Our top creative hacks to boost your productivity with Adobe CC and Wacom tablets

If you’re using Adobe Creative Cloud without a Wacom tablet, and vice versa, you’re missing out on a wealth of potential from both creative tools. While a Wacom works well with any creative (or non-creative) software, and the apps available in Adobe CC can be controlled using a mouse, it’s when you bring them together that the magic really happens. We spoke to our design team about their favourite hacks when using Wacom and Adobe together.

 

Becki Crossley

“The great thing about Wacom and Adobe is that you can customise your Wacom for each application, not just general settings,” says Liana, our senior designer. “So as the controls and workflows vary with each Adobe app, so can the shortcuts on your Wacom.”

 

Our top 5 hacks

1. Customising Wacom pen buttons for Adobe Creative Cloud apps

While the default setup on Wacom pen buttons is right click and double click, this can be customised to best suit the functions you use most within Creative Cloud apps. “I use right click all the time but don’t really use the double click,” says Ben, one of our graphic designers. “So I personally customised this to be ‘undo’, which is very handy being able to do it with one hand, especially now updates in Photoshop 2019 have turned off the need to hold down shift to keep undoing. I know a lot of other people set it to scroll as well.”

 

2. Customising ExpressKeys

Wacom pen buttons are just the start of the customisable options available to users of both Adobe and Wacom. “ExpressKeys are really useful,” says Liana. “Especially for keyboard shortcuts that I use two hands for, such as Save for Web in Photoshop (cmd + opt + shift + s) and Paste in Place in InDesign (cmd + opt + shift + v). It may not sound a lot, but those seconds really do add up.”

 

3. Pressure sensitivity working with the Touch Ring

“The combination of the pressure sensitivity in the pen with the Touch Ring in Illustrator and Photoshop is really handy,” says Simon, graphic designer and our resident videographer. “The pen allows you to get a realistic paintbrush effect, as it increases the thickness when you press harder on the tablet.”

 

4. Creating hand-drawn effects

As well as the pressure sensitivity, Wacom’s ExpressKeys also allow for realistic drawing effects. “With the express key you can also increase or decrease the default brush size, ensuring that you’re getting the exact brush stroke that you desire,” continues Simon. “Using Wacom with the ever improving brushes in Photoshop creates convincing hand-drawn looking artwork directly into the computer.”

“It's all about how much more natural it is to hold and draw with a pen rather than a mouse, evidenced by no one ever inventing a mouse-shaped pencil or paintbrush,” Simon adds.

 

5. Precision Mode

Precision Mode on Wacom tablets changes the range that the tablet functions over from the full screen to a much smaller rectangle, so you can work at a finer level of detail. “You can zoom in to get the precision strokes while still being able to see the whole picture, which you can’t when just zooming in on Photoshop,” says Liana. “It makes getting those small details just right so much easier.”

 

Adobe and Wacom

With Adobe and Wacom, you don’t have to think about the compatibility of your tools – you can just get on with creating. By pairing the top creative apps in Creative Cloud with a powerful Wacom tablet, you can achieve the best output for maximum creativity and productivity that’s out of reach without this combination. And this isn’t by accident – Adobe and Wacom have a unique relationship, working closely together when developing their products to make sure they work in harmony.

We know that there are cheaper alternatives to Wacom tablets out there, and cheaper versions of the Creative Cloud apps too. However, aside from the obvious issue of cut-down features, these alternatives won’t have been designed with each other in mind. Support for Wacom tablets is built into Adobe apps, but if you have a support issue with another brand you’re on your own. In an environment where productivity is paramount, this kind of support is something you need to weigh up when choosing your products.

“The harmony between Adobe and Wacom is like that between pen and paper,” says our Adobe product manager, Nav. “For example, using a Wacom tablet with Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC is a great way for users to touch up their photos, whether it be a profession or hobby. The latest updates to Photoshop CC 2018 means even more tools are available to use.”

Our own relationships with Adobe and Wacom mean that we can help you get your hands on these two incredible creative tools. As an Adobe Platinum Reseller (the highest accreditation possible from Adobe!), our expert consultants can advise on the best products and licensing models for how you work. We’re also a Wacom authorised reseller, with over 25 years’ experience kitting creatives out with the very best tech – so you know you’re in good hands.

 

Ready to see how your creativity can flourish with Adobe Creative Cloud and Wacom tablets? Get in touch with our sales team on 03332 409 204 or email DandP@Jigsaw24.com. To keep up with all the latest trends, news and events, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebookand Twitter.

 

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