Surface Pro Pressure Sensitivity Doesn’t Work with Photoshop CS6

So you’ve picked up the Surface Pro or are planning to do so, at least if you can find stock anywhere. Now what? Now it is about installing all your most important work (and play) legacy applications and seeing how well they work with the Surface hardware.

More importantly, does all of your software play nice with the advanced features of the Surface Pro pen, such as pressure sensitivity? According to Ubergizmo, they have tested out the pen for themselves and report positive results with OneNote 2003, AutoDesk Sketchbook Express, Microsoft Fresh Paint, and several other programs. Unfortunately, when it comes to the hottest digital art program in the business, no such luck.

That’s right, Photoshop CS6 does not work with the pen pressure feature, one of the more advanced functions of the Surface pen.

The hardware can technically do it, but it is the software that is holding the feature back. Microsoft has already confirmed that they are “working with the necessary partners to make advanced features of the Surface pen available across a number of applications in the near future”, so this will likely be a non-issue. Additionally Ubergizmo confirms that CS does work with the pen, just not with more advanced features like pressure sensitivity on the pen. Of course it will work 100% fine with legacy keyboard/mouse functionality as well.

Why does pressure sensitivity matter? For artists, it is very important and helps make the ‘painting’ experience on a digital device more similar to physical painting and drawing.

One last tidbit about the pen for those wondering, even though Microsoft hasn’t confirmed it– it is widely believed now that the hardware for the Surface Pro is Wacom hardware, a big name when it comes to advanced stylus technology. The dots were connected because users are reporting the Surface Pro works with their Wacom pens, which require a Wacom digitizer to function.

Are you in a field such as architecture, design or professional art? Does the Surface Pro sound like a perfect tool for you then, or do you think there are other tablets and hardware out there that are better suited for such professions? Does the fact that Adobe CS6 doesn’t support pressure sensitivity (yet) represent a deal-breaker to you, or not?

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  • WillyThePooh

    Deal breaker is not CS6 but the high price (for me only).