How to get your pen tablet to work with Gimp

I realize that yesterday’s post was not very helpful for those who have problems getting their pen tablet to work with Gimp. So if you’re Googling for help with your tablet, here’s what I found:

1. Try Gimp preferences first. Go to Edit – Preferences – Input Devices – Configure Extended Input Devices… In the dialog that opens up, select the drop down button on the list box at the top then click on the device name there. Even if the name looks like it is already selected, drop down the values and click on it again. Then save, come out, and open a new design and try drawing with your pen using the ink tool.

2. If the pen moves the cursor and clicks buttons, but will not draw, follow these steps in you are running Gimp on Microsoft Windows.

2.1 Download the latest DirectX drivers from Microsoft.

2.2 Go to the website for the manufacturer of your tablet and download the latest drivers. Don’t install yet! Ignore the datestamp and version number; assume the download section has the latest.

2.3 Uninstall your pen/tablet driver software. You should find in your Programs (for Windows XP, for example, Start – Programs) an entry for the manufacturer of the tablet and this should provide an uninstall step. Don’t miss out this step! If the uninstaller asks you to reboot, do so.

2.4 Install the drivers you downloaded in step 2.2 If the installer asks you to reboot, do so.

2.5 Start up Gimp using your pen. Your pen is rather like an old cat: it wants to go to sleep all the time. Click it to wake up and then Gimp will register it properly when it starts. Test that it works by drawing on a blank layer with the ink tool. If this doesn’t work straight away, try following the steps in step 1. If that doesn’t work, you could try Edit – Preferences – Input Controllers, moving the DirectX DirectInput to the list of active controllers and restarting Gimp (using your pen). And if that doesn’t work, try cursing me for wasting your time and then contact the service department for your graphics tablet.

I hope this helps because I find the pen tablet not only superb for drawing but as a replacement in general for a mouse for people (like me) with RSI strain problems.



About Tim C. Taylor

Science fiction publisher and author of the bestselling Human Legion series. I live with my wife and young family in an English village. I am currently writing full time, when I'm not roped into building Lego.
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