The best art accessory. Adafruit Macropad

FYI, I’m not affiliated with Adafruit I just really love this product and I want to share how it can make a difference in your work.

When i’m on the go I use a Surface Pro but I find it difficult to draw and be totally comfortable in this form factor, considering the keyboard is cramped and centered. I also find it a chore to go up and down into menus to make adjustments. This lil guy has changed everything for me.

The Adafruit macropad is sporting a RP2040 and can be programmed using circuit python. The guide below goes over how to get it set up with macros and hotkeys for a specific program.

I’m not a programmer at all and I was able to figure it out. Overtime I was able to customize it to my liking as well. I currently have one of these for my desktop and laptop and its made staying in the flow a lot easier.

The way that it works, if you follow the guide to set it up for hotkeys, is at the turn of the dial it switches to a new macro. You can have a seperate macro for each program you use mapped to the hotkeys you like. See image below.

It pulls up the macros in order. Turn to the right and it goes top to bottom and a turn to the left is reverse.

I wanted every program I use to have similar navigation so I made sure that each macro has undo and redo top left and shift, ctrl, alt on the bottom which I use for navigation mimicking Blender which makes transitioning more seamless. Alt is rotate canvas, Ctrl + Alt is Zoom, Shift and Alt is pan. Every hotkey in between i’ve tried to make it my most frequently accessed buttons. My current Krita macro looks like this.

There is some redundancy for changing the brush size in this macro and it is subject to change in the future. (Shift hotkey, palette, Brush - and +) However, this is an example of what you can do.


Looks interesting, price seems reasonable too.
I’m not quite sure how much work it is to put one together and configure it, but many of these keypads are just ridiculously overpriced, and you’re stuck with some proprietary driver software, and half-assed reverse engineered Linux support at best.

It is very easy to assemble. Pop the keys in and screw in the bottom plate. Takes about 20min max. No driver is needed. The device pictured to the right of the Macropad is from Madnoodle. It’s a lot easier to set up but more expensive and lacking a screen. The screen makes the Adafruit the clear winner.

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