Do Drawing Tablets Work With Gimp?

The GNU Image Manipulation Program or “GIMP” for short has been supporting all kinds of drawing tablets / graphic tablets for a long time and it still does. It works well on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Like most software that has been around for a long time, GIMP has gone through many iterations adding new functions and improving existing ones.

With the current version of GIMP, you just plug in your drawing tablet and it works (for most). No need for any lengthy setup, although you do have access to the settings in case you want to make some adjustments, or if you have an advanced drawing tablet.

Issues With Previous Versions

ln the past, some users have experienced issues setting up their drawing tablets including tablets from both Wacom and Huion.

You might find some older posts on forums and the like with people complaining about such issues. However, this should mostly have been taken care of by now.

It is still advisable to always check if you have:

  1. the most recent version of GIMP, and
  2. most recent hardware drivers for your tablet installed.

Works With Other Tablets As Well

It is not just the more “traditional” types of drawing tablets, also iPads and android tablets work well with GIMP.

Right now I am using an iPad and the Apple Pen, and it works great with GIMP

Issues With Advanced Input Devices

As of this writing, GIMP 2.10 is the current version which is among others built on an outdated version of an open-source toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces (GTK+ 2.x).

Te GIMP development team is working hard on incorporating the recent version of the toolkit (GTK+3), which according to their road map will come with GIMP version 3.

Until that release, some newer devices with advanced inputs are not fully supported by GIMP, and users might have to make some manual adjustments to the settings for it to work. This includes some drawing tablets from Wacom on Windows and Mac.

Find more information on the official GIMP FAQ here.

Furthermore, on this forum thread, you can read how other users configured gimp to work with their Wacom drawing tablet.

Why Use GIMP?

GIMP is an advanced piece of software that you can download all for free!

But I am sure you already knew that 🙂

While it is free software, it still very versatile and it offers a lot of advanced functions that should satisfy most needs. Also for professionals.

You can use it as a simple image editor like the good-old Microsoft paint, or as an advanced digital image editor and do similar things as Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop might be the best-in-class photo editing software, but it also comes with a hefty price tag and an annoying subscription model.

If you are a graphic design professional, that price might be negligible considering how much your time is worth, but for people who are more of a hobbyist (like me), the Adobe subscription is a bit much.

About the author: My name is Marcus, I am a lawyer (LL.M.) and the founder of this website. Besides sometimes doing lawyer stuff, I like to draw and improve my skills as a “digital artist”, and I write about what I learn on this website. If you want to know more about me or reach out, then you can click here.

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