Wednesday, October 14, 2009

9 Touch Gestures in Windows 7 for Multi-touch Magic

The Touch Gestures are the basic actions you use to interact with Windows or an application using touch. If you have a touch-enabled monitor and Windows 7 installed, then virtually any program that works with Windows responds to your touch. These Gestures are built into the core of Windows, they are designed to work with all applications, even ones that were never designed with touch in mind. So Windows 7 is touch friendly throughout. Microsoft has come out, after lot of research with 9 gestures in Windows 7. Yes, there are just 9 Touch Gestures for Multi-touch. User can’t remember too many gestures easily and these 9 gestures are all natural ,whatever a user does in real world.

Let us see these 9 Touch Gestures required for Multi-touch magic in Windows 7-

Tap and Double-tap - This is the most basic touch action. This is what a click and Double click does. Works everywhere.

Panning with Inertia – This is for scrolling. Drag any part of page up or down with one or more fingers. “You’ll notice details that make this a more natural interaction: the inertia if you toss the page and the little bounce when the end of the page is reached”. This works in most applications that use standard scrollbars.

Selection /Drag –This is like mouse drag and selection. Touch and slide your finger on screen. This moves icons around the desktop, moves windows, selects text (by dragging left or right), etc. Works everywhere.

Press and Tap with second finger – This is like right click. Press on target and tap using second finger. Works everywhere.

Zoom – This is same as CTRL key + Scroll wheel. Pinch two fingers together or apart to zoom in or out on a document. Useful for photos or reading documents on a small laptop. Works in applications that support mouse wheel zooming.

Rotate - Touch two spots on a digital photo and twist to rotate it just like a real photo. Move two fingers in opposite direction or use one finger to pivot around another. Applications need to add code to support this.

Two-finger Tap - Tapping with two fingers simultaneously zooms in about the center of the gesture or restores to the default zoom – great for zooming in on hyperlinks. Applications need to add code to support this.

Press and Hold – Same as Right Click. Hold your finger on screen for a moment and release after the animation to get a right-click. This works everywhere. Same as the other Gesture of Press and Tap with Second finger. 

Flicks - Flick left or right to navigate back and forward in a browser and other apps. This works in most applications that support back and forward. This is also very natural gestures when one wants to flick.

As you can see these are the 9 Touch Gestures in Windows 7 required for Multi-touch magic. Here’s the chart for the same -

Win7gestures (click to enlarge)

And there are many Multi-touch enabled laptops which are are being launched and also some are already available in the market. You can also go just for a Touch enabled Monitor to experience this Multi-Touch magic in Windows 7. Such monitors cost about 20% more than a regular ones and will be available by end of the year. Microsoft has also created a Touch Pack with 6 different Multi-touch enabled apps which will only be installed by OEMs on Touch enabled  Laptops.

For all these to be seen in action , check this video which demos all the 9 Touch Gestures, all the applications of Touch Pack and also interviews Amish Patel –PM Windows Experience Group , who explains all about Multi-Touch in Windows 7. This is a must watch video to see the Multi-Touch Magic in action. The apps in the Touch pack are so good to interact.


Also, for more details on Multi-touch in Windows 7, please check these links -

Engineering Windows 7 _ Touching Windows 7

Introducing the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 - The Windows Blog


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