Configure the Microsoft Touch Mouse in Windows 8

Using right and left thumb gestures imitates clicking Back and Forward buttons

As you can see, the tutorial shows a thumbnail view of running tasks that is very similar to the Live Taskbar Thumbnail feature in Windows 7, except that it is anchored to the left edge of the screen. You'll see this thumbnail view if you use [Windows]+[Tab] to switch between tasks. However, when you use the two finger sweep to the right on a touch mouse, you won't see the thumbnail view. Instead the apps will just flip across the screen. If you continue sweeping two fingers to the right, you will cycle through all the running apps

Finally, you move on to Thumb Gestures, of which there are two. Sweeping your thumb to the left imitates clicking a Back button and sweeping your thumb to the right imitates clicking a Forward button. Going Back is illustrated.

As you can see, the tutorial uses the Photos app to illustrate the thumb gestures; however, the right and left thumb sweep will work in any application that has Back and Forward buttons. As I mentioned earlier, this works great in Internet Explorer. It also works great in File Explorer (aka Windows Explorer)!

Moving forward

Once you finish the tutorial, you'll have a very good foundation for implementing the thumb gestures, two finger gestures, and three finger gestures in Windows 8 and will just need to begin experimenting. You'll soon get the hang of it and will then begin to wonder how you ever used Windows without gestures. I've found them to be extremely useful and have even found them liberating in a lot of applications - especially File Explorer.

Now that I am a touch mouse convert, I definitely recommend that anyone using Windows 8 on a desktop get and use a Microsoft touch mouse!

What's your take?

Are you using a Microsoft touch mouse in Windows 8? If so, what has been your experience? After reading this article, do you want to use a touch mouse in Windows 8? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

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Credit: Images by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic

About Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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