Inside Out

Scroll and pan with two fingers

Although you can scroll up and down and pan left and right with a single finger, executing this gesture with two fingers offers a tangible advantage. With a single finger, you might end up accidentally selecting text or an object at the point where you began the scroll or pan. By using two fingers, you effectively tell Windows that making a selection is not an option .

• Flick Drag your finger quickly left or right to execute this gesture. Flicks typically work in any program that has Back and Forward buttons, including Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, and Windows Photo Viewer. In Internet Explorer, a flick to the right loads the previous page (the same as if you had clicked the Back button) and a flick to the left goes to the next page (as if you had clicked or tapped Forward). In either case, you'll notice a transition effect as the current page slides out and the new page appears

• Zoom Pinch two fingers together or move them apart to zoom in or out, respectively, on the contents of the current window, as shown in the following diagram . This gesture works in programs that support zooming with the mouse wheel, including Internet Explorer, Windows Photo Viewer, Windows Live Photo Gallery, and programs in the Microsoft Office family such as Word and Excel. The zoom gesture is especially useful when looking at photos or reading documents on a small portable computer.


The final two members of the multitouch gesture set in Windows 7 must be specifically enabled by program developers before they can be used. They are as follows:

• Two-finger tap Tap with two fingers simultaneously to change the zoom factor on a point between the two fingers . This gesture is enabled by default in Internet Explorer, where you can use a two-finger tap to zoom in to a hyperlink (making it easier to double-click) and then repeat the gesture to return to the normal zoom level.

• Rotate Touch two spots on a digital photo and twist to rotate it just like a real photo . You can move both fingers simultaneously or allow one finger to remain stationary while you move the other, as shown in the diagram below. Windows Photo Viewer and Windows Live Photo Gallery both support this capability.

Several parts of the Windows 7 shell change behavior slightly when used on a multitouch-enabled PC. When you use touch to drag a window to the edge of the screen to snap it into position (Aero Snap), the tolerances are more forgiving and the snap occurs when you get close to the edge instead of hitting it precisely. The Show Desktop button at the right of the taskbar is twice as wide on a touch-enabled PC as it is on a conventional display. You can open Jump Lists with a quick flick of a taskbar button as well; when you do, the spacing between items on the Jump List is increased in comparison to the Jump List you see if you right-click.

Some programs and utilities included with Windows 7 behave differently on a touchenabled PC as well. In Paint, you can choose a brush and then finger-paint with as many fingers as your display supports . Windows Media Center allows direct panning in all directions in most scrollable views and menus, and Windows Media Player offers larger active areas for play and navigation controls. In the Games category, both Hearts and Solitaire have been optimized for touch, which means that you can legitimately claim that you're polishing your PC skills instead of wasting time if you use either game on a touch-enabled PC . In that same vein, look for a group of optional games and screen savers called the Touch Pack, which are specifically designed to show off the features of a multitouch PC .

Internet Explorer 8 offers the richest assortment of touch support of any application in Windows 7, including zoom, panning in all directions, and flicks . Try dragging the address bar menu down to see a list of recent sites, with increased spacing to make it easier to hit a target from the list. Likewise, using the Favorites menu with multitouch gestures adds extra spacing between items compared to the same menu displayed in response to a mouse click. One especially useful shortcut is this simple gesture: to open any link in a new tab, drag the link a short distance in any direction .

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