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How to Set up Your Wacom for Awesome Results

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A lot of you have asked about how to set up your Wacom for awesome results like this. In this post we’ll cover the basics of getting your Wacom working, some finer details of getting it to work well, and finally some tips for getting better at drawing with a Wacom. We use Intuos 2s & 3s here at Go Media. Specifically, this tutorial was written with the Intuos 3 6×11 in mind.

Step 1

Getting your Wacom installed
Well first of all, just plug the USB cord of your Wacom Tablet into your computer. You’ll see that the pen tracks right away, but it has one major problem; it will not reach to all corners of the screen without having to be picked up for another swipe across the tablet. This is because you haven’t installed the Wacom Software yet.

So calm down. Yes that new toy smell is really exciting, but we’ve got to install some stuff first. Put in the CD that came with your Wacom or head over to wacom’s website to download the software & drivers for your model. Once installed, you should notice some things are different.

First, the tablet is proportional to the screen now – you can point to any spot on the screen without picking up your pen.

Second, unlike your mouse, your Wacam pen will point to exactly the same spot on your screen when it is pointed at the corresponding spot on the tablet. This is really cool once you get comfortable with it.

Step 2

Adjust your Wacom’s settings Fire up Photoshop or PainterX and play around

I know you want to!

I’m only going to to cover the use of the Wacom with Photoshop because it is all we use at Go Media. For a great video tutorial on Wacom settings in PainterX, check out Ray Frenden’s guest post from a while back.
PSD Brush PropertiesGo ahead and create a new Photoshop Document at a pixel resolution equal to your screen resolution. Set your foreground color to black and select the Brush Tool. Press on the rocker button closest to the tip of your pen, which should be mapped to be a right click by default. Set the brush hardness all the way to 100% and size to about 20px. Press F5 to bring up the Brushes palette and make sure the “Shape Dynamics” box is checked. Make sure the rest of the settings match the screenshot.

Now go ahead, draw a squiggly line! Does the brush vary in thickness in response to pressure? Great! It doesn’t? Don’t worry, it happens to us all of the time. Shut down Photoshop, fire up the wacom tablet properties software just for fun, restart Photoshop. Rinse & Repeat.

Step 3

Adjusting your Wacom’s settings

In your start menu you should see a ‘Wacom’ folder, and inside, a ‘Wacom Tablet Properties’ program. This utility helps you tweak the special buttons on your tablet, pen pressure, and a lot of other stuff. The most important setting here (and the only one I’m going to talk about) is the ‘Tip Feel’.
Wacom Tablet Properties
As you can see from the screenshot above, I like pen tip to have a firm feel. This means that I have to press harder to get the same line thickness than at the default settings. I find that being able to keep a constant medium to hard pressure helps me make smoother lines. The software has a handy little preview of how hard you’re pressing so use that as a benchmark to find the best setting.

Drawing Tips

Before I started using a Wacom I imagined that it would magically transform me into a good artist. Not so! In many ways the Wacom is more difficult to control than traditional drawing tools (it’s saving grace is the Undo function). So unfortunately even if you follow this tutorial perfectly I can’t guarantee you’ll be drawing scrolls like Jeff does. Even so, here are some tips for getting better as a Wacom artist.

  1. Practice! Plain old drawing is great, but also try some Wacom training drills. One that I’ve used is trying to draw perfectly spaced even lines from thin to thick. Then try it thick to thin, then thin, thick, thin. Try concentric curves, squares – anything that requires you to keep line thickness and spacing consistent is good.
  2. Zoom in. Your Wacom’s tablet area is proportionate to your screen, not your zoom setting. For that detailed linework go ahead and zoom in to reduce shakiness.
  3. Be Decisive. Quickly drawn lines are naturally straighter, so don’t be bashful.

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That’s It!

If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, a Wacom is a great tool for a designer to have around. If you picked one up but never felt like it was working quite right for you, I hope this how-to cleared some things up.

Till next time!

About the Author, Adam Wagner

I'm a marketer, designer, armchair singer/songwriter, wannabe theoretical physicist/philosopher and recent college grad trying to pack as much living as possible into each day. Working at Go Media makes this pretty easy. Catch me on Twitter!!
Discover More by Adam Wagner

Discussion

We want to hear what you have to say. Do you agree? Do you have a better way to approach the topic? Let the community know by joining the discussion.

  • Scott

    hey guys,
    love the posts. I have been completely enraged the few times i have used a wacom. Any lefties work there that have a preferred setup so that hand drag doesn’t make them loose their mind.

  • Scott

    hey guys,
    love the posts. I have been completely enraged the few times i have used a wacom. Any lefties work there that have a preferred setup so that hand drag doesn’t make them loose their mind.

  • http://www.chrisobriendesign.com Chris OB

    I have the beginner-level Wacom tablet (for now), but it still rocks. Thanks for the tips, I am going to go install the CORRECT drivers right now, so my tablet will actually fit my screen!

  • http://www.chrisobriendesign.com Chris OB

    I have the beginner-level Wacom tablet (for now), but it still rocks. Thanks for the tips, I am going to go install the CORRECT drivers right now, so my tablet will actually fit my screen!

  • Andrew

    Scott: I’m a leftie and I’ve never had a problem. I can’t figure out what you mean with hand drag, the Wacom’s aren’t like laptop trackpads. This uses the pen to measure the location/pressure so dragging your hand on the Wacom wouldn’t cause any problems.

  • Andrew

    Scott: I’m a leftie and I’ve never had a problem. I can’t figure out what you mean with hand drag, the Wacom’s aren’t like laptop trackpads. This uses the pen to measure the location/pressure so dragging your hand on the Wacom wouldn’t cause any problems.

  • ChequeredManiac

    Nice post, I will be doing a bit of config soon. Thanks

  • http://www.marenkellydesign.com Maren

    I agree with Scott, I LOVE my Wacom tablet. and thanks to you guys, you have encouraged me to use it more frequently to get the results that I want! However, being a lefty can drive you nuts when you roll your hand over the touch sensitive buttons! I’ve even been known to tape a paper over them- any ideas?

  • http://www.marenkellydesign.com Maren

    I agree with Scott, I LOVE my Wacom tablet. and thanks to you guys, you have encouraged me to use it more frequently to get the results that I want! However, being a lefty can drive you nuts when you roll your hand over the touch sensitive buttons! I’ve even been known to tape a paper over them- any ideas?

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    I would also add that setting the buttons on the stylus is another must-do for setting up your Wacom; personally I set one button to the Spacbar so I have instant one-handed access to the Hand tool, and the other button to the Eraser. I actually disable the stylus eraser button since I never use it for anything.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    I would also add that setting the buttons on the stylus is another must-do for setting up your Wacom; personally I set one button to the Spacbar so I have instant one-handed access to the Hand tool, and the other button to the Eraser. I actually disable the stylus eraser button since I never use it for anything.

  • http://design.studiofold.com/ Ragnar Þór Valgeirsson

    Simple but grate as always!

  • http://design.studiofold.com/ Ragnar Þór Valgeirsson

    Simple but grate as always!

  • http://www.dooms-day-device.com Puke

    I love my Wacky Tablet!
    Trying to draw or use the lasso tool with a mouse is so damn hard. With the pen I have so much more control.

    I wish I could afford a Cintiq tablet…

  • http://www.dooms-day-device.com Puke

    I love my Wacky Tablet!
    Trying to draw or use the lasso tool with a mouse is so damn hard. With the pen I have so much more control.

    I wish I could afford a Cintiq tablet…

  • http://www.colorburned.com Grant Friedman

    Great post!

  • http://www.colorburned.com Grant Friedman

    Great post!

  • http://rottonrabbit.com Steve Bryant

    I use a Cintiq 21UX and a Intuos 9×12. I have found that the tips in my pens wear down faster using the Cintiq compared to the Intuos. More than likely due to the hard plastic on the Cintiq. I can say though, that I did get a speed increase with the Cintiq.

  • http://rottonrabbit.com Steve Bryant

    I use a Cintiq 21UX and a Intuos 9×12. I have found that the tips in my pens wear down faster using the Cintiq compared to the Intuos. More than likely due to the hard plastic on the Cintiq. I can say though, that I did get a speed increase with the Cintiq.

  • http://insanitybrush.com whacko

    I find it very useful to set the first rocker switch (the bottom one when holding the pen) to map to the Spacebar key. That way when I am zoomed in working on an Illustrator drawing, I can hold that switch down to drag my work area around, instead of switching to the hand tool or, you know.. actually pressing spacebar ;)

    You tip acts like a left mouse click, I don’t find it incredibly useful to have a button that also acts like a left mouse click.

    I have the upper switch on my tablets set to be right click which is useful for accessing context menus.

    Also one important thing that you guys forgot to mention is that you should map your tablet to your screens aspect ratio. On a 6×11 you lose about a centimeter on the right side of your tablet (depending on your screen size & ratio) but try drawing a real circle without matching aspect ratios…

  • http://insanitybrush.com whacko

    I find it very useful to set the first rocker switch (the bottom one when holding the pen) to map to the Spacebar key. That way when I am zoomed in working on an Illustrator drawing, I can hold that switch down to drag my work area around, instead of switching to the hand tool or, you know.. actually pressing spacebar ;)

    You tip acts like a left mouse click, I don’t find it incredibly useful to have a button that also acts like a left mouse click.

    I have the upper switch on my tablets set to be right click which is useful for accessing context menus.

    Also one important thing that you guys forgot to mention is that you should map your tablet to your screens aspect ratio. On a 6×11 you lose about a centimeter on the right side of your tablet (depending on your screen size & ratio) but try drawing a real circle without matching aspect ratios…

  • ChequeredManiac

    Nice post, I will be doing a bit of config soon. Thanks

  • http://www.takebackproductions.com Pat

    Great post! I love my Wacom. Retouching photos goes so much faster then with a traditional mouse.

  • http://www.takebackproductions.com Pat

    Great post! I love my Wacom. Retouching photos goes so much faster then with a traditional mouse.

  • Eric Thayne

    Absolutely love my Intuos.

    I had kind of hoped this tutorial would go beyond the basic steps though. Maybe that’s just me…

  • http://alanvalek.com alanvalek.com

    Once you use one—you will never, ever go back to a mouse.

  • http://alanvalek.com alanvalek.com

    Once you use one—you will never, ever go back to a mouse.

  • http://designfeedr.com/ Youri

    I really should dig up that old Wacom which I never gave an honest chance back in the days. Nice post!

  • http://designfeedr.com/ Youri

    I really should dig up that old Wacom which I never gave an honest chance back in the days. Nice post!

  • Eric Thayne

    Absolutely love my Intuos.

    I had kind of hoped this tutorial would go beyond the basic steps though. Maybe that’s just me…

  • http://naldzgraphics.com NaldzGraphics

    great tip!!im planning to buy my wacom on the next 2nd week)

  • http://naldzgraphics.com NaldzGraphics

    great tip!!im planning to buy my wacom on the next 2nd week)

  • Godmachine

    For anyone in Europe and the UK I thought I’d let you know that I use a Trust tablet- cheap (about £15/$30) and easy to use. I bought a Wacom Bamboo- used it for 2 days and returned it. Maybe its just personal taste. just my 2 pence/cents. Tablets are the way forward though.

  • Godmachine

    For anyone in Europe and the UK I thought I’d let you know that I use a Trust tablet- cheap (about £15/$30) and easy to use. I bought a Wacom Bamboo- used it for 2 days and returned it. Maybe its just personal taste. just my 2 pence/cents. Tablets are the way forward though.

  • http://www.geoffmay.com Geoff May

    Cool tutorial!

  • http://www.geoffmay.com Geoff May

    Cool tutorial!

  • http://www.visual-blade.com Daquan

    This is just lovely…ordered a wacom graphire tablet months ago. Didn’t use it for many months, finally popped the baby open and it simply blooms with creativity in mind. I will purchase an intuos once I save up some cash. I love the software…I had no idea there was additional software to install but the new pressure sensitivity is amazing and the screen to model relationship is much better now.

    I know the intuos has twice as many pressure sensitivity levels as the graphire, I can’t wait to get my hands on that. Thanks so much for this great post, this is another reason why I make sure I read everything you guys post! ;)

  • http://www.visual-blade.com Daquan

    This is just lovely…ordered a wacom graphire tablet months ago. Didn’t use it for many months, finally popped the baby open and it simply blooms with creativity in mind. I will purchase an intuos once I save up some cash. I love the software…I had no idea there was additional software to install but the new pressure sensitivity is amazing and the screen to model relationship is much better now.

    I know the intuos has twice as many pressure sensitivity levels as the graphire, I can’t wait to get my hands on that. Thanks so much for this great post, this is another reason why I make sure I read everything you guys post! ;)

  • Chris

    What is the best Wacom tablet to start off with? I’m an upcoming designer.

  • Chris

    What is the best Wacom tablet to start off with? I’m an upcoming designer.

  • Chris

    What Wacom tablet would be the best to start off with? I’m an upcoming designer.

  • Chris

    What Wacom tablet would be the best to start off with? I’m an upcoming designer.

  • Tom Sinclair

    Great quick tutorial. Bought an Intuos a5 wide a while ago but couldnt get into using it. Really helps to know how to draw on paper before jumping straight in with a wacom!

  • http://insanitybrush.com whacko

    One other thing that I find helpful sometimes, is to set the two extra buttons (one at the bottom of each button cluster) on the tablet itself to CTRL-Z for the left one, and SHift-CTRL-Z for the right one. When I am working off a laptop or something I find it convenient to not have to use the keyboard. The other buttons are set to Shift CTRL & Alt by default.

  • http://insanitybrush.com whacko

    One other thing that I find helpful sometimes, is to set the two extra buttons (one at the bottom of each button cluster) on the tablet itself to CTRL-Z for the left one, and SHift-CTRL-Z for the right one. When I am working off a laptop or something I find it convenient to not have to use the keyboard. The other buttons are set to Shift CTRL & Alt by default.

  • Anonymous

    Great quick tutorial. Bought an Intuos a5 wide a while ago but couldnt get into using it. Really helps to know how to draw on paper before jumping straight in with a wacom!

  • Anonymous

    sweet

  • http://tiffanyforrester.blogspot.com Tiffany

    sweet

  • http://www.avangelistphotography.com Avangelist

    genius, almost right up there with those Dummy’s books.

    next week:
    how to walk and breathe

    it’s a mouse, just thinner and more accurate.

    I find the pen kicks butt for touch up work on photo’s but struggle with things like UI design, It falls down in lengthy typog menu’s and when you are flicking in and out of the text tool and colour picker constantly you end up putting it down and picking it up more than anything else.

  • http://www.avangelistphotography.com Avangelist

    genius, almost right up there with those Dummy’s books.

    next week:
    how to walk and breathe

    it’s a mouse, just thinner and more accurate.

    I find the pen kicks butt for touch up work on photo’s but struggle with things like UI design, It falls down in lengthy typog menu’s and when you are flicking in and out of the text tool and colour picker constantly you end up putting it down and picking it up more than anything else.

  • Scott D

    I am about to buy a Wacom and you guys rock for posting this… thank you!! Keep up the awesome work.

  • http://www.scottad.com scottAD

    I am about to buy a Wacom and you guys rock for posting this… thank you!! Keep up the awesome work.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Adam Wagner

    @ Whacko, nice tips. I am definitely going to take the next step and set some of that stuff up.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Adam Wagner

    @ Whacko, nice tips. I am definitely going to take the next step and set some of that stuff up.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Scott may be referring to the ‘Touch Strips’ – the scroll areas on the side(s) of the Intuos3 models.

    These can be disabled ( and independently of each other)), perhaps that might be a solution.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Scott may be referring to the ‘Touch Strips’ – the scroll areas on the side(s) of the Intuos3 models.

    These can be disabled ( and independently of each other)), perhaps that might be a solution.

  • http://www.blinkss.com Roy

    I love using Wacom tablets but it sure does drive me crazy when the pressure settings don’t register and I have to restart photoshop.
    Glad to know I’m not the only one with this problem.

  • http://www.blinkss.com Roy

    I love using Wacom tablets but it sure does drive me crazy when the pressure settings don’t register and I have to restart photoshop.
    Glad to know I’m not the only one with this problem.

  • Matt

    This is great to learn how to setup a tablet but we need more on best practices and tips for drawing. :)

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  • Matt

    This is great to learn how to setup a tablet but we need more on best practices and tips for drawing. :)

  • http://www.thedara.com Chris

    Now if only mine wasn’t a decade old. I really need to upgrade.

  • http://www.thedara.com Chris

    Now if only mine wasn’t a decade old. I really need to upgrade.

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  • http://rottonrabbit.com Steve Bryant

    If you want to use Illustrator and Photoshop to draw with your tablet, check out http://danidraws.com/. It has some cool things on it about using tablets.

  • http://rottonrabbit.com Steve Bryant

    If you want to use Illustrator and Photoshop to draw with your tablet, check out http://danidraws.com/. It has some cool things on it about using tablets.

  • http://www.poco.cn vincent

    not bad~ ilike

  • http://www.poco.cn vincent

    not bad~ ilike

  • http://www.gomedia.us Adam Wagner

    @ matt: we’re not holding anything back, the tips in the post are basically what we know. Still, I googled around a bit, and here are some pretty cool painting / drawing tips: http://fox-orian.deviantart.com/art/Wacom-Photoshop-Painter-Guide-85536306

  • http://www.gomedia.us Adam Wagner

    @ matt: we’re not holding anything back, the tips in the post are basically what we know. Still, I googled around a bit, and here are some pretty cool painting / drawing tips: http://fox-orian.deviantart.com/art/Wacom-Photoshop-Painter-Guide-85536306

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  • Gavin

    I was wondering if you change the settings when you use your tablet to design websites etc? (Talking to anyone with experience) as I am guessing there is more box work and positioning rather than free drawing (Which i know is done on occasion)

    so different setups for different projects?

    If so, can you save and load these quickly?

  • Gavin

    I was wondering if you change the settings when you use your tablet to design websites etc? (Talking to anyone with experience) as I am guessing there is more box work and positioning rather than free drawing (Which i know is done on occasion)

    so different setups for different projects?

    If so, can you save and load these quickly?

  • Scott

    thanks for the replies, good to know that people actually read these, and then even crazier, actually help. I just disabled the buttons on the left.

  • Scott

    thanks for the replies, good to know that people actually read these, and then even crazier, actually help. I just disabled the buttons on the left.

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  • Clark

    Good info and very helpful…
    But I have a dual monitor setup, with most of my pallets on the second screen… Any advice on setting up a Wacom for that?

  • Clark

    Good info and very helpful…
    But I have a dual monitor setup, with most of my pallets on the second screen… Any advice on setting up a Wacom for that?

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  • Knoxville Website Design

    I too have a Wacom that has been sitting in a box collecting dust for way too long. Time to dig it out and make it my slave again.

  • Knoxville Website Design

    I too have a Wacom that has been sitting in a box collecting dust for way too long. Time to dig it out and make it my slave again.

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  • ed

    Great tips… no pun intended :)

    A quick question I’m hoping SOMEONE can answer:

    I love my Graphire3, but the pen “sticks” sometimes. It doesn’t “let go” of things on the desktop, or in whatever program I’m working in. For instance, if I’m doing brush work in PS, sometimes it doesn’t life the brush of the image, even though I lift the pen of the tablet. Clicking the buttons doesn’t “drop” the item (or whatever), and I have to lift the pen WAY off the tablet to “reset” things.

    This is super annoying, and I dont’ want to buy a whole new pad. Argh.

    Help!?

  • ed

    Great tips… no pun intended :)

    A quick question I’m hoping SOMEONE can answer:

    I love my Graphire3, but the pen “sticks” sometimes. It doesn’t “let go” of things on the desktop, or in whatever program I’m working in. For instance, if I’m doing brush work in PS, sometimes it doesn’t life the brush of the image, even though I lift the pen of the tablet. Clicking the buttons doesn’t “drop” the item (or whatever), and I have to lift the pen WAY off the tablet to “reset” things.

    This is super annoying, and I dont’ want to buy a whole new pad. Argh.

    Help!?

  • http://www.gomedia.us Adam Wagner

    Hi Ed,

    I’ve had symptoms like the ones you describe, but it’s usually when my whole computer is sticking because I have too many programs / processes running. So I would ask: How up-to-date is your PC / Mac? It might be struggling with drawing all those pixels?

    Just a thought. Hope you find some other answers too.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Adam Wagner

    Hi Ed,

    I’ve had symptoms like the ones you describe, but it’s usually when my whole computer is sticking because I have too many programs / processes running. So I would ask: How up-to-date is your PC / Mac? It might be struggling with drawing all those pixels?

    Just a thought. Hope you find some other answers too.

  • sad

    seems that tablet settings window is only available to people who have an intuos or better.

  • sad

    seems that tablet settings window is only available to people who have an intuos or better.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    @sad Yeah, the settings for the Bamboo are not as customizable as the Intuos3 line.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    @sad Yeah, the settings for the Bamboo are not as customizable as the Intuos3 line.

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  • http://www.traumfusion.de Wilhelm Behr

    Hi, got a small question .. in my drawing flow i often get to change the Angle of my Brush. Is there any way to adjust that on a cintq 12 Wx ? maybe with one of those Express Keys ?

    Regards

    William

  • http://www.traumfusion.de Wilhelm Behr

    Hi, got a small question .. in my drawing flow i often get to change the Angle of my Brush. Is there any way to adjust that on a cintq 12 Wx ? maybe with one of those Express Keys ?

    Regards

    William

  • Rodney

    I would advise anyone new to the tablet world to stay away from the Adesso tablets and go right to the good stuff…the Wacoms. My first tablet purchase was the Adesso, because it (or I, one) was cheap. It nearly turned me off on tablets. It marked even when the pen was not touching the tablet. Then it would jump. Aaarghh…the memories! I have a Wacom now, and everything is right with the world again!

  • Rodney

    I would advise anyone new to the tablet world to stay away from the Adesso tablets and go right to the good stuff…the Wacoms. My first tablet purchase was the Adesso, because it (or I, one) was cheap. It nearly turned me off on tablets. It marked even when the pen was not touching the tablet. Then it would jump. Aaarghh…the memories! I have a Wacom now, and everything is right with the world again!

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  • Jay

    whats the best wacom tablet for a up and comign designer?

    Im really interested in learning all I can. And I will eventually use the best of what i can.

    just curious so im not like *duhhhh* when I decide to buy one.

    which hopefull is soon.

    so any help guys?

  • Jay

    whats the best wacom tablet for a up and comign designer?

    Im really interested in learning all I can. And I will eventually use the best of what i can.

    just curious so im not like *duhhhh* when I decide to buy one.

    which hopefull is soon.

    so any help guys?

  • http://www.kayemphotography.com Kayem

    @Jay Buy an Intuos 3. It is a little pricey, but you wont regret it.. it is a great first tablet for someone who will potentially use it very frequently.

  • http://www.kayemphotography.com Kayem

    @Jay Buy an Intuos 3. It is a little pricey, but you wont regret it.. it is a great first tablet for someone who will potentially use it very frequently.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Adam Wagner

    @Jay,
    I second Kayem’s suggestion. Go for the top from the start & you won’t be sorry. Check out eBay, slickdeals, etc. Wait for a deal!

  • http://www.gomedia.us Adam Wagner

    @Jay,
    I second Kayem’s suggestion. Go for the top from the start & you won’t be sorry. Check out eBay, slickdeals, etc. Wait for a deal!

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  • Sweetblonde

    Hey guys. Ell problemo….. i have a wacom bamboo fun. Its installed to my MAC i think…. what happens when i try to draw on say a black canvas in photoshop elements, or even in ANYTHING…. this yellow box like writing paper thing comes up and it only writes scribbles in that! Hoooow do i get rid of that so i can draw on my mac??? Please help!

    sweetblonde85@hotmail.com

  • Sweetblonde

    Hey guys. Ell problemo….. i have a wacom bamboo fun. Its installed to my MAC i think…. what happens when i try to draw on say a black canvas in photoshop elements, or even in ANYTHING…. this yellow box like writing paper thing comes up and it only writes scribbles in that! Hoooow do i get rid of that so i can draw on my mac??? Please help!

    sweetblonde85@hotmail.com

  • rac

    That yellow box is the Mac's Ink program. Go into “System Preferences”, then in the “Hardware” section click on “Ink”. Either turn “Handwriting recognition is:” to Off to disable it completely or deselect the checkbox next to “Allow me to Ink in any application” to have it show up when you want it.

  • rac

    That yellow box is the Mac's Ink program. Go into “System Preferences”, then in the “Hardware” section click on “Ink”. Either turn “Handwriting recognition is:” to Off to disable it completely or deselect the checkbox next to “Allow me to Ink in any application” to have it show up when you want it.

  • rac

    That yellow box is the Mac's Ink program. Go into “System Preferences”, then in the “Hardware” section click on “Ink”. Either turn “Handwriting recognition is:” to Off to disable it completely or deselect the checkbox next to “Allow me to Ink in any application” to have it show up when you want it.

  • Daniel

    This might be a bit late (8 months, hah), but i had the same problem at work. Was frustrated like hell for a few weeks. Turns out sweat and dirt accumulated inside the pen, creating friction between the tip and the pen itself, so after lifting the pen off the pad, it'd take around half a second for the tip to slide back out and exit 'pressed-down mode'. After cleaning it up a bit, there were no problems to speak of. You can't imagine how many antiviruses i've tried back then, in order to get rid of what i thought to be a vicious virus that messed with my wacom drivers.

  • Daniel

    This might be a bit late (8 months, hah), but i had the same problem at work. Was frustrated like hell for a few weeks. Turns out sweat and dirt accumulated inside the pen, creating friction between the tip and the pen itself, so after lifting the pen off the pad, it'd take around half a second for the tip to slide back out and exit 'pressed-down mode'. After cleaning it up a bit, there were no problems to speak of. You can't imagine how many antiviruses i've tried back then, in order to get rid of what i thought to be a vicious virus that messed with my wacom drivers.

  • Daniel

    This might be a bit late (8 months, hah), but i had the same problem at work. Was frustrated like hell for a few weeks. Turns out sweat and dirt accumulated inside the pen, creating friction between the tip and the pen itself, so after lifting the pen off the pad, it'd take around half a second for the tip to slide back out and exit 'pressed-down mode'. After cleaning it up a bit, there were no problems to speak of. You can't imagine how many antiviruses i've tried back then, in order to get rid of what i thought to be a vicious virus that messed with my wacom drivers.

  • Alice Ralph

    Awesome, thanks!!

  • Alice Ralph

    Awesome, thanks!!

  • Alice Ralph

    Awesome, thanks!!

  • Alice Ralph

    Awesome, thanks!!

  • ipamiko

    hello :] i have a wacom bamboo with windows vista and i was wondering can you change the buttons to comply with photoshop– having one as a brush tool, undo, or pen tool? or that only with the 'Fun'

  • animesong

    this article was super helpful. i lost my cd that the tablet came with ages ago and couldn't figure out what was wrong with my toy. your a lifesaver

  • animesong

    this article was super helpful. i lost my cd that the tablet came with ages ago and couldn't figure out what was wrong with my toy. your a lifesaver

  • http://twitter.com/Matt_27 Matthew Clark

    hmm, for the life of me i can't get my wacom set up correctly in photoshop cs4!
    in the brush pallet, instead of the brush stoke being solid in the example screen shot shown here, mine fades away. don't want my tablet to control the darkness of the line, just the width as shown here! anyone got any idea's as to what settings i need to change that aren't shown in the screen shot on here!
    thanks in advance!
    matt

  • AllenLee

    Okay I just got my Wacom Cintiq 21UX.

    So far, it is COMPLETELY awesome.
    My dad bought it for me to do the illustrations on a book he wrote.

    Anyways,
    I believe I have it set up right as far as being connected to the computer and working as a tablet.
    I don't have Photoshop CS4 (yet.)

    So I am forced to use the Photoshop Elements that is included with the cintiq.
    the problem is I can't seem to find it in order to open it up.
    I installed both disks that came in the box. Still, though, I am unable to locate where or if Elements was installed.

    Please respond to this if you can help or Email me
    MasterLothman@aol.com

    Thanks.

  • Shane

    I wouldn't say that having a tablet is a 'great tool for a designer to have around'… I would go so far as to say it's absolutely critical. It's not just about tracing and drawing… moving about the computer with a tablet is much more effecient than a mouse. I have had to train and hire designers and retouchers in my position and if they don't use a tablet I don't even consider them. Watching someone navigate around clumsily with a mouse drives me nuts! Once you've mastered your tablet and use your key commands properly in conjunction with it… you'll be amazed how fast you can work. Tablet skills can really separate the pros from the amatuers.

    I personally turn off all the buttons on my tablet as I find them to get in the way compared to using the keyboard. Also many don't know this, but you can remove the button/switch on the pen itself and get a new rubber sleeve to cover the hole. I prefer it this way as I don't use the buttons on the stylus at all and find them to be in an awkward location.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/XOIAMXYUVCPVMS6KOBOR3GRITI Sara

      Hi Shane,

      It is my dream to be a photo retoucher and the only thing that is stopping me is my inability to use my tablet.  How do you go about training people to use it, and can you recommend any other online tutorials?

  • Shane

    I wouldn't say that having a tablet is a 'great tool for a designer to have around'… I would go so far as to say it's absolutely critical. It's not just about tracing and drawing… moving about the computer with a tablet is much more effecient than a mouse. I have had to train and hire designers and retouchers in my position and if they don't use a tablet I don't even consider them. Watching someone navigate around clumsily with a mouse drives me nuts! Once you've mastered your tablet and use your key commands properly in conjunction with it… you'll be amazed how fast you can work. Tablet skills can really separate the pros from the amatuers.

    I personally turn off all the buttons on my tablet as I find them to get in the way compared to using the keyboard. Also many don't know this, but you can remove the button/switch on the pen itself and get a new rubber sleeve to cover the hole. I prefer it this way as I don't use the buttons on the stylus at all and find them to be in an awkward location.

  • cuthroat

    You've probably worked this one out by now but if anyone else is reading:

    The brush settings control if your pen pressure dictates opacity, so if you don't want this effect uncheck the “other dynamics” property in the brush presets, or click the preset and change the controls to not use 'pen pressure'

  • Dan

    Excellent job..
    dizi izle

  • http://www.facebook.com/lenin.yoh Lenin D'Cruz

    First, I really appreciate all the information you guys give on this website. GoMedia has been very important to me from months since I have been interested in digital art.
    Second, for simple things like the comment you just replied to, thanks for taking the trouble to google for more information. That link was VERY useful.
    Keep up the good work :)

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  • Jbf

    Is there a site where people share their settings for Wacom 21UX custom setup? Takes a long time to customize all those little buttons for illustrator, indesign and photoshop – would be nice to share in community.

    • http://www.facebook.com/braden.bickle Braden Bickle

      YES! that would be awesome. I have been searching for the last hour or so for the same thing.

  • http://www.volkanerdogan.com Volkan

    thnx good wacom result post :)

  • werbeagentur

    im very glad to own a cintiq21″ now. and im very satisfied with it. so if anybody is looking for painting or composing with a tool like that i can recomend it very much….
    http://www.graustich.com

  • Maxx

    how do you get rid of the yellow scrap paper that shows up whenever i try to draw

    • Guest

      You have to turn off handwriting recognition in your system preferences under “Ink”. That should get rid of the yellow scrap paper.

  • Whackem

    I hated mine! Tried to get used to it for 3 months, sold it on ebay. It Sucked!!!
    Went back to the mouse… at least I don’t have to keep the mouse perfectly aligned with the screen. I do intricate selections in photoshop and need controllable and precise alignment. I’m getting pissed off again right now thinking about…. piece of crap!!!!

  • Anonymous

    hey guys,
    love the posts. I have been completely enraged the few times i have used a wacom. Any lefties work there that have a preferred setup so that hand drag doesn’t make them loose their mind.

  • Rik Logtenberg

    Thanks Adam. Love the post. You’ve inspired me to pick up my tablet again after two years of it gathering dust in my closet.

    • William Haywood

      hi I don’t know why but i installed the cd for my wacom intuos4 and the tablet is not proportionate to the screen. Ive never had this problem before and I use the tablet all the time. had to reset my computer because of virus’s, any insight would be greatly appreciated.

      thanks.
               Lee

      • William Haywood

        by the way the unproprtional screen only comes up when Im on photoshop CS5 never did that before

  • Anonymous

    That pen firmness is so crucial to control for me! Thanks for the tip!

  • Anonymous

    My wacom intuos4 will arrive today and I’m SOOOO excited. Thanks for the tutorial. Though I wish someone mentioned what the mouse is for. It’s gonna be awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rhiannon.p.owen.7 Rhiannon Pandacorn Owen

    I’m having a problem where it isn’t synched to be proportional to my screen, it was before hand but I’ve just plugged it into my laptop as I do usually and it was on the ‘drag’ mode. Is there a way to change this back? :) Thanks

    • Tbone187

      There should be a setting within the docking software that can rectify this. Apart from that, make sure the drivers are up to date.

  • Tbone187

    The Bamboo, 3rd gen , does the job for me…Looking at getting one out the Intruos range tho…

  • herefromthere

    Missing info form the wacopm manual: To get things started on you rMac after you have installed your software from Wacom, click on your System Preferences in your Dock, then select the Wacom icon from the Other menu (see below).

  • http://www.facebook.com/savannah.webb.509 Savannah Webb

    is there a way to download the softwear without the disk? my laptop doesnt have disk compatability. Can I download it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/siana.brookes Siana Brookes

    If you check with Wacom, you should INSTALL ALL OF YOUR WACOM DRIVERS BEFORE plugging in the tablet – In fact, to be completely safe you should delete ALL Wacom software from your computer then reboot, then shut down again and restart in SAFE MODE (Win 8) Then install your drivers, then reboot again into normal mode and only then plug in the tablet. (This is the sequence I was given by Wacom Support after I experienced some strange behaviour with a left hand configured tablet)

  • DarknessRainbow

    This is wonderful. I never realized how much the soft to firm slider affected how my tablet drew until I read this tutorial and played with the Wacom settings and Photoshop at the same time. for the first time in over a year since I bought my tablet, I am completely happy with the way my tablet works. I should have looked this up earlier. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • http://twitter.com/AftabKhalid Aftab Khalid

    old but really helpful article, I have a question can anyone tell me, is there any special versions of software (like photoshop, illustrator, coreldraw etc.) for wacom devices?

    • DarknessRainbow

      A Wacom tablet should work with any of those programs. The programs are not specifically made to be used by someone with a tablet, but you’ll be better off with software that is good for what you want to do. For instance, I’ve never had much luck with photo editing in Illustrator. The tablet(drivers) is adjusted to the programs, and as far as I know there are no programs that are made specifically for the tablets.

  • Gordo Wyne

    I have had a bamboo tablet for a little while but keep running into an issue where when I draw line and reach the end it always continues to darw a little when I pick it up. Does any one know how to fix this issue? It is seriously frustrating.

  • Halorie

    This tutorial is VERY helpful. I’m glad the Internet exists! I was freaking out a bit because I didn’t know why the cursor’s location wasn’t corresponding to the size of the screen. Thank you so much!! I’m glad smart people like you exist!! :D