What's new for computers with touchscreens?

Windows 7 has significantly improved the touchscreen experience. For example, buttons in Windows are now easier to tap with your finger, the touch keyboard in Tablet PC Input Panel is easier to use, new gestures make it easier to perform common tasks, and the redesigned taskbar makes it easier to access programs and files using touch input.

Touch keyboard

Picture of the touch keyboard
The touch keyboard

The updated touch keyboard in Tablet PC Input Panel provides a quick way to enter text on a touchscreen without using a standard keyboard. Here's how to open the touch keyboard:

  • Open Tablet PC Input Panel by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Tablet PC Input Panel, and then, in the list of results, tap Tablet PC Input Panel.

    If Input Panel opens in the Writing Pad view, tap the Touch Keyboard button Picture of the Touch Keyboard button.

For more information about using the touch keyboard, see Using the writing pad and touch keyboard in Tablet PC Input Panel.

Touch gestures

This version of Windows includes new gestures to make using touch easier. You can use some gestures, such as flicks, on all computers with touchscreens. The new Windows Touch gestures, such as rotate and zoom, require a touchscreen that can recognize at least two touch points at a time. For more information, see Using touch gestures.

Windows taskbar and Jump Lists

The redesigned taskbar includes several improvements for touch input, including icons that are easier to tap, and the new Jump Lists on the taskbar. Jump Lists are lists of recently or frequently opened items—such as files, folders, or websites—organized by the program that you use to open them. Jump Lists appear for programs that you've pinned to the taskbar and programs that are currently running. The easiest way to view Jump Lists with a touchscreen is to use your finger to drag the taskbar button toward the desktop. You can then open an item on the Jump List by tapping it with your finger. For more information about the taskbar, see What's new with the Windows 7 taskbar?