I've recently bought a Wacom tablet and tried using it with Gimp. Everything works fine so far, I'm just tweaking some things here and there to make it more comfortable for myself.

Something I do for example is to use the mouse for everything that doesn't involve drawing, like selecting brushes or tools, switching tabs, changing layers, etc. For that, I want to limit the Wacom tablet to only use the drawing area instead of the whole monitor, since I'll be using the mouse to do all other things outside of the drawing area.

Is it possible to limit the Wacom "area" to only the drawing area of Gimp?

  • You can use your mouse as well as your graphics tablet at the same time in GIMP, so I'm not sure what the benefit would be of limiting the tablet to the area of the drawing window. Are you unable to use both?
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 25, 2019 at 7:16

2 Answers 2


You map it in the System Control Panel - globally or per application. The Wacom settings dialog may look different depending on device/operating system.

This is the Mac CP, using a Wacom Intuous

enter image description here

And here's Windows 10 showing a Wacom Bamboo Touch settings.

enter image description here

  • 1
    I think most of these wacom settings applications have similar functionality on Windows, but they also differ depending on the model of wacom used. Here's a screenshot of the Windows version showing the mapping/portion settings using a Wacom Bamboo I've had for many years
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 25, 2019 at 7:24
  • 1
    @BillyKerr - looks like it has similar things in slightly different places - but shouldn't be beyond clicking around to figure it out ;) Do you want to edit that into the answer, so we've got examples of both?
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 25, 2019 at 7:29
  • 1
    Sure. I'll add it if you want.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 25, 2019 at 7:45

Outside of Gimp, you can likely set the table to "screen" or "window" mode.


  • you have to wonder how to change tool options without dropping the pencil and temporarily switch to the mouse, or figure out a hundred single-handed keyboard shortcuts.
  • Gimp tools are associated to "pointers": there is a "core pointer" which is your mouse, your touchpad, and your keyboard joytick all seen as a single pointer. Then there are one or more pointers for your tablet (one for each end of the stylus if the stylus is reversible). To select a tool for a pointer, you have to select the tool with that pointer in the Toolbox, you can't select the brush with the mouse to paint with the stylus. You can of course also learn the keyboard shortcuts for your favorite tools.

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