This is a tutorial of how to get rid of the supper annoying Windows Ink functions on your windows box and still retain basic Wacom tablet functionality such as pen pressure changes, opacity, and size on brush tips in Photoshop.
If you’re using a Wacom tablet on Windows for the first time, you’ll notice that there’s a bunch of weird unexpected behavior– hover-select when you don’t want it, right-click menus appear if you touch your pen to the tablet for too long, etc. Don’t be alarmed, it’s just Windows trying to make your life annoying and complicated and baffling.
Probably someone from Wacom got handed a big bag of cash from Windows to integrate their shit UX, and they went on to hand a smaller bag of cash to Adobe to make their system be the default.
It’s called “Windows Ink” and the idea is that if you use a pen tablet, you want it to completely take over expected UI behavior and change how windows works, without your permission and in ways that will make you scream “whyyyyyyyyyyy would you think I want that” at your computer.
However, if you just turn it off in your Wacom preferences, you’ll see that basic Photoshop functionality that you probably expect from a stylus no longer works, such as such as pen pressure changes, opacity, and size changes.
There’s a fix tho!
First, turn off Windows ink in the Registry. You can’t just turn it off in the system settings– the most annoying stuff like “hover to right click” will remain. Instead, you can nuke ALL of windows ink at the root level using either the Group Policy editor or using the Registry.
Unfortunately, now Photoshop will no longer read your stylus as anything but a mouse, so you’ll have to fix that. There’s a solution here by using the Registry but it essentially just turns Windows Ink back on.
Hell no. The right way to do this is to…
Update your Photoshop config file to make it see your tablet.
First, create a .txt file called “PSUserConfig.txt” in Notepad or Sublime. This will contain instructions to revert to the WinTab functionality.
Type in the following lines (it’s gotta be exactly these or else it won’t work). You can also add a line force proportional transform scale fixes but I think Photoshop has fixed this in recent updates anyway.
# Use WinTab in PS CC for Wacom Tablet not INK
Save this file as a plain text file named PSUserConfig.txt, and save the file into the Photoshop settings folder, it will look something like this.
Put the file in your photoshop “settings” folder which is conveniently hidden in the “AppData” folder in most versions of Photoshop. The location will be something like this:
C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2014\Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 Settings\.
You may have to set your folder preferences to “view hidden files” to see the AppData folder.
Restart Photoshop and you should be good to go!
To revert back, delete the PSUSerConfig.txt file. Or, move it to a different folder if it doesn’t contain any other commands, or change the lines so they read:
# Use Win8 native tablet support