Using touch input instead of a mouse or a tablet pen

If touch input is available on your computer, you can use your finger to do many of the things that you do with a mouse or a tablet pen. For example, you can move the pointer on the screen, select objects, and open files and folders.

Target objects on the screen

You can use your finger to interact with objects on the screen. For example, you can use your finger to double-tap items in the same way that you use a mouse or a tablet pen to double-click items. You press and hold with your finger to get the same results that you get when you right-click with a mouse or press and hold with a tablet pen.

Use the touch pointer to increase your accuracy

The touch pointer is a tool that aids in accomplishing tasks that are difficult to perform with just your finger. For example, you may find that it's easier to tap the Close button on a file or select items in a list. You can turn on the touch pointer when you need it and turn it off when you don't. For more information, see Turn the touch pointer on or off.

The touch pointer consists of a left mouse button, a right mouse button, a drag area, and a pointer. To target an item, drag the touch pointer to position the pointer over the item, and then use your finger to quickly tap the left mouse button once.

Picture of the touch pointer
Touch pointer

Use touch flicks to perform shortcuts

You no longer need to tap a menu command or a button on a toolbar to perform common shortcuts, such as copy, paste, undo, and delete. Instead, you can perform these shortcuts with a flick of your finger. For example, an upward flick moves the page down, and a downward flick moves the page up. There are two categories of touch flicks: navigational and editing. Navigational flicks include drag up, drag down, move back, and move forward. Editing flicks include copy, paste, undo, and delete.

If you're using touch flicks on a Tablet PC, you may already be familiar with pen flicks. Touch flicks and pen flicks perform the same actions, and you can customize them to do your most commonly repeated tasks. You can customize touch flicks in Pen and Input Devices under Mobile PC in Control Panel. For more information, see What are pen flicks?