paste it. You can create a new layer to ensure the copied element remains separate from the original. Tap on the canvas to place the copied element.

4. Manipulate the Copied Element

Now that you have pasted the copied element, you can manipulate it to fit your artistic vision. Procreate offers a wide range of tools and features to resize, rotate, flip, or adjust the opacity of the copied element. Experiment with these options to create unique variations of your artwork.

5. Duplicate Multiple Elements

Procreate allows you to copy and duplicate multiple elements simultaneously. To do this, use the selection tool to choose all the elements you want to duplicate. Follow the same copy and paste steps mentioned earlier, and Procreate will create replicas of all the selected elements on separate layers.

6. Utilize Keyboard Shortcuts

If you’re looking to expedite your workflow, Procreate offers keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting. On a Mac, use the ⌘C (Command + C) shortcut to copy and ⌘V (Command + V) to paste. On Windows, the shortcuts are Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, respectively. These shortcuts can significantly speed up your creative process, especially if you frequently copy and paste elements.

Copying Tips and Tricks

Now that you have mastered the basics, let’s explore some advanced tips and tricks to take your copying skills to the next level.

1. Smart Duplicate

Procreate’s Smart Duplicate feature automatically adjusts the position and spacing of duplicated elements, allowing you to create symmetrical designs effortlessly. To enable Smart Duplicate, select an element, access the Actions menu, and tap on “Smart Duplicate.” This feature is particularly useful for creating intricate patterns or mirroring elements.

2. Layer Transform

When copying elements on different layers, you can utilize the Layer Transform feature to manipulate the entire layer simultaneously. This allows for easy scaling, rotating, or flipping of multiple elements together, maintaining their relative positions. To access Layer Transform, select the layer containing the elements, go to the Actions menu, and tap on “Transform.”

3. Copy as Reference

If you want to use an element as a reference without modifying it, Procreate offers the option to “Copy as Reference.” This allows you to paste the copied element into a new layer without altering its properties. To copy as a reference, select the element, access the copy function, and choose “Copy as Reference” instead of “Copy.” Paste it into a new layer, and you can use it for reference or tracing.

4. Implement Layer Masks

Layer masks in Procreate allow you to non-destructively hide or reveal specific parts of an element. When copying elements, consider using layer masks to selectively show or hide portions of the duplicated element. This technique is especially useful when creating complex compositions or blending multiple elements seamlessly.

How to Copy Something on Procreate – FAQ

1. Can I copy multiple elements at once?

Yes, Procreate allows you to copy and duplicate multiple elements simultaneously. Use the selection tool to choose all the elements you want to duplicate, and follow the copy and paste steps mentioned earlier. Each selected element will be duplicated on separate layers, ready for further manipulation.

2. Can I paste a copied element into a different Procreate project?

No, Procreate does not currently support pasting copied elements into different projects. You can only paste a copied element within the same project. However, you can export the copied element as a PNG file and import it into a different Procreate project if needed.

3. Is there a keyboard shortcut for copying in Procreate?

Absolutely! Procreate offers keyboard shortcuts to streamline your workflow. On Mac, you can use the ⌘C (Command + C) shortcut to copy and ⌘V (Command + V) to paste. On Windows, the shortcuts are Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, respectively. Incorporating these shortcuts into your artistic process will save you time and effort.


Mastering the copy feature in Procreate opens up a world of creative possibilities. By understanding the basics, following the step-by-step tutorial, and exploring advanced tips and tricks, you can leverage this powerful tool to enhance your artwork. Whether you’re a digital art enthusiast, professional artist, or simply looking to experiment with your creativity, Procreate’s copying functionality will undoubtedly become an invaluable asset in your toolbox. So, grab your stylus, unleash your imagination, and start copying, creating, and inspiring!

Closing Words

In this comprehensive article, we have delved into the intricacies of copying in Procreate. Remember, copying is a technique that empowers artists to explore and experiment, but it’s essential to respect copyrights and give credit to original creators when necessary. Procreate offers an array of features and possibilities, and by harnessing the power of copying, you can elevate your digital artwork to new heights. So, embrace your creativity, master the copy feature, and embark on a journey of artistic expression with Procreate. Happy creating!

Copy Shortcut Mac Windows
Copy ⌘C (Command + C) Ctrl+C
Paste ⌘V (Command + V) Ctrl+V

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