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Is there a software/interface that will allow me use my laptop trackpad for drawing/sketching? Or what would be a good device that I could use to do the same?

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The touchpad can be used this way, but it's not really designed for it. A good trackpad for drawing will not only pick up motion, but coordinates, and touchpads don't do this.

However, you can buy drawing tablets. They basically operate similar to the touchpad, but are larger, do take into account coordinates, and are designed just for this purpose. Wacom is the most popular manufacturer of these devices, though you can probably find others as well.

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Tablets by Wacom etc. also generally support different levels of pressure sensitivity, so a suitably built app can, for example, vary the brush thickness depending on the pressure applied. – Karan Oct 26 '12 at 16:30
Pardon me for asking, but is no-one annoyed by being forced to buy dedicated tablets for casual drawing? It's my goddamn touchpad and using it in absolute mode is the most obvious thing that should be possible. Is there any open-source driver project for this? I really want to contribute and make this happen. I'm getting sick of being told that "but that's not supported by the driver". It's not like any problem, I snap my fingers and a genie solves it, just because its within warranty. So "not supported" isn't a good enough reason. – Milind R Nov 26 '13 at 13:47
@MilindR I have no idea how good the hardware would be for this. Since touchpads are designed more for detecting direction and speed, it might not have a good enough resolution to pick up absolute coordinates. Also they tend to be tiny, as it is. You can go ahead and give it a shot, though! – Ben Richards Nov 26 '13 at 22:07

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