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Masterwacom
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2.2 Assigning Custom Buttons

Wacom tablets allow for customized definitions of the express keys. These keys can even be assigned different functions for different applications. In this lesson we explore some suggested button assignments for ease of use in Photoshop.

2.2 Assigning Custom Buttons

Hello, everybody, Kirk Nelson here. Welcome back to Mastering the Wacom Tablet in Photoshop. This is lesson 2.2, where we talk about assigning custom buttons. So the entire point of this lesson is to show you how to customize your tablet's functions for your own preferences. I'm going to show you where those settings are, and what settings I use, and briefly describe why I use them the way I do. You'll need to find the Wacom Tablet Properties, which is probably found in the Control Panel of your own system. One of the first things I need to point out is that if you are using the tablet left handed, the first thing you need to do is go into Options and change the Handedness from the default Right to Left. You'll also want to make sure you turn the tablet so that the express key buttons are along the right-hand side, instead of the left-hand side. Now in the tablet properties window, we have the tablet line, where if you have multiple tablets installed, you can select which one to use. As you can see, mine is the Intuos5 Touch. The applications down here is set to all. Now, this means this is global settings for the tablet to be used on your system. And it may be simplest and easiest for you to go ahead, and set these up so that any of the buttons you assign work this way in all of the programs on your system. But chances are, you may want to customize your buttons according to which application you're using. You may want to use different functions in Photoshop as you do in perhaps Illustrator or Painter. In this case, I'm going to customize my buttons to be used in Photoshop. Now, something important to note, that whichever application you're gonna customize these buttons for must be open at the time. Because when we go to the application line and we hit the plus button, that's how it shows up within our Select Application. We can browse to the executable file, but that's usually rather inconvenient. So I've got Photoshop running. It's currently open. And so, I'm going to select that. So, now any of the settings that I make will take place exclusively for Photoshop. And we'll start with the Grip Pen settings. Now by default, the buttons that are on the stylus, the bottom one is right-click and the top one is double-click. Now, there's not much in Photoshop you have to double-click on, so that's kind of a wasted button. And what I like to set mine to is a particular keystroke. And that's Ctrl+Alt+Z, which is the multiple undos in Photoshop. So, I'm gonna name it that too. Now notice when I entered the key here, I only had to press the keys on the keyboard, and it captured exactly which keys I was pressing. I don't need to type this out. Hit OK. So now that button is mapped to a multiple undo. From there, let's move on to the touch input. Now to make these settings, you have to have Enable touch input turned on, and the tablet does need to be connected. The standard gestures are all pretty straightforward. I'm not gonna mess with these very much. But the My Gestures, I do like to customize. And the only difference that I make with these is I turn almost all of them off, except for the four finger swipe up. And then I change that to my Photoshop shortcuts. And it's already a preset in here for Stamp all visible layers. Cuz, I use that function a lot, and just mentally it makes sense to me to grab the whole tablet, and swipe it upwards. That creates a merged layer at the top of the layer stack. So, then let's move on to the functions. Now the keys that are along the bottom. I don't usually change. I usually leave these as Shift, Ctrl, Alt, and Pan/Scroll, which essentially is the space bar. If you ever use the space bar as a hotkey in Photoshop to pan scroll around, it works exactly the same way. I like the way these are setup. I use them frequently. But these top buttons, I don't find the default settings to be all that useful. The changes that I tend to make. While the top one I leave for the touch on and off, the second one, I don't find that I need to open the Wacom Tablet Properties very often, so I'm gonna change that from Settings to Radial Menu. And we'll get to that in just a moment, exactly what that means. I leave the Precision Mode on that third one. And then the bottom one, I change to the Input Panel, which is under the Tablet PC submenu. So, we mentioned that radial menu, let's go over and talk about that. What the radial menu is, is a context sensitive menu that can appear around your cursor while you're working with the tablet. It comes with a default set of menu items here. And I do tend to change them. I leave the top one at the brush panel. The first one to the right, we'll call this one the, the northeast one and still save. But then the eastern menu I change from tab to the move tool. So, I use a Keystroke. I want to clear out the tab keystroke and then I'm just gonna press the V key because that is the keyboard shortcut for the move tool. And I'm also gonna change the name from tab to move. The southeast, I'm gonna change to a custom keystroke as well. Clear this, and I'm making that Ctrl+A, which is select all. And the southern one, also a new keystroke. Clear it, Ctrl+D, which is deselect. We'll keep going here. The southwest, yet another keystroke. And clear that. And this is Ctrl+Shift+N, which is the shortcut for create a new layer. And moving on, the display toggle, that's rather useless, for me anyway, in my workflow. So, I'm going to change this western one to a keystroke. And this is going to be the copy to new layer, which is Ctrl+J. So with those settings made, let's close the Wacom Tablet Properties and test them out in Photoshop. [BLANK_AUDIO] We'll come up here first to a new document. And, first of all, let's test that undo. So, I've got a brush here, and I'm just going to scribble a little bit with the brush. Then, hit that top rocker button to undo it. That works really well. Now just gently run your hand over the express keys, and you'll get the menu that comes up. And you'll notice how things are different there. The touch is on and off up there. Precision mode is still that third one. Input panels on the fourth. The second is that radial menu. So, let's press that and see the different properties that we have here. Let's try a couple of these. Top one is Brush panel. And there it is. Now let's try New Layer. We get the New Layer dialogue box. Try select all. It selected the entire canvas. Deselect. Let's color some things in again. And we'll do the select all, and then copy to new layer. Now, we've made a new copy of that layer just using the radial menu from our tablet without ever having to touch the menu in Photoshop, or the keyboard. Let's pull it again, and say move tool. There we go. So that's it for lesson 2.2 on assigning custom buttons. Next lesson, lesson 2.3, we discuss text input with the tablet. It's really interesting, you guys are gonna wanna to see that.

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