I had a request for a tutorial for using a tablet to write on photos from Jessica of Swish & Swoon. I thought that was a great idea…it’s so much fun to do, and easy once you get the hang of it, but tablets have a steep learning curve for some reason! In this tutorial, I’m using Photoshop and a Mac, but you can adapt this for other programs and a PC.


First off, check your settings with your tablet. You can do this by going to System Preferences, and then clicking on your tablet’s icon.

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Play with the sensitivity and tip settings, and test them in a blank Photoshop document as you change them. Some tablets have you set these up first (mine did), so you may not have to do this at all. However, I’ve gone back and made my tablet pen softer.


Next, you’ll want to open what you want to write on in Photoshop. In my case, I was working on a Listy List post. Pick the brush tool.

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Next, pick a brush size. I usually go with 3 px. You’ll need to adjust it, based on the size of your file. My file is 1000 px wide, so 3 px is just about right. But on a photo that’s 3ooo px wide, you’ll need somewhere closer to 10.

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Next, zoom in so that the area you’re working on is as big as you can make it on the screen. I find this is the number one thing that helps when writing. If you’re trying to write when it’s all zoomed out, that’s when it makes your writing look all crazed. On older versions of Photoshop, the zoom is located at the top bar. Also, your tablet might have a scroll/zoom function, which mine does.

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Now, write! Keep in mind, this takes practice, and just to show you that I’m not perfect, here are SOME of my tries. I probably did over ten total.

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1// My writing was wobbly.

2// I got distracted mid-way through.

3// I didn’t like the O’s in “book.”

4// I decided I wanted to change the name of the list.

5// Final version!



My top tips:

Don’t look at the tablet, but at the screen.

To write as naturally and comfortably as possible.

And to ALWAYS…I mean ALWAYSALWAYSALWAYS write on a new layer!
Or you’ll have to use the “revert” function a lot.




Questions for me? Something I didn’t address? Let me know! 

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  1. For some reason, this is the first time I’m seeing this post! And now I just might put off editing and steal my sisters’ wacom for a little test run! ;-)

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