How to Navigate with Touch in Windows 8

Since the introduction of multi-touch screens, consumers have become accustomed to the idea that everything from car entertainment systems to smartphones should allow them to manipulate things on their screens in a natural way. While touch-based Windows machines have been around for years, Windows 8 Microsoft is introducing touch-focused design for the first time in a meaningful way.

This is great for future Windows users. Maybe one day in the future, the entire interface of Windows will be as easy to use as an iPad for some people.

For users with a long history with Windows, using touch gestures on Windows 8 tablets, desktops, and laptops isn’t all that difficult. They just aren’t necessarily obvious. Here’s how to navigate Windows 8.

Access Charms

Instead of the Start Menu, Windows 8 offers users small buttons that allow them to perform certain functions from anywhere in Windows 8. Microsoft calls them Charms and they include Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings.

To access any of these charms within the Charms Bar, swipe right from the right side of the screen.

Restoring Windows 8 (2)

Tap one of the talismans you want to use.

Open Previous App

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Swipe from left on the right side of the screen.

Close Apps

Although Windows allows users to close Metro-style apps in the desktop environment by pressing the “X” in the upper-right corner of all desktop apps, Metro apps have no X button and no visual way to close apps.

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Place your finger at the top of the screen to close a Metro-style app and drag application to the bottom your screen.

Opening the Menus

While right-clicking continues in the desktop environment, bringing more options in apps is a bit different on touch-based Windows 8 PCs.

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To open a right-click menu for more options regarding files in folders on the desktop, press and hold Keep your finger on a file until the menu opens.

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Metro apps give up menus in exchange for small app bars that appear above and below each app. Swipe your finger to see options in an app. bottom of the screen. Swipe up.

choose a file

To select a file within a Metro-style application in Windows 8:

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Place your finger on the file.

While not lifting your finger, slide your finger down a little.

With these gestures at hand, Microsoft’s Windows 8 and the devices it runs on should be more enjoyable to use for everyday computing tasks.

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