The Curious Case of the Disappearing Mouse

For a number of years, I’ve used a drawing tablet in preference to a mouse when working on a desktop PC.  Years of using a mouse have taken their toll on my right wrist and it was for ever painful and tender.  The tablet and accompanying pen puts the control into my dominant hand (yes, I’m a ‘leftie’) and has given me much more control in programs such as PhotoShop where drawing and shading with the pen are now possible.  Just as importantly, it has given my poor right wrist a rest and allowed the pain, tenderness and inflammation to subside.

However, recently an issue occurred that had me – reluctantly – reverting back to the mouse.  In several programs, the mouse cursor would simply disappear.  Hover actions associated with moving the mouse would still occur but seeing where it was and clicking with it were nigh on impossible.

In particular, this was happening in my go to code editor, Visual Studio Code.  Every time I clicked File – Open to begin working, the cursor would vanish and I couldn’t select a file to begin editing.  I felt rather like a chef without a knife or a photographer without a camera – devoid of a key tool to do my job!  Only by closing the program, re-opening it and using the mouse in preference to the tablet could I get anywhere.

Searching Google for similar problems associated with using a Wacom Pen Touch tablet and Visual Studio Code brought nothing of value.  A wider search showed that a similar problem occurred when using the Google Chrome browser and a Wacom tablet device. Missing of flickering mouse cursor and an inability to click, point or right click with the pen.

In the case of Chrome, the suggested solution was to disable the use of Windows Ink in the Wacom Control Panel.

With little expectation that it would make a difference in Visual Studio Code I did as suggested and, to my amazement, it now works perfectly – the missing mouse cursor has returned.  Additionally, the odd behaviour experienced in other programs, where it wasn’t possible to right click or scroll through a document using the Wacom Pen, have all gone as well.

Windows Ink seems to have been turned “on” as part of the recent Fall Creator’s update to Windows 10. Disabling it has given me back the control I had become accustomed to with the excellent Wacom PT device.

If you are having similar problems with a Wacom product, and are finding the pen cannot be used as a mouse to click or select, try disabling Windows Ink.

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Nick Hyatt
Chief Developer at QD Design
Nick has web design experience spanning two centuries (well his first page was in 1998)! He is passionate about helping smaller businesses and new ventures make their mark on the web. As well as a web designer he has spent time as a management consultant and business coach and brings these skills to help customers excel. When not designing websites he is likely to be in the mountains be it skiing, climbing or just taking photos of awe inspiring scenery.

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