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1.2 Hardware

In this lesson we will review how to set up the tablet to work with your computer. This includes how to install a wireless accessory, charge the battery, and even change the drawing nibs.

1.2 Hardware

Hey everybody, welcome back to mastering the welcome tablet in Photoshop. My name is Kirk Nelson and this is lesson number two, where we are going to review the actual hardware of the tablet itself. The model shown here is the Intuos4 Touch. Your model may be slightly different than this. But we're going to review some of the basic features that's common on almost all of the product line coming out of Wacom. This model features several different components. First, there's the actual tablet. There's a connection cable. There's a pen also referred to as a stylus, and a base unit for the stylus to rest on. [BLANK_AUDIO] You'll probably notice along one side of the drawing tablet is a series of buttons and a circular control. These are known as the express keys and the touch ring. One of the unique design features of an Intuos tablet is that it is vertically symmetrical. Now this is done intentionally so that it can be turned around to fit along with a right or left handed artist. Whichever way you turn it, you want the express keys and the touch ring to be opposite your drawing hand. The smaller end of the connection cable fits into the port that's right beneath the Wacom logo. Even if your tablet has a built in wireless receiver, you will still need to use the connection cable to charge the battery. The other end of the connection cable goes into any available USB port of your computer. Once your computer detects the tablet it should automatically download and install any necessary drivers. This is the default drawing stylus that comes with almost every Wacom tablet. It has a set of rocker buttons, a pressure-sensitive drawing tip, and a pressure-sensitive eraser button along the back. As impressive as the drawing stylus is, it's really the unassuming base that contains hidden treasures. If you unscrew the top of the base from the bottom of it, you'll find inside it contains spare and replacement drawing nibs. Now there's a variety of different nibs that you can choose from. The darker they are, generally the harder the plastic, and the slower they'll wear down, but it also creates a different tactile feel when you're drawing with them. I encourage you to experiment with different various drawing nibs and find the one that feels best for your own drawing style. There's even one, that has a small white circle of plastic at the top of it that feels a lot like a ballpoint pen. The small metal circle in the center of the base unit is actually a nib extraction tool. If you pull it out you'll notice that there is a small groove where the tip of the nib can fit in. And you can use this tool, to pinch the nib, and pull it out from the stylus. To replace it with a different nib, simply insert it back in, and push it in until it's snug. Your tablet may come with wireless capabilities already built into it. But if it doesn't, you'll probably want to buy the wireless accessories kit, a USB wireless receiver, the wireless module, and a rechargeable battery. The rechargeable battery and the wireless module must both be installed in the tablet. To find the locations for these parts, first, locate the express keys. Go to the other side of the tablet and then turn it over. Here you will find the housings for these pieces. Open them up by carefully removing the plastic covers. [BLANK_AUDIO] It should be fairly obvious which part goes where. First, install the battery into the slot that it fits into and replace its cover. [BLANK_AUDIO] Then firmly press the wireless module into the slot that it fits into. And replace that cover too. The wireless receiver is then installed in any available USB port on your computer. Now that the tablet is enabled for wireless, it does require an on and off switch. The power button is very small, and can be found directly on the wireless module you just installed. I find it's easiest to press it with the tip of the drawing stylus. Congratulations. You are now ready to get drawing with your new Wacom tablet. So that's it for lesson number two on the hardware. Next lesson, we'll begin Chapter two, and that's on the basic use of the Wacom tablet. And we'll discuss the basic input and navigation.