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A simple light-weight JavaScript library for dealing with touch events
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demos reorganising repo. exports for zepto. Aug 9, 2012
.gitignore reorganising repo. exports for zepto. Aug 9, 2012 Update Feb 20, 2013
touchy.js Update touchy.js Nov 20, 2013


Because some things just need to be touched.

Touchy.js is a simple light-weight (1.98 kb minified+gzip) JavaScript library for dealing with touch events in the browser. With no dependencies, just add the script to your page and start hacking.

Quick example

// The HTML element that to watch for touches
var touchMe = document.getElementById('touch-me');

// Touchy.js creates a single global object called 'Touchy'
var toucher = Touchy(touchMe, function (hand, finger) {
	// this === toucher
	// toucher.stop() : stop  watching element for touch events
	// toucher.start(): start watching element for touch events

	// This function will be called for every finger that touches the screen
	// regardless of what other fingers are currently interacting.

	// 'finger' is an object representing the entire path of a finger
	// on the screen. So a touch-drag-release by a single finger would be
	// encapsulated into this single object.

	// 'hand' is an object holding all fingers currently interacting with the
	// screen.
	// 'hand.fingers' returns an Array of fingers currently on the screen
	// including this one.
	// In this case we are only listening to a single finger at a time.
	if (hand.fingers.length > 1) {

	// This callback is fired when the finger initially touches the screen.
	finger.on('start', function (point) {
		// 'point' is a coordinate of the following form:
		// { id: <string>, x: <number>, y: <number>, time: <date> }

	// This callback is fired when finger moves.
	finger.on('move', function (point) {
		console.log('finger is moving');

	// This callback is fired when finger is released from the screen.
	finger.on('end', function (point) {
		console.log('finger stopped moving');

	// finger.lastPoint refers to the last touched point by the
	// finger at any given time.

Multi-touch example

var touchMe = document.getElementById('touch-me');

Touchy(touchMe, {
	one: function (hand, finger) {
		// Full touchy style event system, run only when exactly one finger
		// on screen.

		// In these cases 'hand' is only alive for the duration of touches that
		// have the exact number of simulataneous touches (unlike in the
		// previous example).

	two: function (hand, finger1, finger2) {
		// Only run when exactly two fingers on screen
		hand.on('move', function (points) {
			// 'points' is an Array of point objects (same as finger.on point object)

	// 'three', 'four', 'five' are supported as well.
	// 'any' is the same as the previous example.

Event handling

var touchMe = document.getElementById('touch-me');

Touchy(touchMe, function (hand, finger) {
	function startFinger () {
		// ...

	finger.on('start', startFinger);  // Attach startFinger to the start event'start', startFinger); // Detach startFinger from the start event

	finger.once('start', startFinger); // One-time-use handler for start event

	finger.trigger('start', arg1, ..); // Trigger the start event with arguments

Mouse simulation

var touchMe = document.getElementById('touch-me');

// When the second invocation argument is set to true Touchy will pick up mouse
// events along with touch events. This is good for testing on desktop.
Touchy(touchMe, true, callback); // For all finger events
Touchy(touchMe, true, { one: ..., two: ... }); // For multi-touch finger events

Plugin support

// Define a plugin
Touchy.plugin('myPlugin', function (elem, settings) {
	// Write your plugin here.
	// This will be executed each time the plugin is applied to an element.

	// 'elem' is the element being touched
	// 'settings' is the the object passed during usage of the plugin

	// Return an object to setup Touchy for the element.
	// This is equivalent to Touchy(elem, { one: ..., two: ... });
	return { one: ..., two: ... };

// Use a plugin
var touchMe = document.getElementById('touch-me');
Touchy(touchMe, {
	myPlugin: { these: 'are', your: 'settings' }

jQuery wrapper

var touchMe = document.getElementById('touch-me');
Touchy(touchMe, { one: ..., two: ... });

// This is equivalent to the following jQuery code:
$('#touch-me').touchy({ one: ..., two: ... });
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