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Using a Wacom Tablet

Pen Tablet

First off, what the hell is a “Wacom Tablet” and why would I need one of those thingys??  Wacom tablets are the premier tablet used by photographers for photoshop.  Think of it like pen-and-paper for your computer.  You navigate using an object that is just like a pen, and when you draw on the pad, it draws on the screen!

There are different models and different prices, but you can get into one for about $100 that will serve it’s purpose well.  The top model is about $2000, and is actually a tablet screen!  When it comes to making masks or selections in photoshop, there is no easier or more precise tool than a Wacom tablet.  It literally allows you to draw!

How exactly do you use it for a computer?  While, it’s actually very intuitive.  The area you point to on the pad directly relates to the area you point to on the screen.  When you first pick it up you’ll try sliding it, then picking it up and sliding it again like a mouse to move it farther.  This won’t work… Wherever you point on the pad, is exactly where it will point to on the screen.  Want to move all the way across from top left to bottom right?  Move the pen to the bottom right and the cursor jumps there.

When it’s time to click, simply tap the pen down, and twice for a double-click.  It makes a lot of sense when you get rolling with it.

There IS a learning curve.  You’ll probably hate it for a little bit, but then will regain that initial love from when you first grabbed it.  The best way to learn is to hide your mouse in another room so that you aren’t tempted to use it.  It’ll be frustrating for a bit but you are strong, you will overcome!

So why isn’t this posted in the review section?  We think that if you’re getting serious about photoshop at all, it’s a required tool to get the job done.  The Wacom is to editing, what a camera is to photography, essential!


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At only 25 years old, Connor has been published in many major international publications and is a signed Getty photographer. His writing and photos have been published in Photoshop User and Light It Magazines, amongst many others. He believes that if you work at what you love, you'll be able to make a great living. Connor currently resides in Edwards, CO with his wife, Kelly, and dog Tucker. You can view his portfolio at www.cnwphoto.com


  1. True, at frirst it’s quiete strange to use a tablet, but you get used to it fast!
    And all retouching stuff is so much more fun and more acurate with it.
    Using a Wacom Bamboo.


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