New Procreate 5.2 Updates That Absolutely Improved My Workflow

The developers over at Procreate recently released a new (free) Procreate 5.2 update and I’m excited to share some of my favorite things with you. 

It’s no secret that I absolutely love Procreate and all the things it does. With the Procreate 5.2 Update, they just keep making it better and better! 

The Best Procreate 5.2 Updates for Drawing, Illustrating, and Digital Planning. Picture shows a Procreate illustration of a girl character with the new Procreate card palette and color names showing

This post may include affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more info. 

Page Assist

I’ll start with the BEST Procreate 5.2 update as far as I’m concerned, and that’s Page Assist. Page assist allows you to create a document with multiple pages in Procreate.

Previously you could only have one canvas in each document. This was a bummer for those of us who wanted to create an art journal in Procreate.

Before the update, you had to come up with an alternative way to display your artwork in a digital journal format, but now you can do this right in Procreate!

For example, a few months ago I started to keep a digital sketchbook in GoodNotes so that I could view my progress over time in one document. 

Here’s an example of what the pages in my journal look like. Notice the paper texture and the way it looks like the drawing is done over the crease instead of just laying on top of and erasing the crease:

Example of a digital journal page I created for GoodNotes using Procreate artwork. Drawing inspired by Tamara LaPorte from willowing dot com

This involved creating my artwork in Procreate and then moving it over to GoodNotes either by exporting the entire page as an image and importing into my GoodNotes sketchbook or copying and pasting my image from Procreate to GoodNotes.

The problem with GoodNotes is that I don’t enjoy writing in GoodNotes because there’s no stabilization. This means my handwriting always looks really crappy in GoodNotes.

I also wanted to have pages that had a bit of paper texture, and I would largely lose this when moving my pages over to GoodNotes. 

With Page Assist I can keep my journal right in Procreate! I’m so excited about this.

I’ve even uploaded an entire coloring book in book form to Procreate so that I can color in Procreate!

I’m even going to move my digital planner over to Procreate!

Yes, you can now import a PDF into Procreate!

That means that you can use printables you purchased in Procreate (like the ones in my Etsy shop)

You can also use any digital planner you created or purchased in Procreate. The only  problem is that the hyperlinks won’t work. So you won’t be able to click on the tabs to move throughout your planner.

I’ve given this some thought and the tradeoff is worth it to me.

It’s really going to depend on how big your digital planner is and how it’s set up.

It’s easy enough to “flip” through the pages using the page assist menu at the bottom of the page by scrolling left and right. It goes pretty quickly. But if your planner is hundreds of pages this might be annoying.

If you think about it, paper planners don’t have clickable links and you have to page through those (or estimate) if you don’t have tabs in your planner as well.

An alternative way of doing this would be to find the page you want on your layers panel. You could rename your layers to the name of the page and find your pages that way.

Being able to doodle, draw and letter in my planner right in Procreate will make it so much more fun to use!

Why Procreate Instead of GoodNotes for Digital Planning?

In the past I’ve always done all of my pages in Procreate if I was going to do them digitally. This was kind of a drag because it meant that I’d have to take extra steps to export the page from GoodNotes as an image, import it into Procreate and write on it, and then export it back into GoodNotes to use it in my planner.

I always had to be careful not to break the hyperlinks so I was hesitant to delete the spare pages.

Kind of makes me feel a sense of relief to get rid of the hyperlinks because I don’t have to worry about that!

Stroke Stabilization

I don’t like my handwriting that much in GoodNotes. It’s always kind of shaky. You can easily improve your handwriting in Procreate by increasing streamline in your brush settings. This was also a great way to make your lines less wobbly while drawing.

Procreate now has a function where you can stabilize all of your strokes, so now it’s even easier since you don’t have to mess with individual brushes. 

Actually you can do it either way. You can go into your preference menu to increase stabilization across the board or you can go into each brush to do this. (If you’re going to change a brush, I recommend duplicating it first so you can go back to how it was if you don’t like it). 

If you want to do it app wide you just select actions > Preferences > Pressure and Smoothing. Otherwise to do this on individual brushes by going into the brush settings for the brush you want to change and then increasing stabilization under the stabilization tab.

New Larger Color Palette Card Swatches

Another new feature in Procreate 5.2 that I really like is the ability to see your color palettes as cards. You can continue to see them as little squares or you can see them as larger cards. I feel like the larger cards give me a better sense of how the colors of the palette look when they are together. 

Along with showing the colors as a larger square, the color palette cards also show color names.  This is pretty cool for people who are color blind!

I think it’s pretty cool in general. They look pretty.

Color Description Notifications

If you like seeing a written description of the color you’re using while using Procreate, you can turn on the color description notification setting.

When you turn on color description notifications the name of the color will flash at the top of your screen even if you just select a color from the color wheel (not the palette).

Some of the color names are off. I just selected a rust color and it said it was red.  I guess…kind of.

Brush Size Memory

I’ve written before about how hard it is to remember which brush you used in a project and gave some suggestions for that. It wasn’t perfect and I’d say that brush organization is one of the larges pain points when using Procreate. 

Procreate took us a few steps forward with this with Procreate 5.2. 

For each brush, you can now save two of your favorite sizes of that brush. This is handy when you are working on a project and using different sizes of a brush. 

Let’s say you do your sketch with your brush at 10% but then later want to do some detailing at 4%. Previously you’d have to try to remember or guess your brush sizes but now you can save them and easily return to them. This also works for the different opacity settings on a brush.

Pretty cool.

How do you do this? 

On the side of your screen there is a slider menu where you can increase or decrease the size of your brush. Once you have a size you like, tap on the little plus sign. It will save it as a mark on your brush slider. If you don’t want to keep that size any longer you can tap it again but then click on the minus sign. 

The brush size levels you saved will stay saved even after you leave the brush. 

Brush Opacity Memory

Along with saving two brush sizes for each brush, you can also save two different opacity levels for each brush! 

I love this, especially when using a blender brush where I want to use a fainter brush stroke. 

How do you create favorite brush opacity levels in Procreate?

On the side of your screen there is a slider menu where you can increase or decrease the opacity of your brush. Once you have the opacity you like, tap on the little plus sign. It will save it as a mark on your brush slider. If you don’t want to keep that opacity any longer you can tap it again but then click on the minus sign. 

The opacity levels you saved will stay saved even after you leave the brush. 

Recent Brush Folder

In addition to remembering brush size and opacity, there is now a new folder that keeps track of your last 8 brushes used. You can also pin a brush to the top of this folder if you want to.

I think this is great for when you’re working on a project and want to switch between a few different brushes.

One of the reasons I created my Skillshare class on organizing brushes was because I was often having to scroll through a long list of brushes to go back and forth between them. Eventually I learned to create a favorites brush file or even a brush file for a particular project.

With this new recent folders setting, Procreate automates this for you, but only for the last 8 brushes you used.

I can see pinning a brush you use early on in your project or one that you don’t use very often to make sure you can go back to it and then if you want to. For brushes you use frequently, I still recommend creating a favorites folder. That way you can rely on your recent brush folder for the ones you’re using in a project that you don’t normally use.

My Favorite Procreate 5.2 Updates

So there you have it. Those are my favorite updates in Procreate 5.2. 

There are more things that were updated, but I figured I’d only share the ones that are most useful to those of us who are newer to digital art. 

The new functions that allow you to illustrate on 3D models are pretty cool; but I don’t really use 3D models right now 🙂 

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy some of my others:

Is Procreate Worth It?

Your Top 10 Procreate Questions Answered

Best Procreate Brushes

Top 3 Screen Protectors for Drawing and Writing on Your iPad

My Favorite iPad Accessories

Leave a Comment