Since we published our Microsoft Surface Pro Review (read it here), many people asked if Photoshop did work with the pressure-sensitive stylus. First of all, let’s shed some context: the Microsoft Surface Pro and its stylus are capable of recognizing the pen’s pressure. I’ve been able to see that for myself by using software like OneNote 2003, and the pressure sensitivity works great (more pressure = thicker line). That’s true for other software like Microsoft Fresh Paint, AutoDesk Sketchbook Express and others.Now, here’s the bad news: *today*, the pen pressure feature is not supported in Photoshop (I’ve tried with CS6). The hardware can do it, but additional work is required from Adobe to make this work. Microsoft has told me that they are “working with the necessary partners to make advanced features of the Surface pen available across a number of applications in the near future”.

The good news is that the hardware can do it, and that an update is very much doable, although what “in the future” means is unkown at this point. Again, and to be clear, the pen does work with Photoshop, but there is no support for pressure-sensitivity yet. Of course pressure-sensitivity is quite a big deal for graphic artists, so, although this may not be the news that you were waiting for, at least you have a definitive answer to that question in the short term. We’ll monitor the situation, but in the meantime, do not hesitate to drop a comment, or ask a question in the Surface Pro Review post link at the beginning on this post.

As far as I know, Microsoft did not confirm that the Surface Pro was using a Wacom digitizer, but reports on the web suggests that this is indeed Wacom hardware, since Wacom pens work with it, and they’re supposed to only work with Wacom digitizers. At the moment, I’m not 100% sure about the levels of pressure, so I’ll poke around a bit more before writing numbers here. If you see something official, please let me know by leaving a comment.

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