Jan 09, 2014

How To Use A Wacom Tablet

In this episode, learn why we love the Wacom tablet and pick up some tips along the way. We’ll show you how to install your tablet and the basics of using it in Photoshop!

Possibly the very best part about using a Wacom Tablet is the pressure sensitivity. It acts like a paint Brush rather than a solid object (mouse).

We prefer the Intuos Pro Small tablet, because there is no need for giant brushstrokes when Photo Editing. You can purchase the tablet here: Wacom Intuos Pro Small

Related Tutorial

How To Use A Wacom Tablet (Part 2) In this episode, How to Use a Wacom Tablet (Part 2), we take you through all the wonders and benefits of the tablet in Photoshop! Learn different B...

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    Spencer Payne

    Awesome video! I got my Wacom tablet as a birthday present from my girlfriend back in November. It was really hard to get used to at first because I wanted, like Aaron, to use only a portion of the layout, but my mouse was on low sensitivity so it was a bit of a jump but I’m totally used to it now. It took maybe a month for me to feel really comfortable with it.

    I have the Wacom Pro Medium. I don’t use the entire space but I find that if I’m using two monitors the extra space is really nice. I only wish the tablet could remember my settings for single and dual monitors so I didn’t always have to manually change it.

    For some reason, I sometimes have a problem with the wireless connectivity. It sometimes will cut out on me. Since the tablet is always right beside me though it’s easy to plug it in. Has anyone else have problems with this?

    I would highly recommend anyone getting one of these tablets. When I try to use Photoshop without my tablet I can’t believe that I once upon a time tried to work using a trackpad or mouse.

    Can’t wait for part two!


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    Tiago Gouveia

    Hello Aaron, great video on the wacom. I just got one for Christmas, and so far so good, the only thing it’s bugging me is that every time I take the pen off the tablet the pen buttons go to default presets. any clue what that might be?

    Love the episodes and can’t wait to see part 2


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    Zietse Bob

    Hi Aaron,

    Best wishes to you all for 2014 !

    Great video as always. Your previous video on the subject also helped me a lot.

    Would it be possible to lose the background music in future video’s. Highly distracting (to say the least) and completely unnecessary.


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    Chris Kaufman

    I just bought one and it changed my life. It was the same feeling when I did photoshop on my first Mac. Changed everything for the ‘much much good’.

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    Josh McKenney

    My brothers just bought me a Wacom Intuos tablet and I am SO GLAD that you posted this video since I’m always checking this site everyday! You’re actually the reason I wanted a Wacom tablet and its a little tricky to get used to but this video will definitely help me! Perfect timing for a perfect video!

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    This show was very helpful!!! I have a Wacom Bamboo tablet but never knew I could reduce the size of the active area. I never liked using the tablet much because of how much I had to move the pen around the tablet. I am loving my tablet much more. Thanks!

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    Two questions: Would you still recommend the Wacom Intuos Pro SMALL for a 27″ iMac screen? And is it not annoying to do keyboard shortcuts and type while holding the pen or having to put it down all the time? Thanks so much!

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      Dave Lee

      Keyboard shortcuts can be linked to express keys or radial menus. Using virtual keyboard with pen is a pain.

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    Alex Hochstrasser

    I bought a Wacom Intuos 4 Small over a year ago and I love it to death. Best thing I could’ve done with a $120.00

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    Yes! This is just what I needed I attempting for the 2nd time since I’ve bought my tablet to make an effort to adjust to it. It honestly feels like driving on the wrong side of the road in a foreign country.

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    Aleksander Torset Eriksen

    Hello, do you wear out those pen-nibs? I find myself wearing out those nibs pretty fast when using firmer mode in settings. I got the Intuos5 Pro M and love it 🙂

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    mino leopardo

    hi, for working my photos (but i’m only an amateur) with phiotoshop cc and a 24″ monitor is it better the medium or the small?

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    John Pettett

    I’ve owned my Wacom 5 for a couple of years. After a few days I give up and go back to the mouse. Now I’m trying again. Just finished Part 1 of your course; so far so good. This time I’m running off your enthusiasm Aaron.

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    Daisy Rowlings

    What kind of tablet is that you use? How much does one cost & what company would be the best to buy from.
    Your video was very helpful to me. Thank-You!

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    Saurabh Kashyap

    What kind of tablet is that you use? How much does one cost & what company would be the best to buy from

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    George Herbert

    I’m a brand new tablet user and I’m having a problem setting up a express key for changing brush sizes. I’m not sure if you use this shortcut or not, but it’s great. What I’m attempting to do is:

    With a painting tool selected, Control + Option (Mac) – drag left/right in order to decrease/ increase brush size. Control + Option (Mac) – drag up/down to decrease/ increase brush hardness.

    On Windows, Alt + Right Mouse -drag left right to decrease/ increase brush size and up/down decrease/ increase brush hardness.

    I can’t get this to work on my new 5 Pro, do you have the answer? I would love to see a video on this.

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    George Herbert

    I use duel monitors. I really like the idea of yours to map a small area on the tablet. Is there a way to setup a desktop toggle where I can move the pointer between monitors “in the small mapping areas” and not the whole tablet size, without the toggle? Having to hit the toggle to switch monitors is a real pain. There must be a smoother way, so I’m asking the man – YOU.

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    I got a tablet after I saw this for the first time and wow! It really made the difference!

  • Roger

    I bought a tablet yesterday and would be completely lost if it were not for your two videos. Thanks so much!

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    Darcy Gerbarg

    I’ve used Wacom tablets since the company started… a long time ago. But I stopped for 15 years and now I find the Intuos5 is way to complicated for what I need. Thanks for your quick and easy tutorial. It may be all I needed.

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    Anna Beamy

    I am still waiting for my Intuos Wacom to come because I had bought it about a week ago, but I have heard a lot of really amazing things about it!

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    Thankyou really informative. Aaron I commend you on your tutorial delivery. You make the subject matterreally easy to understand. Am only a year into using photoshop and am completly hooked. Have just purchased a Centiq13HD and its a bit scary but this english bird will not give up i will conquer thanks again.

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    Hi! Great tutorial! But, the undo-command is not working… 🙁 When i click the pen-button in photoshop, i get the brushsettings window… I’vd tried several things, but no…it’s not working.. What am i doing wrong? I just followed your steps..

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    I can’t get the short cut keys to work on my Intuos Pro Medium tablet. My iMac recognizes the pointer but not the short cut keys. I’ve reinstalled the drivers from Wacom several times and still the same thing. I’m using version 10.10.3 and adobe CS6. Help!!!

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    William Bone

    In an earlier video that I watched (you had an Intuos4 Small tablet), you scorned the Wireless tablet’s saying they have disconnecting issues, but since you have no started using a Wireless tablet. How do you feel the Wireless is now on the Pro tablet’s VS what it was on the Intuos4 tablets?

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    Lisa Ryman Miner

    You saved me from hating the Wacom.. it was frustrating to try and understand. I also appreciate your easygoing demeanor, easy on the eyes and charming enough to keep me calm;-) I’m a surface designer, new to doing my work electronically (have done hand-painted olive oil bottle for 21 years and sold them to stores all over) time to move to the digital route for plate, mug, etc. design. I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can… hopefully thru you! ps: I got the medium, going to take back and get a small, thank you for that!

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    Gary Mansperger

    I am in first week using WACOM Intuos Small Pro. Without your tutorial I would have already quit!. Making the area small makes it work!
    I am going to force myself to use it for 30 days. Currently I can do things much faster with mouse, be getting better with pen.
    One think I use a lot on the mouse is the wheel to control sliders. I am having problems using the pen to control them and often find myself jumping back to the mouse.
    Any suggestions?

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    I got an intuos draw tablet for xmas. I am using an O.S x 10.9.5
    I have followed the installation which seemed to work. I have not a clue what to do next.
    I don’t know how to see my illustrations on my computer.
    Do I need photo shop or what application allows me to see the drawing. I do not have anything beyond what this computer came with.
    I have looked at different tutorials and websites and they don’t show me.
    I am ready to throw this dam thing in the garbage. Nothing is simple…Please help.

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    Aaron, do you use your touch ring or express keys for anything in particular to make photoshop more efficient?

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    Kate Brentin

    I love how easy your tutorials are to follow. Thank you so much for your time.

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    Ken Arnold

    I am about to purchase a wacom small tablet, I use the scroll wheel a lot with my mouse, how do I scroll with a pen?

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      There is a touch ing you run your finger around – works just like the scroll mouse button

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    I am Calvin Jones, I am a new Wacom Tablet user. Part 1 of how to use a Wacom Tablet was very good and useful for me. I also use Photoshop CS5 and I didn’t thank I needed a Tablet but now I see how it make the workflow better. Can I get more Info on Wacom Tablet and Photoshop also Lightroom.

    Thanks so very much PHLEARN

    Calvin Jones