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Thursday
Jun072012

Wacom tablets and Windows 8 Release Preview: What you need to know  

PLEASE READ: The Windows and Wacom Tablet Nightmare is Over

 

[UPDATE ON 2012–08–18] This article describes Windows 8 Release Preview to see the latest information regarding Windows 8 RTM and Wacom go here: http://viziblr.com/news/2012/8/18/windows-8-rtm-and-wacom-tablets-better-but-flawed.html

I described the issues I found with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview back in March 2012: First Look: Windows 8 and Wacom Tablets. It got worse. But those were early days, with the release of the Windows 8 Release Preview recently, it's time to see how things have evolved. And critically, for those of you who are tempter to switch over to the Windows 8 Release Preview as your primary OS, you'll want to know what the experience will be like.

A BRIEF HISTORY AND SUMMARY

Everything perfect back in the XP days. Vista introduced some unwanted default behaviors that you could easily disable in the control Panel. Windows 7 forced kept the unwanted behaviors but forced consumers to modify their registry to get thinks working again. Especially if you were using Windows 7 Home Premium you had a tough time. But at least some help was available to restore sanity.

Summary: Windows 8 Release Preview shows some improvements but remember those registry key changes that fixed the problems –  They don't work anymore. If using your Wacom tablet is very critical to you, skip the Release Preview.

GOOD NEWS: THE CURSOR WHEN USING THE STYLUS

When using the stylus, Consumer Preview cursor showed a tiny dot instead of an arrow. See the image below.

Snap000070

It's back to an arrow in the Windows 8 Release Preview

 

POTENTIALLY GOOD NEWS: TABLET PC INPUT PANEL

Windows Vista and Windows 7 would respond to the presense of the Wacom tablet with the Tablet Input Panel.

Snap000071

And then we had to go disable it.

The situation is better in Windows 8 Release Preview. The tablet does not appear by default. This could be a bug, but I hope it remains unfixed.

 

POTENTIALLY GOOD NEWS: FLICKS

In Windows 7 we would see the Flicks icon in the notification area and the Flicks would be enabled by default. We had to disable both the icon and the flicks behavior in the control Panel.

Snap000072

In Windows 8, the flicks icon lo longer appears in the notification area.

Snap000073

Curiously, the Control Panel indicates that flick recognition is enabled, however it doesn't actually recognize any flicks. I don't know if this behavior is deliberate or accidental in the Windows 8 Release Preview. To be safe, I disabled the flicks.

 

VERY BAD: PRESS-AND-HOLD

Remember that press-and-hold ring that would appear in Windows 7.

Snap000074

You can try to disable it in the Control Panel all you'd like, it is always enabled. This seems like a straightforward bug, which I would expect will be fixed before Windows 8 releases.

 

VERY BAD: DYNAMIC FEEDBACK FOR THE PEN

Ah the hated ripples… they are back and also they cannot be disabled –  even if you set the registry correctly to disable them.

Snap000078

Again this seems like a basic bug that will be fixed.

 

VERY BAD: BASIC INTERACTION WITH UI COMPONENTS

There seem to be some occasional odd issues when using doing things like selecting items in comboboxes and trying to resize columns in gridviews. Sometimes clicks and drags simple “disappear”. I often have to use the mouse or the keyboard to complete the action.

This is the third issue that will be very frustrating because it affects consumers' use of “normal” non-creative apps.

 

PARTING THOUGHTS

I don't doubt the problems will be addressed which should put us back to slightly better position than we had in Windows 7. Of course if they could re-enable the “disable dynamic feedback” option that we last saw in Vista, that would be even better.

 

 

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Reader Comments (8)

When i installed my license of Adobe Lightroom my Wacom Intuos 3 started to work normally, no rightclick ring or ripples anymore in lightroom, the File Explorer or the Metro startscreen.
But they come back if you start a metro app or are browsing the net in an desktop brower (tried chrome and EI), but are only active in those programs, everything is normal if you tab back to Lightroom or a File Explorer window. If you close Lightroom the circle and ripples comes back in all programs.

I have also installed the trial for Adobe Master Collection and it works with many of the adobe apps, tried Photoshop and After Effects and the same effect, just leave an Adobe app open and your wacom is behaving semi-normal again.

Happily my computer use nearly always needs an Adobe app :-)

July 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwacom user

Try using your Wacom in chrome. It get an oversized (gigantic 24") on-screen keyboard when I click anywhere.

July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRelieved2

Thank god I am not crazy! I hate these "F'ing" rings. I wish things like this were share able with Microsoft. Maybe I should complain daily on twitter :D

Thanks for all the feedback on what has been successful.

Glen.

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGlen McKnight

@Relieved2. There's a Way to disable the oversized Gigantic Keyboard. but you'd have to disable the touch service of Wacom :(. Press "Win + R" on your Keyboard. Type "services.msc" in the Run Dialog that appears and hit enter. In the Services Dialog that pops up, scroll down till you find a "Wacom Consumer Touch Service" select and Right Click, in the dropdown menu that opens up select "properties" and Click. in the Dialog that Appears. Right next to the "Startup Type" select "Disabled" and hit OK. You've essentially disabled Wacom Touch but also got rid of big Ugly Touch Keyboard that pops up everytime you use Metro IE.

I've tried and tested this on "Windows 8 Release Preview" with a "Wacom Bamboo One Medium". Driver version "5.2.5-5" works for me.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeten Daiya

I have the release build of Windows 8 running and I can say without a doubt, this is not fixed. It's still broken with none of the old tricks working to fix it...

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean

(Subscribing to this discussion's updates.)

October 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Wacom is really old technology not worth it's price ATM.. So many years and nothing new .. I'm not buying new one

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterInterex

Subscribing to this discussion's updates too...
just had new pc with w8, as a creative i just can't use my wacom......

Tried everything.....
How is this possible from micros'...fix simple bugs before sold new OS that can't rune other useful device...........

SHAME !

December 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAntoane

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