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Bug 667862 - Allow mouse to optionally configure tablet devices
Allow mouse to optionally configure tablet devices
Product: GIMP
Classification: Other
Component: Tools
git master
Other All
: Normal major
: 2.10
Assigned To: GIMP Bugs
: 705175 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2012-01-13 11:36 UTC by Alexia Death
Modified: 2016-12-31 00:23 UTC
See Also:
GNOME target: ---
GNOME version: ---

Description Alexia Death 2012-01-13 11:36:29 UTC
A usecase has been brought to our attention that needs a fix.

If tablet is mapped to one screen in multi-screen setup, it becomes impossible to store docks on the second screen and use them for configuring the tablet, because they are not reachable with the tablet. 

This is an issue with
* Small Cintiq tablet screens,
* Tablet laptops with external screen
* Tablets too small to be mapped to both screens in dual-screen setup

The last category covers all a5's, the mapping renders most of the tablets surface unusable, if you keep aspect ratio and not keeping it is not an option for art work.
Comment 1 Michael Natterer 2013-08-02 14:41:30 UTC
*** Bug 705175 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 2 Michael Natterer 2013-08-02 14:43:31 UTC
Bug 705175 mentions the core problem more clearly:

If you have such a setup and use the mouse to configure stuff, it becomes
hard/impossible to configure the tablet devices because as soon as you use the
mouse, the active device switches to it and you only configure the mouse.
Comment 3 Jehan 2014-08-19 14:16:48 UTC

The issue stated here is still true as a general rule.

But I recently discovered the possibility, at least under Linux, to easily switch from one screen to another. If you want to do an in-house settings, you can use the "MapToOutput" settings of xsetwacom. But even easier than this, I discovered that settings GUI also offer this feature (the one on my Linux Mint does, which I think is the GNOME one). And I imagine that other OSes must have similar features, no?

So that means that it is very easy to map a tablet button or a keyboard key to a switch-screen action, which is anyway 100 times more practical than having to switch to the mouse for one screen, and tablet for the other. This changed Aryeom's life when I found this and she could set it up, because she was also always complaining about the limited usefulness of a second screen if she can't use the tablet there (someone using a tablet all the time basically don't use the mouse anymore and use the tablet even for "daily-life" input).

All this to say, that even though we may still keep this bug report open and search for UI alternatives to this issue, I think using the kernel driver's feature to switch from a screen to another by mapping a button is still the best solution. We could advertize these already-existing settings (by some notes in the manual or something), because in any case this will always be better than using the mouse, in my opinion.
And with this, I think the importance can be changed from major to normal, or even minor.
Comment 4 Jehan 2014-08-19 14:24:00 UTC
Just did a small research for other operating systems.

The Wacom intuos manual advertizes a DISPLAY TOGGLE function which can be assigned to an ExpressKey. So that's also feasible under Windows and OSX, where Wacom provides the drivers.
Apparently this feature would not be available for Wacom Bamboo though, but I found at least one third party software (not FLOSS, though) for Windows, which provides this feature for Bamboo users too.

It seems that on all main supported OSes, this screen-switching feature is now available at the click of a button. I really don't think we should focus anymore on this as a major problem.
Comment 5 Elle Stone 2016-09-19 17:36:52 UTC
I added a comment here:, that perhaps should have been posted to this bug report. 

The screen-switching feature is perhaps no longer a problem (I don't know as I only use one monitor). But it would be greatly appreciated to be able to share settings between input devices. 

Personally I don't have a use case for having different settings associated with each input device. It would make my workflow easier and more efficient if there was a user option to share settings across all input devices. This would make it possible to configure a paint brush or a color with the mouse and then use these settings with the tablet, as per the request in bug 705175.
Comment 6 Michael Natterer 2016-10-04 20:36:28 UTC
Fixed in master:

commit 439a3ff7bd2a52e118a613f20ea0471f6f988919
Author: Michael Natterer <>
Date:   Tue Oct 4 22:32:08 2016 +0200

    Bug 667862 - Allow mouse to optionally configure tablet devices
    Add new setting GimpGuiConfig:devices-share-tool. When TRUE, we never
    copy any properties between the user context and the GimpDeviceInfo's
    context, so no tool or anything changes.
    We do however still keep track of the active device so the setting can
    be enabled/disabled at any time. Also hide GimpDeviceStatus' tool,
    brush etc. indicators in "shared" mode.

 app/config/gimpguiconfig.c       | 14 ++++++++++++++
 app/config/gimpguiconfig.h       |  1 +
 app/config/gimprc-blurbs.h       |  5 +++++
 app/dialogs/preferences-dialog.c |  4 ++++
 app/widgets/gimpdevicemanager.c  | 54 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++------
 app/widgets/gimpdevices.c        | 16 +++++++++++-----
 app/widgets/gimpdevicestatus.c   | 33 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-
 7 files changed, 115 insertions(+), 12 deletions(-)