Fix for initial stroke delays with Windows 8 and Wacom tablets

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I recently plugged in my tablet on my windows box and noticed a weird quirk with the pen strokes when trying to draw sketches or produce illustrations with it. (Now this has been an old problem but never addressed in any official update or fix so just in case you’re still having troubles this could potentially help) So here’s the situation:
When click and dragging, there is a very noticeable delay at the start of the click.

This means for example when click and dragging using the tablet’s pen on the desktop, the blue bounding box does not appear immediately but only after the curser has travelled a small distance away from the initial spot. Now this may not be such a problem for everyday computer use but if you own a Wacom tablet, then obviously you would be doodling some drawings to some degree, so this is where the problem becomes noticeable. When you’re drawing, the first portion of any stroke you make will be just an appalling straight line. It also means that it is nigh on impossible to make small strokes.

(I’ve installed Wacom’s driver quite a while ago and this machine’s been upgraded to 8.1 since so there might have been some issues. The Wacom tablet model I’m using is also CTH-470 which is the small pen and touch model so your milage may vary. If you have only recently installed a Wacom and a driver then you should be good to go.)

Now let’s look at some of the points:
– It is a system wide problem, so that mean regardless where you are and what application you are using the delay is still there.

Microsoft has been pushing the tablet and touch screen thing to users since version 8 so they’ve now tightly integrated their own tablet and touch system to their OS. This could be the culprit that’s making Wacom’s own drivers unstable so its a good guess to turn them off.

You can find the settings under Control Panel > Hardware and Sounds > Pen and Touch
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It is now obvious what’s going on. Upon inspection you can gather that what the OS is trying to do is every time you click and hold it is waiting for the signal that determines if this click is a single click or a right click.
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Now most Wacom pens come with a few buttons and one that designates it as a right click button so this feature is not necessary for us so let’s turn that off by unchecking the box and going into settings and unchecking that too.
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You might want to turn off flicks too.
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Now give it a try again. If not restart your machine and give it another try. Working ? Good, you can stop here. No ? Same with me so let’s continue, this is going to be a bumpy ride. I’m guessing the OS’s tablet system is still overriding Wacom’s drivers so let’s shut that off completely. You can either:
– Press the win-key + R, this bring up the run command. Key in services.msc to bring up the services window.
– Alternatively you can right-click “This PC” which is the highest hierarchy of your computer (there could be the icon or similar lying around on your desktop) and click manage which brings up the computer management system and on the left pane open up Services and Applications and it’s under Services.
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Now this is where it may differ for people, you’ll need to find the service that handles the OS’s natural pen and ink functionality. For some it might be called “Tablet PC Input Service” but mine’s listed as “Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service”.
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Double-click on it or right-click properties it to bring up a new window. You know you’re on the right track if the description of the service has tablet or pen or ink in it inside somewhere. Now under Startup type you’ll want to disable it. So this stops Windows’s own pen system from loading allowing Wacom to do it’s job.
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You’ll also want to pop into the recovery tab and set all the failures to “Take no action” because you know, Windows knows when something’s not started up on the list and attempts to start it back up if it’s not and we reeeeeally don’t want it to start up with the system.
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Now that that’s done, it’s good to give the driver a refresh too so head over to Wacom’s drivers page, get the latest driver, uninstall your existing Wacom driver (you can do so under the uninstall programs menu) and reinstall the latest driver.
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After all this, you should now hopefully have a working Bamboo tablet as there’s no conflict with another tablet driver.
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