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Touch Navigation Tutorial for Windows 8

Navigating Windows 8 on a tablet or touchscreen is a new skill. This basic tutorial will demonstrate how to use the touch or Metro interface.

In an overly simplistic sense, Windows 8 is mostly Windows 7 with an additional method of navigation–the Metro environment. This new user interface allows users to navigate using touch as well as the mouse. Driving through this new experience can be a little confusing. Many users who have installed Windows 8 have complained of “getting stuck” as the methods of using the system are so unique.

Video Demonstration

Swipe from the Right

Swiping inward from the user’s right side of the screen displays the Charms menu with several options–Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. Additionally, by tapping search you can access all your applications and documents. Many people will frequently using the Start option to return to the main Start Metro screen.

Swiping right margin inward displays the Charms.

Swipe from the Left

Swiping inward from the left cycles through all the open applications in a method similar to the alt+tab shortcut. Swiping slightly from the left and then reversing back to the edge will display thumbnails of all the open applications and a thumbnail to return to the Start Metro screen.

Swiping inward from the left margin and back shows all open apps.

Swipe from the Top

To close an application, do a long slow swipe from the top to the bottom. The application will shrink and then disappear.

Swipe from the Bottom

Displaying an application’s options can be performed by swiping from the button of the screen upwards.


Consistent with other multitouch environments, with two fingers you can spread to zoom or pinch to shrink. Two fingers can also be used to rotate. Multitouch options are mostly limited to how to individual apps decide to use them.

David Kirk
David Kirk
David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.


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