Wacom Tablets & Wide Screen Displays

Hi Again,

I learned about a sneaky tick box in my Wacom Tablet preferences this week that may interest you. This tick box is called the “Force Proportions” tick box. I’ve seen this tick box before but have never paid much attention to it.

Most new computer displays are a widescreen 16:9 ratio that works wonderfully for viewing HD content. However, depending on your Wacom tablet’s surface area, you may get some distortion on your stylus inputs when they show up on a screen that is wider than your Wacom tablet. You may not notice this issue if you use just one monitor but you will definitely see some distortion if you use two monitors for double-wide display. When your display area is much wider than your tablet your tablet will squish and stretch your display area in order to fit it within the mapped area of your Wacom tablet causing this distortion.

To tell if your tablet is distorting your display to fit within your tablet area just draw a circle on your tablet. If your circle comes out as an oval every single time on your display in Photoshop then you know you have this problem. I’ve made a rough sketch to illustrate this distortion.

Tablet-Distortion-Example

 

When I noticed this problem I was confused for a few minutes because I don’t normally edit on a double-wide display but the easy fix is to check the “Force Proportions” tick box in your Wacom preferences. What this tick box does is it makes your mapped tablet area match the same aspect ratio of your display. With this box checked you should get no distortion on your inputs. The tradeoff is that the force proportions tick box may change the Wacom’s mapped area to something other than what you’re used to because it now locked to the ratio of your display but I think it’s a small price to pay in order to have your stylus inputs accurately represented on screen.

Tablet-Display-Proportional

This is a tricky problem that you might not notice right away but if you do any detailed Photoshop work like digital painting you should keep the “Force Proportions” tick box in mind when you sit down at a new workstation or if you are thinking about using two or more monitors.

-Alex

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