Basic UI elements

Orient yourself with the canvas, toolbars, brushes, color tools and marking menus

Jump to Mobile or Windows 10


When you first open Sketchbook you will see the default UI. For all versions of the app, there will be a canvas and toolbar. The rest of the interface will be slightly different depending on the platform and version you're using. See the sections below to familiarize yourself with the interface and how it works.

Basic UI elements in Sketchbook Pro for desktop

Get started with an introduction to the interface and the most basic interactions. When you open Sketchbook, by default, you'll see the canvas‍, lagoon, toolbar‍, brush‍ and color pucks‍, and Brush Palette‍.

Example of the UI for Sketchbook Pro

Use hotkey shortcuts‍ and marking menus to access tools and functions quickly. To change your view‍ and navigate around your canvas, hold down the Enter key.

View of the Sketchbook Pro canvas and UI for Changing the view

Lagoon tool summary

Lagoon's radial menu

The Lagoon is the round UI element. By default, it is found in the bottom left corner, though you can change its location‍. It is a hub for many useful tools in Sketchbook. It is driven by gestural movements, just like the Layer Editor‍. To view the tools‍ in a lagoon marking menu, tap an icon to expose the tools in that category. With your stylus (or right mouse button) down, drag to the tool you want to select. When it’s highlighted, lift your stylus (or release your right mouse button).

Here are the default settings for each category:

Lagoon menus

The version of Sketchbook you're running will determine which tools appear in which marking menu.

The Sketchbook Pro Lagoon numbered

  1. Interface controls
  2. View controls, transform tools‍, rulers‍, layers‍, & vertical & horizontal symmetry
  3. Brushes & palette
  4. Colors‍ & Transparent Color
  5. Selection‍, editing‍, & layer transform tools‍ 
  6. Open, Save, New, Next & Previous Image
  7. Shows current tool
  8. Shows current color
  9. Undo/redo

Basic UI elements in Sketchbook for mobile devices

To get the most out of Sketchbook, you should become familiar with its basic UI, such as the canvas‍, toolbar‍, double puck‍, and marking menu and corner tools.

Once your UI is hidden‍, you can access all the tools using the Rapid UI mode‍.

Marking menu on iPad

v.4.0 or above iPad canvas and toolbar

You will see the toolbar‍, a full brush palette including advanced brushes‍ and the customizable Brush Library‍, and colors, which accesses the Color Editor‍, along with the Layer Editor‍ with blend modes‍, and transparent color‍.

Marking menu on handheld devices

You will see a toolbar‍ and the marking menu.

The Marking Menu in the iOS version of Sketchbook The Marking Menu showing tools in the iOS version of Sketchbook

Marking menu

Use Clutch (the marking menu) to access an assortment of tools, as well as the corner tools without going to the toolbar. If you are working with the interface hidden‍, the marking menu provides access to a host of tools without unhiding your interface.

Within Clutch (the marking menu) are tools for switching between the current and last brush‍, flipping the canvas‍, selecting a color from your screen‍, accessing the Double Puck‍, and Transparent Color‍.

The marking menu with an option selected in the iPad version of Sketchbook

NOTE: To access these tools even quicker, from Clutch, flick toward the tool’s position.

Corner tools

Access a corner tool by double-tapping a corner of the screen.

Tap Marking menu icon in the iOS version of Sketchbook, the Corner tools are visible.

The default corner quick tool mappings are:

Top left (Clear Layer) Top left

Top right (Fit To View) Top right

Bottom left (Undo) Bottom left

Bottom right (Redo) Bottom right

If you want to customize your corner tools, see Customizing the corner tools‍.

Basic UI elements in Sketchbook for Windows 10

To get the most out of Sketchbook, you should become familiar with its basic UI, such as the canvas‍, toolbar‍, Brush Puck‍, and Brush Palette‍.

Sketchbook Pro for Windows 10

Accessing the UI

To access the Brush Library‍, Brush Editor, Color Editor‍‍, Layer Editor‍, or reset the app to its default layout‍, select UI Toggle in Sketchbook Pro for Windows 10 UI Toggle.

Getting your pucks back

If the pucks aren't displayed and you'd like to get them back, do the following:

Using Pen Mode

When drawing on your tablet or touchscreen, have you had issues with random marks appearing on your canvas? These are due to the device thinking contact made with the side of your hand or finger was intentional. Turning on Pen Mode will eliminate this.

In the toolbar, when you tap Pen Mode icon to enter this mode, it turns off your ability to draw with your finger.

Image showing Pen Mode activated

This also eliminates the issue of unwanted strokes appearing. However, you can still use gestures to pan and zoom.

To return to the mode where you can drawing with your finger, tap Pen Mode icon to exit Pen Mode.