Mouse mode


For some occasions and for some people they would prefer if a drawing tablet pen behaved more like a mouse.

For this reason drawing tablet drivers offer something that is called mouse mode.

Mouse mode uses relative positioning

Drawing tablets are absolute positioning devices. But enabling mouse mode will make them behave like a relative positioning device like a mouse.

Learn more here: Absolute versus relative positioning

How does mouse mode affect the tablet?

Mouse mode is implemented in the tablet driver has no effect on the tablet hardware.

The tablet continues to use absolute positioning internally.

How does mouse mode affect the driver?

The driver takes the absolute positioning information it receives from the tablet and then translates that into relative positioning data when it sends data position data to the operating system.

How does mouse mode affect drawing quality?

In theory it shouldn't affect the quality of drawing.

In practice, it depends on what the driver is exactly doing.

Here's an example of the Wacom driver vs Huion driver in Krita on Windows.

As you can see the Wacom driver creates very jerky position data when mouse mode is enabled. It does not have to be like this, they could do better like Huion does.

Also, this difference is not due to hardware. I tested the same Wacom tablet with OpenTabletDriver also set to mouse mode (OTD calls this "Relative mode") and the lines were smooth.

How mouse mode affect pen features

This section is incomplete

  • XP-Pen (ver 3.4.7): Enabling Mouse Mode loses pressure sensitivity on Windows

  • Wacom: TBD

  • Huion: TBD

Windows Ink

On Windows, Mouse Mode in some drivers may disable Windows Ink

You may need to restart an drawing application if you change the mouse mode setting.

Configuring mouse mode


In Wacom Tablet Properties app, select your pen, navigate to the Mapping tab, then under the Mode area you will see a setting you can switch between Pen and Mouse

Once you enable mouse mode, you'll see some new configuration options.


In the Huion driver, click Digital Pen, then enable or disable Mouse Mode at the bottom

Restarting apps after mouse mode

Some drawing applications may get confused if they are running and mouse mode is switched on or switched off. So you may need to restart those apps.

Mouse mode on pen displays

Sometimes you will see that a driver does not have a mouse mode option for a pen display. The reason for this is probably that it would be somewhat unusual and a little bit unnatural to use append display in this way.

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