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Configuring WACOM tablet for Use on Gimp 2.8

Introduction

This post is a longtime in getting written as I have had a Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet for many years and one of the issues was getting Gimp to use the pressure sensitivity of the tablet. The steps covered in this post can be used with most if not all of the Wacom family of tablets.

Why Use?

The question should be why not! Using a program like Gimp or Inkscape it is always easier to have the feel of a pencil, brush, etc.. then using the mouse, which is doable.

How

It is much simpler to get the tablet to address pressure sensitivity and the eraser than you think. The steps described here will work no matter what OS you are running Gimp or Inkscape on.

First step is to make sure the tablet is recognized by the OS, with Windows and OS X it requires installation of the drivers. With Linux it is much easier as usually the OS will detect and load the drivers.

Now that the tablet has been detected let’s get in GIMP and change a few settings.

You have to configured your tablet using, Edit>Preferences>Input Devices>Configure Input Devices> WACOM Tablet Pressure Stylus, and set the “Mode” to “Screen”.

tablet gimp

Set WACOM Tablet Eraser Mode to Screen as well. Click Save and Close when you are completed.

tablet_gimp

You need to set the “Brush Dynamics” to “Basic Dynamics”. “Pressure Opacity” should also work, as long as the configuration “Mode” is set to “Screen”. As seen in the image above.
This should allow you to use your “Pressure Stylus/Wacom” as it’s intended.

tablet_gimp3

And that is all you need to do to enable Gimp to use a Wacom tablet correctly!

17 Responses to “Configuring WACOM tablet for Use on Gimp 2.8”

  1. Mario Schoofs says:

    Thanks, works for me too.

  2. DruidPeter says:

    Thanks for this post, man. It saved a potential headache. 😀

  3. Petschko says:

    Yeah nice, I mainly used Linux for Programming but its pretty easy to use my tablet here it works out of the box! =) On windows I was getting crazy because of windows functions make annoying stuff drivers don’t work properly…

    So yeah I will use Linux now for drawing too :3

  4. Brad says:

    Hmm. Just hooked up my Intuos to my Mac (it’s working; everything appears installed), but when I go to configure input devices in GIMP, all I see are Core Pointer / Quartz Cursor / Quartz Eraser / Quartz Pen.

    Any ideas?

    • ghostehhh says:

      Was having the same issue.
      Try opening GIMP with then pen, rather than mouse? That worked for me.

      • DJ Lane says:

        Thank you! After two days of my trying all I knew to do, this solution worked for me. Closing GIMP and reopening it using the Wacom pen was the answer. Now if I can only learn what to do next. New to this!

  5. Mat says:

    Is there any way to configure it so I can use it to point as well as draw? It’s infuriating having to use the mouse to operate the UI! (I’m using Win 10 if that makes any difference.)

    • newlife007 says:

      If you are referring to at the OS level, then you need to install the Wacom drivers for the Windows OS and that with the settings in GIMP should work. With most Linux installations it should just work. I will run a few tests and see what I get on my Windows 7 and Linux installs. What OS are you running?

      • Mat says:

        Win 10. I have the Wacom drivers installed and it works fine in every other application (Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Painter, etc.), but as soon as I launch GIMP my Intuos stops working as a generic pointing device — it moves the brush in GIMP, but in order to move the mouse pointer I have to put the pen down and actually use the mouse.

  6. odisz says:

    Great! Works fine for me, thanks 🙂

  7. Alyssa says:

    I can’t get it to register my tablet as an input device? It doesn’t show up when I open up the Configure Input Devices Window. I’ve tried opening the program using my tablet pen, but no luck. Does anyone have any ideas?

  8. Dale says:

    It doesn’t seem to save the input settings even when I check “save on exit” in preferences as well as close gimp and reopen it using my tablet. I use a Huion H610 Pro

  9. Hurban says:

    Hi! I am having trouble getting my tablet work on Inkscape. It does not find the tablet, it seems, although I use it fine with other programs..

  10. Hayden M says:

    Many thanks for the article!!

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