Touch gestures

Touch Gestures have been enabled in the 2014 release of Photoshop CC for Windows 8 systems. Photoshop recognizes its custom gestures on any multi-touch enabled digitizer attached to the system, including direct touch displays and external tablets. Custom Photoshop gestures are not recognized on the touchpad pointing device provided with many laptop systems. 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 to 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

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