You are reading this blog post because you have a Wacom tablet and can’t get the pen pressure to work.
There could be many reasons why this is happening. Some are physical such as a broken pen or loose or damaged nibs on your stylus.
Other reasons could be software related. For example, if you are running on an old operating system that doesn’t support the drivers.
You can follow this list to fix your Wacom pen pressure issues:
- Update or reinstall your drivers.
- Check the app is up to date and supports pressure sensitivity.
- Clean the tablet.
- Check the pen nib.
- Check the pressure sensitivity options.
- Lower the settings.
- Test by changing your drawing style.
- Contact Wacom direct (or other options).
Right, lets get into these steps in more detail.
1. Update or reinstall your Wacom drivers.
Drivers, drivers…. drivers! It’s always the drivers.
Don’t forget – if you plug a graphics tablet into your computer and don’t install any drivers, it will operate like an expensive mouse. You will need to make sure you have installed the latest Wacom drivers to get access to all the features and functionality of your tablet.
If you are running Windows and you can’t get your Wacom pen to work, one of the things you need to verify is that your drivers are up-to-date.
Reinstalling the drivers should also fix any buggy software-related issues.
This is especially true if you are running an older operating system that doesn’t support the drivers, such as older versions of Windows.
Apple OSX computers have a different set of drivers so this won’t apply to them but they will need their driver updates too!
Plus, driver updates get released for both the tablet hardware and software and this might address any issue with pen pressure. Sometimes updates to your operating system will also fix these issues so make sure you’re running the latest version!
Go to the Wacom website and download the latest drivers for your tablet and follow the installation instructions.
If you are running Mac, the same thing applies: download the latest updates and see if that helps with Wacom tablet pen pressure.
- How to remove and reinstall Wacom drivers on Windows
- How to remove and reinstall Wacom drivers on Mac OSX
2. Does the graphics program that you’re using support pen pressure?
Once you’ve established the problem is with your tablet, there are a few other things to check. Does the graphics program that you’re using support pen pressure?
If so, look for new updates to your app and install them.
A lot of programs have options for adjusting sensitivity and if yours doesn’t or hasn’t had an update in a while then this could be part of the problem.
I do hope you aren’t using Microsoft Paint… 🙂
This video will show how to reset and correct any pen pressure issues in Photoshop.
3. Clean off any debris on the tablet surface with a dry cloth or compressed air.
No matter the issue with your Wacom tablet pen, the first thing you should do is make sure it’s clean. Dirt can cause problems with the sensors in the pen which might lead to inaccurate input.
Cleaning kits are available at most hardware stores and they usually include alcohol wipes and q-tips for getting into those hard-to-reach spots.
If you’re unsure how to clean your Wacom tablet and pen, please check out the video below for a demonstration of some methods:
It’s important to make sure that there is no debris on the tablet surface or around it.
Clean off any debris with a dry cloth or with a can of compressed air – this will help improve pen-to-surface contact. But, if this was the issue, you may find that pressure sensitivity works in some areas, but not in others.
Also, check for any plastic film leftover from the packaging and remove it before use.
Lastly, make sure there is no interference from other magnets or electronics in the area. The active drawing area on the tablet can be affected by such things as nearby screens, lights or other electronics.
4. Check the pen nib is not broken or loose
This is a common cause of faulty pen pressure sensitivity, so make sure the nib isn’t broken or loose by pressing down on it. If you notice any change in movement across the screen when doing this, you may need to replace your nib, or even worse, your whole pen.
If your tablet comes with a replacement nib try replacing it and see if the pen pressure improves.
Or sometimes, you just need to screw the nib in to the pen tighter.
5. Check the pen pressure settings in your drivers and software.
Many devices come with the ability to change pen pressure settings. For instance, Wacom tablets allow users to set up different profiles for each program that they use and have a separate nib assigned.
To ensure your tablet is calibrated correctly you should go through what’s known as ‘tuning mode’ or ‘setup mode’ on your device – this will help calibrate and set up your pen pressure.
There are also settings within applications like Photoshop to change the pressure sensitivity. If these are not enabled or misconfigured, you will not be able to use the pressure sensitivity at all and every line will be the same thickness.
6. Adjust the pen pressure sensitivity to a lower setting
You can adjust the pen pressure settings to a lower sensitivity if you don’t want lines that are drawn with your mouse or tablet pen to be as thick.
To do this, go into the Wacom Tablet Properties in Control Panel (on Windows) or Settings (on OSX) and then navigate through Settings until you find Pen Pressure Range where you’ll have three options: High (default), Medium or Low.
If you’re using a graphic design application like Photoshop, it’s worth checking to make sure the pressure sensitivity is not set to 0% as this would stop your pen from working altogether.
7. Try changing your drawing style.
You mustn’t be pressing too hard on your screen when using a drawing or sketching program, this will have the effect of making line work harder and produce thicker lines than intended.
Try some practice lines, using a very light touch to see if this is the case.
8. Contact Wacom customer service for more help
If all else fails, please contact customer service for more help.
A company like Wacom will always have support available for these sorts of issues. make sure you have installed their latest drivers first as this is usually what they will ask you to do before anything else.
Wacom doesn’t appear to have support forums where you can get help, but maybe try posting a question on the Wacom SubReddit forum instead.
If you are experiencing these problems with your Wacom pen, we have a few troubleshooting tips that might help.
First of all, make sure the tablet is calibrated correctly and has plenty of battery life left.
Next, try adjusting pressure sensitivity in the driver settings to see if it works better for you.
Finally, contact customer service at Wacom about any other issues or questions so they can provide further help!