Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface 3, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1.

Touch: Tap, swipe, and beyond

Here are some of the ways you can interact with the Surface touchscreen.

Whether you’re using Surface with a keyboard or as a tablet, Surface touchscreen gestures are a natural way to get a lot of things done.
When we say
How to do it
What it does


Tap once on something.
Opens what you tap.

Press and hold

Press and hold your finger down for a few seconds.
Shows options related to what you’re doing (like right-clicking with a mouse).


Drag your finger across the screen.
Scrolls through what’s on the screen.

Tap, tap-slide

Tap twice, holding on the second tap. Then slide.
(This gesture is sometimes called tap and a half.)
Enables you to drag an item or select text.

Pinch or stretch

Pinch your thumb and forefinger together or move them apart.
Zooms in or out of a website, map, or picture.


Put two or more fingers on an item and then turn your hand.
Rotates things (if something can be rotated).

Swipe to select

Slide an item a short distance, opposite to how the page scrolls. (For example, if the screen scrolls left to right, slide the item up or down.) A quick, short movement works best.
Selects an item, like an app tile or photo. Do this at the top or bottom of an app window to show app commands.

Slide to rearrange

Tap and drag an item to a new location, and then let go.
Moves an item. To try this, see Customize the Start screen.

Swipe from edge

Swipe in from an edge of the screen.

From the:

Right edge:

Left edge: Top or bottom edge:

Top edge:

Copy and paste using touch

You can copy and paste text on Surface with touch. Here’s how:

Step 1: Do either of the following to select the text you want to copy:
  • Tap a word, and then drag the circles at each end of the highlighted text to extend the selection.
  • Tap, tap and hold a spot at one end of the text you want to select, then slide to the other end of your selection.
Step 2: Tap and hold what you’ve selected until a box appears, release your finger and tap Copy.
Step 3: Tap and hold the place where you want to paste, release your finger and tap Paste.
The touchpad on your Surface Typing Cover supports some touch gestures, too. For info about this, see Touchpad use and settings.