Windows 8 It’s All In The Touch

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This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

This video helps you learn the simple tricks that make Windows 8 navigation a breeze
Once you get used to the few new navigation tricks in Windows 8 Consumer Preview it seems like second nature.
Watch the video and we’ll cover the basics after the story break.

Windows 8 is a touch centric operating system like the iPhone/iPad or Android operating systems. For long time Windows users this can be a challenge to take their hands off the mouse.


Windows 8 touch point is the circle (illustration NJN Network)

Programs and items are selected by touching the screen. For that you will need a touch screen laptop, tablet or LCD monitor like the Acer T231H. Tablets will come touch enabled and we expect new touch monitors will start to appear by the fall of 2012.
Touching and swiping the screen moves it left right or up and down. A small circle will appear when touched to indicate where you are.

This is the functional equivalent of the mouse cursor. On the Acer monitor, the circle is a pleasant transparent dot.

Start Search
Just start typing on Metro and "Start Search" appears on the right hand side of the screen (illustration NJN Network)

Since the Windows 8 interface is different, it appears hard to “find” the old programs at first. That has been fixed with the new “Start Search” feature which helps you to locate Apps, Settings or Files from one simple screen.
For instance, if you touch the screen and the dot is not at the same place as your finger, the screen needs to be reset. Simply type the word “touch” on the keyboard and the Finder window will appear on the right. Select Settings and Windows 8 takes you to the appropriate program which is “Change touch input settings.”
That ends all the hunting around one had to do with previous versions of Windows. Where are things? Just type in a keyword, “Start Search” will pop up from the right. Tell Windows 8 if it’s an app, setting or file.  Start Search puts and end to the needless search for where a certain application, setting or file is stored.

Start Button
Start Button (illustration

You can always return home to the Metro Start screen by touching the lower left hand corner, where the Start button hides. Or simply touch the Start button on your keyboard.
Getting back to square one is quick and easy.
Edges and corners of the screen
As you’ve probably guess, things are tucked away in Windows 8 around the edges and corners of the screen. What you will see is context sensitive and varies by the app that is currently on the screen. Experimenting works best for edges and corners but here are some things you will find.

  • Lower Left – start button
  • Upper Left – last app
  • Upper or lower right – Charms bar – a right-side bar menu that gives system-wide access to Search, Sharing, System Settings and Basic Actions.

  • Left Edge – other apps that are started, just scroll down the side with your finger and select
  • Top and Bottom Edge – open apps, setup choices like pin to Metro


Swipe to include a 2nd app (Bing Finance) with Facebook (illustration NJN Network)

Swipe is a multi-purpose gesture.
Swipe a page moves it left, right, up or down. This is a gesture people use on their smart phones or tablets already.
Swipe from the left edge to put a new app on the screen.
Swipe an app partially and it allows a second pane on the screen at the same time.
There is much more that’s new and interesting with Windows 8 on the Microsoft site or watch the video again.

Where to buy USA

If you need touch screens or pads, here are some places to buy.

Acer T231H bmid Tiger Direct USA
$309 (at time of publication, price may vary)

Where to buy Canada

Acer T231H bmid Tiger Direct Canada
$289.99 (at time of publication, price may vary)

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network


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