Inside Out

Resize the Windows interface for better response

A touch interface is most effective when menus and buttons are large enough to serve as convenient touch targets. Trying to control applications with touch can be frustrating if you keep hitting the wrong menu option or missing a small button . If you use touch features extensively, consider bumping the size of the Windows interface up to 125 percent of normal size . To access this option, open Control Panel and click or tap Display, under the Appearance And Personalization heading . Choose Medium - 125% and then click or tap Apply. Note that you must log off and then log back on to change the size of the display. If you prefer the display at its normal size but occasionally want the ability to zoom in on a part of the screen to make it easier to touch a button or menu, pin the Magnifier utility to the taskbar or Start menu and use it as needed. With applications that support the Zoom gesture, such as Internet Explorer 8, you can zoom in to a portion of a page to click a link and then zoom back out to resume reading .

With touch-enabled hardware and the proper drivers, you can use a basic set of gestures with any program, regardless of whether its programmers explicitly enabled touch features . Gestures in this group include all basic mouse alternatives: tap and double-tap (tolerances are set to be larger than the equivalent mouse actions); drag (moving objects and selecting text, for example); and the two right-click replacements, press and hold or press and tap with a second finger

Three specific gestures are available in many applications without explicit support for touch input. They are as follows:

• Scroll Use one or two fingers to drag the content within a window and scroll up or down . This gesture typically works in any window that has scroll bars. It takes a bit of unlearning to master this technique; unlike a scroll bar, where you drag down to move the contents up and vice versa, the scrolling gesture moves the page in the direction that you drag. (If it helps, imagine the contents of the window as a piece of paper and use your finger to push the paper up or down .)

The more energy you put into a drag motion, the more the contents scroll. Move your finger (or fingers) slowly to read a web page, a Word document, or a lengthy e-mail message closely. "Toss" the page with a sweeping up or down gesture to move several screens at a time. The tossing action includes inertia, which causes the scrolling to go quickly at first and then slow as it finishes . If the Aero theme is enabled, you'll notice a small bounce in the entire program window when you reach the top or bottom of the contents you're scrolling through .

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