Pen-Pressure Sensitivity Not Working in SAI
|13 min read
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SAI pressure sensitivity SOLUTION!!!
IT SEEMS THAT THE PICTURES I HAD UPLOADED FOR VISUAL AID NO LONGER WORK.. IT NOW SHOWS A LINK.. IDK ABOUT THAT, SO SORRY.. [ORIGINAL 2013 SOLUTION] 2017 UPDATE: I have found new solutions! After purchasing a laptop and installing SAI, unfortunately, I ran across this problem again. If the tips below do not work for you please click this link and check out TWO new ones I have: NEW SOLUTIONS 2016 UPDATE: GUYS. YOU CANNOT GET PEN PRESSURE IF YOU HAVE A MOUSE. I'M SORRY. BUT YOU CAN MANUALLY ADJUST THE THICKNESS OF PARTS OF YOUR STROKES BY USING THE ERASER TOOL OR LINEART TOOL. Also, this is not a guaranteed solution and if this doesn't work
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How to fix no pressure sensitivity On SAI
Hi, you are wondering why the fuck your tablet is not working with sai. Of course, there could be millions of reasons and very few ways of fixing it. I stumbled upon this years ago and to my surprise it works for others just not everyone. If this does not work please look at the suggestions at the very bottom. Note: Newer tablets don't work well with old Sai and this does not fix " Drivers not working/running" issue. Edit 7/2017: To be clear this is to help Wacom Tablets users and few other brands. If your tablet company does not date back to late 2000's then there is a big chance this will not work. I suggest to those who have newer tablet
amiriteC's avatar
By amiriteC   |   Watch
729 753 175K (69 Today)
Published: March 1, 2015

I'll talk a little first. 

  • What is pen sensitivty? Well basically,
    9 by amiriteC
    It allows you to vary the width of your pen strokes with how much pressure you apply to it, and almost essential to digital art.
    You can notice tapered ends to the strokes with pen pressure but the same width in the strokes without. 

  • Please don't forget to install/update your driver! It is NOT optional! Please install it. You should be able to find your drivers online easily by doing a simple google search of your tablet model + "driver". (ALSO NOTE: Yes, you NEED to have a pen tablet in order to use pen pressure. It is 100% necessary!!! The brand does not matter, but the most popular is Wacom. You can find super cheap small second hand tablets on ebay if you want to start out small, and if you draw a lot, it is definitely worth the investment.)   

    Common tablet brands and the link to their list of drivers:
    - Wacom drivers: link
    - Genius drivers: link
    - Huion drivers: link

  • If you have a pen that came with your tablet computer I can not help you. I have no idea how those work or what the drivers are for that. Please look up a separate tutorial for those. 


  • For reference a lot of the time I'll refer to using Wacom tablets, but unless I specify that the solution is Wacom specific, it shouldn't matter what brand of tablet you have.

Before we get into the actual solutions I've discovered...

Remember to do the BASIC UNIVERSAL fixes first! By that, I mean...
    - Restart your computer (PLEASE DO THIS. It fixes like 94% of all problems)
    - Close and re-open SAI
    - Re-install SAI
    - Install and re-install your driver
    - Make sure you HAVE a driver installed
    - Unplug and plug your tablet back in

If these DO NOT WORK, then please, carry on.


1. Your Brush Settings in SAI

Sometimes something has happened and boom, your pen sensitivity doesn't work and your driver is working completely fine. Take a look at your brush settings. These things right here:
1 by amiriteC 
Now specifically, look at the part that says Min Size. That bar shouldn't be at 100%. 0% will give you absolute pen pressure, but some artists like to move that level around a bit. But basically, if you're looking for pen pressure, and are not getting it, take a look and make sure the Min Size bar is NOT at 100%. 
Personally I've never had this problem, as my settings don't often change on their own unless I mess around a bit too much with my SAI files in its folder, but who knows, apparently this has solved a few people's issues.


2. Your "Click Detection Pressure" Settings in SAI

This seems to be the most common issue with pen pressure in SAI. Open up SAI and in the menu bar at the top go to Other (O) > Options (O)...
 2 by amiriteC
This window should pop up:
3 by amiriteC
Now click on Digitizer Support
4 by amiriteC5 by amiriteC

There your Click Detection Pressure bar setting should be at 0 to receive absolute pen pressure. If it's already at 0, set it to 100, then click okay. Then go back, set it back to 0, and now try pen pressure. It should be working. You can also try closing and reopening the program before resetting it back to 0. 
This also was never a problem of mine, but apparently it was for a lot of other people, so it's a good idea to put it here I guess. There are other deviantART tutorials talking about this so I think I'll end it here. 


3. Tablet Drivers and Tablet Hardware

Talked about this a little in the beginning, but make sure your tablet driver is up to date and functioning properly. Also make sure the driver is actually installed. Drivers are not an optional part of the tablet if you want it to function properly. The drivers are free to download on their website (remember, I've linked it above) so there's not much reason not to have one. It's possible that your driver has for some reason uninstalled itself (computers are witches sometimes) so double check to make sure its there!

Usually when SAI pen sensitivity isn't working I'll try it out in other programs to make sure that it's fine. Sometimes re-installing the entire driver helps as well. Also try out your tablet on other computers to see if the tablet lies in itself. Make sure the nib isn't worn out and if it is replace it. Make sure that the actual tablet isn't broken as well, if it is you might need to get it fixed or have to replace it... blah blah blah, I can't really say much more but you can Google tutorials or help and/or ask a friend. 

Oh and don't forget to try to unplug the tablet and then plug it back in! Sometimes just a manual restart is what it takes to keep it going, including closing and reopening SAI. 


4. Wacom Tablet Preferences

This has almost ALWAYS been my issue. It is ridiculous.
NOTE: This is a WACOM tablet SPECIFIC method!! I have no idea what other tablets are like and so do NOT know the solutions to those. I'm so sorry. 
It has caused pen sensitivity to not work ONLY IN SAI as well, pen sensitivity not to work in general, and more the entire tablet just to screw around as well. I shall explain.

  • Go to Control Panel > View Devices and Printers. 
  • Now find your tablet and right click on it. You should see a drop-down list and at the top there should be Wacom Tablet Properties and below it Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility. These two are important. 
6 by amiriteC

You've probably already seen the Wacom Tablet Properties window, as you've probably used it to decide some settings for yourself.
7 by amiriteC

You wanna know something? These exact settings sometimes screw you up and make it so your pen pressure doesn't work at all. I don't know why, I don't know how, but they do and its god annoying. Like FIX IT WACOM, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US. But there's a way to fix that. 
  • Go to Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility
8 by amiriteC
  • This above window should pop up. Under All User Preferences click Remove
Your pen sensitivity should work again! It always has for me. But problem, all your preferences are gone! In other words, that means all the changes you made in the Wacom Tablet Properties are gone. This especially sucks for some people with very specific settings, such as myself, where I use dual monitors but only want my tablet to work in a single monitor. I have good news and bad news.
Good news, even though you had to remove your preferences, you can put them back. You can go back to Wacom Tablet Properties and set all your changes back manually and your pen sensitivity should be fine for a while. 
Bad news, pen sensitivity after a while might drop again, and you'll have to remove your settings once again. This gets tedious and annoying especially for those who make a lot of changes. But I have another solution.
  1. Notice how in the Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility, under My Preferences, there is a option that says "Backup..."? Use that once you have removed and then put back all your preferences in the. Wacom Tablet Properties window! It will back up all your preferences in one small file. 
  2. Save that file somewhere on your computer (somewhere where you'll remember it). 
  3. When you're forced to remove your preferences once again, go back to the Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility window, click restore, and then locate and double-click on the back up file. All your settings will be restored AND pen sensitivity will continue to work. 

This is a bit annoying but I found it's very fast and efficient compared to the alternate. Also bear in mind, sometimes your back up won't work. It sucks a lot, but when I upgraded and changed my small tablet to my medium, SAI didn't work my pen pressure and my back up didn't help it. I removed my settings and restored them, but the backup kept leading the pen pressure to stop working in SAI, so I was forced to redo them manually and back up once again.
This was only once and that's when I changed tablets though, so I don't know if it's a recurring problem or not, but I'm personally not too worried.
This method has always solved my personal pen pressure settings. Nothing else has fixed my problem like this has. 

5. Plug and Unplug with you canvas open

This method hasn't personally worked for me , but it has for Didule (thank you!)
Unplug you tablet, open SAI, then open a new canvas (or the canvas/drawing you're currently working on), then plug your tablet back in.
Hasn't worked for me, but it worked for someone!


6. Your "Misc" settings in SAI

This method has actually worked for me (No.4 was my holy grail go to, but this worked for me yay!) and RonTheWolfwas kind enough to share it with me! (Thank you!)
So first, find your source folder for SAI (when you downloaded SAI, you had a folder, right? Go find it and open it!)
Now, find a file that says misc. (you're going to have to do open that file and do some changes, so if messing with things makes you nervous, feel free to make a copy of it before any changes were made and put it somewhere safe)

Immediately upon opening it, it should look something like this:


Now near the very bottom it says "TabletMouseSimulation = 1"
And it SHOULD say that! If it says 0, then change it to 1 !


7. Previous Drivers that were Uninstalled, but not Eradicated from your Computer

(Thanks so much kartos!!)
This isn't a problem I ran into, but for a specific reason, and I'll explain why at the end. 

So basically (this applies to nearly all programs btw) even when you uninstall something, it can leave behind pesky files that are hidden beneath layer and layer of folders. Most of the time, these files don't cause many issues, but sometimes, they do. This can happen when you uninstall a wacom driver, and wow it's annoying. 

So to get rid of these files...
1. Uninstall your current Wacom driver (a reboot isn't all that necessary, but do it if you need to).
2. Make sure SAI and other drawing programs are closed. 
3. Open up your C:Drive 
4. Open up Program Files, and find any folders that say "Wacom" or "Tablet" (but if you have a tablet computer, make sure these folders are not related to that!!) and delete all of it!
5. Reinstall your wacom driver
6. Reboot entire computer
7. Open SAI and test if your pen pressure works!

The reason why I've never dealt with this is because I use an un-installation program called "REVO Uninstaller" and I have the option to do a deep thorough cleaning of all related files when I uninstall something, so I don't have residual files. This is handy when you accidentally install a program that brings all sorts of shit into your computer (toolbars, popups, changing your search engine to bing or whatever) and it just removes everything related. It's great! But I understand people don't want to install a program to uninstall things, so just do the above clean now and then, and you'll be fine!


8. Restarting Wacom Professional Services

This method was provided by Yumiandava (Thank you so much!!)
1. Click on Start (or press the windows key on your keyboard)
2. Search for "Services" and then click on it (it should just say Services). A window should pop up with a list of services.
3. Scroll through the list until your find one that says "Wacom Professional Services"
4. Click on it, and then to the left, there should be two options to either STOP or RESTART the service. You can click either other, but if you stop the service, make sure to remember to start it up again!

And that should do it!

9. Maybe Paint Tool SAI just doesn't like you

Okay, no, but seriously, if you have a pirated/unpaid for copy of SAI, it's possible that karma is biting you back in the butt, illegal versions of programs never guarantee proper function and won't always properly work. It is always best to actually buy a copy so that if something doesn't work, you can go to their official website to report issues and/or ask for their help at their Information Desk. So perhaps its a good idea to go to their site and buy their Software License.


~*~

If you're still experiencing issues then my greatest apologies :( Maybe youtube will be able to help you or another user. Unfortunately due to my decreased amount of time since starting university I won't be responding to comments anymore. I'm really sorry about that. If I see/find a new solution then I'll try and add it, and if you'd like to add one, feel free to PM me. It may take a while, but I'll probably get around to it. 

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I really do wish everyone the best of luck, and I hope that all your pen pressure issues are solved. Good luck, and happy drawing!
Recommended Journals
SAI pressure sensitivity SOLUTION!!!
IT SEEMS THAT THE PICTURES I HAD UPLOADED FOR VISUAL AID NO LONGER WORK.. IT NOW SHOWS A LINK.. IDK ABOUT THAT, SO SORRY.. [ORIGINAL 2013 SOLUTION] 2017 UPDATE: I have found new solutions! After purchasing a laptop and installing SAI, unfortunately, I ran across this problem again. If the tips below do not work for you please click this link and check out TWO new ones I have: NEW SOLUTIONS 2016 UPDATE: GUYS. YOU CANNOT GET PEN PRESSURE IF YOU HAVE A MOUSE. I'M SORRY. BUT YOU CAN MANUALLY ADJUST THE THICKNESS OF PARTS OF YOUR STROKES BY USING THE ERASER TOOL OR LINEART TOOL. Also, this is not a guaranteed solution and if this doesn't work
*NEW* Pressure Sensitivity Solution in SAI
Yep here I am again. Quick run down: New laptop = redownload SAISai + Windows 10 + Old tablet = NOTries own solution (which you should totally check out: SAI PRESSURE SOLUTION) DOESNT WORK ASDFGHJKLKJESDHI*searches internet hectically* Finds TWO NEW solutions and so we begin. GOOD LUCK IF YOU DID THIS WITH ME, BECAUSE IT'S ALWAYS LIKE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR WHEN IT FINALLY WORKS AGAIN! 1. Go to where your Paint tool SAI folder is. Mine was in "This PC" -> "Windows (C:)" -> "PaintToolSAI" in that folder, scroll until you see "misc". Click it. 2. Upon opening, you will see a Notepad file. Ignore "TabletCursorMode" and scroll to "Tabl
How to fix no pressure sensitivity On SAI
Hi, you are wondering why the fuck your tablet is not working with sai. Of course, there could be millions of reasons and very few ways of fixing it. I stumbled upon this years ago and to my surprise it works for others just not everyone. If this does not work please look at the suggestions at the very bottom. Note: Newer tablets don't work well with old Sai and this does not fix " Drivers not working/running" issue. Edit 7/2017: To be clear this is to help Wacom Tablets users and few other brands. If your tablet company does not date back to late 2000's then there is a big chance this will not work. I suggest to those who have newer tablet
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Comments (714)
kiwi-lime-pie's avatar
I've done most of these except 4., when I right-click my Wacom thing, there's no "Wacom tablet preference file utility" so I don't know what to do, I still don't have pen pressure and I need to finish some art for others. please help!
Reply  ·  
AriannaFisco's avatar
AriannaFiscoEdited |Hobbyist Digital Artist
So, I used 6 to fix the fact that when my tablet is plugged in, my cursor won't move on SAI. The problem now is that I have no pressure, do you know a way to fix it? Thank you.
Reply  ·  
PrettyMuchNormal's avatar
PrettyMuchNormal|Hobbyist General Artist
i have a huion, and pen pressure works on everything except sai. ive tried tips 1, 2, 5, and 6, have a legal copy of the program, and, of course, cant do anything wih the wacom info. can anyone help? ive completely blanked on other things to try.
Reply  ·  
m-useless's avatar
m-useless|Student Digital Artist
8 saved my life!!
Reply  ·  
floridawoman's avatar
floridawoman|Hobbyist General Artist
6 fixed everything thank you
Reply  ·  
thebabyangel2's avatar
thebabyangel2|Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you sooooo much <3 this helped me a lot
Reply  ·  
mochinq's avatar
mochinq|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I LOVE YOU!! THE MISC FILE WAS MY PROBLEM sdksadkakdkdsf
Reply  ·  
Vesuvias's avatar
Vesuvias|Professional General Artist
Life saver! Had to set it to 100 then back to 0.
Reply  ·  
FyraKasai's avatar
I'm logging in to this account for the first time in over ten years so that I can say THANK YOU for compiling this, and fuck Wacom for this bug.
Reply  ·  
LegacyZeta's avatar
LegacyZeta|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So I'm actually facing this problem atm and I realized that it also affects my strokes in Photoshop? Is anyone else also having other softwares getting affected by this? I've yet to try all the methods though so praying to god that one of these methods will help me get back to digital drawing
 Cry forever 
Reply  ·  
KyuuLikesFoxes's avatar
BLESS THIS. I HAD DONE EVERYTHING BUT DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE MSC. FILE FIX AND NOW EVERYTHING IS FINE. AAAAA &lt;3 &lt;3 TYTYTY
Reply  ·  
birdious's avatar
birdious|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Comment Featured By Owner
!!! I found a solution for styluses that come with computers ( for sai 2, at least)

if you go to sai --> options --> pen tablet  you can switch the API from WinTab to TabletPC, which makes it sensitive to on-screen pen pressure

i just tried it out and it works c:

Jkdshfksdjfh by bookbir-d  
Reply  ·  
milk-sharks's avatar
milk-sharks|Hobbyist Digital Artist
the 'misc' thing saved my life!!!!
Reply  ·  
ShadowTheEevee1's avatar
ShadowTheEevee1|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hello, I'm still having a bit of trouble with my Wacom Intuos (2015). I was in the middle of a drawing and then the pen pressure just went out. I've done everything. The pen seems to show light signs of pen pressure, but the issue is that it still has dull edges.
Is there any solution for this?
Reply  ·  
Kwite's avatar
Kwite|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yess the tablet utility file > remove thingy worked.
I had a really really old wacom tablet that broke a few days ago (it was like 7 years old or so) and i just got my new one now and it wasnt working. I tried deleting and reinstalling the divers and everything but for some reason my computer wouldnt even allow me to delete everything so that was strange. 
Reply  ·  
kaseylsnow's avatar
kaseylsnow|Professional Digital Artist
Oh my gosh, thank you. I hadn't used Sai in a while and went in yesterday to play in it and nothing I did would make the pressure work! Your fix in #4 about user preferences being removed worked perfectly. So weird!! But now I am happily Sai doodling again, yay! You are a champion for posting this whole tutorial, thank you! :heart:
Reply  ·  
roxaswantsacupcake's avatar
roxaswantsacupcake|Hobbyist General Artist
oh god bless you. my driver updated and suddenly certain "thin" consistency type tools like the marker were super opaque; pen pressure was working, but everything was really stiff and blocky and full opacity.
number 4 fixed it for me as well. man i was panicking! i use the marker to sketch and rely on it being light and transparent, not totally dark!

thank you SO MUCH
Reply  ·  
Ace-Of-Spirits's avatar
Ace-Of-Spirits|Student Interface Designer
Thank you so much! Number 4 is what fixed it for me!
Reply  ·  
ohitskim's avatar
ohitskim|Professional Digital Artist
this was a lifesaver thank you sooo much! solution 6 worked for me immediately <3
Reply  ·  
Mashiro-Aru's avatar
Mashiro-Aru|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much. I spent so much time looking for a solution and this is the best post I've seen detailing how to fix it. Thanks again.

And by the way, it's the solution 6 that worked for me though, I didn't try 4. (I just wanted to keep reading before trying but the moment I saw 6. I knew it could work and it did)
Reply  ·  
Stockinghime's avatar
Stockinghime|Student Traditional Artist
do you know naything about windows ink? this seems to be my problem and the step by step i found, my step by step was misisng a few things i needed to click to fix it
Reply  ·  
KarineKMattos's avatar
KarineKMattos|Student Digital Artist
THANK YOU SO MUCH. Finally!! 6 worked! 
Reply  ·  
melcasipit's avatar
melcasipit|Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for this! I've been looking online for the solution to my problem! :) It works! In my case no. 4 Wacom Tablet Preferences worked on me! Thank you very much! 
Reply  ·  
SabreMutt's avatar
SabreMutt|Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this troubleshooting tutorial. It is very detailed and helpful - plus the images make it very easy to understand.

I have a Wacom Intuos but cannot get the pressure sensitivity to work for me (yet!) I am partway through the process (updating tablet drivers) and hopefully this will fix it - I'm going through and checking ALL of the settings listed here.
Reply  ·  
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