If traditional graphic designers use pencils for sketching and drawing images, digital graphic designers use stylus. It is like a pen or a pencil that designers use to hand-draw images, animations and graphics on a graphic tablet.
A stylus pen is a small pen-like tool that is used to input commands to a computer screen, mobile device or graphics tablet. If the device has a touchscreen, the user uses a stylus to draw or choose a selection by tapping the stylus on the screen. Instead of a mouse or track pad, the stylus is the pointing device and the technique is called pen computing.
There are several styluses in the market. However, not all styluses are equal. The technology built into the touch screen of a device controls what kind of stylus to use. So if you are shopping for tablets, knowing the difference is important.
Types of Stylus
- Capacitive Stylus – This is the cheapest and simplest type of stylus. It works in the same way your finger does. When you touch it to your touch screen it distorts the screens electrostatic field. It works with any device as long as it has a capacitive touch screen. It requires no battery and it is very cheap. However, it has no pressure sensitivity, palm rejection and no additional functions.
- Wacom Digitizer – This type of stylus offers a variety of features which you cannot find in a capacitive stylus. It has pressure sensitivity. The pen retracts as you push it down harder on the screen, and the digitizer layer can detect the difference in signals. It has palm rejection. You can put your palm to rest on the screen and it will ignore the touch. Wacom digitizer has lots of features such as an eraser on one end. When you rub the eraser on the screen it will send an “erase” signal so you can erase what you have drawn. It does not also require a battery. However, this type of stylus is expensive and supports only fewer devices.
- Bluetooth Stylus – This type of stylus functions as a normal capacitive stylus. The touch screen knows where the stylus is touching but it cannot detect the pressure. The stylus detects the level of pressure on its own and send this information through Bluetooth. It works with more devices and has short cut buttons. However, it requires battery and must be paired with the tablet being used.