How to Stop a Drawing Tablet Sliding When Drawing

Stop Drawing Tablet Sliding
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With pressure-sensitivity being a critical function of a drawing tablet, having it slide across your desk when being used is not only annoying but makes it potential impossible to use the tablet correctly. We’ll be taking a look into some of the common causes of drawing tablets sliding when in use and ways to fix them

The best way to stop a drawing tablet sliding when being used on a desk is to place a more grip-able surface underneath it or apply sticky feet to the underside of the tablet. When using a stand for the tablet ensure it is clipped into it at the top and bottom to stop it folding during use or clamp it to the desk.

If you find this post useful then you may like to check out Scratches on a Drawing Tablet: Do They Matter? or How To Make a Drawing Tablet Feel Like Paper.

Why Does a Drawing Tablet Slide When In Use?

The reason why your drawing tablet could be sliding when being drawn on depends on if it is being used in a stand or flat on the desk, with different solutions for each. Ultimately there is not enough friction between the two surfaces so improving this will fix the problem.

With the need to press shortcut buttons and use the pressure-sensitivity features of a drawing tablet it is getting frequent nudges away from the user.

If the tablet is being used on a stand then it is critical to ensure that the stand is compatible with the size and weight of the drawing tablet. Some tablets can be very heavy so with the added dynamic forces of pen strokes and presses, a stand that is not correctly selected will ultimately slip or move undesirably.

How to Stop a Drawing Tablet Sliding When Angled on a Stand

Using a desktop stand can be the best way to keep your tablet in position whilst also improving ergonomics. There are a number of different designs but they all rely on the tablet being correctly installed into the stand before use.

If your tablet is sliding when in a stand with angle adjustment then it is most likely due to the tablet not being clipped in properly.

Typically these types of stand will require the tablet to be clipped in at top and bottom to fix at the required angle. If the tablet is not clipped in at the bottom or sat in the groove then it will tilt or move within the stand whenever it is pressed with the pen or when using buttons.

An example of this type of stand is the Wacom Cintiq/Companion adjustible stand – see Amazon here (paid link)

Protective cases that double up as a stand when reversed have a similar restraining method with a groove being used to locate the tablet at the bottom.

If your problem is the whole stand itself sliding over the desk when the tablet is used, there are a couple of options.

  • Place the stand on a surface with more grip
  • Purchase a stand that clamps onto the desk itself or has a solid base
  • Ensure that the stand is compatible with the size and weight of the tablet

An example of the ultimate stand for a Wacom tablet is the Wacom Ergo Stand for the Cinitiq Pro 24 (See the latest price on Amazon – Paid Link). This has a solid base so it won’t move around on the desk, is infinitely adjustable and provides sufficient resistance to drawing to keep stable.

Stands that have a weighted base with rubberized underside or clamp securely onto a desk will make sure that your tablet isn’t going anywhere.

You must however use a stand compatible with your particular tablet since they will have been thoroughly tested to ensure they do not move during usage. A tablet that is too large or heavy for a stand will cause it to move and could potentially even cause damage to your tablet if it slips.

How to Stop a Drawing Tablet Sliding When Flat on a Desk

The most common reasons for a drawing tablet sliding around on a desk when in use are the surface of the desk itself. If it’s too smooth then there will not be sufficient friction to keep the tablet in place.

Using a desk/gaming pad under your keyboard and mouse is common for gamers but the smooth surface is designed to minimize resistance to mouse movements and is the opposite of what you need to keep a drawing tablet in place. Remove the pad when using your tablet if possible.

If you can’t do this or your desk surface is ultra smooth such as being made of glass then you can improve the situation by adding a better gripping texture into the mix. This can be done by either:

  • Placing a rubber, silicone or foam mat onto your desk surface
  • Applying adhesive feet to the rear of the drawing tablet

A quick word of warning – applying adhesive feet to your tablet could invalidate your warranty, so be warned! Do this at your own risk and check your warranty before you do so.

Some users have experimented with applying tape to the rear or corners of their tablets but this could damage either the tablet or your desk so is not recommended.

If you found this post useful then remember to check out Scratches on a Drawing Tablet: Do They Matter? and How To Make a Drawing Tablet Feel Like Paper.

Featured image: bongkarn /