I bought a drawing tablet. But when I draw on it, I can see the drawing I am making in an image editing software such as Microsoft Paint or on Microsoft Office products, but I cannot see anything on the drawing tablet. It is rather disappointing. It's just like a mouse in a different shape. I was hoping that when I draw on a drawing tablet, I will be able to see the drawing (like when you draw on your phone), and it'll have some in-built image editing software.

The tablet I bought is Bamboo One Pen CTE-660/K0-C.

Is this usual or is there some knob or switch I need to turn on to see things on the tablet?

Sorry for the stupid question.

  • For example Wacom Cntiq drawing tablets, they have screens wacom.com/products/pen-displays/cintiq but they are super expensive compared to the normal ones without a screen.
    – Joonas
    May 19, 2013 at 11:52
  • You said that it's like a mouse in a different form so I started thnking that maybe you haven't installed the drivers? Also, didn't it come with some drawing software? You should forget about microsoft paint immediately.
    – Joonas
    May 19, 2013 at 12:01

3 Answers 3


That's how they work. You draw on the tablet and see it on screen. It takes a bit of getting used to but the overall functionality is the same. You merely look at the screen when you draw rather than your hand.

Of course, there's nothing stopping you from drawing on paper, then tracing the drawing on the tablet. Or, you can tape the stylus to a pen and use both at the same time with a piece of paper on top of the tablet.

I don't know if it's compatible with the Bamboo line, but Wacom sells a pen/stylus combo known as the Inking pen. You should contact Wacom prior to purchase to ensure it works with a Bamboo tablet if you're interested.

If you want to actually touch where you are drawing you'll need a Cintiq. And that's a great deal more money than a Bamboo tablet.


There are two main kinds of drawing tablets: pressure sensitive tablet with no LCD, and with LCD screen behind it. Features that one drawing tablet can have are:

  • Pressure sensitivity.
  • Tilt.
  • Rotation.
  • Hand detection.
  • Hovering.
  • Wireless pen.
  • Paper like textured surface.

It's not much different from drawing on paper, only you don't have visual feedback. Similar to when drawing on paper you can see your hand going in certain direction and move it like that. In a tablet with no LCD screen you can only use the line on the screen as a guide.

  • Thank you very much. I wish I could mark more than one answer as the right one. May 20, 2013 at 13:20
  • i wish photoshop had auto smooth for brushes like illustrator has.
    – user8795
    May 20, 2013 at 16:15
  • Also on paper there is some thing i call 'dynamic friction' that i have noticed i use to guide my drawings...One is friction of paper, graininess, and second is the dent your lines make and you use it as feedback to adjust the stroke..
    – user8795
    Feb 6, 2014 at 2:33

What you are looking for would be the Microsoft Surface or Apple Ipad. Both are much cheaper than the Cintiq and you can draw directly onto the tablet with a multitude of drawing apps.....No one seems to be saying this anywhere.

  • The question was specifically about drawing tablets, not computer tablets. While I agree you can draw on a Surface or iPad, the experience is still very lacking compared to an Intuos or Cintique.
    – Scott
    Feb 4, 2014 at 17:00
  • Do either of these allow for pressure sensitivity?
    – JohnB
    Feb 4, 2014 at 17:02
  • THe new Wacom Creative Intuos Stylus has pressure sensitivity. Sensitivity is in the stylus though, so you still have to "hover" over the iPad to draw and then press down....some apps work well, other apps don't. Not really the same as an Intuos tablet.
    – Scott
    Feb 4, 2014 at 17:04
  • Some Android tablets (Galaxy Note range, some others), and some Windows tablets (Surface Pro, some others) have accurate digital pens with proper pressure sensitivity. It's really hard to find out which do, however - shops, write-ups and tech journalists rarely mention it. They sometimes call this feature a "Wacom digitizer". For everything except the super-pricey Wacom Cintiq Companion, these are a little bit unresponsive to soft strokes but generally pretty good (and much better than finger painting!). Feb 4, 2014 at 17:20

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