Recently when I got my tablet PC [Lenovo ThinkPad X201T,] I had one major gripe -- the lack of face buttons to assign macros and shortcuts to. My Cintiq on my desktop computer remains my #1
partner still if only because of those damn useful ExpressKeys on both sides. I searched for small add-on devices for my Tablet PC to try to replicate ExpressKey functionality. Things like tiny bluetooth keyboards and even the Logitech G13 GameBoard. Tiny bluetooth keyboards were either too expensive, too cheaply made, or too clumsy to use effectively (bubble buttons.) The Logitech G13 worked wonderfully, but there was one killer problem. It's not small. It takes up a lot of room in my bag, and the USB cable is monstrously long. But it does work beautifully to set up all kinds of quick action keys, and the multiple profiles [that can be saved ON the device for travel] is just too good. It's just a pain that, due to its size, it has to be set on a flat surface in order to be used effectively! Today the G13 makes a nice partner on my desktop system, and is my new choice for gaming input (what it apparently was designed for.) However, for my tablet PC, I ultimately wanted something smaller, programmable, and preferably able to be held and operated IN one hand.
- Finally put your BD Remote to use!
Really -- why didn't I think of this sooner? Remember this remote? If you have a PS3, you may own one. And you may not have used it much because while watching a movie on your PS3, you figure "Feh, I'll just use the PS3 controller...." Poor lil' PS3 BD remote.
Turns out that semi-little $30 bluetooth remote control is one of the best solutions I've found yet for controlling photoshop on-the-go. Look at the buttons in the picture above. Every single one can be custom assigned to do ANYTHING. It's a remote control, so it's operable entirely in one hand, and it's a great ergonomic size. Big to use tactfully, yet small enough to travel without a problem. And like I said above, it's BlueTooth -- not IR. It has instant responsiveness like a real keyboard / wacom expresskeys, and you don't have to point it at the computer or whatever. If you own a Tablet PC, this is kind of a god-send. Because you don't have free access to a keyboard. So the BD Remote becomes your keyboard. The way I have mine setup currently makes a lot of sense. The D-Pad is the arrow keys, Circle/X/Square/Triangle are the main modifier keys like alt and shift, the row of colored keys are common tools like brush, eraser, lasso. Eject is esc. 0-9 keys are programmed to actually BE 0-9. So I can input on-the-fly opacity levels and type in numbers for image sizes and whatnot. Display key is fullscreen mode. Top Menu button is Tab. Start is Select All, Select is Select None. R1, R2, R3 are zoom in, out, and spacebar. L1, L2, L3 are History Forward, History Back, and Undo. Seek forward and back are brush size increase/decrease. etc. You get the picture.
To me, this is a pretty big deal at the moment. So I thought I'd share the find. If you've been looking for something similar -- consider the relatively cheap expense for a PS3 BD remote to gain outstanding control in Photoshop. [Oh, and, anything else on your computer, too. Since it can be assigned different profiles for things like movie playback, OS navigation, and whatnot.]
- How to use the PS3 Remote with your PC
Of all places, I learned how to do this on the Toshiba website.aps2.toshiba-tro.de/kb0/HTD060…
But the original forum thread started by its creator (with better instructions) can be found here: thegreenbutton.com/forums/t/60…
Follow the link above to see the tutorial and get all necessary links to required software.
Sorry Mac users, but this one might be Windows only. Though, I don't doubt some control software exists for Mac I don't know about. Though I don't know why Mac users would be interested in this for Photoshop -- maybe if you own a ModBook... but otherwise it just becomes a hyper souped up media remote.
Oh and, of course your computer needs Bluetooth capabilities.EDIT:
Well, this isn't the perfect solution yet. Turns out the software may not support a key being HELD DOWN. Meaning modifier keys and such cannot be used. [I'm pretty sure the remote itself supports keys being held, as you CAN hold buttons to zip across menus on the PS3. So this must be something under development.] The software is still in beta, so I've emailed the creator asking about the ability to recognize a key being HELD.EDIT 2:
The creator got back to me, says that key holds are indeed a fault of the software. It's still a bit undeveloped in areas. He said he'll see if he can get around to adding the function to test out with soon.