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Tablet or mouse?

What do you use, tablet or mouse? Pros and cons? Can you pretty much replace the mouse with the pen? Or do you have to switch back and forth? I'm primarily considering the tablet for Photoshop work, but would like to be able to use it for everything if possible.

Stephanie Hobson
Hobson's Choice Signs
McKinney, Texas


I personally didn't like using a tablet. I bought it to draw with and found it was easier to just use the mouse and a scanner. For me it was a waste of money.



New Member
I've got one and I find I use the mouse still for just about everything. I like the tablet for creating my own freehand artwork though. It's also nice to lay a drawing on and trace.


New Member
I recently posted the question asking what the difference in tablet sizes was. I found out that artists generally like to use the larger ones as it resembles the size of a scetch book, and many artists draw using large sweeping motions. I found that since I am not really an artist but wanted a tablet for tracing photos to create vectors and using it to draw occasionally, as well as for photoshop that I prefer to use the small 4" X 5" tablets. When I draw I usually leave my hand planted on the page, so the small tablets I prefer. Also if you intend on using the pen instead of the mouse for everything it can become very tiring using a larger tablet as you have to move your arm around a larger area to get to where you want on the screen, as the tablet is a direct representation of your screen, so if you touch the top left of the tablet with the pen your cursor jumps to the top left of the screen and so on, where as if you lifted up a mouse and placed it down somewhere else the cursor would just stay in the same place.

Also I find that I like to use the mouse for everyday tasks mainly because of the scroll wheel on them is so easy to use, but the control you get from using a pen instead of a mouse to draw with and touch up photos is no comparison. It took a few hours to get used to using the pen but it is really worth it I find. The hardest thing to get used to was that with the pen you dont actually touch the tablet to move the cursor, you just glide the pen about a 1/4 inch above it then when you want to make a mark or draw you touch the tablet and drag it in the direction. Also to double click you tap the pen twice on the icon. One of the coolest feature of a tablet is that they are pressure sensitive so if you press lightly it will leave a thin light line, and the harder you press the thicker and darker the line becomes just like a real pencil. Now the best advice I can give you is to buy a wacom tablet as they seem to have the best reputation for quality. As well wacom tablets come with a pen as well as a wireless mouse, so you have the best of both worlds in one package. The wacoms come in two types the graphire3 line which is a consumer model available in two sizes 4" x 5" as well as 6" x 8" and the intous3 line which is the professional line used for those that will use it on a daily basis, these come in the same two sizes as the graphire as well as a 9" X 12" and also include some other features such as programable hot keys right on the tablet that you can use for shortcuts. It all comes down to what you want and your budget. Like I said before I purchased the graphire3 in the 4" X 5" model and I love it, it is perfect for me, and my occasional use, I actually was going to buy the 6" X 9" model but everywhere I went they were out of stock and on back order, then I came across the 4" X 5" model at best buy and they were on sale for $85 cdn compared to the regular price of $149 so I just couldnt pass it up and figured it would be a good idea to buy the smaller less expensive one first in case I did not end up liking it in the future. That being said I am glad I got the small one now as I explained it is the perfect fit for me. Hope this helps.

Dale Horn

New Member
Both !
Fishguy covered it off pretty good. The 12 x 12 and larger tablets can be a bit cumbersome if you don't have lots of workspace. You can use the scroll mouse and the tablet at the same time. :signs101:


New Member
I bought a tablet a couple of years ago, and it is tricky to get used to. I gave up after awhile because the mouse was easier for most stuff, but I'm willing to give it another try. :cool:


New Member
i use a pen and tablet every day, and have for the past 6 or 7 years. i don't have one at my house, but that will most likely be my next purchase. everyone in our department (at my full time job) has 23" flat-screen mac monitors. the work space is huge and i find the tablet is the best way to navigate around. it definitely takes some getting used to. every intern i've had has had to learn to use it while they're here, but by the end of the semester they have learned to like it. it's funny.... the beginning of EVERY semester is the same... "do you have a mouse or do i have to use this thing?"