Using a Wacom Tablet for Editing

When someone asks me what my favorite photography-related purchase has been, my Wacom tablet is always one of my first responses. Here is how purchasing one could help you and how to get the most out of it if you do.

My Wacom tablet is the only tool I use for editing in Photoshop. It now feels foreign to try and use a mouse for any advanced editing. The ease of using a pen to draw as well as the customizable buttons on the tablet have improved my speed and quality. If your photography requires you to spend any substantial amount of time in a program like Photoshop, then purchasing a Wacom tablet is a must.

If you do purchase one, here are a couple of things to keep in mind. The first day or two of using it will feel impossible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a photographer say they purchased a tablet, didn’t like how it felt, and never tried to use it again. I promise you, once you get a feel for using a tablet you won’t go back. The second thing to know is that customizing its settings is essential for maximizing its benefit to you. That’s where this video comes in. Here, Aaron Nace from Phlearn teaches how to set up a Wacom tablet, what settings to use based on his years of experience, and offers a few hands-on examples to show the difference these tools can make.

If you are interested in purchasing a Wacom tablet, Nace recommends the medium Wacom Intuos Pro. To see all of his tips for using a tablet, check out his video above.

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Kjell Stian Brunes's picture

So you have a medium size tablet and only use a small area of it ? Why you dont buy i smaller Version ?

Stephen Hutchinson's picture

Thats exactly what I did. Had a very old Intuos 2, 4x3 aspect tablet and found that the same area of active coverage can be found on the small Wacom Pen & Touch (Photo) tablet. Add in a wireless module and battery and it's my goto tablet now.

How does Wacom Tablet compares to a modern and decent touch screen? For instance Surface Studio.

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Pedro Quintela's picture

I bought a pro 4 years ago. It´s the small model and works perfect on a 27´5k imac.
Got used to it in a couple days and since then it has been great. The only con has been lately with some firmware issues.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Bought the wireless XP-Pen Star06 (10x6 active area, $83). Beautiful tablet and so easy to work on. However, still find myself using the mouse, so used to it.

I had bought a smaller mouse which is easier to move around but I know I should just disconnect the mouse and give the tablet a chance but old habits..., :-)

Love my WACOM tablet. What I really need is a bigger monitor and space lol

I have used my Wacom Pro for 4 years and will never go back. My advice is put the mouse in a drawer for a week. Get rid of the crutch and you will soon realize what everyone is saying about how this is the go-to tool. Between the shortcut keyboard commands and the buttons on the tablet, your workflow will improve.

Colin Robertson's picture

I love using a wacom but made the mistake of buying a large model a while back... too much arm movement for my lazy butt! Keep that in mind if you decide to try one—for photography, medium or small is probably the way to go.

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