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Wacom tablets are a popular alternative to the mouse for painting, drawing, and navigating your computer in a more natural position. In this course, artist and teacher John Derry shows how to get up and running with a variety of Wacom tablets (Intuos, Cintiq, and more), covering everything from setup to stylus selection. He then shows how to speed up your workflow and enhance your command of the drawing surface with ExpressKeys, the Touch Ring, and other controls. Plus, learn about tablet ergonomics—which makes your Wacom even more compatible with your working conditions—and follow a few exercises to warm up your drawing arm.
You're probably beginning to realize that completely customizing your tablet settings can take up quite a bit of time and effort. Even after initially customizing the tablet, you'll likely make adjustments over time. Once customized to your workflow habits, you don't want to have to go through this process again. Fortunately, you can save your tablet settings using the Wacom Tablet Utility. And taking this a step further, you can save and restore multiple settings. Let's see how this works. Now, the main function of the Wacom Preferences Driver is to save the current preferences that you have in your Wacom Tablet Control Panel, and I'm going to begin here by going to the System Preferences and let's just see what we have here.
And these are the basic settings that the Wacom Tablet has. They're not special by any means, but we're going to use those as a sample of something that we'd want to save. And to do that, the next thing we have to do is get to the Wacom Preferences Utility. So I'm going to create a new Finder window, and in Applications, down here at the bottom, we'll find a folder called Wacom Tablet, and in here is the Wacom Tablet Utility, so I'll double click to launch it.
Now what it lets me do is backup, and when it says Backup, it's going to backup what is currently in the Wacom Tablet Driver. So I'll say Backup, and we'll give this a name, we're going to name this Default, and we'll go ahead and Save that. You may have noticed that I saved that to the Wacom Folder that the Wacom Preferences Utility is in. I do that because it's just an easy way to remember where these are rather than putting it somewhere else on your system.
Now that I've backed that up, I will always have these settings that I can retrieve. Now, let's go the other way. I have a set of preferences that I have created before, that I use in association with Photoshop, and these preferences are going to be different than what we're seeing right now, so I want you to notice that's our current setup. I'm going to go ahead and once again open the Wacom Utility, and I'm going to say I want to Restore.
So I'm going to go to my Photoshop preferences, we'll open those, and it's going to tell me it's going to replace the current preferences, that's good because I've already saved the preferences that are in there now, so I can easily swap them back out anytime. I'll say Replace, and now when we go back to the Wacom Panel, we could see that I've got a whole new set of actions and keyboard shortcuts programmed into all of the various keys associated with the Wacom Tablet.
So, the idea here is, I've now got this set, I can always reload them anytime I want, I have my default settings anytime I want, and to extend this functionality, let's say I have a very specific set of commands I want associated with the keyboard when I'm in Illustrator or Painter, for example. Each one of those I could have its own separate preferences file and then anytime I want to swap out the preferences, say for Photoshop, or a set of preferences that are preferred for Illustrator, I can do that.
The really nice thing about the way this utility works is, it gives you a way to conserve all of the work that you put in to putting these things together, and I can tell you it does sometimes take a while to assemble a set of keyboard commands that you like associated with your various components on the tablet. The other thing I do want to say though, however, and I've learned this through experience with trying to provide these files with courses here at lynda.com, sometimes they won't work with other versions of the tablet, the tablet driver, the operating system, the tablet model, all are very specific to the way the preferences are saved.
So unfortunately, these settings I have, say for Photoshop, you couldn't put them into a Cintiq tablet, there is no way to do it, it won't recognize it. So, right now, the way this is set up, it's really kind of specific to your tablet and work environment. So anytime you're going to make a change, say to your Photoshop preferences, be sure to just save or re-save that particular set of preferences with the Wacom Preferences Utility, and that way they'll remain up to date.
Take my advice and backup your Wacom settings regularly. I always update mine whenever I make a change to my custom shortcuts or update the Wacom Driver, and you should too.
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