Windows 7 Wacom tablet splash fix

I got my Wacom graphics tablet back when I was running Windows XP, and apart from the driver occasionally announcing it’s not going to work without a restart it’s been great. When I switched to Windows 7 I found that there are a lot more built in pen and tablet ‘features’, for example a little ‘splash’ animation every time you press the pen down and a ring that appears when you right-click. When you mainly use the tablet for drawing this gets annoying very quickly.

Apparently Vista used to let you turn these features off, but the options are mysteriously missing in Windows 7*. With a little Google searching I figured out how to turn these features off, but every half a year or so they seem to resurface which is enough time for me to have forgotten how I did it. So I figured I’d document for future reference and for anyone else having the same issue.

To stop Windows treating a long press of the pen as a right-click:

  • Search for a control panel option called Pen and Touch (TabletPC Input in Vista) and use it to disable Press and Hold.

You can also stop all of Windows’ tablet features (if you have the Wacom drivers installed you can safely do this and the pressure sensitivity, zoom ring etc will still work).

  • Open the Services window (search Services on the start menu) and find the Tablet PC Input Service. Right-click it and choose Properties. Click the Stop button, then change the Startup type to Disabled.
  • Open up Device Manager (again search from the start menu) and expand the Human Interface Devices menu. Right-click Wacom Virtual Hid Driver and click Disable.
  • Restart your PC.

*I think on business versions you can use the local policy editor to turn them off, but that won’t work if you’re using a Windows Home Premium like me.