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How to use Layers on the Remarkable 2 (Full tutorial)

How to use Layers on the Remarkable 2 (Full tutorial)

Are you having trouble using the layers feature on your Remarkable 2 tablet? Have you been trying to figure out how to use them in order to maximize their potential?

The Remarkable 2 features a range of features that allow the user to efficiently and effectively mark up documents. Among these features is the ability to layer objects on top of each other, which helps keep your markup organized.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to use layers on your Remarkable 2 tablet for maximum effect.

From creating new layers and changing their order, to merging and deleting them, we’ll cover all the basics so that you can get the most out of this powerful feature.

Related: Is the reMarkable 2 good for drawing?

How to use the Layering feature on your Remarkable 2

How to use Layering

The reMarkable 2 allows you to use layering ( up to 5 layers) max. This will allow you to rename layers, build layers, remove them and even merge them to create depth in your document.

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Here’s how you can can use the layering feature in reMarkable 2:

1. Add a new layer (building layers)

Picture of exactly where the layer button is on the remarkable 2

You need to locate the layering button, it’s in the bottom left corner of the remarkable screen when you open a new document. It looks like three papers stacked on top of each other.

Related: reMarkable 2 templates

Once you’ve tapped on the button with your reMarkable marker (stylus pen), you will tap “add new layer” button which is at the bottom of the small box that appears.

As you add new layers, the layer menu will stack up each option.

2. Rename the layer

Rename the layer

To rename it tap on the layer name. The Default layer will be in the format of layer 1, layer 2, and so forth.

It should be the top option when you click on the layer icon in the bottom left corner of a document within reMarkable.

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3. Assign a gray scale color and thickness to the layer

Assign a gray scale color and thickness to the layer

On each layer, you may want to use a different grayscale color, meaning you may want black, gray, light gray, and you may want to change thickness and it will have a shadowing effect.

An example of this can be seen in the photo below:

real example of changing layers and using layers on the remarkable 2

Adding white or gray below or on top of the current layer can give a feeling of depth and negative space to the sketch or letters you are creating.

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4. Choose how many layers you want (5 is max)

Choose how many layers you want 5 is max

The software allows up to five layers to be used for a single drawing, providing the user with more control over the depth and composition of their artwork. Unfortunately 5 is the limit, more would be useful, but it appears the reMarkable 2 doesn’t have the performance for this.

Related: 10 Best Tablets for Reading PDF files

By leveraging multiple layers, users can achieve more complex and visually appealing designs by separating different elements and making changes to each layer independently. This feature can enhance the quality and overall impact of the artwork produced on the Remarkable tablet.

5. Position the layers

Position the layers

In the Remarkable document, the layers can be positioned in a way that helps create a more detailed and organized drawing or sketch.

You can do this by opening the layer menu and tapping the up or down arrow on your desired layer. Down will make the content in the layer less prominent, while up will make it closest to the surface.

Related: 7 Ways to Write and Draw on a Non Touch Screen Laptop

The layers can be stacked on top of each other, with the top layer being the most visible and the bottom layer being the least visible (using the highlighter tool is a cool tip to make a background gray and make the text black on top of it)

example of layering

By adjusting the layer positions, you can control which parts of the drawing are more prominent and which are more subtle – for example, if you want to draw a landscape with mountains, trees, and a sky, you can use different layers for each element. You can draw the mountains on one layer, the trees on another, and the sky on another.

Also see: What is e-paper (e-ink)?

By positioning the layers in a way that makes the mountains appear behind the trees and the trees appear in front of the sky, you can create a more realistic-looking landscape.

6. Merging the layers you want

Merging the layers you want

The merge button in the mini layering dashboard menu on the Remarkable tablet is located to the right of the up and down arrows. It appears as two overlapping squares with an arrow pointing downwards on top of them, like this: [photo of merge 3:50]

To merge two layers, you would first tap on the layer you want to merge down, then tap the merge button, and select the layer you want to merge it with.

Important: Keep in mind that once you merge layers, you cannot undo it later, so it’s important to double-check your work before merging.

7. View the layers order (on top and underneath)

View the layers order on top and underneath

In the reMarkable software, you can easily view all the layers of your document by accessing the layering dashboard menu in the bottom left area of the document in reMarakble.

To view a specific layer, simply tap on it in the layering dashboard menu. The layer will then become active and you can begin drawing on it or making any necessary changes. You can also toggle the visibility of a layer by tapping the eye icon next to it. This will hide or show the layer as needed.

By viewing and manipulating layers in this way, you can create more complex and detailed drawings and sketches on your Remarkable device. It also allows you to easily make changes and adjustments to specific parts of your document without affecting other layers.

Also see: reMarkable 2 alternatives

Examples of layering

Examples of layering
Type of DrawingExamples of Layering
Comic book artInking layer, shading layer, color layer
Portrait drawingBase sketch layer, underpainting layer, final details layer
Landscape drawingSketch layer, underpainting layer, color layer, foreground layer, background layer
Character designSketch layer, base color layer, shading layer, highlights layer
Architectural drawingBase plan layer, elevations layer, sections layer, annotations layer
Technical drawingSketch layer, dimension layer, text layer, centerline layer
Digital paintingSketch layer, color blocking layer, base color layer, shading layer, highlights layer, texture layer

The table above provides examples of different layering techniques that can be used when drawing. By separating different elements of a drawing into separate layers, an artist can have more control and flexibility over the final outcome.

For example, using a background layer can establish a setting for the drawing, while separate layers for line art and color can allow the artist to make changes to either element without affecting the other.

Layering techniques can also be used in digital art to create special effects or to apply textures or patterns to certain parts of the drawing.

How to use each button for layering

Below, you’ll see each button and how to use it regarding layering:

Add a new layer1. Open the side menu bar’s layer menu. 2. Tap “Add layer.”
Hide a layer1. Tap the visibility icon (an eye) next to the layer you want to hide. 2. When the eye is closed, your layer is hidden.
Merge layers1. Open the side menu bar. 2. Tap the merge layers icon (located next to trash). 3. Select the layers you want to merge. 4. Tap “Merge.”
Delete a layer1. Open the side menu bar’s layer menu. 2. Click the trash icon next to the layer you want to delete.
Rearrange layers order1. Open the side menu bar’s layer menu. 2. Tap the arrows in the list of layers to rearrange them. 3. Note that you can’t rearrange the template layer.

Why would you want to use layering in reMarkable?

Why would you want to use layering in reMarkable

Some use it for drawing, where they use different layers for shading, coloring, erasing, and preserving their work. Others use it for writing, like creating to-do lists with repeat tasks, filling out forms without destroying them, and adding annotations or highlighter markings on separate layers.

Some even use it for planning, like creating floorplan sketches or a weekly grocery list with recurring items. Overall, users find the layering function to be potentially powerful and useful for various purposes.

Common Issues when layering with the reMarkable 2

The reMarkable 2 has improved this quite a bit, but as with all layering – theres still some difficulties:

  • Accidental layer switching: it’s easy to accidentally switch layers while drawing, especially if you’re not paying close attention, which can cause mistakes or unintended changes.
  • Limited layer capacity: the reMarkable 2 only allows for up to 10 layers per document, which can be limiting for more complex drawings or projects.
  • Difficulty editing individual layers: once you’ve drawn on a layer, it can be difficult to edit specific parts without affecting the rest of the layer or other layers in the document.
  • Lag and slow response: some users have reported issues with lag or slow response when using multiple layers, which can be frustrating and make drawing more difficult.

Is it possible to remove the background layer in reMarkable 2 notebooks?

Unfortunately, the background layer cannot be deleted or moved. This is because the background layer serves as the foundation for all other layers in the notebook.

The background layer in reMarkable 2 notebooks consists of the selected template. Even if your notebook appears to have a blank background, it is still built upon the default blank template (source)

However, you can adjust the opacity of the background layer to make it less visible, or you can add additional layers on top of it for further customization.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ