Wacom Tablet on multiple screens

November 30, 2006

I got a Wacom Tablet recently. One of those USB devices which lets you use a pen instead of a mouse. It’s really cool in all kinds of ways, but I typically use it in mouse-mode, not in pen-mode. In mouse-mode, I have to drag the cursor around with the pen, just like I would with a mouse. In pen-mode, each point of the tablet corresponds to a point on the screen, so you go straight to the right area of the screen. But there are issues with this.

For starters, I’m part of the crowd that sees massive value in using multiple screens for development. I only have two, but I have colleagues who use three. In pen-mode, the tablet tries to make its panel correspond to all of those screens. So if I’m using a 1600×2400 workspace, or my colleague is using 4800×1200, then this elongated rectangle gets squeezed into the squarish area, and any writing I do is stretched in the opposite way. That’s a major pain!

So what I’m hoping Wacom can do is to make a utility which allows you to switch between areas of the screen. This could also help for the times when you have a larger resolution and want to spend time only in a quarter of it. I know there are zoom functions available, but on the screen thing, it would be nice to have a button on the pen (or on the tablet, I don’t care) to be able to switch between screens. Have some little visible indicator to tell me which screen the pen corresponds to at the time, and a nice fast response to switching. Then I’ll feel much more comfortable in pen-mode! If you let me define where ‘virtual screens’ actually are (so that in areas where I frequently want more detail I can really easily switch into them), then that would be even better.

I do have to say that I love my tablet. It’s great for drawing anything. In Vista I can use it with full inking capability, as if it were a Tablet PC. I’m not about to throw out my keyboard, but it’s still good. I just need my handwriting to get more visible!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. aj Henryson

    There are settings for the tablet that control what screen(s) it will map to. On the mac you want to click the details button under pen mode. There is something similar for windows but I’m not as familiar with it.

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