Toggle Wacom tablets' dual/multi display support

Jun 25, '08 07:30:00AM

Contributed by: daoane

Display toggle and screen switching via ExpressKey or button activation is only available in the Wacom driver for professional products, and (unfortuantely) is not included in the driver for the Graphire series and below. An alternative way to switch between screens/tablet setups is AppleScript GUI scripting, and some people have been successful with this method. However, with driver version 5.05-3, it seems impossible to reach the GUI elements in the "Details..." sub-menu with AppleScript. Direct scripting of the PenTabletDriver.app should also be possible (according to the AppleScript Editor's Dictionary function), but does not work.

So I looked for an alternative, and ended up with the following, which I use to toggle between my two screens and "all screens" -- and it can easily be changed to fit other setups.

  1. Launch the AppleScript Editor and save three empty scripts as applications to your preferred place (e.g. Applications in your home-directory). I've named mine Wacom_Screen1.app, Wacom_Screen2.app, and Wacom_allscreens.app.
  2. Create a folder named Wacom in you user's Library/Preferences folder.
  3. Open System Preferences and go to the Pen Tablet pane. Adjust your settings to Screen 1. Map Wacom_Screen1.app to one left ExpressKey (left or right, according to your setup), Wacom_Screen2.app to the other ExpressKey, and Wacom_allscreens.app to something like the third button on the pen. Quit System Preferences.
  4. Copy your user's Library » Preferences » com.wacom.pentablet.prefs to your user's Library » Preferences » Wacom folder, and rename it to Screen1_prefs.
  5. Open System Preferences and go to the Pen Tablet pane. Adjust your settings to Screen 2. Check that ExpressKey/Button mapping is exactly as in step three above. Quit System Preferences.
  6. Copy your user's Library » Preferences » com.wacom.pentablet.prefs to your user's Library » Preferences » Wacom folder, and rename it to Screen2_prefs.
  7. Open System Preferences and go to the Pen Tablet pane. Adjust your settings for all screens. Check that ExpressKey/Button mapping is exactly as in step three above. Quit System Preferences.
  8. Copy your user's Library » Preferences » com.wacom.pentablet.prefs to your user's Library » Preferences » Wacom folder, and rename it to AllScreens_prefs.
  9. Open Wacom_Screen1.app in the AppleScript Editor and enter this code:
    do shell script "killall PenTabletDriver"
    do shell script "cp /Users/your_username/Library/Preferences/Wacom/Screen1_prefs /Users/your_username/Library/Preferences/com.wacom.pentablet.prefs"
    tell application "PenTabletDriver" to activate
    Edit the text, replacing your_username with your short username, then save the file.
  10. Open Wacom_Screen2.app in the AppleScript Editor and enter this code:
    do shell script "killall PenTabletDriver"
    do shell script "cp /Users/your_username/Library/Preferences/Wacom/Screen2_prefs /Users/your_username/Library/Preferences/com.wacom.pentablet.prefs"
    tell application "PenTabletDriver" to activate
    Edit the text, replacing your_username with your short username, then save the file.
  11. Open Wacom_allscreens.app in the Applescript Editor and enter this code:
    do shell script "killall PenTabletDriver"
    do shell script "cp /Users/your_username/Library/Preferences/Wacom/AllScreens_prefs /Users/your_username/Library/Preferences/com.wacom.pentablet.prefs"
    tell application "PenTabletDriver" to activate
    Edit the text, replacing your_username with your short username, then save the file.
Now you can switch your Wacom Tablet mapping by pressing the right ExpressKey for your right screen, pressing the left ExpressKey for your left screen, and pressing the third button on your pen to switch to all-screen mode. Each time you press a button, the Tablet driver process will be killed, the appropriate preference file copied in place, and the driver launched again.

The only real disadvantage to this method is a small delay when switching between the screens (probably depending on your computer, on a Mac Pro, a second or less). Also, if you want to change any parameters in your Tablet's setup, you have to repeat steps three to eight.

Comments (3)


Mac OS X Hints
http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=2008062306574422