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Using Touchscreen Commands in Windows 8 for Tablets

Part of the Windows 8 For Tablets For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The touchscreen commands (or gestures) you use for Windows 8 on a tablet are no different than gestures you'd use in other operating systems. And, your fingers can work just as efficiently as a mouse and keyboard.

When browsing programs and websites in Windows 8 on your tablet, your fingers may use any of these tricks:

  • Press and hold: Pressing your finger on an item and holding it down works much like hovering over an item with your mouse pointer. It lets you see more information without having to commit to an action. In some cases, pressing and holding works just like right-clicking with a mouse: It opens a menu with more options.

  • Tap: The equivalent of a mouse click, tapping something causes an action, such as launching an app, following a link, or performing a command.

  • Swipe or slide: Sliding your finger across the screen lets you pan or scroll through lists and pages, but you can use it for other interactions, too, such as moving an object or for drawing and writing. A swipe is a quick flick of your finger across the screen.

  • Pinch or stretch: Place two fingers on the screen and then move them as if you were pinching or stretching a sheet of paper. The onscreen image expands or shrinks accordingly.

  • Rotate to turn: Hold down two fingers onscreen and rotate them, just as if you were moving a sheet of paper on your desktop. As your fingers move, so does the onscreen object.

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