Wacom’s Intuos 3; For Total Control, Use A Graphic Tablet Page 2

The ExpressKeys are initially programmed to work like the Control key (Macintosh Command), Alt (Macintosh Opt), Shift, and Space keys (#3) but each can be reprogrammed to a different task. In fact, you can program these keys to work differently in every application if you wish, making the tablet usable in other applications such as Word or your web browser. On the 6x8 and larger tablets, there are Touch Strips and ExpressKeys on each side of the tablet and each can be programmed to perform separate operations if desired. I have my tablet set up with the defaults on the left set of keys while the right keys are programmed to launch Photoshop, hold pen pressure, and double click. In the earlier example of handcoloring an image, I have the Touch Strip set to change the brush size (#4), enabling me to have easy control over my eraser without reaching for the keyboard or moving up to the toolbar.


The Wacom Tablet Properties (#5) allow a great deal of customization to the pen as well, setting how responsive the buttons are to clicking or what action to take when clicking, how sensitive the pen is to pressure, angle, and erasing.


The Brushes palette offers a full set of customization possibilities for the pen (#6). Options to control size, angle, and shape of a brush stroke are available for all included brush shapes, and Wacom provides a set of brushes that are optimized for the pen as well.


Graphic tablets have come a long way from their early beginnings. Easier to use and more suited to digital image editing than ever, the tablet is a standard feature of many photographers' digital darkrooms. I continue to find new uses for my tablet and can't imagine doing any serious image editing without one.

For more information, contact Wacom Technology Corporation, 1311 SE Cardinal Ct., Vancouver, WA 98683; (800) 922-9348; www.wacom.com.

Jon Canfield is the co-author of "Photo Finish: The Digital Photographer's Guide to Printing, Showing, and Selling Images" by Sybex.