How to Merge Layers in Procreate: A Comprehensive Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


Understanding Procreate Layers

Why Merge Layers in Procreate?

How to Merge Layers in Procreate: Step-by-Step Guide

Advanced Merging Techniques

Best Practices for Merging Layers in Procreate

So, you've been using Procreate to create some amazing digital art, and now you want to learn how to merge layers in Procreate. You've come to the right place! In this blog, we'll cover everything you need to know about Procreate layers, why merging them is important, and of course, a step-by-step guide on how to merge layers in Procreate. Let's dive in!

Understanding Procreate Layers

Before we get into merging layers, it's important to have a solid understanding of what layers are and how they work in Procreate. Think of layers as transparent sheets stacked on top of each other, with each sheet containing a different part of your artwork. This allows you to work on individual aspects of your piece without affecting the rest of the image.

Layer Basics

Here are a few basics to help you understand layers in Procreate:

  • Opacity: You can adjust the transparency of each layer, making it more or less visible in your artwork.
  • Blend Modes: These are different ways layers can interact with each other to create unique effects. Examples include Multiply, Overlay, and Screen.
  • Layer Order: The order of your layers matters, as layers on top will cover those below them unless their opacity is reduced or a blend mode is applied.
  • Layer Limits: Procreate has a limit on the number of layers you can use, depending on the size of your canvas and the device you're using. Keep this in mind as you work.

Types of Layers

There are several types of layers you can create in Procreate:

  • Pixel Layers: These are your standard layers, where you can paint, draw, and erase.
  • Vector Layers: These layers use vector-based shapes, which can be edited without losing quality.
  • Adjustment Layers: These layers allow you to apply non-destructive adjustments to your artwork, like color balance or brightness.

Knowing the different layer types will help you become more efficient in your work and better understand how to merge layers in Procreate.

Layer Management

When working with layers, it's crucial to keep your workspace organized. Here are a few tips for managing your layers in Procreate:

  • Use descriptive names for your layers to help you quickly identify them later.
  • Group related layers together to keep things tidy and make it easier to find what you need.
  • Lock or hide layers that you don't want to accidentally edit or otherwise disturb.

Now that you've got a good understanding of Procreate layers, let's explore why it's essential to learn how to merge layers in Procreate.

Why Merge Layers in Procreate?

So, you've got the hang of using layers in Procreate, but you might be wondering why you'd ever want to merge them. Merging layers can offer several benefits, from reducing file sizes to improving your workflow. Let's take a closer look at these advantages and how they can help you work smarter, not harder.

File Size Reduction

As you create more layers in your artwork, the file size of your Procreate project can quickly balloon. This can lead to slower performance and even crash the app if your device can't handle it. By learning how to merge layers in Procreate, you can streamline your project and keep file sizes in check.

When you merge layers, the app combines the visual information from multiple layers into a single layer. This helps to reduce the memory and processing power needed to work on your project, resulting in faster load times and better overall performance. It's a win-win for both you and your device!


Keeping your Procreate workspace organized is essential for maintaining a smooth creative process. As your artwork becomes more complex, it's easy for the number of layers to get out of hand. Merging related layers can help you stay organized and make it easier to locate specific elements in your project.

For example, if you're working on a detailed character design, you might have multiple layers for the hair, skin, clothing, and accessories. By merging the hair layers into a single layer, you can keep your workspace tidy and easily locate the hair later if you need to make adjustments. Remember, organization is the key to an efficient workflow!

Workflow Efficiency

When you're in the zone, creating art, the last thing you want is to be slowed down by a cluttered workspace. Merging layers not only helps with organization, but it can also improve your overall workflow efficiency in Procreate.

By reducing the number of layers you're working with, you can quickly navigate between different parts of your artwork and make adjustments without getting lost in a sea of layers. Just think of how much time you'll save when you know exactly where to find the layer you need! Mastering how to merge layers in Procreate is an important skill to help you work faster and more effectively.

Now that you understand the benefits of merging layers in Procreate, let's move on to the actual process of how to merge layers in Procreate.

How to Merge Layers in Procreate: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you have a solid grasp on the benefits of merging layers in Procreate, let's dive into the specifics of how to merge layers in Procreate. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process, from selecting the layers to troubleshooting common issues. Whether you're a seasoned Procreate user or just getting started, these tips will have you merging layers like a pro in no time!

Selecting Layers

The first step in merging layers in Procreate is to select the layers you want to merge. Here's how:

  1. Open the Layers panel by tapping on the layers icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Find the layers you want to merge. Remember, it's always a good idea to keep your layers organized and named for easy identification.
  3. To select multiple layers, swipe right on each layer you want to merge. You'll see a blue checkmark appear next to the selected layers.

With your layers selected, you're now ready to merge them.

Merging Layers

Now that you've selected the layers you want to merge, it's time to bring them together. Follow these simple steps for how to merge layers in Procreate:

  1. With your layers selected, tap on the small "..." icon at the top of the Layers panel. This will open a dropdown menu with various layer options.
  2. Tap on "Merge Down" or "Merge Selected" to merge your layers. "Merge Down" will merge the selected layer with the one below it, while "Merge Selected" will merge all the selected layers into a single layer.
  3. Once your layers are merged, you'll see them combined into one layer in the Layers panel.

Voilà! You've successfully merged layers in Procreate. But what if you run into any issues? Let's look at some troubleshooting tips.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While merging layers in Procreate is generally straightforward, you might encounter some hiccups along the way. Here are a few common issues and their solutions:

  • Can't select layers: If you're having trouble selecting multiple layers, make sure you're swiping right on the layers rather than tapping them.
  • Layers aren't merging correctly: Double-check that you've selected the correct layers and that you're using the appropriate merge option ("Merge Down" or "Merge Selected").
  • Merged layer looks different: If your merged layer looks different from what you expected, it might be due to layer blending modes or opacity settings. Before merging, ensure that blending modes and opacity levels are set as desired.

By keeping these troubleshooting tips in mind, you'll be well-equipped to tackle any obstacles you might face when merging layers in Procreate.

Now that you've mastered the basics of how to merge layers in Procreate, let's explore some advanced merging techniques to elevate your artwork even further.

Advanced Merging Techniques

Now that you're a pro at the basics of how to merge layers in Procreate, let's dive into some advanced techniques that can help you take your artwork to the next level. These methods will not only improve your layer management skills but also enhance the overall quality of your creations. So, let's get started!

Using Clipping Masks

Clipping masks are a powerful tool in Procreate that allow you to apply textures, patterns, or effects to specific areas of your artwork without affecting the entire layer. Here's how to use clipping masks:

  1. Create a new layer above the one you want to apply the mask to.
  2. Tap on the new layer to open the layer options, and select "Clipping Mask". The new layer will now only affect the non-transparent parts of the layer below it.
  3. Paint or add your desired texture, pattern, or effect onto the clipping mask layer. You'll notice that it only appears on the visible parts of the layer below, creating a seamless and non-destructive way to enhance your artwork.

Clipping masks are especially useful when you want to experiment with different effects without permanently altering your original layers. This technique can save you time and help maintain the flexibility of your artwork.

Grouping Layers

Grouping layers in Procreate is another helpful technique for organizing your artwork and streamlining your workflow. Instead of merging layers, grouping allows you to keep the original layers intact while still managing them as a single unit. Here's how to group layers:

  1. Select the layers you want to group by swiping right on each layer, just like when you were merging them.
  2. Tap on the "Group" button at the top of the Layers panel. This action will create a new group containing the selected layers.
  3. Tap on the group to expand or collapse it, allowing you to easily access individual layers within the group.

Grouping layers can be particularly handy when working on complex projects with multiple elements, as it allows you to maintain a clean and organized Layers panel without sacrificing the individual layer properties.

Applying Layer Effects

Layer effects, such as blending modes and layer adjustments, can enhance your artwork and add depth to your creations. However, these effects can also cause unexpected results when merging layers in Procreate. To avoid this, consider applying layer effects before merging:

  • Blending modes: Experiment with blending modes like Multiply, Overlay, or Screen to create interesting interactions between layers. Once you're happy with the result, you can merge the layers without losing the effect, as long as you don't change the blending mode of the merged layer.
  • Layer adjustments: Use layer adjustments like Hue, Saturation, or Brightness to fine-tune the appearance of your layers. By applying these adjustments directly to individual layers, you can ensure that the final merged result looks exactly as you intended.

By mastering these advanced merging techniques, you'll be able to create stunning artwork while keeping your Procreate canvas organized and efficient. So, go ahead and elevate your art with these powerful methods, and remember to have fun while you're at it!

Best Practices for Merging Layers in Procreate

As you continue your journey in mastering how to merge layers in Procreate, it's important to keep some best practices in mind. These tips and tricks will make your workflow smoother and help you avoid common pitfalls. So, let's dive into some best practices for merging layers in Procreate!

Layer Naming

Properly naming your layers is a small but significant step that can make a big difference in your workflow. It helps you quickly identify what each layer contains and reduces the chances of accidentally merging the wrong layers. Here are some tips for effective layer naming:

  • Be descriptive: Use clear and concise names that accurately describe the contents of the layer, such as "skyline" or "character outline." This will make it easier for you to locate specific layers in your project.
  • Use a consistent naming system: Stick to a naming convention that works for you, whether it's using abbreviations, numbering, or a combination of both. This consistency will make managing your layers a breeze.

Backing Up Layers

Before diving into merging layers, it's a good idea to create backups of your important layers. This way, you always have the original versions available if you need to make changes later or if something goes wrong during the merging process. Here's how you can do this:

  1. Select the layer you want to duplicate by tapping on it.
  2. Tap on the "Duplicate" button in the Layers panel. This will create a copy of the selected layer.
  3. Consider hiding the original layer by tapping on the eye icon next to it. This keeps your workspace clutter-free while ensuring the original layer is safe and untouched.

Optimizing Your Workflow

Optimizing your workflow in Procreate can make your creative process more efficient and enjoyable. Here are some tips to help you achieve a seamless workflow when merging layers:

  • Plan ahead: Before starting a new project, think about how you will organize your layers and which ones may need to be merged later. This foresight can save you time and effort down the line.
  • Use layer groups: As mentioned earlier, grouping layers can help keep your Layers panel organized and manageable. Use layer groups to separate different elements of your artwork, such as background, foreground, and characters.
  • Experiment with layer effects: When it comes to merging layers, applying layer effects can make a huge difference in the final outcome. Don't be afraid to experiment with blending modes and layer adjustments to find the perfect look for your artwork.

By following these best practices, you'll be well on your way to mastering how to merge layers in Procreate. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep honing your skills and refining your techniques. Soon, you'll be a Procreate pro, creating stunning artwork while maintaining an organized and efficient workspace. Happy creating!

If you've enjoyed learning about merging layers in Procreate and want to further enhance your skills, check out the workshop 'How to Draw A Fruit In ProCreate' by Vicky Catalan. This workshop will teach you how to create stunning fruit illustrations using Procreate, making it a perfect follow-up to our comprehensive guide on merging layers.