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Windows 7 Touch Experience - Tap away on the latest Win OS without a Keyboard

Updated on February 1, 2011

Windows 7 Touch Experience

Get Ready for Windows 7

Microsoft has vastly improved the experience of using a touch screen computer in Windows 7.

This page, along with Optimizing Windows 7 for Touch, will help you get the most out of your touchscreen with Windows 7.

If you're looking to buy a touchscreen check out my article on Picking Out a TrouchScreen.

Basic Touch Actions

Microsofts Windows 7 nativity supports the following touch actions.

Single Tap - Single Click

Double Tap - Double Click

Tap and Hold - Left Click

Advanced Touch Gestures

Single Finger Rotate - With this gesture you touch the corner of an object and drag it in a clockwise or counter clockwise motion to rotate the object.

Swipe Left - Page Forward

Swipe Right - Page Back

Swipe Up - Scroll Down

Swipe Down - Scroll Up


Multi-Touch

Windows 7 supports the following actions and gestures on Multi-Touch enabled computers.

Two Finger Pinch Inwards - Zoom In

Two Finger Pinch Outwards - Zoom Out

Double Tap - Reset Zoom

Double Press and Drag - Pan

Two Finger Spin - Rotate

Single Tap and Hold Followed by a Second Finger Tap - Right Click

Read More on Windows 7 Multi Touch

Why don't they reverse the swipes?

Many users find the pairing of these swipe actions to be backwards. However, If you think about how these actions might be mimiced in other programs, it may help. Take a look at Hulu.com and press the arrows on the left and right hand side of the main banner to go forward and backwards. Now think about how your finger would follow these pages as they scroll off of the screen.

Window Bumps - Microsoft has added a bump or shake to the screen to indicate when you can not scroll any further. This helps you first start out and are at the top of a page swiping upwards to try and scroll down.

Touch Versus Click

While I could say that Windows 7 treats these actions exactly as the corresponding mouse actions, this would be false. Windows intuitively seperates touch actions from mouse actions to improve the user interaction.

For example, when you do a touch action on the quick launch bar icons the resulting menu has more spacing between the menu items than if you had right clicked on them. The larger spacing makes it easier to click(or touch) thus improving the touch experience.

Inertia

Inertia is the new buzz word in the touchscreen community and it brings the Windows 7 touch experience to the next level. 

Microsoft has added Inertia physics to its object manipulations which drives many of the new advanced touch improvements. Inertia determines what should happen to obects once you let go over them. If you quickly drag and release an object it will continue to go further than if you slowly dragged and released the object.

Physics has also been added to handle how objects should interact with each other. Such as the angle an object should bounce off of each other.

On-Screen Keyboard

As you type using the On-Screen Keyboard your keys will light up to indicate and you will hear a clicking sound to indicate that you have pressed a key. There are two more features new to the On-Screen Keyboard that you should take advantage of.

Resizing - You can now resize the keyboard to better fit your fingers.

Text Prediction - The new keyboard offers an option for turning on Predictive Text. As you type the keyboard will list several words which it thinks you are typing at the top of the keyboard. You can click on the word to insert the entire word. This can save you many key strokes. This does use an intellegent prediction engine which learns from words that you frequently use.

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    • aperturering profile image
      Author

      aperturering 7 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Congratulations on getting a TouchSmart. I am sure you will have a lot of fun with it. Make sure to check out http://h20435.www2.hp.com/t5/HP-TouchSmart-Communi... for tips on using it.

    • profile image

      SamxFisher 7 years ago

      Hey! thanks for this article! I just got an HP TouchSmart 600 and I love it!

    • Jeffrey Neal profile image

      Jeffrey Neal 8 years ago from Tennessee

      Wow, I realize that I'm apparently out of touch on this technology. This sounds really good, especially if I had a tablet. Good hub!

    • aperturering profile image
      Author

      aperturering 8 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Yes Corza, HP has three very nice touchscreen computers which they call TouchSmarts. There is the IQ500 and IQ800 series which are 22" and 25.5" widescreen All-In-Ones. These machines work well and are a beautiful work of art. They look like something Mac would design, except in piano black instead of white.

      The TouchSmarts run well with Windows 7. In fact the photos in this article were taken with my TouchSmart IQ500. However, HP hasn't shipping with Windows 7 installed yet as the release date isn't until later this month. They will give you a rebate for a free copy of the upgrade when it is released though. However, this close to crunch time you are better off waiting a couple weeks and getting a full installation.

      HP also has a TouchSmart tx2 which is a touchscreen laptop.

      For more on the TouchSmarts check out the HP website at http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/touchsma.../Main/ . There is also a great touchsmart users group http://www.touchsmartcommunity.com/ .

    • profile image

      Corza 8 years ago

      I believe HP have come out with a touch screen running windows 7, it looks pretty good...... well that's my opinion

    • aperturering profile image
      Author

      aperturering 8 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      You do need a touchscreen monitor.

      There are a couple options for touchscreens. You can purchase a touchscreen monitor or a touchscreen kit to convert a standard monitor. Or you can also purchase a new touchscreen system. There are some very nice all-in-one systems on the market as well as convertible tablet PC's.

      If you do not have a touchscreen you will still be able to take advantage of some of the touch features in some applications, but you will be stuck with using your mouse. Bumptop is one application that already uses Inertia and you can get a sample of the touchscreen experience even using your mouse.

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 8 years ago from East Coast

      Do you need a special monitor in order to use the touch screen features?

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