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Basic Android Tablet Touchscreen Operations

Part of the Android Tablets For Dummies Cheat Sheet

It takes a certain finesse to work a touchscreen. Here are some of the common operations you can perform using your fingers on an Android tablet's touchscreen:

Action How to Do It
Touch The simplest way to manipulate the touchscreen is to touch it. You touch an object, an icon, a control, a menu item, a doodad, and so on. The touch operation is similar to a mouse click on a computer. It may also be referred to as a tap or press.
Double-tap Touch the screen twice in the same location. Double-tapping can be used to zoom in on an image or a map, but it can also zoom out. Because of the double-tap's dual nature, use the pinch or spread operation instead when you want to zoom.
Long-press A long-press occurs when you touch part of the screen and keep your finger down. Depending on what you're doing, a pop-up menu may appear, or the item you're long-pressing may get picked up so that you can drag (move) it around. Long-press might also be referred to as touch and hold in some documentation.
Swipe To swipe, you touch your finger on one spot and then drag it to another spot. Swipes can go up, down, left, or right, which moves the touchscreen content in the direction you swipe your finger. A swipe can be fast or slow. It's also called a flick or slide.
Pinch A pinch involves two fingers, which start out separated and then are brought together. The effect is used to zoom out, to reduce the size of an image, or to see more of a map.
Spread The opposite of pinch is spread. You start out with your fingers together and then spread them. The spread is used to zoom in, to enlarge an image, or to see more detail on a map.
Rotate A few apps let you rotate an image on the screen by touching with two fingers and twisting them around a center point. Think of turning a combination lock on a safe and you have the rotate operation.
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