How to get Monoprice Graphics Tablet Pressure Sensitivity to work in Gimp 2.8 on Windows 8

I have owned a Monoprice Graphics Tablet (10×6.25 Inches) for a couple of years now and it has worked flawlessly under Linux.   It is an inexpensive but pretty capable graphics tablet that can be used as a substitute for a mouse but I use it mainly in photo editing and graphics work with Gimp.   On FreeBSD I have not been able to get it to work or function at all.   On Windows 8, I have been pleased with how it works.  However there is one nagging problem that has bothered me for a while, pressure sensitivity not working in Gimp 2.8.

As you can tell by the title of this post I have finally solved that issue.  I have a Windows 8, 64-bit operating system and apparently the 64-bit version of Gimp 2.8 doesn’t work well with the Monoprice Graphics Tablet for some strange unknown reason.   With the 64-bit version of Gimp, the graphics tablet can be used like a mouse but it doesn’t enable its 2048 possible pressure sensitivity levels.   Consequently, this would negate one of the main benefits of using the graphics tablet with a program like Gimp and is a major problem.

The solution I found was to install the 32-bit version of Gimp 2.8, as this version seems to have the ability to recognize the inherent different pressure sensitivities.   The reason why this is the case I do not know (it might be a driver issue with 64-bit) but in any event it solves the problem for now.

The installer you download at www.gimp.org/downloads/ is built to install either the 32 or 64-bit version of Gimp 2.8 depending on whether your Windows operating system is 32 or 64 bit, respectively.  But it is not clear how one would install a 32-bit version of Gimp on a 64-bit Windows.

As I eventually discovered it is indeed possible to install the 32-bit version of gimp on a 64-bit version of Windows but you can’t do it by simply clicking on the installer as you would normally.  Instead you have to open the run dialog which you can find by right-clicking on the Windows icon in the lower left hand corner in Windows 8 or Windows 7.

Once you have the Windows run dialog open, you type the full path to the gimp installer including the name of the installer, currently the latest installer is gimp-2.8.14-setup-1.exe.   After typing the above in the run dialog you must append a space and add the flag /32 to force the gimp installer to choose to install the 32-bit version of gimp on your 64-bit system.

Consequently, in empty the box of the run dialog you would type the following:

In my case, I typed the following into the run dialog as that was my path to the installer:

From there you click OK on the run dialog and the installer should do it’s thing and install the 32-bit version.   After configuring the Monoprice Graphics Tablet in the configure input devices section of the Gimp preferences menu, pressure sensitivity should function as expected.   As one can imagine this issue with Gimp 2.8 nagged me for a while and I was happy to have discovered a way of getting this Monoprice graphics tablet to work with gimp 2.8 finally.  Hopefully, this helps someone else out there with a similar issue.

Update:  The drawing lag mentioned in the comments below seems to have been fixed with the latest gimp release 2.8.16.  The solution however, is still to install the 32-bit version of Gimp as I mentioned above in the post.  The 64-bit version does not seem to work for whatever reason.  I just tried installing the 32-bit version of the latest release of gimp 2.8.16 and there does not seem to be any noticeable lag once the graphics tablet is enabled in preferences under my Windows 10 system.  The pressure sensitivity seems to work as expected. Your mileage may vary but hope this works for others!