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Quickstart: Static gestures (HTML)

Handle basic Windows Runtime gesture events and customize the user experience for the static gestures described in the Windows touch language (such as tap, double tap, press and hold, and right tap).

Most apps process gestures (taps, pans, zooms, and so on) and do little with the raw pointer data except to pass it to gesture detection. In this sample, we use this raw pointer data in support of static gesture handling and processing to extend your app's interaction model and build upon the basic pointer events described in Quickstart: Pointers.

Updates for Windows 8.1: Windows 8.1 introduces a number of updates and improvements to the pointer input APIs. See API changes for Windows 8.1 for more info.

If you're new to developing apps using JavaScript: Have a look through these topics to get familiar with the technologies discussed here.

Create your first app using JavaScript

Roadmap for apps using JavaScript

Learn about events with Quickstart: adding HTML controls and handling events

App features, start to finish:

Explore this functionality in more depth as part of our App features, start to finish series

User interaction, start to finish (HTML)

User interaction customization, start to finish (HTML)

User experience guidelines:

The platform control libraries (HTML and XAML) provide a full user interaction experience, including standard interactions, animated physics effects, and visual feedback. If you don't need customized interaction support, use these built-in controls.

If the platform controls are not sufficient, these user interaction guidelines can help you provide a compelling and immersive interaction experience that is consistent across input modes. These guidelines are primarily focused on touch input, but they are still relevant for touchpad, mouse, keyboard, and stylus input.

Samples: See this functionality in action in our app samples.

User interaction customization, start to finish sample

Input: DOM pointer event handling sample

Input: Manipulations and gestures (JavaScript) sample

Input: Windows 8 gestures sample

Objective: To learn how to listen for, handle, and process static gestures using input from touch, mouse, pen/stylus interactions and Windows Runtime gesture events.


Review Quickstart: Pointers and Quickstart: DOM gestures and manipulations.

We assume that you can create a basic app using JavaScript that uses the Windows Library for JavaScript template.

To complete this tutorial, you need to:

Time to complete: 30 minutes.

What are gesture events?

A gesture is the physical act or motion performed on, or by, the input device (one or more fingers on a touch surface, a pen/stylus digitizer, mouse, and so on). These natural interactions are mapped to operations on elements in both the system and your app. For more information, see Gestures, manipulations, and interactions.

The following table identifies the static gestures covered in this Quickstart.

Tap / double tapTap gesture

A single contact that is released, or terminated, immediately.

Tapping on an element invokes its primary action.

A double tap is two taps in quick succession and can be handled as your app requires.

  • Entry state: One contact detected within the bounding rectangle of an object.
  • Motion: None.
  • Exit state: Contact released, or terminated.
Press and hold / right tapPress and hold gesture

A single contact that does not move until a time threshold is crossed.

Press and hold causes detailed information or teaching visuals (for example, a tooltip or context menu) to be displayed without a commitment to an action.

Right tap is closely associated with the press and hold gesture. The right tap event is fired when the press and hold is released.

  • Entry state: One contact detected within the bounding rectangle of an object.
  • Motion: None.
  • Exit state: Contact released, or terminated.

For more information on these gestures and how they relate to the Windows touch language, see Touch interaction design.


Important  If you implement your own interaction support, keep in mind that users expect an intuitive experience involving direct interaction with the UI elements in your app. We recommend that you model your custom interactions on the platform control libraries (HTML and XAML) to keep things consistent and discoverable. The controls in these libraries provide a full user interaction experience, including standard interactions, animated physics effects, visual feedback, and accessibility. Create custom interactions only if there is a clear, well-defined requirement and basic interactions don't support your scenario.


Create the UI

This example is a basic question and answer app. A square (inputBox) acts as the target object for detecting and processing pointer input and static gestures. The questions, clues, and answers are all displayed within this object.

The app provides the following user interaction functionality:

  • Double-tap: starts and stops the questions and the app timer.
  • Tap: cycles through the questions.
  • Press and hold: displays a set of clues for the current question, with a new clue displayed every few seconds while the contact remains down. This interaction behavior adheres to the Guidelines for visual feedback and touch language recommendations that state the press and hold gesture be limited to the display of informational UI.
  • Right-tap (or the press and hold release): displays a popup when the contact is lifted that asks the user if they would like the answer. Again, we adhere to the context menu recommendations in the Guidelines for visual feedback and Windows touch language. Note  To keep the focus on gesture handling code, reading question and answer data from an XML file and some UI and app functionality are not fully implemented.  

This is the HTML for this example.

    <meta charset="utf-8" />

    <!-- WinJS references -->
    <link href="//Microsoft.WinJS.2.0/css/ui-dark.css" rel="stylesheet" />
    <script src="//Microsoft.WinJS.2.0/js/base.js"></script>
    <script src="//Microsoft.WinJS.2.0/js/ui.js"></script>

    <!-- BasicGesture references -->
    <link href="/css/default.css" rel="stylesheet" />
    <script src="/js/default.js"></script>
    <script src="/js/inputprocessor.js"></script>
    <script src="/js/datamanager.js"></script>
    <script src="/js/cluemanager.js"></script>
    <div class="TargetContainer" id="targetContainer">
        <div id="inputBox">
            <div id="instructions">Tap gray box below: Double tap to start questions, tap for next question, press and hold to show clues.</div>
            <div id="questions">&nbsp;</div>
            <div id="answers">
                <label for="answer">Answer:</label>
                <input type="text" id="answer" maxlength="30" size="30" style="z-index:1" />
                <button id="submit">Submit</button>
                <button id="stumped">Stumped</button>                
            <div id="clues">
            <div id="timerBox"></div>
        <div id="eventLog"></div>

        <div id="answerFloater">
            <p>Show answer?</p>
            <button id="yes">Yes</button>
            <button id="no">No</button>

This is the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for this example.

Note  Pointer events don't fire during a pan or zoom interaction. You can disable panning and zooming on a region through the CSS properties msTouchAction, overflow, and -ms-content-zooming.


body {
A manipulation-blocking element is defined as an element that explicitly 
blocks direct manipulation via declarative markup, and instead fires gesture 
events such as MSGestureStart, MSGestureChange, and MSGestureEnd.
    overflow: hidden;
    position: absolute;
    font-family: 'Segoe UI';
    font-size: small;
    touch-action: none;
    background-color: black;

div #targetContainer {
    position: relative;
    height: fill-available;
    width: fill-available;

div #inputBox {
    position: relative;
    width: 640px;
    height: 640px;
    color: black;
    overflow: hidden;
    background-color: darkgrey;
    margin: 0px;
    padding: 0px;
    border-width: 1px;
    border-color: white;
    border-style: solid;

div #instructions {
    position: relative;
    width: 100%;
    height: fit-content;
    color: black;
    background-color: white;
    visibility: visible;

div #questions {
    position: relative;
    width: 100%;
    height: fit-content;
    color: white;
    background-color: black;
    visibility: visible;

div #answers {
    position: relative;
    width: 100%;
    height: fit-content;
    color: white;
    background-color: black;
    visibility: visible;

div #clues {
    position: relative;
    width: 100%;
    height: 100%;
    background-color: DimGray;

div #timerBox {
    background-color: red;
    color: black;
    position: absolute;
    width: 100%;
    bottom: 0px;
    height: 20px;
    text-align: center;

div #answerFloater {
    position: absolute;
    visibility: hidden;
    top: 0px;
    left: 0px;
    background-color: blue;

div #eventLog {
    font-size: xx-small;
    position: absolute;
    left: 0px;
    top: 0px;
    width: 640px;
    height: 50px;
    overflow: auto;
    overflow-style: auto;

Initialize the app

Initialize the question and answer object.

Here we declare global variables and get references to the UI objects.

var _applicationData;
var _localSettings;
var _data;
var _inputBox;
var _instructions;
var _answers;
var _questions;
var _clues;
var _eventLog;
var _floater;

function initialize() {
    // Get our UI objects.
    _inputBox = document.getElementById("inputBox");
    _instructions = document.getElementById("instructions");
    _questions = document.getElementById("questions");
    _answers = document.getElementById("answers");
    _clues = document.getElementById("clues");
    _eventLog = document.getElementById("eventLog");
    _floater = document.getElementById("answerFloater");

    // Configure the target.

Then we position the question and answer UI and and set up the interaction object to process the question and answer data from the XML file. The XML data details for this example can be reviewed in the complete listing at the end of this topic.

// Configure the interaction target.
function setTarget() {
    //  Set the position of the input target.
    var inputLeft = (window.innerWidth - _inputBox.clientWidth) / 2.0;
    var inputTop = (window.innerHeight - _inputBox.clientHeight) / 2.0;
    var transform = (new MSCSSMatrix()).translate(inputLeft, inputTop); = transform;

    // Set the position of the event log.
    transform = (new MSCSSMatrix()).translate(inputLeft, inputTop + _inputBox.clientHeight); = transform;

    // Associate interaction target with our input manager.
    // Scope input to clue area only.
    _clues.inputProcessor = new QandA.InputProcessor(_clues);

Configure the gesture recognizer.

Here, we set up the interaction handling.

In most cases, we recommend that you get pointer info through the event argument of the pointer event handlers in your chosen language framework.

If the event argument doesn't expose the pointer details required by your app, you can get access to extended pointer data from the event argument through the getCurrentPoint and getIntermediatePoints methods or currentPoint and intermediatePoints properties. We recommend using the getCurrentPoint and getIntermediatePoints methods as you can specify the context of the pointer data.

Tip  For this example, there is only one object associated with a gesture recognizer. If your app contains a large number of objects that can be manipulated (such as a jigsaw puzzle), consider dynamically creating a gesture recognizer only when pointer input is detected on a target object. The gesture recognizer can be destroyed when the manipulation is complete (see Input: Instantiable gestures sample for an example of this). To avoid the overhead of creating and destroying gesture recognizers, create a small pool of gesture recognizers at initialization and dynamically assign those as required.


The input processor object includes the gesture recognizer (gr) that listens for and handles all pointer and gesture events. The question and answer UI is managed by the gesture recognizer event handlers.

// Handle gesture recognition for this sample.
(function () {
    "use strict";
    var InputProcessor = WinJS.Class.define(
    // Constructor
    function InputProcessor_ctor(target) {
        this._questionsStarted = false;
        this._tapCount = 0;
        // Create a clue manager.
        this._clueManager = new QandA.ClueManager();
        // Load xml data from file into local app settings.
        var _dataObject = new QandA.DataManager();
        _data = _dataObject.getData();

        this._questionTotal = _data.selectNodes("questions/question").length;
        this._doubleTap = false;

        // Initialize the gesture recognizer. = new Windows.UI.Input.GestureRecognizer();

        // Turn off visual feedback for gestures.
        // Visual feedback for pointer input is still displayed. = false;

        // Configure gesture recognizer to process the following:
        // double tap               - start questions and timer.
        // tap                      - move to next question.
        // right tap                - show answer.
        // hold and hold with mouse - start clues. =
            Windows.UI.Input.GestureSettings.tap |
            Windows.UI.Input.GestureSettings.doubleTap |
            Windows.UI.Input.GestureSettings.rightTap |
            Windows.UI.Input.GestureSettings.hold |

        // Set event listeners.
        // Get our context.
        var that = this;

        // Register event listeners for these gestures.'tapped', tappedHandler);"holding", holdingHandler);"righttapped", rightTappedHandler);

        // The following functions are registered to handle DOM pointer events
        // Basic pointer handling to highlight input area.
        target.addEventListener("pointerover", function onPointerOver(eventInfo) {
            eventInfo.stopImmediatePropagation = true;
            _eventLog.innerText += "pointer over || ";
   = "DarkGray";
        }, false);
        // Basic pointer handling to highlight input area.
        target.addEventListener("pointerout", function onPointerOut(eventInfo) {
            eventInfo.stopImmediatePropagation = true;
            _eventLog.innerText += "pointer out || ";
   = "DimGray";
        }, false);
        // Handle the pointer move event.
        // The holding gesture is routed through this event.
        // If pointer move is not handled, holding will not fire.
        target.addEventListener("pointermove", function onPointerMove(eventInfo) {
            eventInfo.stopImmediatePropagation = true;
            // Get intermediate PointerPoints
            var pps = eventInfo.intermediatePoints;

            // Pass the array of PointerPoints to the gesture recognizer.
        }, false);
        // Handle the pointer down event.
        target.addEventListener("pointerdown", function onPointerDown(eventInfo) {
            eventInfo.stopImmediatePropagation = true;
            _eventLog.innerText += "pointer down || ";

            // Hide the floater if visible.
   = "hidden";

            // Get the PointerPoint for the pointer event.
            var pp = eventInfo.currentPoint;

            // Get whether this pointer down event is within
            // the time threshold for a double tap.
            that._doubleTap =;

            // Pass the PointerPoint to the gesture recognizer.
        }, false);
        // Handle the pointer up event.
        target.addEventListener("pointerup", function onPointerUp(eventInfo) {
            eventInfo.stopImmediatePropagation = true;
            _eventLog.innerText += "pointer up || ";

            // Get the current PointerPoint
            var pp = eventInfo.currentPoint;

            // Pass the PointerPoint to the gesture recognizer.
        }, false);

        // The following functions are registered to handle gesture events.
        // This handler processes taps and double taps.
        // Potential double taps are identified in the pointer down handler.
        function tappedHandler(evt) {
            // Single tap and questions started: Display next question.
            if (!that._doubleTap && that._questionsStarted) {
                _eventLog.innerText += "tapped || ";
                _instructions.innerText = "Double tap to stop questions.";
                _clues.innerText = "";
                that._clueManager.tapCount = that.tapCount;
                if (that._tapCount > that._questionTotal) {
                    _questions.innerText = "No more questions.";
                } else {
                    var xpath = "questions/question[" + (that._tapCount % (that._questionTotal + 1)) + "]/q";
                    // Read data from a simple setting
                    _questions.innerText = _data.selectSingleNode(xpath).innerText;
                // Single tap and questions not started: Don't do much.
            else if (!that._doubleTap && !that._questionsStarted) {
                _eventLog.innerText += "tapped || ";
                _instructions.innerText = "Double tap to start questions.";
                // Double tap and questions not started: Display first question.
            else if (that._doubleTap && !that._questionsStarted) {
                _eventLog.innerText += "double-tapped || ";
                // Return if last question displayed.
                if (that._tapCount > that._questionTotal) {
                    _questions.innerText = "No more questions.";
                // Start questions.
                that._questionsStarted = true;
                _instructions.innerText = "Starting questions (double tap to stop questions).";

                // Question number is based on tap count.

                // Select question from XML data object.
                var xpath = "questions/question[" + (that._tapCount % (that._questionTotal + 1)) + "]/q";
                _questions.innerText = _data.selectSingleNode(xpath).innerText;

                // Display a basic timer once questions started.
                that._startTime = new Date().getTime();
                that._intervalTimerId = setInterval(displayTimer, 100);
                // Double tap and questions started: Stop questions and timer.
            else if (that._doubleTap && that._questionsStarted) {
                _eventLog.innerText += "double-tapped || ";
                _instructions.innerText = "Questions stopped (double tap to start questions).";
                that._questionsStarted = false;

        // For this app, we display a basic timer once questions start.
        // In a more robust app, could be used for achievements.
        function displayTimer() {
            var x = new Date().getTime();
            timerBox.innerText = (x - that._startTime) / 1000;

        // This handler processes right taps.
        // For all pointer devices a right tap is fired on
        // the release of a press and hold gesture.
        // For mouse devices, righttapped is also fired on a right button click.
        // For pen devices, 
        function rightTappedHandler(evt) {
            if (!that._questionsStarted) {
            var transform = (new MSCSSMatrix()).
                (window.innerWidth - _inputBox.clientWidth) / 2.0 + evt.position.x,
                (window.innerHeight - _inputBox.clientHeight) / 2.0 + evt.position.y);
   = "visible";
   = transform;
            eventLog.innerText = "right-tap || ";

        // The pointer move event must also be handled because the 
        // holding gesture is routed through this event.
        // If pointer move is not handled, holding will not fire.
        // A holding event is fired approximately one second after 
        // a pointer down if no subsequent movement is detected.
        function holdingHandler(evt) {
            if (!that._questionsStarted)
            if (evt.holdingState == Windows.UI.Input.HoldingState.started) {
                _eventLog.innerText += "holding || ";
                // Create a clue manager.
                that._clueManager.tapCount = that._tapCount;
                // Start displaying clues.
            } else if (evt.holdingState == Windows.UI.Input.HoldingState.completed) {
                _eventLog.innerText += "holding completed || ";
            } else {
                _eventLog.innerText += "holding canceled || ";

    WinJS.Namespace.define("QandA", {
        InputProcessor: InputProcessor

Finally, we configure the clue manager that displays a series of clues based on the current question during the press and hold gesture.

// Handle data for this sample.
(function () {
    "use strict";
    var ClueManager = WinJS.Class.define(
    // Constructor
    function ClueManager_ctor() {
        this._clueTimerId = null;
        displayClues: function () {
            var clue;
            var clueCount = 0;
            var clueCollection = _data.selectNodes("questions/question[" + this.tapCount + "]/clues/clue");

            this._clueTimerId = setInterval(function () {

                if (clueCount > clueCollection.length) {
                    _clues.innerText += "\nNo more clues.";

                if (clueCount == 1)
                    clue = clueCollection.first();

                _clues.innerText += "\n" + clue.current.innerText;
            }, 2000);
        destroy: function () {
        tapCount: {
            get: function () {
                return this._tapCount;
            set: function (tapCount) {
                this._tapCount = tapCount;

    WinJS.Namespace.define("QandA", {
        ClueManager: ClueManager

See Related topics at the bottom of this page for links to more complex samples.

Complete example

See Static gestures complete code.

Summary and next steps

In this Quickstart, you learned about handling static gesture events in Windows Store apps using JavaScript.

Basic gesture recognition, coupled with pointer events, are useful for managing simple interactions such as tap, double tap, press and hold, and right tap.

See the Input: Instantiable gestures sample for a more complex example of gesture handling.

Note  This sample does not adhere to the Windows touch language guidance regarding custom interactions. Some of the static gestures have been redefined for instructional purposes.


For handling more elaborate manipulation interactions (such as slide, swipe, turn, pinch, and stretch) to provide a fully customized user interaction experience, see Quickstart: Manipulation gestures.

For more info on the Windows touch language, see Touch interaction design.


Responding to user interaction

Developing Windows Store apps (JavaScript and HTML)

Quickstart: Pointers

Quickstart: DOM gestures and manipulations

Quickstart: Manipulation gestures


Touch interaction design