Office 2013 is so touchy


Q: I recently purchased a touchscreen ultrabook with Office 2013 installed, and I would like to learn more about operating Word 2013 using the touch controls. Can you send me to a list of Office 2013’s touchscreen controls?

A: Microsoft offers the Office Touch Guide at It includes instructional videos for using Office 2013’s touch controls. Presented below are a few of Word 2013’s touch-enabling features to help you get started.

Touch Mode. Touch Mode spaces the menu buttons farther apart on the screen so they are easier to tap with your finger. You can turn Touch Mode on by tapping the Touch Mode button (or the Touch/Mouse Mode button) on your Quick Access toolbar.


(If the Touch/Mouse Mode button does not appear on your Quick Access toolbar, you can add it by following the steps outlined in the January 2011 Technology Q&A item “I Command You,” page 63.)

Increase text size. To make text and objects bigger and easier to read on smaller touch-enabled devices, swipe from the right edge of the screen to reveal the Charms Bar, tap Search, tap Settings, enter the phrase Display into the Search box, and then select Display from the search results. In the resulting Display dialog box, tap either Medium – 125% or Larger – 150%.

Zoom in and out. Hold your finger and thumb against the screen and spread your finger and thumb apart to zoom in, or pinch them together to zoom out.

Document scrolling. To scroll a document, press one finger against the screen and slide it in the direction opposite of that you wish to scroll.

Display virtual keyboard. To display the virtual keyboard (as seen below), click the keyboard icon located near the bottom-right portion of the screen. To close the virtual keyboard, click the X in the upper-right corner of the keyboard.


Read Mode. Office’s new Read Mode displays your document in full screen (as shown below), with each page arranged by columns so it can be more easily read on smaller touch-enabled devices.


To minimize screen clutter, most of Word’s ribbons and menus are hidden in Read Mode. To navigate the document, swipe with your finger to turn pages (or tap the left or right page arrows); double-tap on objects (or double-click with your mouse) to zoom in on tables, charts, and images; or double-tap on the document to display a pop-up menu with options for highlighting, inking, or adding comments. To close Read Mode, from the View menu select Edit Document.

Selection handles. To select text (so that you can copy, delete, move, or format that text), tap your finger on document text to display two selection handles, then tap the handles and drag them to highlight the beginning and ending points of your desired selection, as pictured below.


Select multiple objects. To select multiple objects in Word 2013 using touch, tap one object to select it, then hold your finger on that object while tapping additional objects (this may require two hands). Once the objects are selected, you can drag the group to resize or reposition by sliding your finger across the page similar to using your mouse.


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