I am still surprised when I speak to fellow graphic users
and they do not know what a digitizing tablet is. I have been
using one for the past fifteen years and don't even leave
home without one. I have a 6" x 8" older model Wacom
that I carry with me in my laptop case. Try writing your name
the width of the lead from a #2 pencil with a bar of soap.
Then try doing the same with that #2 pencil. Take the test.
If you do not use a digitizing tablet, your mouse is your
bar of soap. I'm not saying you cannot work in graphic programs,
but you are soooooooooo limited. Digitizing tablets are pressure
sensitive. There are over 100 programs that accept pressure
sensitivity. On Wacom's website, you can check whether your
favorite program has that capability. Go to: http://www.wacom.com/productinfo/tes.cfm
Below are some examples of brush strokes from Photoshop CS
and Painter IX that demonstrate pressure sensitivity.
|Some Pressure Sensitivity
Controls and Examples
For those who do not know what digitizing or graphic tablets
are, they are tablets that connect to your computer, now through
the USB port, and interact with a special electronic mouse,
pen, ink pen, or airbrush tool to create lines that appear
on your screen. The pressure imput or tilt of the stylus causes
changes in the output as seen by the examples above. There
are even some graphic tablets that double as your computer
screen, but, I am not discussing those. They are the Cintiq
series. This article addresses the Intuos 3 which is the latest
in the Intuos line.
The Intuos 3 comes in three sizes (actual working area):
4" x 5" for $219.95, 6" x 8" for $329.95,
and 9" x 12 " for $449.95.
A mouse and a grip pen come with it as well
as a number of excellent graphic programs. Other accessories
can be purchased separately. The full line of accessories
Once you purchase a digitizing tablet from Wacom
or if you already own one, certain software can be purchased
at reduced prices. For more information got to: http://www.wacom.com/intuosprivileges/index.cfm.
Also, one can purchase Painter IX and an Intuos 3 at a tremendous
savings. See Corel.
If you look at the picture of the Intuos 3 above,
you will notice tablet keys to the right and left of the pressure
sensitive pad as well as the Touch Strip.You can customize
the keys. So, for example, if you do a lot of undoes, you
can customize a left key for undo and its right equivalent
for something else. Really a nice time saver! If you will
notice, in the menu below next to applications, the selected
icon is Painter IX. You can individualize the tablet keys
and the touch strip for different programs. Or you can apply
them to all programs. The touch strip is especially good for
zooming and scrolling.
Some of the other features of the Intuos 3 are:
- "Ergonomic design with sloping, contoured palm rest
- Multiple cord positions for greater workspace flexibility
- 8 ft. cable allows you to kick back while you work
- 1,024 levels of tip and eraser pressure sensitivity for
- Cushioned, contoured grip with programmable DuoSwitchT
for comfort and productivity
- Three nib styles included for a variety of "feels"
- Tilt sensitivity for even more control"
(From the Wacom website)
For more information, go to the Wacom website of http://www.wacom.com.
There you will also find tips and tricks and a lot of other
information. In addition, Wacom sells refurbished
I cannot imagine using any type of graphic program without
my digitizing tablet. It has become an extension of my arm
© Paula Sanders 2004