Optimising work space in Clip Studio Paint



Clip Studio Paint has many features designed to make an artist's life easier. One of those features, that I really appreciate, is a customisable workspace. In this tutorial I will explain how to optimise your workspace, using the tools available in Clip Studio.

Note: While most of the advice applies across both operating systems, as I haven't really used Clip Studio with Windows, I am hesitant to state that everything in it will apply to Windows users.


We can select what tools appear in our workspace using the "Window" tab.

The first option that we are gonna look into is the "Canvas section". It's very useful if you are an artist who likes working on multiple pieces simultaneously.

Here you can select how the multitude of canvases will appear in your workspace.

Whether they will appear like this:

Or, if you press the "tiled" option, like this:

If you had multiple canvases open and lost track of them, the "cascade" option will help you to quickly organise them in a line, canvas by canvas.

Selecting tools

In the tools section we can select which tools will be part of our tool bar.

Within the tool bar menu we can customise which tools appear as a part of it, based on our preference as an artist.

Let's say I am an artist whose style is based on a mixture of markers and pens. In default settings of Clip Studio paint, marker is a subtool of the pen tool. They share a tab in the tool menu, and in order to switch between them, I need to click on the tab.

To save myself time, I want both tools, both the marker and the pen tool to appear in the tab. In order to do this, I click on the tool settings option (the icon on the left side of the cross).

I then click on add from default, to see all of the default tools, that I can add to the toolbar.

To add a subtool to the bar, I have to click on its 'parent' tool, in this case- the pen. After adding another pen tool it appears on the toolbar as a duplicate.

In the subtool menu I switch one of them to the marker tool. Now I have too of the tools I need in my bar. This process can be used with any of the subtools.

Quick Access sets

The "Quick Access" option allows you to have a preset shortcuts in your workspace. saving time that it takes to implement certain actions. On top of the remade set, you can create any set that is best suited for your needs, as an artist.

Sets can be created in the Quick Access settings menu. There you can add a function from any category.
For example: if you prefer saving your work often, you can put the "save" function in the quick access menu, and be able to quickly save your work whenever you want. Or from the default set, you can make it easier to flip your artwork in order to check the drawing for any possible skewness.

Moreover, you can also visually group the functions using using a separator, making it easier to find them.

The menu where you can add a quick access set to your workspace, also allows you to reveal or hide the command bar.

Rendering the command bar visible also makes it easier to implement certain function.
The command bar contains options related to file management (save/open), reversing actions (undo/redo) and some of the transformation functions.

At the same time, if you like implementing these functions using shortcuts on the computer, you can hide the command bar and add some extra space to your workspace.

Stackable Menus

One of my favourite things about Clip Studio Paint is that you can stack all the menus in it, both hiding an option that you aren't currently using, but also allowing you to swiftly bring it up whenever you need it.

What's more you can also separate the menus to make their components accessible at the same time.

For example, bellow is the stack of the colour palette menus.

I can quickly switch them with a click and it doesn't really affect the speed of my workflow. However based on my needs, I can separate these menus to keep them 'active' at the same time.

For instance: lets say I am working with a limited colour palette, and I need to both be able to select new colours and rapidly switch between ones that I have previously used.
In order to be able to do this, I need to have the colour wheel and colour history to both be visible to me at the same time.

To separate them, I click on the menu I want to separate (in the example bellow, it is colour history) and I drag it outside of the box until it turns red.

Then I release the mouse and the menu is dropped into its new place.

To put it back we select the menu and drag it back to the box that it came from, and when we see a red line, we release it.

Furthermore, the windows can be put into any order you like, based on your approach to using them.

In addition to simply dropping the disconnected menu into your workspace, you can 'neaten' it up, by putting it next to another menu. Clip Studio Paint automatically syncs up the proportions of the two windows, saving you time; that could've been spent having to arrange them yourself.

Bellow I will demonstrate this option on the brush size menu.

When you are dragging the window outside of the box, bring its border next to another window and only release it, once a red line (like the one show bellow appears)

Once you release it, instead of a free floating menu, you will get one neatly propped against the others.

You can place as many menus as you like into the workspace. However please be cautious not to overcrowd your workspace, as while you'll have a tone of functions within your reach, they will be there at the expense of the available drawing space.

Saving the Created Workspace

In the windows tab there are plenty of tools that can be added to the default workspace, like: the window where you can view the history of your actions, the materials selection, the layer property menu where you can manipulate qualities of individual layers, and many more...

Adding them to your workspace (on top of the prior described customisations) will further individualise your workspace. To prevent the workspace, that you have created from being lost, (and to be able to switch between different workspaces tuned to different purposes) you can save it.

To save the workspace click "Register Workspace"

It will open up a menu where you can name the new workspace, and add it to the list.

If you are fatigued with the customised workspaces, you can always click the reset to default option and return to the default version (from which you can try building a suitable workspace again).

Some other options

The 'view' tab also contains some useful settings.

The grid option lays a grid over your workspace, it's really useful if you are working with references and studies, or on a design where precision really matters.

Rendering the ruler visible also makes it easier to layout the elements in your artwork.

The functions in the view tab can be generalised as a set of visual guides that can aid you in composing the image (like the 'crop mark' function which lets you see which areas are in danger of getting cropped off during printing).

Whereas the window tab contains tools that can be added to the workspace and will directly aid you in creating your artwork.


In the end there is no such thing as one perfect and most optimal workspace. Any workspace that lets you create art in the most comfortable way and pace is perfect. I hope that this tutorial was helpful and helped your creation process.

Thank you again for reading- if you liked the tutorial, you can follow my art on instagram- I really appreciate your support.



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