08 - Wacom Tablet

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08 - Wacom Tablet


SCRATCH is designed to be used with a pen and tablet as easily as with a mouse. In fact, there are several aspects of the interface that make SCRATCH exceptionally comfortable when using a pen.

For example, buttons and controls are large, reducing the amount of precision that must be used to click on a particular control. Also, pull-down menus will remain open with just a single click, and then the pressure on the pen can be released. By keeping the menu open after a single click and release, SCRATCH reduces the amount of strain on your hand and minimizes the fatigue of operating the software over long periods of time.

Having on-screen numerical entry also reduces the amount of back and forth between the pen and keyboard, making for faster overall operation.

First, install the tablet according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The tablet should function normally within Windows before configuring for SCRATCH.

For a Wacom tablet to function with SCRATCH, there are two main are as that must be addressed: re-mapping the tablet area, and modifying the pen button mapping.


The tablet area must be re-mapped so that only a portion of the tablet is mapped to the entire screen. This creates a zone around the edge of the tablet that allows the swipe function to be detected by SCRATCH.

Open the Wacom Tablet Properties from the Windows Control Panel.


Change the Tablet Area pull-down to Portion. This opens a new dialog where you can assign the portion of the tablet that will be mapped to the entire display area.

Adjust the red outline so that it is slightly inside the tablet area. You can also do this numerically using the text boxes in the Enter Coordinates area; or, use the Select Area Tool to interactively click on the tablet to define the corners. Any of these methods is acceptable.

Once you have set the portion to your satisfaction, click OK to close the dialog.


Depending on your tablet type, the pen button may need to be re-mapped. On Wacom Graphire-series tablets, the normal right-click function on the pen works with SCRATCH.

However, on Intuos-series tablets, the pen button needs to be re-mapped to a keyboard shortcut in order for it to function properly with SCRATCH.

To set up this keystroke, begin by creating a separate mapping for the SCRATCH application. This is necessary so that the right-click function behaves properly in Windows and other applications, but also to be customized specifically for use with SCRATCH.

Click on the plus sign at the right of the APPLICATION area in the Wacom control panel.

This opens a dialog box where you can select the application to be associated with the new pen mapping. Use the Browse button, and navigate to the SCRATCH executable, located by default at C:\Program Files\Assimilate\bin\Assimilator.exe .

Alternately, you can have SCRATCH running in the background, and it will appear in the list of Currently Open Applications.

Now you have a new entry in the Applications section of the Wacom control panel.

By selecting the Assimilator icon, you can set Wacom properties that will only be used with that application.


With the Assimilator icon selected, you will want to re-map one of the pen buttons as a keystroke.

The keyboard shortcut, which is the equivalent of a right-click in SCRATCH, is the back-quote or grave accent. It looks like this: ` and is usually found in the upper-left corner of US keyboards on the same key as the tilde (~).

Type the back-quote character into the Define Keystroke window, and click OK.

Once this keystroke is mapped to a pen button, you are able to call up any right-click menus within SCRATCH. The pen button only uses this keystroke when inside the SCRATCH application. For other programs and normal Windows operations, the regular right-click function will be used.

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Last Modified:Monday, March 12, 2018