How to Write with the Bamboo Tablet

Written by lynn burbeck
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How to Write with the Bamboo Tablet
Users can write and edit documents in their own handwriting. (graphics tablet image by Simon Bradley from

The Bamboo Tablet is a device that was created by Wacom that connects to both PCs and Macs via a USB cord. Once installed, the tablet's pen can be used to browse the Internet, scroll through documents and write and edit documents in the user's own handwriting. In many ways, the Bamboo Tablet functions like a mouse but, because of its writing and drawing capabilities, it has a higher level of functionality. A few versions of the Bamboo Tablet also feature an intuitive "multitouch" surface that allows users to use their fingers to navigate the tablet, much like a touch-screen phone or the mouse pad on a laptop computer.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Purchase a Bamboo Tablet that has handwriting capabilities, such as the original Bamboo Tablet or the Bamboo Pen. Which model of the Bamboo Tablet you choose depends on your budget and the tablet features you are looking for. You'll find details on each type of Bamboo Tablet at>

  2. 2

    Install the Bamboo Tablet on your PC or Mac according to the manufacturer's directions. Prior to installing the device, make sure to close all of the applications on your computer and disable any antivirus software until the installation is complete. When you are ready to install the tablet, connect one end of the USB cord to the computer and the other into the tablet. Make sure there is a good connection between both devices by plugging the cord into the USB ports completely.

  3. 3

    Prior to being able to write with the Bamboo Tablet, you'll need to download the driver from Wacom updates the drivers on their website regularly, so you can be sure that the website has the most up-to-date version of the driver for your tablet.

  4. 4

    Customise the properties of your pen and tablet so that it functions properly for your needs. On a PC, click on the "Start" menu, go to "Programs" and scroll to "Pen Tablet" and click on "Pen Tablet Properties." On a Mac, you'll find Pen Tablet Properties by going to your Apple menu and clicking on "System Properties." Here you'll be able to customise the way your pen tablet works by choosing pen sensitivity, double-click target area and whether you want to use the tablet in "Pen" or "Mouse" mode.

  5. 5

    Open your e-mail, word processing or any other program where you want to create handwritten notes or edits. When using the tablet pen, hold it as you would a pen or pencil and write naturally across the tablet surface. The tablet will recognise your hand movements and translate your handwritten messages and drawings onto the computer screen.

Tips and warnings

  • When plugging the USB cord into the tablet, you may encounter some resistance when the plug is halfway into the port. It is important that the plug is installed completely or the device will not work properly. You'll know that a connection is made when the lights on your tablet turn on.

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