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[FAQ: Problem + Workaround] Wacom Tablet - Brush only draws straight lines / Pan tool not working (Windows)

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Applications Affected:

  • Affinity Photo
  • Affinity Designer
  • Affinity Publisher

Operating Systems Affected: 

  • Windows

Description of the issue:

If you're using a Wacom Tablet and change focus (using Alt+Tab) to a different application and then click in the Designer UI (not the document area) to return the focus, the tablet will start to draw straight lines from start to end point. This affects all tools that require a dragging operation (all brush tools, selections, pan/zoom, shapes, etc.)


  1. Start Designer
  2. Open a different window and overlay it over designer, leaving enough space to see the document area and some of the UI such as the menu bars
  3. In Designer start a new document
  4. Select the Vector Brush Tool and start drawing with a Wacom Tablet
  5. Press Alt+Tab to change the focus to the window overlaying Designer
  6. Click on that Window/interact with it using the Wacom pen
  7. Now click on the Designer document area to return focus and then draw
    • check.gif Pen draws correctly
  8. Repeat Steps 5-7, but this time click on the menu bar to return focus and then draw
    • error.gif Observe you will draw straight lines between start and end points.

Known Workarounds:

  • Disable Windows Ink and restart the App
  • When returning focus, click in the document area and not the UI (toolbar, panels, etc)

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