Importing images

Jump to Android or iOS


Do you have a grid, templates, reference image, want to trace something, or something else you'd like to add to Sketchbook? If so, import the image. Once imported, lock the layer, add layers, and build up your sketch. You can import as many images as you have available layers and your device will support.


Importing in Sketchbook Pro for desktop

You can import layered TIFF and PSD, or flat PNG, BMP or JPEG files. 

To import an image:

  1. Select Files icon and flick toward tool_open.png.
  2. Press Cmd+O for Mac or Ctrl+O for Windows.
  3. Select File > Open.


Importing an image using Import Image

  1. In the Layer Editor, tap Import Image icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook to browse for an image.
  2. Select an image and tap Open.

By default, when you add an image a layer is automatically created and the image is added to it. This keeps you from inadvertently writing over your artwork when you import an image. However, if you prefer for a layer not be be created, say because you have a limited number of layers available, then you can disable this option in Preferences.


Importing in Sketchbook for Android

Importing on Android for handheld device users

Import Image takes an image from your camera or device and adds it to a new layer, above the last.

  1. In the toolbar, tap Tools icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook, then Import Image icon in the mobile version of SketchbookImport Image.

    Import Image in Sketchbook on a handheld device

  2. Select an image for import from either somewhere on your device or using your camera.
  3. Use the Import tools to position, scale, rotate, mirror, and/or flip the image.
  4. When satisfied with the placement and size, tap the arrow.


Importing on Android for tablet users

  1. In the toolbar, tap Import Image icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook. If you don't see Import Image icon in the mobile version of SketchbookImport Image in the toolbar, tap-drag to the left to expose more tools.

    Dragging to reveal more tools in the Sketchbook tablet toolbar

  2. Tap Import Image icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook, then Repositioning tools to help reposition the image.
  3. Use the Import tools to position, scale, rotate, mirror, and/or flip the image:
    • Tap-drag the canvas to freely move in any direction.
    • Tap Nudge icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook to nudge the content one pixel at a time, by tapping an arrow or tap-drag from the middle to move in any direction or on an arrow to move in that direction.
    • Tap Flip icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook to flip the image vertically.
    • Tap Flip icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook to flip the image horizontally.
    • Tap Rotate CCW icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook to rotate the image counter-clockwise.
    • Tap Rotate CW icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook to rotate the image clockwise.
  4. Tap OK to accept the changes or x to decline.


  1. Tap File icon, then select Gallery.
  2. Tap the Untitled Folder bar along the top of the Gallery.
  3. Tap New Image, then New from ImageNew from Image.
  4. Select either the Files or Documents folder, then Import options.
  5. Scroll down, tap Dropbox or another source, and tap an image to import it.


Importing in Sketchbook for iOS


As a new canvas

  1. Tap File icon, then select Gallery Gallery.
  2. Tap New Image, then select from one of the following:
    New from ImageNew from Image - Select either Import from camera, Import photo, or Browse and load an image into the canvas from somewhere on your device.
    scansketchicon.pngScan sketch - Scan your real-world image, bring it into Sketchbook, and continue working on it wherever you are.


Import from Files (Sketchbook version 5.2.0 and later)

  1. Tap File icon, then select Files Gallery
  2. This will launch the iOS Files App, where you can browse files on your device or on any cloud storage you have enabled on your device.
  3. Tap the file to import


Import an image into an existing canvas

  1. For iPhone users, tap Tools icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook, then Import Image icon in the mobile version of SketchbookImport Image.
    For iPad users, tap Import Image icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook.
  2. Use the Importtools to position, scale, rotate, mirror, and/or flip the image:
    • Tap-drag the canvas to freely move in any direction.
    • Tap Distort icon to distort the content by tap-dragging the handles and moving the bias in the center.
    • Tap Nudge icon in the mobile version of Sketchbook to nudge the content one pixel at a time, by tapping an arrow or tap-drag from the middle to move in any direction or on an arrow to move in that direction.
    • Tap transform_flip_horizontally.png to flip the image vertically.
    • Tap transform_flip_vertically.png to flip the image horizontally.
    • Tap transform_rotate_ccw.png to rotate the image counter-clockwise.
    • Tap transform_rotate_cw.png to rotate the image clockwise.
  3. Tap the checkmark to accept the changes or x to decline.


Dragging an image into the canvas (iPad only, iOS 11+)

Drag and drop will creates another layer containing the dragged image.

  1. With Sketchbook open, access the Apple dock and select the Files app. This opens the Browser along the side.
  2. Select the image you want from the supported image formats (PNG, JPG, PSD, or Sketchbook TIFF).
  3. When you find an image, drag and drop it into the canvas.
  • NOTE: If the image is a Sketchbook TIFF and has multiple layers, it will be flattened onto one layer.