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Aug142011

The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Wacom Tablet Work on Windows 7

PLEASE READ: The Windows and Wacom Tablet Nightmare is Over

 

[Update on 2012/08/18] for Windows 8 information go here: http://viziblr.com/news/2012/8/18/windows-8-rtm-and-wacom-tablets-better-but-flawed.html

When Windows 7 sees that your DESKTOP PC has a Wacom tablet attached, it activates a bunch of Tablet PC – based features that annoy most users. This post will explain what these problems are and how to disable them.

NOTE: I’ve covered these topics before, but separately and went into a lot of technical detail – this post is the comprehensive guide that just tells you what you need to know.

YOU HAVE TWO OPTIONS. PICK ONE.

The AUTOMATIC option: use the Fix My Pen! tool.

The MANUAL option: follow the steps below in the order given.

 

MANUALLY CONFIGURING YOUR SETTINGS

 

 

PREFER TO WATCH THE SCREENCAST?

In case you prefer watching me do the steps, you can see this screencast.

 

STEP 1: DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL THE LATEST DRIVERS

Don’t argue with me on this. Just do it.

You can get the drivers here:

http://us.wacom.com/en/support/drivers

 

NOTE: When the drivers are first installed is when Windows 7 starts to enable all the unwanted Tablet PC features.

STEP 2: DISABLE THE TABLET PC INPUT PANEL

The first annoying Tablet PC feature is the Tablet PC Input Panel

You’ll typically see it as a little bar on the side of your desktop.

image

And when your cursor gets close it starts to flaunt itself…

image

Clicking it will reveal its full monstrosity ….

image

And there’s more. You’ll often also see a small input panel icon hovering hear any text input boxes

image

 

We want to disable this entirely.

Go to Control Panel > Tablet PC Settings

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Click on the Other tab

image

 

On the Other tab, under Tablet PC Input Panel options, click on Go to Input Panel Settings

 

image

 

Disable all the checkboxes and select OK.

image

 

STEP 3: DISABLE FLICKS

The Flicks icon shows up on the notification area.

image

If you click on the Icon you’ll see some for of the Flick UI

image

The effect of flicks is that normal gesturing with the pen causes Windows to think you are giving it a command. For example, drawing a short down stroke will cause the following flick notifcation

image

Of course, we hate this and want to disable it.

Open the Pen and Touch control panel

image

Click on the Flicks tab

image

 

Uncheck the two checkboxes and press OK

image

 

 

STEP 4: DISABLE PRESS-AND-HOLD

Another hated feature. It’s a bit hard to describe in words, so here is an animation of its effect. All I am doing is pressing the pen down and then you’ll see the hated “glowing ring” followed by a property menu when I lift the pen (Press-and-hold things that pressing is an equivalent of a “right click”)

press-and-hold

In Control Panel go to Pen and Touch

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Under Pen Options, select Press and Hold and click Settings

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Uncheck Enable press and hold for right-clicking and press OK

image

 

STEP 5: DISABLE DYNAMIC FEEDBACK

This is all the little rings that display whenever you press down with the pen

pen-dynamic-feedback

The is the hardest one to disable because there’s no place in the control panel that lets you disable it.

You are just going to have modify the registry and take care of it that way.I have provided a REG file that will help you do this

Download the ZIP here: http://goo.gl/kgZHv

The file is called disable-pen-feedback-regedit.zip

Extract the contents of the file

image

Inside are two REG files. One to disable dynamic feedback (this is the one you want) and other file to re-enable it (some people wanted this so I made it for them)

Right-click on disable-pen –feedback.reg and select Merge

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Windows will warn you, but just click Run

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And Windows will warn you again, just press Yes.

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And finally it will tell you that it has merged the settings

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In case, you are wondering here are the contents of the file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\TabletPC]
"TurnOffPenFeedback"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\TabletPC]
"TurnOffPenFeedback"=dword:00000001

 

ONE LAST STEP

Sometimes all these changes will take place immediately, sometimes it takes a little longer. Usually the easiest way to force the changes is to simply log-off and then log back on. If that doesn’t work just try restarting your machine. (Those who are more technical may choose to simply restart the “Tablet PC Input Service”)

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Reader Comments (125)

@Mark Gooch - Try extracting the contents of the ZIP file into your "My Documents" folder and then using the REG file from there. If that doesn't work try lauching regedit.exe as an Administrator and then importing the reg file.

February 16, 2012 | Registered Commentersaveenr

So, I just recently got a new windows 7 laptop. As soon I installed the tablet drivers, I had to deal with the annoying rings. Your guide was really helpful in turning those things off, but as soon as I ran the disable-pen-feedback.reg, I lost pressure sensitivity in the tablet. Any idea on how to fix this? I fixed one problem and replaced it with another ):

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClueless

@clueless - I haven't seen the pressure sensitivity go away like that as a result of using the reg file. Does re-enabling the pen feedback bring back the sensitivity?

March 3, 2012 | Registered Commentersaveenr

There is a much simpler way of doing this:

1) Go to Control Panel -> Programs and Features
2) Click "Turn Windows features on or off"
3) Uncheck "Tablet PC Components" and click OK.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathan

Thank you soooo much for this, I just got it working now and I hope the damned rings don't return again. I got a new laptop and haven't used it the last few months because of this problem.

To Nathan above; That worked for me for a short while, but the rings came back. Disabling "tablet pc input service" or "tablet service pen" worked, but it also disabled the driver so the pen only worked in mouse mode. This fix seems to have worked perfectly.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCiara

Thank you so much!! Wasn't able to acess to regedit, install your 'disable pen feedback' and it works perfectly fine!

April 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBilly

Thank you sooooooooo much for these instructions.
You are an absolute saint for posting this. I say this as I mentally spread rose pedals before your feet.
The stupid pen feedback program is just another abusive intrusion by Microsoft that had me going crazy. Could Microsoft not make this an option to use if you wanted to? I guess not, since it would require of them to assume that we actually had a brain.

April 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob

Thanks so much Saveen. It worked like a charm. Why isn't someone at Microsoft on this problem? I was going crazy for a few weeks there and didn't even want to go back to my photoshop screen. And I had a bunch of work to do! So I owe you a big one. THANKS!!! Sincerely, Dan

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan0

thank you so much, you're a hero

April 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmira

Outstanding! Thanks!

April 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKraten

At first it worked but when i started maya and again the ring pops up so i had to disable the Tablet PC Input Service and then to be sure started zbrush and photoshop and all works fine.
Also saving your video and the reg files just in case it happens again.
THANKS!!

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterManolo Escobedo

OMG, thank you so much! It worked! I love you for tha *hugs*. I have been using Windows XP since I remember, and then recently I bought a Laptop and needed to work on that too, but it had Win 7 installed by default. And all these tablet/pen options and the popping circle were eating me alive! I was like.... arggggh, wtf is this shit man, Windows 7 sucks with these options U_U
So glad someone thought the same and presented a way to fix it.
I have a bigger problem though... I'm using a cheap Medion tablet, not a Wacom actually, and Win 7 does not read its pen pressure levels in any graphic program U_U I am very sad, because that simply might be a tablet thing, since it's old or not compatible with Win 7 and I simply will have to upgrade and buy a new tablet U_U Which is really bad because -though a cheap replacement- this tablet under Windows was working FANTASTIC. It had 1024 level of pressure, all working great in both Photoshop 7,CS3, Paint Tool Sai and Manga Studio 4 Ex under Win XP. Now it has no pressure. I was even considering downgrading the OS from Win 7 to XP, but the laptop is new, still has a guarantee on, and I cannot mess with the default OS if I want to be able to service it in case it breaks :( It makes me really sad, if anyone knows how to possibly push pen pressure on an oldish tablet that worked fine in XP but won't work on Win 7, please let me know. Thanks!

June 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKey Key

Thanks a lot for all of your great effort and I can enjoy my Wacom tablet properly. You are a legend Saveen.

June 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Thank goodness for you! I've searched all over the web looking for a solution that worked. Loved, loved, loved the tutorial. Just followed along on my own desktop and it worked like a charm! Your site is now in my "favorites" because you obviously know more than the manufacturers! Nice job, and thank you!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I messed something up using an older method of disabling the splash animations. Now occasionally my pen will draw straight lines attaching the last place i was drawing to the next place i start drawing, and also sometimes keeps drawing after I lift the pen off the surface. I really think this problem came from messing around trying to turn off the splash animations, but it could be my tablet is just broken now. I've tried uninstalling and installing new drivers but it didn't change anything. Anyone have any ideas about the cause of this?

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRolo

Hey Saveen, Thans so much for your help. I used your script file - everything is fine now. You should get some money from wacom, seriously. The have a help forum, but they don't refer to all of these problems.

Thanx again for your effort and for sharing :-)

July 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOliver

You're a life saver, as many have already said the cursor rings where driving me insane.

Thank you so much for the help.

August 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob Evans

any luck with turning off visual feedback on Windows 8. in RTM the option exists in gpedit but doesn't do anything and registry patch does nothing :-(

August 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersimon

@Simon - I will be writing about the Windows 8 experience this week. The behavior in Windows 8 RTM is highly *eccentric* - in some ways it is better. In some ways it is much worse. And as you have seen (and I can confirm with my experience) we have apparently finally lost any ability to inhibit these most unwelcome behaviors.

August 15, 2012 | Registered Commentersaveenr

This worked for me the first time I installed Windows 7 Home Premium and my Wacom Graphire. But now, after a reinstall of both, when I use your registry edit, the pen stops working completely. and I have to fix the registry, uninstall and reinstall the Wacom driver to get it to work again.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

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