Photoshop: Microsoft Surface Pro Wacom Pen

  • Problem
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
The Microsoft Surface Pro Wacom Pen does not do pressure sensitivity. I have adobe CS5 and its reported in adobe CS6 as well. Microsoft said to contact adobe to update their software to work with it. Thanks.
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Paul Rose

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Posted 3 years ago

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timo lannert

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I hope Adobe fix this problem as soon as possible.
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Chris Cox, Sr. Computer Scientist

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If the driver was working correctly, Photoshop would already detect pressure.
Since Photoshop is not seeing pressure, that means that the driver is not working correctly.

Please let Wacom know that your current driver is not working as expected - they will probably have an updated driver ready quickly.
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Franco Barahona

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The problem here is that the stock drivers are custom Microsoft ones. The Wintab API is not enabled which is required for applications like Photoshop, Open Canvas, Paint Tool Sai, ect. The digitizer seems to be obfuscated in the Device Manager as well, so you can't simply force Wacom Drivers in either.
Either Microsoft or Wacom has to update the drivers to support wintab. Unfortunately it's starting to look like Microsoft wants to force whatever their new standard is, and Wacom has no real incentive to release the driver.
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Albert Dauphinais

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So do you think that the Surface Pro will be able to work in CS 5 or will there just be another upgrade to buy down the road. Seems the Surface pro would be great tablet for photographers working in the field. I hate draging my Laptop. Have anyone been able to try this out? Let me know how it works with CS 5.
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Chris Cox, Sr. Computer Scientist

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Microsoft or the tablet maker should be able to fix their drivers and get it working.
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hrisedorph

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http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libra...

It isn't a Wacom and it isn't a driver, it's a new API for input that would need to be supported.

Corel Painter, Painter Lite, GIMP, and Photoshop all don't work with the new pen.

Artrage and Sketchbook Pro do work with it.
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Shawn Zik

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Correction, those programs do indeed work with the pen, just not for pressure sensitivity. I am surprised adobe would so quickly brush off this question and say go to Wacom, I would expect a company that makes AAA class programs to do a little due diligence and research on such a widely publicized new product.
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Chris Cox, Sr. Computer Scientist

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We did our research, and are waiting on drivers that work correctly.
Microsoft is aware of the problem.
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Shawn Zik

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I am going to disagree with you, this has been going on between Adobe and MS for far too long. There are many devices out there now that support the MS Ink API, saying that they do not support WinTab makes them faulty is a flawed argument. With so many devices coming out with capabilities that would improve the usefulness of PS it would seem that Adobe is behind the times.

Perhaps a few years ago when touch wasn't pushing pressure sensitive pens into more and more hands ignoring a large segment of the market worked, times are changing, my phone has a pressure sensitive pen in it! (of course I can't run PS in it, but I am sure you get the point).

There may be an improved feature-set that WinTab has, that's great, but basic support of the ABCs with another API who's popularity is growing rapidly would be the least customers of a AAA, high value (and highly priced) application expect, and I do not think that is at all unreasonable.
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Chris Cox, Sr. Computer Scientist

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It would also be different if Ink were not incomplete and didn't have serious bugs.
Wintab works, ink does not. Microsoft and the tablet vendors are the only ones who can fix that (even if they just tell us how to work around their bugs).
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Shawn Zik

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I find it interesting that Adobes stance is that there are serious bugs in the ink api when I cannot find any support for that from a google search. Perhaps if Adobe has found said bugs a documented list published online would give customers some sense of the depth of the problem from Adobes point of view. I can understand wanting a greater depth to the API, but that being said one can create another input class that doesn't respond to the same depth of commands as the wintab api. Here is the customers pov, I can create an image in sketchbook pro, fresh paint, various others and have nice, flowing lines from my sketching. I do the same in the trial of CS6 I have and I get jagged lines using a simple brush (with a 300 dpi setting, same as sketchbook pro). From my perspective there certainly is a buggy piece of software, but it's not the one you are thinking of. :). As I said, if there is such a list of problems, perhaps bringing them to light would help customers understand that the issue is indeed Microsofts, as from where I am standing that doesn't make too much sense at the moment.
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Robert York

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This is actually a long political problem, and a lot more involved. I've forgotten some of the details, but the lowdown is that wintab is a proprietary driver for Wacom products (and probably other products) that Adobe and most other applications support for pressure sensitivity that was written long ago when input devices for PCs and generic drivers were first being sorted out. The problem is that wintab is proprietary. It's not provided or supported by the OS directly, and it costs money. They don't charge the consumers, they charge the providers. So thus, if an application supports Wintab, like photoshop, it won't necessarily work on non-wintab tablets (IE, non-Wacom)

Microsoft has developed their own ink driver for supporting pressure sensitive and touch devices that's generic and free to use. It will support a wide variety of devices. The problem is, most applications that everyone uses (read: Adobe) don't want to support the Microsoft driver. Could be some agreements with the wintab group not to support other options or some other conspiracy, possibly a lack of features of the Microsoft driver, or just simple lack of desire to reprogram what already works well.

Microsoft's trying to help by providing a free to use API. The problem is Wintab, and whatever agreements have been made to keep applications like Photoshop from using the generic, free APIs. Could also be that Microsoft may have changed up the driver in Windows 8, I'm not sure what's happened there recently.

I fixed this problem on my Asus tablet by installing the tabletPC drivers from Wacom over the Ink drivers. I think I had to uninstall the Ink drivers. It was a bear, and took many hours to get right. And the pen still didn't work quite right with everything. Think I lost some of the touch support while in some applications.

The answer here is to get Adobe and everyone else onboard with supporting both Microsoft's drivers or the proprietary ones.
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Chris Cox, Sr. Computer Scientist

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Wintab is not proprietary to Wacom at all.
Most professional products support wintab because it is more complete, and works reliably (unlike MS's ink API that still has significant bugs).

I'm sorry that you got incomplete, and partly incorrect, information from your source.

Again, Microsoft is aware of the problems with their drivers.

Wintab is not the problem.
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Tony Fienman

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As a new surface owner this is a deal breaker when it comes to Photoshop on my device. This may be MS's fault, but it is Adobe's problem. I won't be adding a seat until this is fixed, and I really don't care who does it. This could be a wonderful platform for Photoshop, let me know when you solve it.
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allandt

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WinTab is completely full-featured and includes tilt as well as pressure control.

This was a problem for N-Trig's capacitor and it's a problem now. Microsoft will not implement the full feature set (and the persistent bugs will never go away) and Adobe will not back down with the feature set they want to support so there will be a stalemate and Microsoft simply isn't doing the kind of numbers that will force Adobe to support their driver as well.
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Albert Dauphinais

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I think it is too bad that this will not get fixed quickly. I will just wait in the wings till Adobe or MS get it right before I buy cs6 or the MS Pro.
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Kyle

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Please give us a statement from someone from Microsoft AND Adobe both saying the problem at the same time, so we know the exact problem.
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Chris Cox, Sr. Computer Scientist

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Microsoft is aware of the issue - that's all we can say at this time.