There are several important factors you need to consider if you’re setting up a new graphic tablet on your PC, from basic installation processes to advanced customization options. Standard setup is easy enough, but if you just ‘plug ‘n play,’ you might miss out on key features.
It’s worth getting to know the ins and outs of the entire process, as the wrong software or hardware configuration will impact your experience negatively. To help you perform the setup process the right way, here are seven essential tips for the optimal installation of any graphics tablet.
1. Choose the right tablet
This may seem like it should go without saying, but your tablet should be able to perform any tasks you desire. Many people buy a tablet without much forethought, only to later find that it can’t perform said tasks or has more features than they need.
By doing a bit of research on the product offerings that are available, you can ensure that you have a tablet that can fulfill your needs. As a basic example, low to mid-range tablets are usually best for casual artists, while career artists and professional designers get the most value from high-end devices.
2. Match tablet to monitor
This is one of the first steps that most tablet users overlook. When the size of your screen doesn’t match the dimensions of your tablet, the movements and gestures you make won’t be reflected accurately.
A high discrepancy between where your hand moves and what the screen reflects can be incredibly jarring. It can affect the speed of your work and can even lead to unnecessary strain on your wrist and fingers. Additionally, your tablet should be placed in a position where you don’t have to make constant adjustments to your line of sight.
3. Check interface options
Are you connecting your tablet via USB or Wi-Fi? You need to consider cord length and tablet position if it’s the former. The latter takes those issues out of the equation, but then the range of connection and signal strength become relevant factors.
Response time can also be affected by the type of connection used. For instance, a weak wifi signal and a faulty USB port can both cause input lag. Most devices offer multiple connection methods nowadays, so you may want to test different configurations to find out which one works best.
4. Install all required software
Most of the time, a new device will be recognized by your OS, and the drivers will be downloaded automatically. However, sometimes that’s not the case, and you might have to install up-to-date drivers manually.
Some devices require the installation of third-party software in order to function. For example, graphic designers use Adobe Photoshop often, and drivers that make your device recognizable to Photoshop’s processes need to be downloaded from the web. Most devices automate this step, but there are exceptions to the rule.
5. Test device functionality
Tablet software tends to consist solely of customization options, allowing you to adjust things like stylus response time and gesture recognition, for example. You’re going to have to experiment to find the right combination, and the perfect settings will be different for every individual.
You can always restore default settings if you want to start over, so don’t be afraid to test to your heart’s content. Efficient configuration saves you from a lot of trouble down the line, which is why it’s so critical to get it right the first time.
6. Customize every aspect
Response time, pressure sensitivity, and gesture recognition are your main priorities at this point. Perform a demo run of the work you intend to use the tablet for, adjusting settings as you go. If you’re still unhappy once the trial is complete, repeat the process until you’re satisfied with the results.
Practice gestures and set up your shortcut keys, assign keystroke options that feel comfortable, and memorize shortcut combinations to make your tasks easier. Take advantage of all the features your hardware and software offer, from on-screen controls to additional function keys.
7. Maintain your devices
If you’ve completed all the steps we’ve mentioned, the only thing left is to ensure that all devices and software are updated regularly. Old versions of drivers and programs are highly vulnerable from a security perspective, and the last thing you want is a tablet that provides backdoor access to your personal information.
To guarantee that all your software is up-to-date, check for updates to all the programs you use. That includes everything from graphics card drivers to new Photoshop releases. If you perform this maintenance at least once a month, combined with automatic updates where available, your devices will always perform at peak efficiency. Combine this with customized functionality, and you can achieve the best workflow possible.