4 Easy Steps to Move Objects in Procreate
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 4 min read


1. Get familiar with Procreate

2. Select the Object

3. Move the Object

4. Finalize the Placement

Unlocking the full potential of Procreate, a renowned digital illustration app, often boils down to knowing the ins and outs of its interface. One common task you may find yourself needing to know is how to move things in Procreate. Whether you're reshuffling layers or adjusting design elements, mastering this skill will vastly improve your workflow. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the easy steps to move objects in Procreate.

1. Get familiar with Procreate

Before diving into the specifics of how to move things in Procreate, it's important to familiarize yourself with the app. This includes getting to know the interface, locating the move tool, and experimenting with layers.

Explore the Interface

Procreate's interface is intuitive and user-friendly, but it helps to know where everything is located. The toolbar, found on the top of the screen, contains all the essential tools you'll need, including the move tool. The layers panel, on the other hand, is located on the right side of the screen and is where you can manage and organize your layers—a key aspect when moving objects.

Find the Move Tool

Now that you're familiar with the interface, let's locate the move tool. It's represented by a small arrow icon located in the top toolbar. This is the tool that allows you to move, scale, or rotate any object or layer in your canvas. Remember, this tool is your best friend when it comes to understanding how to move things in Procreate.

Experiment with Layers

Procreate uses a layer-based system, similar to Photoshop, which allows you to work on one element of your design without affecting the others. To move an object, you simply select its layer and use the move tool. Try creating several layers and practice moving them around. It's a good way to get a feel for how layers and the move tool work together.

2. Select the Object

Once you're comfortable with the interface and tools, the next step in learning how to move things in Procreate is selecting the object you wish to move. This involves using the selection tool, adjusting the selection area, and understanding the different selection modes.

Use the Selection Tool

The selection tool, represented by the "S" icon in the top toolbar, allows you to define the object or area you want to move. Tap on the icon and then draw around the object on your layer. Once you lift your stylus or finger, the area you've drawn around becomes selected.

Adjust the Selection Area

Didn't get the selection area quite right the first time? No worries. Procreate allows you to adjust the selection area by dragging the corners or edges of the selected area. This way, you can ensure that the exact object or area you want to move is selected. Experiment with this until you're happy with your selection.

Understand Selection Modes

Procreate offers different selection modes—freehand, automatic, rectangle, and ellipse. Each can be useful depending on what you're trying to select. Freehand is great for irregular shapes, while the rectangle and ellipse modes are perfect for geometric shapes. The automatic mode, on the other hand, allows you to select areas based on color. Knowing which mode to use can make the process of learning how to move things in Procreate much smoother.

3. Move the Object

Now that you've selected your object, it's time for the main action — moving it. This is the heart of the process of how to move things in Procreate and involves activating the move tool, dragging and dropping the object, and using the nudge option for precise movements.

Activate the Move Tool

Activating the move tool is as simple as selecting the arrow icon in the top menu. Once selected, your chosen object or area is ready to be moved. Give it a go — tap and hold the selected area, and notice how it moves with your stylus or finger.

Drag and Drop the Object

Once you've activated the move tool, moving your object is as easy as dragging and dropping. Simply tap, hold, and drag your object to its new location. Drop it by releasing your hold. Don't worry if you don't get it right the first time; with Procreate, you can always undo your moves and try again.

Use the Nudge Option

For those who require pixel-perfect placement, the nudge option is your best friend. After selecting the move tool, the nudge option appears in the bottom menu. This tool allows you to move your object one pixel at a time, ensuring precision. Remember, mastering how to move things in Procreate involves both broad strokes and fine-tuned adjustments.

4. Finalize the Placement

The last step in learning how to move things in Procreate is finalizing the placement of your object. This involves checking the object position, locking the layer, and saving your work. Let's dive right in.

Check the Object Position

Once you've moved your object, take a moment to check its position. Does it look right? Is it aligned with other elements in your artwork? If it doesn't feel quite right, remember you can always go back and adjust. Procreate provides a tool called "Quickline" that can be handy for aligning objects — just drag your object and hold until a blue line appears. This will help you align it perfectly.

Lock the Layer

Got your object right where you want it? Perfect! Now, to avoid any accidental shifts, it's a good idea to lock the layer. Simply tap on the layer and select "lock." This ensures your object stays put, no matter what else you do in your Procreate canvas. It's a small step, but a significant one in mastering how to move things in Procreate.

Save Your Work

Last but certainly not least, don't forget to save your work. There's nothing more disappointing than losing your progress because you forgot to hit save. In Procreate, you can do this by tapping on the wrench icon and selecting "Share" then "Procreate." Now, you can rest easy knowing your masterpiece is safe and sound.

If you enjoyed learning about moving objects in Procreate and want to continue developing your skills, check out the workshop titled 'How to Draw A Fruit In ProCreate' by Vicky Catalan. This workshop will teach you step-by-step techniques to create realistic and vibrant fruit illustrations using Procreate.