My Wacom Epiphany – Everyone With Multiple Monitors Needs A Wacom Tablet!

September 24th, 2015

WacomIntuosProEpiphany: An experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective.

Yes, that’s what happened to me! After last week’s post asking about people using Wacom tablets, I decide to try one out. It came on Sunday so I’ve only been using it for a few days. The tablet I got is a Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Medium.

The first thing that blew me away is that this is a fantastic mouse replacement for anyone that has multiple large monitors. A Wacom tablet is a must for anyone that has multiple monitors. I have two 27″ monitors. A 27″ iMac and a 27″ monitor. I never realized how annoying using a standard mouse is until I started using a tablet! Instead of dragging a mouse across two 27″ monitors, with a tablet you just move directly to any location on the two screens you want to go to. It’s amazing!

My second amazing discovery was multi-touch. That is you can use your fingers instead of the pen. To click, to double click, to scroll, to zoom. There is a lot to learn. After a few days, I’m still learning all the multi-touch finger gestures and I haven’t even got to learning the pressure sensitive pen features built into Photoshop. A Wacom tablet is well worth the money just for the ways it replaces the standard mouse, let alone the pressure sensitive features.

I have to say that Wacom doesn’t do a very good job of explaining all these great features. The training they make available is I feel substandard. I sort of stumbled across the multi-touch features. Their tutorials and information on all their great features could be much better. But the Wacom tablets are still a great bit of gear that will speed up you time in front of a computer once you learn to use it.

There are several of conclusions I’ve come to:

  1. You don’t need a medium or large tablet. A small tablet is just fine.
  2. A Wacom tablet is essential if you have multiple large screens. It’s far better than a mouse.
  3. The pressure sensitive features are important, but they are just part of the advantages of using a tablet.
  4. Wacom has done a poor job of marketing and promoting this device. I’ve been a Photoshop user since the early 1990’s and I’ve somehow missed out completely on the importance of using a tablet.

I would highly recommend the Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and touch Small for all real estate photographers particularly if you have multiple monitors.

 

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15 Responses to “My Wacom Epiphany – Everyone With Multiple Monitors Needs A Wacom Tablet!”

  • Thank you for this. I use two screens also and have never thought of a Wacom tablet. Maybe Wacom are not in a rush for new business?

  • Agree with you Larry – the Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and touch Small is enough.

  • I have and love my Wacom – but thanks for the heads up about the finger gesture/touch capabilites! Didn’t realise that had been introduced to Wacoms.
    Sounds brilliant and will help ease my RSI!

    Just commenting in case this helps anyone or anyone has better suggestions on workspace set-up:
    I generally have the Wacom pen in right hand (am right-handed) for the actual fine-detail adjustments/repairs, and move around and into the image using 2 or 3-finger swipes and pinch gestures on the MacBookPro touch trackpad.
    Was thinking of getting a separate Apple trackpad, but am hoping they introduce a haptic version (like recently introduced on MacBook Pro laptops).
    However, touch gestures on Wacom could negate the need for this…
    I have a couple of gel wrist rests too, as mentioned I was starting to get RSI cramp etc in wrists… :-/

  • Hi, I am pleased you took the leap and love it as much as we all do. As was mentioned by another poster on your OP, the ‘Phlearn’ tutorials are well worth watching for tips and tricks. I use the scroll function on the tablet a lot, also the slo-mo function for detail work. I also have the buttons on the pen set to ‘right click’ on one and ‘undo’ on the other for PS work.
    A brilliant tool; you will never go back.

    Don’t forget, if you haven’t already done so, to set just a quarter of your tablet screen to equal the whole of your monitor screen. It saves loads of hand movement.

    Enjoy! 🙂

  • Hey guys,
    I only use one monitor currently. I’ve seen multi monitor setups for video work, but what’s the big advantage for using two when working with stills? I mostly just use the Lightroom develop module and then move to Photoshop if necessary. One window at a time seems to work just fine for me. Am I missing out on a big time saver somewhere?

  • @Colley – For me, two monitors is not essential for image editing, I just like to be able to have my e-mail, schedule, and other miscellaneous windows on the right screen while I’m working with Lightroom and Photoshop on the left monitor.

  • @Colley- Just like Larry said, having two monitors is nice for having it for other things that aren’t essential for editing. My secondary display is a 19″ monitor that I got at a pawn shop for cheap- don’t care how accurate the color is. Now, my main monitor is a different story!
    I also have my PS windows set up on the left edge of my second display so the whole display of the main monitor is used for image editing.
    Highly recommend a second display.

  • @Colley Bailey

    The big thing your missing out on is being able to watch The Office and Pawn Stars on your second monitor while you’re sitting behind your desk processing for hours and hours 🙂

  • @larry @Jim Bolen @Dan B
    Thanks for the feedback. Guys, I’m so ADD it might be best if I just stick with one monitor! Ha-ha

    However, the Wacom seems to be such a great tool regardless of monitor setup. I’ve wanted one for a while.

  • If anyone is still using a regular mouse and doesn’t feel the need for a Wacom or similar tablet you should try a trackball. I’ve worn out a couple from Logitech and they are great. I’m surprised they aren’t more popular than they are.

  • So, if everyone is agreeing that the small one is fine for RE work, would a medium tablet be to big or would it offer more options down the road?

    I don’t want to get one and wish later that I opted for the other….

    Just sayin

  • I’ve been using A Wacom tablet since 1998 and the Intuos 3 medium since 2005. Also, I’ve used 2 monitors since 2005. I’d love to get one of the new Wacoms but I can’t justify another $300+ for one. There is no way I could do image retouching with a mouse. Been there, tried it and got mouse elbow and wrist. A pen tablet is so very much easier by far!

  • I’ve been using a Wacom Bamboo tablet for about 8 years… I started because of carpel tunnel syndrome. Since the mouse became increasingly painful and the work I was doing was very ‘clicky’ my boss bought one for me right away. Not only is my carpel tunnel all but cured, but these tablets are AMAZING for drawing a curved line, using the Pen tool, or any other fancy hand work. I use the tablet 100% of the time.
    As for sizing, the tablet is proportional to your screen. The tablet could be the size of a playing card and still work great – requiring even smaller movements!? Either way I currently use a Bamboo CTH-470. Older model but still kicking.
    NOTE– Buy a second stylus when you purchase! You will lose one. Trust me.

  • I edit on two computers with five total monitors (three on a desktop and two on a laptop) and share a mouse across both computers so I can whip back and forth.

    Can the Wacom be shared in a similar fashion as the mouse when using two computers at once?

    I have been using multiple monitors since 1998 – I find it indispensable for multi-tasking, which I do constantly – I am almost never doing one thing at once – for that I can use the iPad!

    I’m always looking for a way to speed up my workflow. Multi-computers with SSD hard drives have knocked down about 80% of my editing times.

  • At our company we use a cintiq27 combined with a tablet that is the most ideal combination I can imagine.

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