Wonky Wacom Tablet (jumping cursor with short strokes)

You probably don't want to read this message unless you landed here with a Google search. This is a message of hope to all of you Wacom users that are experiencing this very bizarre behavior with your Graphire or Intuos tablet on a Mac. (I'm using a Graphire... for now...) That said, I hear it's also a problem with Cintiq tablets. Here are the symptoms:

  • When you draw short strokes, the cursor jumps back to the beggining of the line for a fraction of a second.
  • At first, this seems like a lag problem, but it's not... it's specific to short strokes and always involves the cursor jumping back.
  • Thus, if you draw a series of short strokes (for example, writing words), your lines will stutter and be all over the place (and look horrible).
  • It works fine on a PC.
  • It doesn't do the same thing with the (Wacom) mouse.
  • Problems are worst in Photoshop or Painter, but they actually do exist elsewhere in the system (it's just not really noticeable much).
The problem is that you have your "Double-click distance" too far. ...I found the solution, after much searching, on an Adobe forum. The solution is to go to your System Preferences, Pen Tablet, Pen, Double Click Distance, and pull the slider all the way to the left (older versions of the driver may even let you turn this off). ...Of course, it doesn't need to be all the way to the left... you can experiment with what works, but... you get the idea.

Basically, the driver is causing the cusor to jump back to the beginning of your line in anticipation of a double-click. This strikes me as a driver error, but I'm not holding my breath for Wacom to fix it.

30 comments:

Floyd said...

Been searching for a solution to this problem a for some time now. Your solution works great! Thank you so much for posting this!

Anton said...

If I were physically near you, I'd hug you. It helps! Thank you :)

Pip said...

You are a lifesaver, that was driving me utterly mad!!

vokoban said...

Thanks so much for this advice...it's fixed!

snace said...

Thanks a lot for posting this!
I wish you all the best.

Wagsfx said...

Geez. Who knew (you did!)? The tablet works just fine for years, then whammo! It starts getting wonky and misbehaving. This is one of those nightmare issues that make working impossible.

Thank you for posting this solution!

cleandemon said...

Thank you so much.

This has been bugging me for ages and it's now fixed.

Aaron Smith said...

Thank the heavens for blog! I just recently bought a Mac book pro and was having the exact issue. I spent about 2 days trying to resolve this issue until i stumbled onto this blog. Thank you very much!

dugost said...

Thannnnnk youuuuuuu! This has been driving me crazy and I haven't been able to find a solution anywhere.

Ricky Rockerfield said...

Thank you soooo much! This has been bugging me for the better part of half a year after a system reinstall!

I thought I'd have to buy a new tablet!

Thank you!

Inside of Emil Lyngbo said...

Omg you saved my life + tablet's!

danimal said...

it helped a bit, but i still can't write short strokes...thanks for putting this up

danimal said...

it helped a bit, but i still can't write short strokes...thanks for putting this up

chopshopstore.com said...

Didn’t change anything. Intuos Pen & Touch on MAC

chopshopstore.com said...

Didn’t change anything. Intuos Pen & Touch on MAC

Katrina Greske said...
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Örjan Berglund said...

This occurred in Adobe Illustrator for me and was really driving me mad. Thank you!

Petteri Mattila said...

Wow! It worked! I have been suffering the problem many months and you got the right solution! Thank you very much! I'm from Finland and this advice keeps me warm whole winter! Go and look some of my works: http://petterimattila.carbonmade.com

Julie-Su Williams said...

I am having this problem, bit I have turned my double-click distance completely off, and it still skips. I have found that the only thing that works is to uninstall the tablet and re-install it, but every time I want to use it I have to do this, and it's getting really annoying. Any other tricks?

Rich Phillips said...

I got a new Mac Pro with Yosemite and was blaming the new computer for the problem - and this was it!!!!!! I was so frustrated I just wanted to go back to my circa 2005 PowerPC G5. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

Wes Louis-Charles said...
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Emanuel Mårdsjö said...

You saved my life. I've been struggling with this for ages, and the solution was so easy. Thank you! <3

Ter said...

THANK YOU!!! I couldn't find any solution to this, so I was starting to think that there's something wrong with my tablet, because I've had it for quite a long time.. But my old friend is just fine after all :))

Christine Jaegle said...

THANK YOU!!!!!!!! you're a genius!

Bryan Gough said...

STILL A PROBLEM! I was looking at that setting, but thought "naw... it couldn't be that!"
I was just about to post to Photoshop's forum when I realized that it happened inside the Wacom System Preferences "customize" pen pressure window.

Brilliant solution—AND, terrible that this thread is still relevant 8 years later!

Anduillotine said...

I was having odd behavior in finder when quickly jumping through folders. Felt like my SSD was stuttering the mouse every time I opened a new folder, which seemed ridiculous to me. Turning this setting off has fixed my issue! Double clicking without it on isn't a problem for me at all.

Rufus Ruffolo said...

Holy craP! This seems to work so far! I thought my mouse was broken so I bought a new mouse; same problem. I thought I had some type of virus. I had a fresh Win reinstall which seemed to fix it for a while but then crazy mouse again. I was using my wacom tablet as a 3rd monitor. I finally realized it was a my wacom specifically that was causing the problem. Because when I turned it off, my mouse acted normal again. I thought I was screwed ...until you saved my ass THANKS!

Elena Nguyen said...
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Elena Nguyen said...

I just bought wacom intuos draw graphic tablet for my MBP and I used it mainly for note taking. I can do short strokes if I draw very slowly, otherwise, my pen would lag a bit or stutter. It was driving me mad! I thought it was the app I'm using (onenote). I was thinking maybe the autosynchronizing is what causing the lag. After using your advice, I switched my tip double click distance from max to off. No more annoying "lags" when I write my notes!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aaron said...

What Elena said! This is a fantastic tip, thank you! (Tried it and it seems to work).