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Using Windows with a Touchscreen Display

If you’re using Windows on a computer or tablet with a touchscreen display, you use your fingers instead of a mouse to do what you need to do. To that end, it’s important to learn some essential touchscreen operations.

Tapping

The touchscreen equivalent of clicking an item is tapping that item. That is, you tap a tile or button or menu item with the tip of your finger. Just tap and release to open an app or select an option.

Pressing and Holding

As you’ve learned, right-clicking an item with your mouse often displays additional information or options. The touchscreen equivalent of the right-click is pressing and holding an item. Simply touch an item onscreen with your finger and hold it there until a complete circle appears on the display. You can then lift your finger, and a shortcut menu appears.

Swiping

With a touchscreen display, you can perform many common tasks with a simple swipe of your finger across the screen, typically from one edge or corner into the center of the screen. For example, swiping from the right side of the screen inward to the left displays the Charms bar.

Panning

You use panning to scroll down or through a long page or series of screens. Simply touch and drag the page with one or more fingers in the direction you want to pan.

Zooming

You use two fingers to zoom into or out of a given screen—that is, to make a selection larger (zooming in) or smaller (zooming out) onscreen.

To zoom out, use two fingers (or your thumb and first finger) to touch two points on the item, and then move your fingers in toward each other, as if you’re pinching the screen. To zoom in, use your fingers to touch two points on the item, and then move your fingers apart from each other, as if you’re stretching the screen.

Rotating

You can use your fingers to rotate a picture or other item on the screen in a circular motion, either clockwise or counterclockwise. Simply use two fingers to touch two points on the item, and then turn your fingers in the direction you want to rotate it.

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