Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pressure Sensitivity Problem with Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet in Windows 7

Okay, this isn’t my usual coding-related post, but I hope it helps someone.  There are a million different threads about Wacom tablets not working properly with various software on various system configurations, and there’s no shortage of suggested solutions, so I’ll describe my specific situation and its specific solution:

Problem: Wacom tablet pen pressure sensitivity does not work in Adobe Photoshop CS4.  More specifically, it draws at full brush thickness all the time, unless I double-tap the tablet quickly and then begin drawing immediately after, which surprisingly allows pressure sensitivity to work.

My Configuration: Windows 7 Ultimate, Wacom Bamboo Pen tablet (the most basic model), Adobe Photoshop CS4 (as mentioned above)

Solution: In short, disable using the “press and hold” pen action as a right-click equivalent in the Windows tablet pen control panel.  To do this:

Click the Windows button, and in the search box type “Change tablet pen settings".  Open the item that appears.


In that dialog, in the Pen Options tab (the default), in the Pen actions group, select the Press and hold pen action and then click the Settings… button.


Then, in the dialog that appears, uncheck Enable press and hold for right-clicking and click OK.


Windows’ Tablet PC settings are fighting with the tablet’s usefulness, doing their best to turn it into a primary input device rather than a dedicated drawing instrument.  In my specific case, you’ll notice that every time you tap the pen and start drawing (interpreted by Windows as a “tap and hold”), a circle will start drawing around the tap location, and once it finishes drawing, the equivalent of a right-click is received.  This is not a Wacom thing; it’s a Windows thing, and it’s messing with your ability to use your pen with proper pressure sensitivity.

Since my Bamboo tablet pen has a button on it which maps to a right-click by default, I don’t need the “press-and-hold” right-click functionality, and you likely don’t either.

I hope this saves someone some frustration.


Levune said...

Thank you SO MUCH! I've tried numerous solutions for this problem (although, I had it with my Graphire4), but only yours helped me. Thank you.

Cheyenne said...

I did this same thing earlier to get rid of that stupid blue circle, but for some reason it wont work. Everytime i disable it, i go back and its like i never even touched it, it just goes back to default. The only thing i can do is lengthen the time it takes.

Tony said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've been dealing with the Bamboo's long press-circle-right click popup for years. I use the tablet for GIS (map work) which involves grabbing and moving parts of my map. Invariably I hold the pen in one place too long and the right click menu would pop-up. It has been so distracting. Thank you for the solution--I had been trying for so long in the Bamboo preference settings.

Alex Harapu said...

thanks SO SO SO much, this was really annoying.

iamethano said...

This was so helpful. Can't thank you enough!

Tomás Crespo said...

Thank you very much ! Helps me a lot!

Volpe said...

Knew this was a windows problem but couldn't pinpoint it. Life saver, thanks!

Alev said...

You seriously saved my ass. Thanks so much for this!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you sooo much for this post! It was soo annoying!

My problem solved now! THANK YOU!

Terje Lundén said...

I have the exact same problem but the problem remains even after I've disabled it. Any Ideas why this is happening? I'm using Photoshop Cs 5.1, my pen is acting exactly like yours.

Terje Lundén said...

Nevermind. I apparantly had old drivers so I just installed new ones and now it works perfectly fine (silly me)

Tessa said...

Thank you. so much. That has been bugging me since I got my tablet, but I didn't know how to amend it. I had finally had it, so I took to the internet to see if I could find a solution. Thanks!

Tim Dunn said...

One more huge THANK YOU! Talk about non-institutive!

Oh, one more thing. This goes without saying, but it cost me another 15 minutes before I realized it:


Monica Prieto Escobio said...

You saved my day, thanks so much