Pen Pressure Sensitivity does not seem to work

Pen Pressure is natively supported. Here's what to do if it fails.

The combinations of browser/ operating systems/ drivers/ tablet manufacturers is effectively limitless. Many different browsers and particularly Windows have a spotty history in regards to supporting graphics tablets. As a result, the resolutions are equally varying.

This being said, we've been ironing out a ton of tablet issues lately, so if this is still not working for you you may be running into one of our known issues - or, you lucky one, you stumbled across a new issue (please let us know if so).

Known issues:

  • Windows 7 users don't see tablet pressure sensitivity in their browser.
    Please note that there is currently no known resolution for this.
    To focus our resources on modern operating platforms, unfortunately we do not officially support Windows 7 issues any longer (sorry!).
  • Firefox for Windows does not receive pen messages (like pressure) by default.  However, it can be enabled by using a hidden setting. See Using Pen Pressure in Firefox for Windows for instructions.

If you don't experience pressure sensitivity on syncsketch.com:

Visit Patrick H. Lauke's handy Touch web application and check if your browser is getting a pressure signal from your stylus at all:

  • If you are getting a pressure signal - contact support@syncsketch.com and let's figure out why SyncSketch does not seem to work in your case. We may not know about your set up yet and we'd love to work out a solution.
  • If pressing down does not increase the size of the circle on Touch, read on to learn more.

Why does my OS/browser not support pressure sensitivity?

The issues users have been running into are rooted both in the recently dropped browser plugin support as well as Windows specific API you can learn about in the next paragraph. Read on to find the workarounds and solutions right below.

The known problems are:

  1. Firefox for Windows default settings
    Firefox for Windows does not receive pen messages (like pressure) by default.  However, it can be enabled by using a hidden setting. See Using Pen Pressure in Firefox for Windows for instructions.
  2. No more Browser Plugin Support
    Driver NPAPI plugin support (e.g. flash/silverlight/Wacom etc) was deprecated in the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox.
    Since Chrome has an alternative pointer event that fires properly - the plugin is not needed there. BUT while this works beautifully on Mac, Windows has it's own problems which brings us to...

  3. Windows API
    Windows is naturally conflicted between its own pen API, called Windows Ink, and the interaction to 3rd party tablets/pens (e.g. Wacom). Tuning Windows Ink off may solve the problem. Wacom in particular allows you to disable Windows Ink for individual applications.

The solution/workaround for getting Wacom Pressure sensitivity to work:

  1. Start the browser that is having the trouble.
  2. Open up Wacom tablet properties. Click "mapping." In the section above "mapping" you'll see three bars: Device, Tool and Application. Click the + to the right of the Application bar. A window will open listing all running applications. Once your browser shows in the Application bar next to "All Other," click on its icon. In the Calibrate tab, Uncheck Use Windows Ink:
     
    (This control panel may look a little different depending on your tablet model and driver version.)

  3. Click on All Other and make sure Use Windows Ink is still selected in the Calibrate tab.

  4. Relaunch your browser and go test if pressure works using the Touch web application. As you increase pressure the circle should enlarge and the pressure values shown should increase.  If it works there, it should work on SyncSketch.

Other tablets

Settings panels for tablets by other manufacturers will often include a control to disable Windows Ink.  For example, in the Huion software it can be found under Huion TabletDigital Pen.