Using a Wacom Tablet

I just purchased a Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet for use with my laptop. Talk about trying to get used to something. I thought that it would help when using my photo software but I’m beginning to think I’m better off with the finger pad and/or a mouse. The pen has to hover over the pad and doesn’t seem to line up properly with the screen and even though I’ve tried slowing it down in the preferences menu it still reacts too quickly.
How many people are using it and do you have any tips for me. Right now I think it’s headed back for a refund.


Persist. It does take some getting used to, but soooo much better for photo retouching. I still use my mouse for everyday tasks.

As far as hover goes, you can turn that off from memory. Just go into your preferences and set up your tablet to your preferred way of working.

Harry I agree with @Seabreeze. Don’t give up too soon. I have been using the Intuos Pro for about 3 years and believe me it is soooo much easier to edit photos, draw masks etc etc. You can work much more precise than you can with a mouse. You need to get used to holding the pen and draw but keep your eyes on the screen. This takes a couple of days but then you will love it.

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I’ve put it on “Mouse” in the preferences but it still seems to have a “hover” to it. I’ll try for a few more days.

Peter I’ll give it a few more days and trials.

Harry, it took me days to get used to it. I now love it. You will too. Just work through the menu system to make it work for you.

The nibs wear out really fast, so my advice is to only use your pen on important and necessary work. Otherwise use your mouse.

Yep, it hovers. I think you can turn that off

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I bought an Intuos Pro as well - and got me the ultra-expensive Art Pen to go with it! Must admit, I knew there’d be a learning-curve with it, and I still go back to mouse and (Surface Pro) finger!!!

I shall persevere. It is often stated that Photoshop can take 3 years to ‘tame’ - maybe even the Intuos! Patience and perseverance must be the right way.

Let me know how its going?!

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Hey Jack. It is really easy if you just sit down for a day and play… The only thing I dislike about this is the cost of the nibs which wear out really fast


Here they feature the different nibs - just for info -


I’ve just replaced my Intuos 3 with the Intuos Pro small and I love it. Harry, stick with it, you will be glad you did. The pad and pen are totally customisable and, while I didn’t find the instructions easy to follow, the set up is so intuitive it is relatively easy and if I find myself reaching for the mouse I customise the tablet and/ or pen so that I don’t have to go for the mouse next time. I understand the newer medium and large models have a more textured surface so wear nibs faster, I have not found this to be the case with the Pro Small (still available previous generation).

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Shutterblade: I have the Intuos small. The least expensive model as I didn’t want to have to fuss with the Bluetooth. Right now I have it set to the mouse function and the hover on low so I’m very close to the pad. It’s getting better but I haven’t tried it yet in any of my photo software applications.

You may want to watch this video about using your Wacom tablet.
It is a two part series and is pretty informative.
The major thing I found most useful was to limit the size of the ‘working area’ of the tablet surface area for the pen. Making the working area much smaller enables you to gain more control of the pen without it having to hover or use the whole tablet area surface.

Hope this helps?


Very good tip! I will have to watch the video and try that someday, I never got used to my tablet.

I also think I need a computer with about 24 usb ports, but that is another problem : )

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Thanks John. I’ll review it today.

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I remember struggling with it and contemplated returning it. Just persist and you will be rewarded. It will make your photo editing life so much nicer.

One suggestion to get over the hump - try using the pen as much as possible as a substitute for your mouse - browsing the web… reading mail… etc. Once the pen becomes second nature that mouse is going to seem like a clunky rock.

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Thanks Michael. That’s what I’ve been doing all afternoon.

Thanks Peter for posting this link.


John, depending on which tablet you have, the nibs can wear down really fast. I emphasize fast. I use my mouse as my daily interaction and only use the tablet when I need it. The nibs are not cheap on the tablet I have.

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Thanks for the input on the nibs. I too, mainly rely on using my mouse.