Drawing perfectly straight lines is something that Procreate can do easily. It’s almost like magic. No more rulers or shaky hands. Procreate’s auto straighten feature makes straight lines easy.
To draw a straight line in Procreate, simply draw a line and hold your finger or stylus tip down until you see the line straighten. Before lifting up, you can rotate or shorten the line until it’s in the position that you want. This technique works for drawing circles in Procreate as well.
Procreate’s straight line feature is a game changer and a huge perk of this amazing drawing software. It can go wrong though. Some users complain of getting into situations where they can only draw straight lines. Not good.
Let’s dive into the tips and tricks you need to know to draw straight lines in Procreate. And, what you need to know so that you don’t end up in a straight line trap. Here are the dos and don’ts of drawing straight lines in Procreate.
How to Draw Straight Lines in Procreate
1. Draw a line
2. When you reach the end of your line, hold down your finger or stylus
3. If you’re happy with your line, release your finger or stylus
4. If you want to shorten or rotate your line, move your finger or stylus around the canvas until you get the length and angle you want
Note: you will only be able to move the end point of your line. The starting point of your line will stay put. If you need to move the entire line, release it and use the Transform tool to move your line around your canvas.
The Transform tool is the icon in the top menu bar that looks like a computer cursor.
How to Draw a Perfectly Horizontal or Vertical Line in Procreate
Drawing a straight line is great, but it’s hard to know if it’s crooked or not. How do you get it to be an exact 90 or 180 degrees? If you need a line that’s exactly parallel with the canvas, Procreate makes it easy to do.
1. Click on the Actions tab in the main menu. It’s the icon that looks like a wrench
2. Turn on the Drawing Guide
3. When you draw a line, try your best to stay along one of their guiding lines. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you stray too far, the line won’t snap to the perfectly parallel line that matches the grid
4. Turn off the Drawing Guide and you’ll have a perfectly straight and parallel line
How to Draw a Straight Line at an Angle with Procreate
If you’re drawing in perspective, it can be important to draw lines at specific angles. There are two methods of doing this with Procreate.
1. Draw a perfectly parallel and straight line with the Drawing Guide as described in the technique above
2. Turn off the Drawing Guide and click on the Transform tool (the icon that looks like a computer cursor in the top menu bar
3. Make sure that you are using the Uniform setting and the Magnetics is on
4. As you rotate your line, a notice will pop up below the main toolbar telling you how much your line is being rotated
5. Rotate the line to the degree you want, position it properly, and you’re done
Since you started off with a perfectly parallel line, you know that your line is either at 180 or 90 degrees. As you rotate, you’ll end up with a more accurate angle for your line. If you start with a diagonal line, for example, Procreate will tell you the angle of the shape overall, which likely won’t be the same as the line itself.
There’s another method for drawing angles though, which is especially great if your design relies heavily on perspective and you don’t want to worry too much about rotating your lines.
1. Click on the Actions tab, which is the icon that looks like a wrench in the main toolbar
2. Turn on the Drawing Guide and click the button below it to Edit Drawing Guide
3. Click on the Perspective button
4. Tap your finger on your canvas where you want your vanishing point to go
5. You can put don multiple vanishing points if you need to
6. Click Done and you’ll have a series of angled lines that will give you perfect perspective from your vanishing point.
How to Draw a Perfect Circle in Procreate
A circle is the farthest thing from a straight line but, it uses the same technique, so it’s worth mentioning.
1. Draw a circle
2. When you reach the end of your circle, hold down your finger or stylus
3. If you’re happy with your circle, release your finger or stylus
4. If you want to shorten or rotate your circle, move your finger or stylus around the canvas until your circle is the size you’re looking for
If you’re an artist with shaky hands like I am, the ability to draw perfectly straight lines and perfectly round circles is pretty incredible. I use these features SO often and really love how they increase the efficiency and cleanliness of my designs.
Sometimes, the straight line feature goes into overdrive. Line after line, no matter how hard you try to draw something crooked, curved, or squiggly, all you get is straight lines. What’s going on? Let’s find out.
Why is Procreate Only Drawing Straight Lines?
If Procreate will only draw straight lines, it’s likely that Drawing Assist has accidentally been triggered or left on. Navigate to the Actions tab and click on Preferences. Next, click on Gesture Controls and then Assisted Drawing. Make sure that all Assisted Drawing settings are turned off.
Also, navigate to the Drawing Guides screen and make sure that Drawing Assist is off. Click on the Actions tab and the Edit Drawing Guide button. In the screen that pops up, make sure that Drawing Assist is not enabled.
Procreate’s Assisted Drawing tool is designed to help artists with technical designs. When you draw a line, it will snap to the drawing guide you have selected (2D grid, isometric, perspective, or symmetry).
This is really great when you need it, but not so great when you don’t.
Part of the problem is that it’s easy to activate Assisted Drawing. If you look at the Assisted Drawing settings, there are a number of ways to turn it on without ever having to go into the actual settings for this feature. Tap your Apple Pencil in the wrong way and you could end up with straight lines for days.
It’s also easy to forget that Assisted Drawing is enabled within the Drawing Guide settings. You might turn on the Drawing Guide without actually going into the settings, which makes it easy to forget that Assisted Drawing is enabled.
If you’re struggling with Procreate drawing straight lines all of the time, 99% of the time, it’s an issue with the Assisted Drawing being turned on. Go through all of your settings and make sure that it’s turned off and can only be enabled if you consciously activate it.
How to Draw a Straight Line in Procreate Pocket
To daw a straight line in Procreate Pocket, follow the same steps you would use to draw a straight line in the iPad Procreate app. Draw a line in your canvas on Procreate Pocket and hold down your stylus at the end of your line until it snaps to a straight line.
Procreate is an amazing and powerful digital drawing software. The fact that it can make perfectly straight lines and perfectly round circles is something we start to take for granted. But, when you really think about it, these are features that artists have never had access to without clunky rulers or compasses.
As long as you don’t get caught up in an Assisted Drawing snag, Procreate will become your best friend as you draw straight lines.
Go forth and create great art!
Diana has been an artist for over 25 years and has training in drawing, painting, digital drawing and graphic design. Diana’s latest obsession is digitally drawing with Procreate and creating t-shirt designs with Canva. Diana has experience selling her art across a number of platforms and loves helping other artists learn how to make money from their art as well.