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My Wacom tablet is my indispensable clean-up tool. I use it mostly for removing the many dust spots my medium format sensor collects in the capture. In the old days, it was dust spotting on the print, which I never liked. I cannot clean up the dust spots with a mouse as quick and clean as I can with my Wacom pen and tablet.

Joe Jarosak

I use mine to "paint" in the curves changes on various layers. Much easier/comfortable than a mouse.

John Acurso

When I work an image, it is not uncommon to end up with 10-20 layers in Photoshop. Some are various image outputs from scans or raw files that are blended with masks while the others are various targeted adjustment layers. I don't remember when I got my first tablet (have gone through 6 of them, but still use the Intuos--the first one, no number--there are plenty of keyboard shortcuts that do what the new bells and whistles do). After feeling like a total klutz for a few days, I have never stopped using it. I rarely use the mouse anymore EXCEPT for precision work, where I need precise pixel placement of something--which is not that common. I do use the mouse for things other than working images, but often do use the tablet and pen instead--depends on the application.

Back 12 years ago or so, I was on a focus group for Wacom. What I found interesting was that all of the pro Illustrators used the large tablet--none only a mouse. All of the photographers, again all pros, used the 6x8 tablet, none only the mouse and not one designer/art director used one (precision placement was the reason).

I thought the mouse was fine until I got the tablet and because of the detailed work I do, the tablet is just indispensable. I would not want to lose its use at this point.

Godfrey DiGiorgi

I owned an Intuos3 for five years and used it ... twice. Sold it for most of what I paid for it, realized I simply don't need it for the kind of image editing I do and hated it for anything else.

No, I'm not an illustrator nor do I do precision Photoshop selections. For my photography these sorts of editing uses are totally unnecessary.

If I were doing illustration work, it would likely be indispensable.

Chris Raecker

Think locally about whatever you apply or take away from an image. Do you really want the same amount of unsharp mask over the whole image? For instance.

Big soft brushes and low %s. Lots of strokes. keep it moving. It really is kind of an organic, creative thing, like burning and dogging or painting.

I work subtractive, not additive. Over apply an effect, then gently etch away with the history brush (big soft brush, low %) until it "develops" into what you want.

Facebook Connect Development

Wacom Europe bundles Photoshop Elements with the Cintiq interactive pen displays.
In other regions of the world you might get different bundles.

Simone Paoletti

I use a very basic Wacom "Bamboo" tablet as a replacement of the mouse for any computer activity. I think it simply works marvelous.



I'm slowly learning PS CS5 and I started out using my mouse. Over time, a short period of time actually, I started thinking more and more about much easier it would be if I could use a pen -- and it is much easier and faster. Same with my navigation throughout Lightroom; in combination with keyboard shortcuts, navigation much fasterand easier. Even beyond photo/graphics software, I find that general computer usage is much easier using the tablet (other than when one has to do lots of typing, of course). Also, I often feel a slight strain in my arm after prolonged periods of using my mouse, so the Wacom Intuos 4 is a huge help in this area. I had initially thought a tablet was the sole province of artists and/or illustrators but it isn't. It's for anyone who needs/wants/prefers greater speed and better ergonomics, in my opinion.

Steve Gledhill

My Intuos 3 is used for all my Pshop work, and the brush is of value particularly for spotting of my 5x4 film scans and for painting masks - so much more natural with a brush than a mouse. I never use the Intuos Mouse - couldn't get used to a mouse restricted to the tablet area; and anyway I use a trackball.

One tip that can make a difference is to map the active tablet area to the aspect ratio of the screen you use for Pshop. It's easily configurable. For me it feels more correct that the aspect rations of the screen and tablet are the same. Opinion may differ.


I to have used the Intuos 3 for several years and it is an indispensable tool on my desk. I love the Intuos mouse with its soft face on the tablet. Customization of clicks and buttons does speed up workflow. It did take a while to figure out why some PS LR plug-ins were not working properly when using mouse only. The plug-ins recognize you have a pen and it is looking for input from the pen not the mouse, machine 1 operator 0.

When working with adjustment layers or actions such as dodge and burn layers the pen is a soft subtle way to paint in adjustments. The pen also is great for painting in vector masks to remove global adjustments added.

I watched a European video giving a tour of the new Intuos 5 and think this is the next evolution where the mouse has been replaced with finger sensitivity. Much like the iPad you can program gestures and motions. The tablet recognizes the number of digits on the tablet and their motion for commands. link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z-tShY7HXU

Chuck Kimmerle

Add me to the camp of people who tried, but failed, to successfully add a Wacom tablet into their workflow. I can definitely see the advantages of the added precision and variables (pressure, angle) but, as I tend to keep post-processing rather simple, have really never needed such "perfection".

Brooks Jensen

See, now this is exactly what I was talking about – watching the Intuos video I find myself highly motivated to purchase one. This happens to me every time I look at a training video. Now, I just have to figure out how I would actually use it.

Stephen Desroches

I retired my mouse in 2004 and have been exclusively using the pen for everything. Not just images but the simple things like browsing the web or typing a document. Now when I'm forced to use a mouse, it feels awkward, clumsy, slow and frustrating to be pushing a cursor around instead of just clicking. The pen is the closest thing to having a touch screen without actually having a touch screen.

It is much much much more than a fancy photoshop brush with accuracy and pressure. It's about not having to press and hold a button while dragging or pushing a block of plastic.

Wallace Shackleton

I use a Bamboo Touch, I don't use the Touch part these days as I found it to be too much of a novelty. The pen is great to use when removing dust spots and much better than a mouse for those marathon Photoshop editing sessions.
The Wacom is much more precise than the mouse when it comes to editing pictures.

Charles Dunton

Like several commenters, I use my Intuos3 for EVERY operation in PS or LR that involves the brush tool. So whether I'm painting on a mask in PS or doing a local selection with the brush tool in LR, I grab the Intuos pen. In my case it's even more critical because I ditched the mouse several years ago in favor of a trackball for wrist considerations. While a mouse is usable with the brush tool, I find a trackball pretty much sucks for that purpose. However, I find the pen not particularly to my liking for menu selections and point placement where a trackball works nicely. The pen is both too dodgy and can involve moving your hand back and forth over a large area (I use the 8x12 size tablet). As the Brits say, "horses for courses".

Dennis Mook

As does Stephen, when I bought my Wacom Intuous Tablet 18 months ago, I forced myself to use it for all computer work. I knew that would be the most expedient way to learn how to handle its nuances so when I used it in Lightroom or Photoshop, it would be my tool of choice. The learning curve was not steep at all and now I don't like using a mouse for anything. The stylus has become very intuitive and feels so natural in my hand.

Eric Jeschke

I find that the tablet is very helpful for drudge work: spotting, painting detailed masks, etc. But I realized after a while that while it made drudge work easier, it was still drudge work (and I don't like drudge work). Back when there weren't so many tools in Photoshop (and Lightroom wasn't around) I had to do a lot more mask-work. But now it's not so necessary and I rarely use it. Nice to have it around when the need arises though.


I use the tablet as my main tool in Lightroom, and Pixelmator (if I ever round trip into it). I don't see the need to upgrade just yet. I have had the Intuos 3 for a while and will wait till the next series is available refurbished. I paint and draw in the analog world, so for me this is a perfect way to blend my analog skills with my growing digital skills.

Precision is mainly the reason why this gets more use then my mouse in Lightroom.

Al DaValle

I'm in the exact same boat. I've two Wacom tablets. Sold the first one because I convinced myself the reason I didn't use it was due to the wire....so I bought the wireless version. I played with it for a few days, put it in the drawer and forgot about it...until I read your post. I know I should give it more attention. I believe it is good. But I guess I just don't have the energy to learn a new trick. Perhaps I have become good enough with my mouse and track pad that I don't sense I have a problem that needs fixing. You know what they say about ignorance....you never know when you have it.

John McGill

I think that the tablet is somewhat over-rated. However, it is certainly very convenient for using the brush and spot removal tools in Lightroom, and corresponding tools in Photoshop. For me, picking menu items and using the slider bars are less convenient using the tablet's pen.

Account Deleted

ERGONOMICS: As a graphic designer, I use Illustrator, Photoshop, and a bunch of other apps all day long, 5 days a week. And then I come home and work on my photographs in the evenings and weekends. Several years into my design job (first using a mouse, then a large track ball), I had a lot of discomfort and fatugue in my wrist and forearm. That disappeared almost immediately when I switched to a small Wacom tablet and stylus. Now I very rarely have any discomfort at all. CONTROL: A mouse is a terrible drawing tool. It defeats millions of years of fine-motor evolution in your hand and fingers. If you make illustrations, maps, or diagrams (like I do), or even just detailed masks in your Photoshop layers, a stylus is SO much easier! Just like using a pen.

I haven't used a mouse or a trackball in years, for anything, not even email, and I intend to keep it that way. No need for a large tablet, either. I use small (4x5 inch) Wacom tablets at work and at home for everything, always.

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