A graphics tablet can increase your efficiency and productivity if you are working in a creative application such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop. But how? I will explain the different features and advantage of working with a drawing tablet.
What is a drawing tablet?
You might also hear a drawing tablet referred to as a graphics tablet, a digitizing tablet, a graphics pad or a specific brand such a Wacom. A graphics tablet can be used in lieu of or in conjunction with a mouse or track pad. There are many different versions of drawing tablets, but typically they come with a “pen” and a flat surface for drawing on—newer models are now also multi-touch, giving you the ability to use simple hand gestures and finger taps to create.
Using the Pen
Before purchasing a drawing tablet you want to make sure the pen feels comfortable in your hand. A good pen will have you drawing and creating much faster than you ever could with a mouse. Most pens will have an “eraser” feature—flip your pen over and you can activate the eraser tool in your graphics program. Also look to see if the pen has a button built onto the pen—this button can be programmed to act as the right click or double-click on a mouse.
When you are working in Adobe programs, you might see options for pressure-sensitivity but they cannot be activated unless you are using a tablet. Pressure-sensitive tablets detect the amount of pressure you are applying to the tablet and affect the line thickness/color applied—a behavior more natural and realistic, like drawing pencil to paper.
- Drawing tablets typically connect to your computer using a USB, but there are wireless models on the market
- Drawing tablets are interchangeable with a mouse and do not need special software to use. But you will get the most out of your drawing tablet when using graphics software like Adobe.
- Drawing tablets come in many different sizes—if you are a professional graphic artist, illustrator, etc…you would benefit from a larger surface, but will also be looking a larger price.