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Sometimes I want the eraser on my Modbook's pen to be an eraser, like when I'm using inkBook or a drawing application, but sometimes, like when I'm using a vector graphics app, I want the eraser to act like a shift key. I'd really like to see the way the pen buttons work to vary depending on what I'm doing. I described in ‘Expanding the Options for Your Pen/Stylus Buttons’ how to use the popup menu to address that issue, but the solution there is a bit clunky. The best solution is the one used in Wacom's Cintiq and Intuos pen tablets: to configure the pen buttons for specific applications and to automatically change the buttons configuration depending on which application that you are using. Unfortunately, the tablet software for the Modbook and many other Wacom-based tablets allow for only one global configuration for the pen buttons.
PenApt is an applet that uses AppleScript to vary the Modbook pen button functions depending on which application you are using. (It also may be usable with Wacom's Bamboo tablets.)
When you start the applet, this this dialog box appears:
Choosing ‘Add/Edit App Pen Settings’ allows you to configure the pen buttons for given application, and choosing ‘Activate’ puts your configuration choices into effect, automatically changing the button functions to suit the app you are using.
If you choose to edit your pen settings, you are offered this dialog box,
allowing you to add pen settings for a new app, change the default pen settings, or change the pen settings for a particular app. If you choose an option, after a confirmation box, the following appears:
Use the System Preferences dialog to configure the pen's two barrel buttons. If you want the eraser to erase, click on ‘Done / Standard Eraser’. On the other hand, if you want the eraser to do something else, click on ‘Done / Replace Eraser’.
Once PenApt is activated, it will adjust the pen preference in accordance with the application you are using. If that particular app has not been configured, PenApt will use the default (current) pen settings. While PenApt is activated, you can configure additional applications by clicking on its icon in the dock.
The applet comes with the Finder application already configured so that the eraser functions as an option-click. That way, while the pen's tip can be used to move files, the eraser can be used to copy them.
Download: PenApt.zip [Updated June 21, 2010 — settings are now retained between runs]