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Photoshop: Introducing Touch gestures for Windows 8 Systems

The Photoshop team welcomes your feedback on this experimental feature. Let us know what you think!

Touch Gestures have been enabled in Photoshop CC 2014 for Windows 8 systems. Touch input is recognized from any touch-capable device attached to the system, including opaque finger pads and indirect tablets as well as direct-touch devices integrated directly with a display. You can control Photoshop using devices which support two or more simultaneous touch points.

In Photoshop, two-fingered touch gestures are used to control the location, rotation, and scaling of the image canvas view. Users may alternate between touch view control and other interactions using the mouse or stylus, but touch may not be used simultaneously with other input. Touch control of the view is very convenient when painting on large monitors which are difficult to rotate physically and on tablets to avoid constantly shifting the device.

General considerations

  • Photoshop constrains the freedom of view changes based on the motion at the beginning of the gesture so the user can control different aspects of the view independently.


    • When the user moves both touch points in parallel, the view pans without rotating or scaling.


    • When the initial motion is a pinch, scaling and pan will occur.


    • Rotation of touch points about a relatively motionless center enables rotation and pan but with no scaling.


    • Finally, by pinching and rotating at first, all three aspects may be adjusted. As a convenience, this latter free-transform gesture mode can also be chosen by simply holding initial touch points motionless for a moment.


  • As expected, when not in the full-screen mode, Photoshop does not pan a canvas view that is smaller than its document window. To pan windowed views with touch, first use pinch to scale the view until it intersects a window edge. In full-screen mode, all view transforms are always available.


  • The two-fingered double tap can be used to reset the image canvas view to show the entire canvas. A second two-fingered double tap will restore the user’s previously selected view.


Gestures currently supported

Pan Two fingers down, then dragged in any direction with fingers kept approximately the same distance apart and with the line segment connecting them kept approximately unchanged.

Zoom-Pan This gesture is a combination of the Zoom and Pan operations.

Two fingers down and dragged apart or together; spreading or pinching the fingers, with the angle of the line segment connecting them staying approximately unchanged. Once the zoom has started, the image can also be simultaneously panned.

Rotate-PanThis gesture is a combination of the Rotate and Pan operations.

Two fingers down and then one or both fingers "swept" in a rotating motion. The contents view should rotate around the center point between the two touch points if both fingers are "sweeping", or around the stationary one if only one is sweeping. Once the rotate has started, the image can also be simultaneously panned.

Free-form When two fingers are held down for given period of time, the gesture is processed as free-form. Any or all of pan, zoom, and rotate operations can be executed as part of a free-form gesture simultaneously in ordinary conditions.

Double tap Carries out the Reset or Restore operation.

A quick double tap of two fingers simultaneously on the active document view.
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