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How to Navigate the Samsung Galaxy Tab Touchscreen

The Galaxy Tab features a touchscreen. You use the touchscreen to control the Galaxy Tab, which is probably a new experience for you. This will get you up to speed on using the Tab's touchscreen interface.


Bereft of buttons and knobs, the way you control the Galaxy Tab is for the most part by manipulating things on the touchscreen with one or two fingers. It doesn't matter which fingers you use.

You have specific ways to touch the touchscreen, and those specific ways have names. Here's the list:

  • 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, you may want to 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 move it around after a long-press. 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 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 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 get the rotate operation.

You can't manipulate the touchscreen while wearing gloves.

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