Photography tips – Using a Wacom with Photoshop

If you don’t know what a Wacom is, it is a tablet mouse.  You use a special pen on a flat screen-like contraption and it functions as a mouse, but so much more precise.

In my new system, I got a Wacom Intuis in the 6×8 size.  Here’s my perceptions, tips, etc on it:

  • This size seems like it would be perfect.  The area on the tablet is the same as the area on your screen.  If you get one much bigger than a 6×8 you will be constantly moving around to go to different areas.  This size has enough room to draw, too.
  • I have it set up for the pen flicks, so I can copy, paste, delete, browse forward and back, pan up and down by just doing fast flicks with the pen in the designated direction.
  • Having the keys on the sides is really helpful.  There are several shortcut keys in Photoshop that I normally use, and now I have them set up on the Wacom.  It was really easy to do, too.  I just went to the program (under All Programs through the Start Menu) and added Photoshop to the appications.  Then I could set the Keystroke for the different buttons and the touch pad.  Now I just press the buttons with the pen or my fingers.  The user manual shows how to do this, as well.

The shortcut keys that I put in were the following:

  • B – brush
  • O – burn/dodge
  • Z – zoom
  • V – select/transform
  • C – crop
  • S – clone
  • J – one key is set for control, so I hit two keys for CTRL+J (this copies the selected layer)
  • [ ] – I set one of the touch pad areas for these two keys.  It makes your brush size bigger or smaller.

The other touch pad I left alone, as it will zoom in or out on the image.

It took maybe a week of fiddling around with it to get the hang of the pen.  I would really recommend this if you can swing one, because after processing all the images on the first session using it I was completely sold.  It was so much easier and quicker to do everything with the Wacom.  The only thing that would make it better would be if it was wireless.  I do believe you can buy a wireless one, but this was fine for me.

If you have any questions, just let me know.  I’m not very experienced with it yet, but I’m pretty much sold on it’s capabilities.  If you use one and have any tips to share of your own, please do! 🙂

10 Replies to “Photography tips – Using a Wacom with Photoshop”

  1. Yes, Melody, I would recommend it for more than just design work. You can be so precise with your editing, like dodging eyes or burning backgrounds without creating halos. It really is a good tool to have, besides it just makes you FASTER.

  2. I can see how this would be such a benefit to graphics designers and to photographers alike! Thanks for this showcase today… my niece has one, and I wasn’t sure how it all worked.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing, it solved the problem of me showing my ignorance by having to ask what a WAwhatever was, or is…..LOL although I think I must hurry and delete this post before Rach sees it, she is already hinting about photo shop, and if she hears about your experience of using this gadget she will be sure to want one…..(O wait she has her own computer: I am so screwed)

  4. I have a Bamboo Fun tablet. It’s perfect for me. It’s small, but I generally only use the pen to do detail work, like sharpening small details (eyes) or edging along a horizon or something. I don’t typically use it as a mouse, although I guess I could…

    But the tablet itself is the best, best thing. And the one I have was only $40 🙂

  5. Way Cool! I think I would be challenged with it as I am left-handed and right-handed with the mouse. It might make it more convoluted for me.

    sorry I missed Theme Thursday – AGAIN. What’s up with me!! Gah!

  6. It sounds amazing, and you’ve really picked it up fast! I thought there’d be more of a learning curve. You have me wanting one now!! Do you use it for everything, no mouse at all anymore?

Comments are closed.