Photoshop: Wacom tablet annoying Ctrl Alt Shift popups/ Windows Ink loss of pressure sensitivity (Windows 10)

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  • (Edited)
Windows 10 issue. I'm using a Wacom Intuos Lg tablet with the latest drivers and the newest version of Photoshop CC 2015. After installing Windows 10, when I am using my Wacom tablet, whenever I push Ctrl, Alt or Shift on the keyboard, a tiny distracting popup box shows on the screen “Alt” “Alt+Shift” etc. In Wacom Tablet Properties>Mapping, when I disable “Use Windows Ink”, the popups disappear but the pen sensitivity in Photoshop CC 2015 also stops functioning. The sensitivity still works in other programs like Toon Boom Harmony though. Note: when ’ Use Windows Ink’ is enabled and I am using my USB mouse instead of my Intuos pen, pressing Ctrl, Alt or Shift does not bring up the little popups. Check out the thread of other people having this same problem on the Microsoft site.
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Matt Watts

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  • frustrated

Posted 5 years ago

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Matt Watts

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This is what the annoying popup looks like
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Chris Cox

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OK, that sounds like an OS setting or a Wacom driver setting.
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Matt Watts

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The solution I found on other forum posts was to install Photoshop CS6 from the Creative Cloud installation options. I'm now using Photoshop CS6 with the "Use Windows Ink" Wacom preference checkmark box unchecked. Pressure sensitivity still works in CS6 without Windows Ink. I'm looking forward to this problem being solved so I can get back to using the latest version of Photoshop CC. Thanks.

Essentially, here's the same forum issue thread I posted on Microsoft's site.
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Matt Watts

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Hooray! The Photoshop CC problem has finally been solved! Follow the instructions in this forum reply:
https://forums.adobe.com/message/7549784
Basically, you uncheck Windows Ink in the Wacom properties and then you create a quick little .txt file to save in your Photoshop settings which disables the Windows Ink dependency. I am so happy I can use my current version of Photoshop again!
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Chris Cox

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That isn't a great workaround. You really need to find what Wacom or OS setting is creating that control-shift UI / cursor and disable that.
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Yuriy Rumyantsev

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Thnx man!
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Matt Watts

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Just FYI, this problem happened again when I upgraded to CC 2017. The solution also worked again. Just to add a few more keywords to help people find this: wacom pressure sensitivity issue feedback failed alt ctrl shift popup problems annoying wacom intuos Photoshop
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Luiz Batalha

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MAN, Thanks to you a can work in peace. love you! 
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Shawnna Bass

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God bless you, this fixed it for me.  I'm on Win 10, Photoshop CC 2018. Thank you so much for  this info!
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Jonas M. Rogne

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Problems are still there in latest Windows10 and CC2018. Windows Ink is not great. You need to a whole bunch of settings to make wacom pens in photoshop usable, but there is still the issue of the function key popups. And there is no settings to turn those off.

I have no idea who on earth decided that Windows Ink was a good idea as default in Photoshop (it might be fine for the 2 people in the world who use a touch screen for operating Photoshop, but the thousands with pen tablets suffer). It would be very nice if Photoshop added a setting to disable Windows ink (without having to add the custom settings text file workaround).
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jack zucker

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why can't wacom address this in their install software? This is why I would never buy one of their tablet pcs. Clearly they don't have a clue. I'm guessing they subcontract out the driver development and don't really have a staff to create fixes like this. All the little tweaks you have to do to get rid of the circles and the "alt" text should be a simple question they ask on the install.
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Joshua Davis

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It's not a wacom issue, as far as I can tell... it's the fact that Windows is over riding settings in Photoshop for people using Wacom products on PC
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Jonas Madsen Rogne

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Yes, it is caused by Windows Ink. 
The only way to get rid of the popup is to disable Windows ink as described in previous comments (turn it off in Wacom drivers, and switch to WinTab in Photoshop).

The issue here is that Photoshop has Windows Ink enabled by default, and no GUI option to disable that junk. So you need to create a PSUserConfig.txt file to get good tablet behavior. Not very user friendly. And it's been years. Now a Windows update even crippled it so much that it barely works at all. Adobe don't care.
(Edited)
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Aya -kun

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Hello. I tried several times and this solution didn't work for me =( do you guys have any updates on the issue?

I'm on Windows 10 (2018 update) Photoshop CC 2018, Wacom Intuos and Cintiq.
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Ed Keene

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There's a box you can uncheck in the Wacom tablet settings that says "Windows Ink".  I was getting the annoying bubble every time I held the tip of the pen down for more than a millisecond.  Unchecking that box made it go away.  Maybe it will work for you, too.  
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Sunder Raj

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It will make is go away, but it will completely screw up pressure sensitivity. So no. 
I've been using the workaround stated above for uears. Now it's stopped working completely. 
Come on, Adobe.
(Edited)
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N.T. Green

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Still can't find a solution in Photoshop CC 2020 ...why can't Adobe, Wacom and Window get it together to fix this. Surely there are enough people using Photoshop 2020 with Wacom tablets to warrant some effort be put into it.

Here is my situation as of February 2020 (Note: I have spent 4 or more hours searching for a solution and found nothing to fix the ALT, CTRL, SHIFT pop ups).

In order to get Pen Pressure to work in Photoshop CC2020 I have to do the following:
  1. Create a txt file with the body of text reading  -   # Use WinTab     UseSystemStylus 1
  2. Save the file as PSUsersConfig,txt 
  3. Place the file in the following folder   C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop 2020\Adobe Photoshop 2020 Settings
  4. Turn on the Windows Ink in my Wacom Tablet properties
  5. Now pen pressure works BUT ONCE AGAIN I get the annoying modifier keys popup (Alt, Ctrl, Shift)! Really!!! .
  6. I've tried many variations of PSUsersConfig text file, the older version with UseSystemStylus 0, saved with and without the .txt. Spent many, many hours trying to get it to work!
  7. I am on Windows Home so going into the gpedit.msc is not an option as it is only available on Windows 10 Pro!  (Mind you that doesn't seem to work for anyone anymore so who knows!)
This has been going on for years and with what we pay for software and hardware it is ridiculous. Oh ...just as a note, my cheap little travel tablet (XP Pen G640) does not have the same problem, I can turn off Windows Ink and still get pen pressure and not get popups and it is 1/3 the cost of my Wacom!!! Come on Wacom/Photoshop!
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Joanna Bernat

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To add gpedit.msc to Win Home version safe this text as a .bat file and run as administrator. This will add this function. It's work for me:

here is a bat file if someone want to use https://1drv.ms/u/s!AiQdp2h4jch6gsBSOWSEoRuyz0piaQ?e=TUwTN7

I turned off some of them ( there is a bunch of options to disable) and add psuserconfig file work for me!!
(Edited)
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Warren Bernard

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Not quite sure what you mean by this? Do you have pen pressure working simultaneously without the annoying popups? 
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Joanna Bernat

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Yes, I dont know why, but after some changes 1: I don't have ctrl alt shift popups 2: "Use Windows Ink" is disabled on wacom settings and pen preassure still working  Maybe this is normal but i have never done this before so I'm excited @.@ 
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Warren Bernard

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Wow, that's awesome! Which version of PS are you using? Also, could you just clarify what you did in order to achieve this? Thank you!
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Joanna Bernat

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Sorry for late answer <3


I have windows 10 + adobe cc with the newest updates. & cintiq pro 16

( which give me a lot of bluescreens last days )


THIS WORK FOR ME:
I assumed that I've done this on: Group Policy settings ( gpedit.msc)

Here I have bunch of crazy options to disable I don’t know what I’m doing excacly but every service has a descrition ; ) 

1: run gpedit.msc as administrator 



2: Go to User configuration > Windows Components  > Tablet PC



( above we have same tabs under Computer Configuration - to be sure I repeat next steps there also :D i was desperate )

I think this is the most important:

Cursors > Turn off pen feedback > Enabled

Then:

Hardware Buttons >

Prevent press and hold > Enabled


Input Panel >

Prevents Input Panel tab from appearing > Enabled

Prevents the Tablet PC Input Panel icon > Enabled

Disable text prediction > Enabled


Here all changes I’ve  made till today:






Pen Pressure:

PSUserconfig.txt as everytime ( this time is working @.@)

# Use WinTab

UseSystemStylus 0



!!! WACOM PEN SETTINGS BACKUP !!!

And of course I have WACOM PEN SETTINGS BACKUP

When system is starting > Backup is start automatically
Tablet Preference File Utility asked me if I want to replace current settings. 

I need to replace settings after every restart to backup this s#%&t without that I have problem with annoying multitouch etc. 

How to add backup file to windows startup:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4558286/windows-10-add-an-app-to-run-automatically-at-startup


I wish luck & a lot of patience to everyone! <3

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Warren Bernard

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A lot of patience is required indeed! Thanks for the detailed reply. We appreciate it!
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Jens Claessens

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Thank you Joanna Bernat, this worked for me!!

I have the Windows Home Edition, so I did not have GPEDIT.

There is a solution for this, you can enable GPEDIT for Windows Home

https://www.itechtics.com/enable-gpedit-windows-10-home/#Method_2_Install_GPEditmsc_in_Windows_10_Home_using_PowerShell_script

I used the above method to enable Group Policy Editor for Windows Home and then followed Joanna Bernat steps.

Thank you so much!

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Warren Bernard

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Yep, I have the same issue. And seeing as this thread has been going for 5 years now since the first post, it makes me wonder when (if?) they'll ever fix this problem. I can get rid of the popups by disabling Windows Ink and using the WinTab fix, but then I encounter another issue. When using the lasso tool, when I press space bar (to enable the move tool whilst selecting) the lasso tool remains and the hand tool does not appear / work. So now I need to decide which is more important to me - being able to use the hand tool while selecting or pen sensitivity. Or if I choose to have both of these, then I need to put up with the annoying ctrl / shift / alt popups. This is a choice that I should not have to make. I pay my Creative Cloud fees every year and expect the developers to at least fix this issue that is clearly not a new one and yet very common.
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Jonas Madsen Rogne

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The function key popups on the cursor are added by Windows, and it could be Adobe can't override that while using Windows Ink. I am sure Adobe won't even try due to this.

Might be worth a try reporting it to Microsoft as well.
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Chad Rolfs, Employee

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Indeed.  Like the Press and Hold ring that you can turn off, having an OS setting to disable the cursor toasts is definitely a MS feature request.
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Sunder Raj

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I've asked Microsoft a bunch of times already, even used their tickets and all that. Years ago. It'll never be resolved. 
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Paweł Kurowski

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I was the same problem in 2020 version. Do all the same like in previous version but
just remove "# Use WinTab" command in txt file.

1. So create txt file named: PSUserConfig.txt
and type inside: UseSystemStylus 0

2. Turn off the "Windows Ink" in my Wacom Tablet properties

3. Copy txt file to:C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop 2020\Adobe Photoshop 2020 Settings

4. Turn on the "Windows Ink" in my Wacom Tablet properties




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Warren Bernard

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Thanks for the reply Pawel. Unfortunately I tried what you suggested. But as soon as I put the txt file back into that directory, I lose the ability to use the move (hand) tool whilst making a selection with the lasso tool. Which was my initial problem.