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I've recently purchased a Wacom Intuos CTL-4100 graphics tablet.

I habitually use a mouse left-handed and write with my right hand. I would like to use the mouse with my left and the tablet with my right.

Is there a way of making the tablet's surface map to just the drawable canvas of a graphics application, while letting the mouse control the mouse pointer?

(So far I've used Krita, and every time I use the pen, the mouse pointer is moved.)

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It seems like this question on unix stackexchange might provide some insight.

I'm just gonna copypaste the content from there, since I don't see how to improve upon the answer given, and since I cannot mark as duplicate as the question exists on a different exchange. Based on Krita's documentation, the configuration seems rather limited when it comes to choosing input devices, so you might have to go for the latter option of multiple pointers.

So here's derobert's answer:

Personally, I found it easier to leave it the way you currently have it, especially with switching GIMP to single-window mode. But I only randomly play with my Wacom tablet, not use it seriously. That said:

Don't affect the pointer

You just need to use xinput to float the inputs that you don't want to move the core pointer (mouse pointer).

Here is what xinput looks like with my Bamboo tablet:

anthony@Watt:~$ xinput list
⎡ Virtual core pointer                          id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse           id=9    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Wacom Bamboo 16FG 6x8 Pen stylus          id=11   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Wacom Bamboo 16FG 6x8 Finger touch        id=12   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Wacom Bamboo 16FG 6x8 Pen eraser          id=14   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Wacom Bamboo 16FG 6x8 Finger pad          id=15   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                         id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                                 id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=8    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ USB-TMU-V3                                id=10   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard              id=13   [slave  keyboard (3)]

As you can see, the Wacom tablet shows up as a bunch of different pointer devices. The 'pen stylus' and 'pen eraser' are the two from the pen; 'finger touch' is using it as a touchpad; 'finger pad' is the mouse-like buttons on the tablet itself (not the pen).

To float one, just use xinput float «id». E.g., xinput float 11; xinput float 14 would make the pen (both stylus and eraser) no longer move the mouse pointer.

Next, you'll have to go to GIMP's Preferences, Input Devices, Configure Extended Input Devices and configure GIMP to handle the stylus and eraser. Similarly, you'll have to configure Inkscape, etc.

Multiple Pointers

An alternative thing you can do with xinput is to create a second (third, etc.) "master", and attach the input devices there. Then you'll have multiple mouse pointers. Not all apps know what to do with this.

anthony@Watt:~$ xinput float 12
anthony@Watt:~$ xinput create-master 2nd
anthony@Watt:~$ xinput list
⋮
⎡ 2nd pointer                                   id=16   [master pointer  (17)]
⎜   ↳ 2nd XTEST pointer                         id=18   [slave  pointer  (16)]
⎣ 2nd keyboard                                  id=17   [master keyboard (16)]
    ↳ 2nd XTEST keyboard                        id=19   [slave  keyboard (17)]
⋮
xinput reattach 12 16

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