Using touch gestures

If you have a computer with a touchscreen, you might find that gestures (motions that you make with one or two fingers) are easier to use than a mouse, pen, or keyboard.

Use flicks to perform tasks

You don't need to tap or click a menu item or a button on a toolbar to perform common tasks, such as copy, paste, undo, and delete. Instead, you can use a flick of your finger. For example, an upward flick moves a page down, and a downward flick moves a page up. There are two categories of flicks: navigational and editing. To learn how to use flicks, see Practice using flicks.

You can customize flicks to do frequently-performed tasks. To learn how, see Customize flicks.

Press and hold

Press and hold does the same thing as right-clicking an item. To perform the action, touch the screen where you want to right-click, hold until a complete circle appears, and then lift your finger. The shortcut menu appears after you lift your finger.

Windows Touch gestures

If your touchscreen can recognize at least two touch points, you can use Windows Touch gestures. To find out if your touchscreen supports more than one touch point, check the information that came with your laptop or touchscreen.

Tip

  • If you have a Tablet PC or touchscreen, you can see how many touch points are available on your computer in System, in Control Panel.

    Open System by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.

The following table describes Windows Touch gestures.

Gesture How to perform Description
Gesture

Pan

How to perform

Touch and drag the page with either one or two fingers.

Description

Use panning to see another part of a page that has scroll bars. For example, you can pan to see part of a long document or spreadsheet that doesn’t appear in the window. When you pan with one finger, dragging your finger vertically moves the page, while dragging your finger horizontally selects text on the page.

Gesture

Zoom

How to perform

To zoom out, touch two points on the item, and then move your fingers toward each other, as if you're pinching them together. To zoom in, touch two points on the item, and then move your fingers away from each other, as if you're stretching them apart.

Description

Use zooming to make an item on the screen larger or smaller. With a picture, zooming in shows a smaller area in more detail; zooming out shows a larger area.

Gesture

Rotate

How to perform

Touch two points on the item, and then move the item in the direction that you want to rotate it.

Description

Use rotating to move a picture or other item on the screen in a circular direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise).

Gesture

Press and tap

How to perform

Press the item with one finger, then quickly tap with another finger, while continuing to press the item with the first finger.

Description

Use press and tap to access the shortcut menu. Press and tap does the same thing as press and hold or right-clicking an item.