Can You Use Photoshop Brushes in Procreate?

Most of the essential hands-on tools in Photoshop are brush-based tools, and the simple ability to create, share, and use custom brushes has created a whole industry around downloadable brush packs. 

These brush packs are usually available for free, and even though there are a few paid options out there, I’ve never found it necessary to purchase any since there are so many free options available. 

Photoshop’s impressive number of brush settings

Once you’ve found some quality brushes that you like using, you’ll probably wonder if you can use them in other digital art apps like Procreate. Because Photoshop is so dominant in the digital arts industry, the ABR (Adobe BRush) format has become an unofficial standard that can be used by a wide range of programs, and Procreate is no exception. 

Yes, you can use Photoshop brushes in Procreate as long as the brush file uses the ABR file format! You also need to be using Procreate 5 or newer since the Brush Import feature is unavailable in earlier versions. 

The setup process is actually pretty simple once you understand the basics, so let’s take a closer look at how you can use Photoshop brushes in Procreate.

How to Install Photoshop Brushes in Procreate

Make sure that you’re using the latest version of Procreate, or you might run into difficulties. I tested this process using Procreate 5.1.3 on my iPad Air (3rd Generation) running iPadOS 16.1.1, and it worked perfectly, but your interface might look slightly different from the screenshots below. 

Step 1: Get Your Brush Files onto Your iPad

The first step in using Photoshop brushes in Procreate is to get some brush files in the ABR format and store them on your iPad. 

As I mentioned earlier, there are tons of different sites that have free brush files available for download, but I’m going to use these cloud brushes from Brusheezy as an example. They’re the most popular brush on the site, apparently!

When the download is complete, tap the Downloads icon in Safari and then tap the brush file that you just downloaded to display your Downloads folder in the Files app. 

Most brush files that you can download from the internet are compressed as ZIP files to make them smaller and easier to transfer, so you have to decompress the ZIP file to get it ready for Procreate. Fortunately, this can’t be simpler on an iPad! 

Just tap the icon for the newly-downloaded ZIP file, and it will automatically decompress into a new folder with the same name as the ZIP file. 

Step 2: Importing Brush Files to Procreate

Now that you’ve got your brush files saved on your iPad and decompressed, it’s time to get them into Procreate! There are two ways of doing this: you can use the Brush Import feature directly within Procreate, or you can use your iPad’s Share function to send the ABR file to Procreate. 

Using the Brush Studio’s Import Feature

To import your brushes directly within Procreate, tap the Brush Library icon (as shown below), and select any of the available brush collections. 

Tap the small + icon in the upper right corner of the Brush Library window to open the Brush Studio, and then tap the Import button in the upper right. 

Note: If you can’t see the + icon, you may have the Recent brush collection selected. I’m not sure why, but the + icon only displays when any of the other brush collections are selected. 

Browse to select your Downloads folder, then locate the subfolder that contains your new ABR file. 

Tap the ABR file, and Procreate will immediately begin the import process.

Using the Share Function

If you don’t want to mess around with the Brush Studio import feature, you can send your ABR file directly to Procreate using the Share function after downloading it. 

In the Files app, browse to your Downloads folder, and locate your ABR file. 

Note: If you also have Photoshop Express installed on your iPad, it may try to launch automatically and import the new brush file because it’s the default app associated with ABR files, but you can get around this. 

Tap the Select button at the top of the Files window, then select the ABR file you want to use in Procreate, and then tap the Share button at the bottom of the screen. 

You can also tap and hold on to the ABR file icon and then choose Share from the popup menu.

In the Share window, tap the Procreate icon in the list, and the import process will begin automatically. 

Step 3: Locating and Using Your New Brushes

Once the import process is complete, your Photoshop brushes are ready to use in Procreate! Just tap the Brush Library icon, and you’ll see a new brush collection in the list. 

The best part is that you can still use Procreate’s impressive Brush Studio to customize your new Photoshop brushes! 

Tap and hold on to the brush entry that you want to use, and Procreate will open it in the Brush Studio. This allows you to apply just about any kind of customization that you can imagine, from basic rotations to scatter plots to intense color dynamics. The possibilities are endless!

Where to Find Photoshop Brushes to Use in Procreate

As I mentioned earlier, there are tons of websites on the web for downloading free Photoshop brushes, but it’s important to remember that you should only download files from websites that you trust. Here’s a quick list of websites that you can use to find free Photoshop brushes for Procreate:

Of course, you’re not the only one who’s looking for free Photoshop brushes, and it’s often possible to recognize some of the more popular brush packs once you’re more familiar with them. If you want something really unique, you can also learn how to make your own custom brushes in Photoshop using this tutorial on PhotoshopBuzz!

Can I Run Procreate 5 on my iPad?

Here’s a quick list of the iPad models currently available that are compatible with Procreate 5, according to Savage Interactive’s official website:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th and 6th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (3rd, 4th and 5th generation)
  • iPad Air 2

If your iPad is not on the list, it’s probably too old to run the latest version of Procreate, which means that you won’t have access to the Brush Studio feature – and that means you can’t use your Photoshop brushes. 

Of course, if you’re using a newer iPad than what’s listed above, then you should be fine! 

A Final Word

That covers everything you need to know about how to use Photoshop brushes in Procreate! The number of Photoshop brushes available for free on the web is truly hard to believe when you first start exploring what’s out there, and new brush packs are being released all the time. You can even try making your own brushes in Photoshop just for use with Procreate!

Enjoy your new brushes, and use them to make something beautiful!

About Thomas Boldt
Thomas started his Photoshop career way back in 2000. After exploring Photoshop 5.5 in a high school computer lab, he developed an enduring passion for photography, design, and technology that carried him through a Bachelor of Design degree and into the wild world of tech startups.

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