Keep in mind that normally you need to join the computer using the same Parsec account as the host for pressure, tilt and rotation to function, otherwise it'll act as a mouse. The exception is that this isn't necessary for Team customers using Team Computers.
Table of contents
- Host: Windows 10 1809 or newer, or macOS Catalina 10.15 or newer
- Client: Windows 10 or newer, or macOS El Capitan 10.11+ or newer
- Tablet: 2017 or later Wacom tablet
How to use
There are two different modes for the pen on Parsec, which you can change by going to your Parsec settings on the client, and turning Enhanced Pen On or Off. We highly recommend using the Parsec virtual USB driver, enabling support for both WinTab and Windows Ink.
- Enhanced Pen On: Transfers pressure, tilt and rotation information to the host computer.
- Enhanced Pen Off: Treats your pen as a normal mouse, when you simply don't need pressure, tilt and rotation.
You can also switch the Enhanced Pen setting on the fly with a hotkey (Ctrl+Shift+P by default). Note that free users do not have the Enhanced Pen option, and the pen will always be treated as a normal mouse. On Windows hosts, if Windows Ink is enabled your cursor will appear as a dot/cross-hair.
Support for WinTab on Windows clients
You can use your pen on the client side (the device you use at home) in both WinTab and Windows Ink mode to join a computer. The "Use Windows Ink" option can be left as whichever works best with other applications on the client machine. If you are not interested in using pressure, tilt and rotation and want to keep the previous behavior, simply turn off Enhanced Pen in the Parsec settings.
Support for WinTab on Windows hosts
The Parsec Virtual USB driver allows you to create a virtual Wacom device on the host, enabling both Windows Ink and WinTab injection on the host. The virtual Wacom device also supports ExpressKeys and the Touch Ring. Please note the latest Wacom Intuos Pro driver needs to be installed on the host computer.
- Open the Parsec settings on the host computer by clicking the 'Settings' cog
- Click the 'Host' tab
- Install the Virtual USB driver (Beta)
- Select 'On' for 'Virtual Tablet (Beta)'
Host’s Wacom tablet settings
If you are using the Parsec virtual USB driver with WinTab, you must leave these settings a specific way, in the Mapping section of your pen:
- Set the 'Screen Area' to 'Full', instead of a specific display
- Disable 'Force proportions', located below the 'Screen Area' setting
- Ensure the 'Tablet Area' is set to 'Full'
- Leave the 'Orientation' as 'ExpressKeys Left'
- 'Use Windows Ink' option can be enabled or disabled
- ExpressKey, Touch Ring, Barrel and Eraser buttons
- Sensitivity/Feel can be done either on the client or the host, don't do both at the same time
Client's Wacom tablet settings
If you are using the Parsec virtual USB driver with WinTab, most settings can be changed as you like but note that buttons will usually be ignored as the host’s driver settings are used instead.
You may want to optionally disable 'Show touch ring setting' so that its interface does not show up on top of your host’s own Touch Ring Interface. You can either apply this to all applications or Parsec (C:/Program Files/Parsec/parsecd.exe), although if you select Parsec, ensure all Touch Ring and ExpressKey buttons are set to 'Application Defined' to prevent issues.
Although not explicitly required, we’ve tested this on Wacom Intuos Pro Medium and Small tablets specifically, and your experience may vary with other tablets. Your tablet will also show up as a Wacom Intuos Pro Medium on the host regardless of whichever one you use. If the virtual USB driver is not installed, pen functionality will be limited to Windows Ink or acting as a cursor
- You may experience some issues if the host contains two or more screens. At the moment this will work best with a single display on the host machine
- When using the virtual display driver, you may notice the pen coordinates are not initially correct for at most 20 seconds
Issues when using the tablet
Pen isn't clicking correctly when I use the Virtual Tablet on my host
Starting on Parsec build 150-87, you should now set the 'Screen Area' to 'Full', instead of a specific display (as it was in build 150-86). This change was made to allow you to use the virtual tablet with all your displays.
If you are an existing user which had this setting on, and you're observing the pen clicks not working as expected in this new version, here's what you need to change:
- Open the Wacom Tablet Properties in your host computer
- Select the 'Mapping' tab, under your Pen properties
- Change the 'Screen Area' to 'Full', instead of a specific monitor
Invisible cursor when using the pen
If you have "Show cursor" disabled on your host's operating system Windows Ink settings, Parsec will not have a cursor to show to you. Either re-enable this option on your Windows settings, or turn off Enhanced Pen on Parsec for it to treat the pen as a normal mouse.
Pen issues with certain applications on the host
Certain creative apps on Windows hosts (such as Photoshop) may not handle pen input as expected when using Windows Ink. We recommend using our virtual USB driver Virtual Tablet (Beta), however if you must use Windows Ink try the following:
- Try to update your creative software to the latest version available from your creative software vendor (eg. upgrade from Photoshop CC 2016 to Photoshop CC 2021)
- In some apps, you may need to tweak additional settings for the app to accept Windows Ink input. Although Photoshop accepts it by default in newer versions, Zbrush for example has multiple API options, and the default one does not accept Windows Ink