With Windows 8, Microsoft brought better touch capabilities to the operating system. This has resulted in more laptops and monitors coming touch-enabled. The devices contain an onscreen keyboard, though it’s not the most user friendly way to type, and I recommend sticking to a physical keyboard whenever possible.
What Windows 8, or even Windows 8.1, does not include is an on-screen mouse pad. However, you can easily add one yourself, using a free app called TouchMousePointer.
There are two versions – a stable build and experimental build. It’s up to you which to choose, but most people are likely better off sticking to the stable version. Both are available in 32-bit and 64-bit variety.
Once installed, the program will place a mouse icon on your taskbar (providing you allowed it to during the setup process)
Click on the icon and it will launch the touchpad, along with the left and right click buttons. By default, this will reside up the right side of your screen.
To change where it appears, among other things, you can right-click the icon and choose “Settings”. This opens a box with a number of options. You can choose the location (or put the app in float mode), what various taps will do, decide if the TouchMousePointer launches upon Windows boot and a lot more. However, for the most part, the defaults will be good for many of you, with the possible exception of the position – I’ve found having it float works the best.
Given the coming proliferation of touch computers, having a touchpad available, along with the built-in on-screen keyboard is going to become increasingly more important. Getting one for free is a bonus. The customization also makes this a rather usable little app.
Thanks to Ghacks for the tip.