Touch: swipe, tap and beyond

If you want to know what we mean when we mention swiping, tapping or other ways of interacting with Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 when you're using a touch screen, have a look at this table.

What we say How to do it What it does
What we say

Tapping

Illustration of tapping
How to do it

Tap once on an item.

What it does

Opens, selects or activates whatever you tap. Similar to clicking with a mouse.

What we say

Pressing and holding

Illustration of pressing and holding
How to do it

Press your finger down and hold for about a second.

What it does

Shows info to help you learn more about an item or opens a menu specific to what you're doing. For example, press and hold a tile on the Start screen to rearrange, resize or pin it. Only works for some items.

Similar to right-clicking with a mouse.

What we say

Pinching or stretching to zoom

Illustration of pinching to zoom
How to do it

Touch the screen or an item with two or more fingers, and then move the fingers toward each other (pinch) or away from each other (stretch).

What it does

Visually zooms in or out, like with pictures or maps. A good place to explore this is the Start screen.

What we say

Sliding to scroll

Illustration of sliding to scroll
How to do it

Drag your finger on the screen.

What it does

Moves through what’s on the screen. Similar to scrolling with a mouse.

What we say

Sliding to rearrange

Illustration of sliding to rearrange
How to do it

Press and briefly drag an item in the direction opposite the way the page scrolls, then move it wherever you want. (For example, if you would normally scroll left or right, drag the item up or down.) When you’ve moved the item to the new location, let it go.

What it does

Moves an item. Similar to dragging with a mouse.

What we say

Swiping to select

Illustration of swiping
How to do it

Swipe an item with a short, quick movement in the opposite direction to the way the page scrolls. For example:

  • If the page scrolls left or right, swipe the item up or down to select it.

  • If the page scrolls up or down, swipe the item left or right to select it.

What it does

Selects an item, and often brings up app commands. A good place to explore this is in the Mail app.

What we say

Swiping or sliding from the edge

Illustration of swiping in from the edge of a screen
How to do it

Starting on the edge, either swipe your finger quickly or slide across the screen without lifting your finger.

What it does
  • Open the charms (Search, Share, Start, Devices, Settings). Swipe in from the right edge.

  • Open a recently used application. Swipe in from the left edge. Keep swiping to switch between all your recently used applications.

  • Open another application at the same time. Slide in from the left edge without lifting your finger and drag the application until a divider appears. Then move the application to where you want it and slide the divider to adjust the application size.

  • See a list of recently used applications. Slide in from the left edge without lifting your finger, then push the application back towards the left edge.

  • Show commands for the current applications, like New and Refresh. Swipe in from the top or bottom edge.

  • Close an application. Slide down from the top edge without lifting your finger, then drag the application to the bottom of the screen.

What we say

Rotating

Illustration of two fingers and an arrow indicating the fingers are turning an object
How to do it

Put two or more fingers on an item and then turn your hand.

What it does

Rotates items in the direction you turn your hand. Only some items can be rotated.

To see if you have a touch screen

Your screen must be a touch screen to use these interactions.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Click PC and devices, and then click PC info.

To check your screen resolution

Your screen resolution must be at least 1024 x 768 to have multiple windows and apps on your screen at the same time.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click PC and devices, and then tap or click Display.

To learn about how to do similar tasks using a mouse and keyboard, see Mouse and keyboard: What's new. For more about using the new features, see the Getting around tutorial.