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Pro Tip: Have you tried Windows 10 Virtual On-Screen Touchpad?

by Felix Omondi
On-Screen Touchpad

These days, most Windows PCs come with touch screens. This feature that makes the device both a conventional laptop and a tablet when in the tent and flat mode. Not forgetting that Windows tablets are shipping more than any other time, with some OEMs like Samsung saying the future of tablet computing will be on Windows OS.

Well, the touch screen feature of Windows 10/8 is a welcome relief for those times you do not want to use the mouse and keyboard. The reality of the design of the Windows itself sometimes seems to defeat the touch functionality. The OS is not fully optimized for touch functionality.

Take, for instance, when you are using a browser. You will quickly realize that some of the controls and links are just not finger-friendly and you find it easier to use the mouse when pressing them. Even the very best of touchscreen laptops – say, the Lenovo Yoga 900 – they still leave a lot to be admired in terms of smooth operation as far as being finger friendly is concerned.

Although not that many people know about it, Microsoft has an easy to use solution in the form of on-screen touchpad, which allows you to touch points designed for the mouse arrow. This feature rolled in with the Windows 10 Build 14965 released in November. Some say the Microsoft on-screen touchpad works even better than the trackpad designed on the physical keyboard that comes with most laptops.

How to activate Windows on-screen Touchpad

The reason most people do not know about this feature is because Microsoft did not make much fuss about it when it was introduced in Build 14965. To activate it, right-click the Taskbar (where there are no other icons) and click on  Show touchpad button. You will have effectively added the on-screen touchpad shortcut to your Taskbar next to the notification button.on-screen touchpad

You can now easily activate and dismiss the on-screen touchpad right from the Taskbar. The one thing that you might find annoying with the touchpad is that it is non-resizable meaning it tends to cover – perhaps a bit too much – of your screen.

The best thing you can do about it is to drag the keyboard to the side of your screen. That way it will stay out of the way of the content you really care about on your screen.on-screen touchpad

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