Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video The basics of touch controls in Windows 10, part of Learn Microsoft Surface: The Basics.
- This chapter is going to focus on using touch controls in Windows 10. If you use a Surface, a 2-in-1 computer or a Windows tablet, the touch screen will be your primary input device at least part of the time. Some people might use a touch screen exclusively, never using a keyboard, mouse, or track pad. So in this movie, we'll talk about techniques for working with a touchscreen including basic clicking, dragging, selecting and other things that you might traditionally do with a mouse. So, first let's talk about clicking. Anywhere that you would traditionally point and click with your mouse in Windows you can tap with your finger.
So, for example, if I wanted to open File Explorer, I could just click or in this case, tap on the File Explorer icon in the taskbar, and it opens up that window. Simple enough. From here, I can go into a folder where I have some files. So I'll tap on the shortcut for Documents over in the far left. So now I want to open a folder. For that, I would usually double click, so in this case, I'll double tap. So I'll double tap on the No Obstacles folder and it opens that up. And if I wanted to open up a file, I could double tap on it, and it would launch that file in the appropriate application.
So, tapping and double tapping work the same as clicking or double clicking. Now, I want to get out of this application, so I can do the same thing I would do with my mouse which is tap on the X in the top right corner. It closes that window which quits this application. Another place where I might click would be on the icons in the system tray. So I could tap on the speaker icon in the system tray to adjust the volume level. I'll tap on that again to hide that. I could tap on the keyboard icon which opens up the on-screen keyboard.
Now, we're going to talk specifically about the on-screen keyboard in another movie, so for now, I'm going to close this just by hitting the X near the top right corner. And of course, if I wanted to open up the Start menu, I could tap on the Start button in the bottom left corner of the screen, and it opens up the Start menu. I could tap on the Start button again to make that go away. Now, some Windows tablets including the SurfacePro 3 actually have a Start button right on the front of the device which does the same thing as tapping on the Start button on the screen.
Sometimes it's a physical button that clicks, but in the case of the SurfacePro 3, it's a touch sensitive button. But of course, some devices like the SurfacePro 4 do not have a Start button at all on the front of the device. That's fine, you can just tap on the Start button down in the bottom left corner. Now once you're in the Start menu, you can tap on any of these tiles to launch an application. So if I wanted to launch Microsoft Edge, I could tap on that, and it launches that application. I'm going to close that again. Let me go back into the Start menu again.
Now, I want to talk a little bit about scrolling which I can do just by swiping up and down on the screen anywhere there's a place where I might scroll. So, for example, here in the Start menu, over on the far left side, I can scroll up or down. So I'm going to start by doing one swipe up which switches me into the All Apps view, and now I can just place my finger on the screen and swipe up and down on this list. And this works on webpages and documents, anywhere where you might need to scroll up or down.
So, let's get out of the Start menu. I can just tap anywhere outside of the Start menu and that goes away. Next I want to talk about right clicking which is a pretty essential thing that you would do with a mouse. You can point at something, click with the button on the right side of the mouse, and it opens up a contextual menu. But if you're using touch controls, to get a right click, what you'll do is tap and hold on something. So I'll choose one of the files here in this folder. I'll tap and hold on it with my finger. I'll wait a second until this box appears on the screen, then I can let go and then I see the contextual menu that would usually open up with a right click.
From here, I could maybe delete this file, I could copy or paste it, or maybe just tap on Properties to get information about that file. For now I'm just going to cancel this. I'm not really interested in that. But I can do that on any file, just tap and hold, wait for that box, let go, and I see that menu. If I don't want to do anything in that menu, I can tap outside of it and that goes away. So I can do this anywhere. If I do a tap and hold on the desktop and let go, I get a menu there. I could tap and hold on the Recycle Bin, and now I get the contextual menu for the Recycle Bin.
Now this does look a little bit different if you right click on something in the Start menu. So, for example, I'm going to go back into the Start menu, and let me swipe up again on the left side to go back to the list of all apps. If you wanted to right click on something here in this menu, you can tap and hold, but you're not going to see that little box appear on the screen. But that's fine. All you need to do is tap and hold for about a second, then let go and then you'll see that contextual menu will pop up. So anywhere you might need to right click, you now have that option.
So back in here in File Explorer, I want to talk about selecting multiple objects. Now, of course, you can select one object by simply tapping on it. But it might seem difficult to select multiple objects if you don't have a mouse. Well, take a look at this. One thing I could do is tap and hold somewhere in this File Explorer window outside of these files. So I'm just going to tap and hold just below my files, and I'm going to drag and then I'll let go, and now I've selected all of the files that were inside of that box as I dragged.
Of course if I don't want these selected, I could tap outside of that group, and now none of them are selected. Now, be careful how you do this because if I tap and hold and wait a second, then I drag to select these files, I get that right click menu. So the fact that I held my finger in place on the screen before I dragged to create the box, the computer interprets that as a right click. But it's fine either way you want to do it. Just know what you're getting into. So, I'm going to tap outside of that, and those files are no longer selected.
Now what if you want to select several files that are not grouped together? Well, you can still do this even with touch controls. Now, this is going to be a lot easier here in File Explorer if you're in the List view or the Details view. So I'll start by tapping on the View button near the top of the window which opens up the View ribbon, and you can see that I'm currently in the Details view. So let's stick with that for now. So, from here of course, I could select a file by simply tapping on it. But if I tap on a different file, now that file is selected and the other is not.
But I want to draw your attention to the little check box to the left of this file. If you want to select several non-continuous files, start by selecting one of them, and then the next file, don't tap on the file itself, but tap just to the left of the file where that check box would be. And you can see I didn't quite tap in the right place. Let me do that again. I have one file selected, I'll tap to the left of another one and another one, and you can see I can select non-continous files like that. Now, it's kind of easy to get this wrong, so you might have to try this a few times, and get used to it.
And like I said, it works best in the List view or the Details view, but it does work in other views as well. I'm going to go back to View, and let's switch over to the Large Icons view. So I could tap to select a file, and I want you to note where the check box is on this. So, as you select another file, you need to tap where that check box would be which is kind of tough in this view. Let me give it a try. You can see I got it wrong there. Let me try it again. And there, you can see that I can select several non-continuous files in that way, but you can see it's a lot easier if I go back to the View menu, and I go to either the Details or the List view to do that.
Finally, I want to talk about dragging items around. And that also works basically the same as it would work with a mouse. You can just tap and hold on an item, and you can move it around. I could drag this to the Recycle Bin, but I don't want to do that. I'm going to drop it back here. I could select several files, and then tap and hold on one of them and drag, and now all of these move together. So I could drag these over to the Recycle Bin, drop them, and now they've been deleted. Of course, if I want to get them out of the Recycle Bin, I could double tap on the Recycle Bin.
I now have this whole separate window, and I may want to move this window. So, again, I'll do that with a drag. I'll tap and hold near the top edge of the window, and I can move it around. So I'll move this to the side, I'll select all of these files, drag them back where they belong, and I'm doing this all with touch controls. I'll tap on this window, hit the X to close it. Now, you could also drag a window up to the top of edge of the screen and let go, and that snaps to full screen view. You could drag it by the top edge again, and drag it down to go back to the Window mode.
Or you could drag it to one of the left or right edges to snap it into a half-screen view. And you could drag it out of that as well. So, that's how you can drag files around with touch controls. Now, clearly there are other touch controls, most of which we'll be seeing as we go through the rest of this chapter, but those are really the core essentials. For most things, you should be able to operate Windows 10 with touch controls using just the options that we saw here in this movie.
Nick Brazzi then steps through how to best become productive with the Surface in Tablet mode, exploring the basic touch controls in Windows 10 and how to adjust important settings like notifications, quick actions, and more. Viewers also learn how to use touch to control apps (including Office), multitask, use the onscreen keyboard, work with tiles and pinned apps, and more. Viewers then learn how to get the most out of the Surface accessories, including how to use the powerful Surface pen with OneNote and for visual art. Finally, the course explores important customization and security settings, including how to use Windows Hello for fingerprint or face recognition for fast login.
- Connecting a keyboard and mouse to the Surface
- Running updates
- Using touch controls
- Switching modes
- Using the Surface pen
- Setting a PIN code
- Adding storage with a microSD card