How To Use Windows 8 Touch Gestures on a Laptop Trackpad

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Posted on Jan 29 2013 - 11:25am by Momina Imran

Windows 8 has been developed keeping the touch screen users in mind. However, users might find using the trackpad gestures to operate windows 8 as similar to using a touch screen for the same purpose.

In place of moving around on the screen to bring out different options, you can use the same swipe and pinch fingers gestures to access menus or change zoom.

How To Use Windows 8 Gestures on a Laptop Trackpad

Trackpad Drivers Installation in Windows 8

If you have a laptop that came with Windows 8 already installed in it then it should already have properly installed and working trackpad drivers. On the other hand if you installed Windows 8 later by yourself then you might have to install all trackpad drivers as well since the final windows 8 version does not include these as yet.

You can get these drivers from your laptop manufacturer. Alternatively you may use Windows 7 generic Synaptics touchpad drivers to activate gesture option.

Charms bar Gesture in Windows 8

To bring the Charms bar on the screen, swipe your finger upwards from the right side of your trackpad regardless of wherever you are in the Windows.

Alternatively, you may use the cursor and move it from inwards from the top or right of your Windows screen. Winkey + C key combination also works to perform the same function of accessing Charms.

Charms bar

Switcher App Gesture in Windows 8

For Switcher, move finger from left side inwards to see the new app Switcher appear on the left side.

You may also move the cursor from bottom left side to the middle of the screen or use WinKey + Tab key combination to access Switcher.

Switcher has been added to Windows 8 to allow the user to view all desktop applications in one single thumbnail. Alt+Tab can be used to move between the desktop applications.

Switcher app

App Bar Gesture Windows 8

To bring the app bar on screen, move your finger from the top of trackbar towards the bottom. App bar includes app’s options like address bar, tab thumbnails and navigation options in ‘Windows 8 interface’ style of Internet Explorer.

Otherwise, you can use WinKey + Z key combination or right click in an app to view the app bar.

App bar

Horizontal Scroll Gesture in Windows 8

For a horizontal scroll, put two fingers on the trackpad and move them horizontally Windows 8 has a more natural feel for scrolling since it uses horizontal rather than a vertical scroll.

Horizontal scroll can also be used through the mouse wheel.

Horizontal scroll

Zoom In and Out – Pinching Gesture Windows 8

Similar to zoom gesture on a touch device, use the same on your trackpad to zoom in or out. Place two fingers on the trackpad and move them apart to zoom out and closer to zoom in.

Through a mouse, keep the Ctrl key pressed and move the mouse wheel to zoom in or out or use the + and – keys instead with Ctrl pressed down.

Zoom in or zoom out

Rotate Gesture in Windows 8

There is a rotate gesture as well that allows you to turn the screen as you place two fingers on your trackpad and move them in a circular motion like turning a knob. You might need to re-enable this gesture since it is disabled by default.

Trackpad can also be used to move the mouse cursor instead to operate Windows 8 however, the gestures match the touch screen more closely.

For keyboard lovers, Windows 8 has a number of shortcuts to operate Windows 8.

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