I've implemented this kind of component in my web application for the user to be able to make on-screen signatures:

enter image description here

This might be comfortable to use in touch-enabled devices, so as the user can use his finger or a kind of stick to draw the signature. However, it would be more difficult to do it using the mouse when he's in a PC.

So my question is, is there any device which writes directly in the screen in a mouse-like behaviour? I've seen those signature sets which seem to output a bitmap (that's not what I want).

The way to use it would be:

  1. User enters the drawing zone in his browser using his mouse.
  2. User takes the electronic pen and draws the signature using the mouse pointer.

Think of it as a USB pluggable pen, its ballpoint would both move the pointer and simulate a left-click of the ordinary mouse.

Everything should be possible using the same PC and with the electronic pen device having priority over the mouse for controlling the pointer.

  • 1
    As far as I know, Windows, Mac, and Linux treat all pointer devices equally: whichever one is moving is the one that controls the mouse pointer.
    – Mark
    Dec 29, 2017 at 20:47
  • 1
    The best USB plug-gable device for signatures I can think of is a drawing tablet, but that seems like overkill. Dec 30, 2017 at 3:46
  • +1 for drawing tablets, they're made for this, and come with all the nice creature comforts like palm rejection and such. Plus, they're very, very cheap since they've been around a while, and actually quite good. I picked up a Wacom Bamboo CTH-460 for $21 NIB from Goodwill, and I've seen dozens more for sale.
    – JMY1000
    Dec 30, 2017 at 4:58

1 Answer 1


TL;DR: A cheap drawing tablet, probably from Wacom's Intuos or Bamboo linups. (the same company you linked.)

Drawing tablets are made exactly for this, of which Wacom is generally considered the industry go-to. While they've usually got nice integration with apps like Illustrator or Photoshop to utilize fancy features like pressure levels, they've also got functionality as a mouse! Usually, there's a proximity sensory to determine if the mouse should be moved and a tip in a special pen to determine when you're pressing and then perform the appropriate function. Since it's all software programable, you can just have it left click when the tip is pressed!

From their current lineup, the Intuos Draw is the cheapest, and should get the job done just fine for $79.95.

enter image description here

However, Wacom has been around since 1983, so there's plenty of new and old stock to choose from. I picked up a Wacom Bamboo CTH-460 for $21 NIB from Goodwill, and you'll see similar prices with lots and lots of availability.

enter image description here

Wacom also offers tablets with screens and paper-to-digital functionality, but they're quite expensive, and IMO, probably not worth it.

I'm not aware of any ball-based drawing tablet, though the idea is interesting.

  • Thanks for the answer! I will take a look at it.
    – Aritz
    Dec 30, 2017 at 12:09

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