How to use Photoshop with Air Stylus

photoshop-tips

(this image inspired by Kylli Sparre’s beautiful work on the Photoshop CC 2014 splash screen)

There are a few tricks to getting Air Stylus to work correctly with Photoshop CS 5.x, 6.x, and CC.

Thing 1 – Check your Preferences: 

In the Photoshop “Performance” preferences, set the Advanced “Use Graphics Processor” settings to Basic.

  1. First click to open the Photoshop menu, hover over Preferences and choose PerformancePS-prefs-performance
  2. Toward the bottom right, look for the “Use Graphics Processor” checkbox. If it isn’t checked, your computer might not have a dedicated graphics processor so you’re done. Air Stylus works fine in this scenario.
  3. Press the “Advanced Settings” button and choose either Basic or Normal (text descriptions of each setting pop up to offer the benefits and tradeoffs of each as you hover over them)PS-prefs-performance-advanced

Thing 2 – Applying Pressure:

Photoshop has four brush options for how it handles pressure – opacity, flow, “airbrush style, and brush size. Brush size must be enabled to see effects of using a pressure sensitive stylus, but the other ones are worth experimenting with to find your ideal setting.

PS-menu-pressure-enable

Thing 3 – Getting a “Preview” screen like in our Air Stylus video:

This is a somewhat hidden but very cool Photoshop feature called Navigator that’s somehow been in there since about 2001.

  1. In Photoshop, click on the “Window” menu and then select Navigator to open its thumbnail preview tabPS-window-navigator
  2. Drag the Navigator palette free of the main Photoshop window and resize it by clicking and dragging out the lower right corner of its windowPS-window-navigator-resize