Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Escape Key not working in Vista 64 with a Wacom Tablet

Was having trouble with my ESC key in Vista ( 64 bit ), it simply wasn't working in aps it was supposed to work in, the way it was supposed to work. It never worked for cancel and in Photoshop, that's a big deal.

Having searched the web I found that the only related information was the suggestion to "turn off the ease of access controls" and turn off "sticky keys" (if this is your problem, go there first.) Having hated those little dohickeys for a while they were already off. So I needed another solution.

The last thing I'd done, just before this started happening was I had installed the old Graphire 4 tablet and the latest software from Wacom.

I uninstalled the software, rebooted and lo and behold! my esc key started working again.

I called Wacom in the off chance that their tech support would help a guy with two year old refurbished tablet. Sure enough I got a fellow named Joe who was very helpful. He had me take the plastic shell off the tablet and also deactivate "Tablet PC Input Service" in the Services control of Computer management:

Click Start
Right click on My Computer
Select Manage
Select Services & Applications
Select Services
Scroll to Tablet PC Input Service, disable it and stop it.

Keep in mind this MIGHT disable some services you want to keep if you have a Tablet PC.

Joe also asked me to take the plastic cover off the wacom tablet and reinstall the software.

After installation, the ESC key still functioned. Joe thinks it was the plastic cover pressing down on one of the buttons... I'm not so sure.

Joe also suggested I try using the pen for a few days without using the mouse. He felt I'd never go back... we'll see. :)

In the end, the ESC key now functions again and Wacom has proven itself to be a company with great customer support. Thanks Joe!


  1. I also have this with a new Wacom bamboo added to a brand new Vista 64bit system. At first I thought it might be the MS digital media 3000 keyboard added at the same time, but as the wacom also caused my printer driver to melt down, I suspect it is flaky.

  2. yah, my problem came back... im still working on it.

  3. I was having this problem, and tried your fix but it only worked between restarts. I switched back to the previous driver (PenTablet_508-2a.exe) and I think it's working.

  4. Sweet! I'll try it!

  5. Great tips Lockheed, disabling the Tablet PC Input Service and restarting fixed it for me!

  6. hey gang, it might be related to adobe photoshop, and not the keyboard or the wacom tablet;
    if you search: photoshop esc key
    you get a lot of entries about escape key weirdness when they are open (but now once they are closed).

    I'll give just a very short list of options since I haven't yet found it "solved" anywhere, but some people had success with:
    Disabling HotKeys in other programs (ATI/AMD Catalyst Control Center, Intel Graphic Driver Properties, perhaps hotkeys in the wacom tablet program???).
    Upgrading to Adobe CS5.
    Using Shift+Esc or Ctrl+[ or Ctrl+C instead of Esc
    Some small programs that "workaround" the issue (I don't know how virus free any of them are, so I can't endorse anything, but has the link)