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Glossary - Actions and Movements
Glossary - Actions and Movements

Quickly learn how to use tech terminology while testing correctly.

Zorica Micanovic avatar
Written by Zorica Micanovic
Updated over a week ago

During your testing career, you will probably meet several funny situations that look awkward or unprofessional from other testers' sides. Moreover, we are sure that those common mistakes haven't been made with deliberate wishes nor that they represent a lack of knowledge. Sometimes, it is just a silly mistake made in a rush or the heat of battle which will submit the most important bug first. Those mistakes are easy to fix using the Edit button on your bug report.

In some rare cases, testers need to learn the tech terminology from scratch. For such testers, we have composed a list of actions and movements used in testing to help them learn faster and grow exponentially.

Action or movement



Backgrounding an app is when you minimize it without actually closing the app. Foregrounding an app is to open the same app that was previously backgrounded again.


A click represents the action performed when the user presses the left button on the mouse, usually to perform a direct action.


A copy+paste represents two actions aimed at placing the same content from one place to another. Copy is mainly handled by selecting the content you want to share on another place, right-clicking on the mouse to activate the drop-down menu (or using CTRL+C on Windows or COMMAND+C on MacOS), and clicking the Copy option. The second part of the action consists of placing the content in the desired place using the right-click and then the Paste option (or keyboard combo CTRL+V on Windows or COMMAND+V on macOS).

For smartphones or tablet users, these actions are done mainly by long pressing, adjusting the selected text length using sliders, and then tapping the Copy option in the dialogue. Pasting the content is done similarly by long pressing on the desired area and selecting the Paste option from the dialogue.


When you are watching any streaming content (video or audio), sometimes the app will let you double-tap/click on the right side of the screen or provide a specific button to move the video to a different time.


Filtering consists of narrowing large sets of content based on specific criteria like size, color, brand, etc., excluding those that don't meet it.


Focusing on a page element is to highlight it using a cursor or remote control in a streaming device.


Hovering is an action users perform when putting the mouse over a page element to activate tooltips, navigation menu drop-downs on desktops or explore clickable elements.


Drag-and-drop action combo represents actions taken in an attempt to move content from one place to another. It is used, for instance, to upload files or in games to move pieces.

long press

Long pressing a button is the right-click equivalent on devices with touch screens. It usually requires you to open a menu with options to select on the device.


A pinch is an action smartphone or tablet users perform to zoom in on content. It's the equivalent of zooming in.


A click represents the action performed when the user presses the right-click button on the mouse, usually to open the options.


A rotate action is performed by smartphone and tablet users. It aims to change the device's orientation from portrait to landscape and vice versa.


Scrolling represents the movement a user makes toward reaching content within the environment.


Sorting consists of ordering a set of items (products) by specific criteria like low to high, newest to oldest, etc., based on sorting algorithms.


Swiping is used to slide the content left and right. One of the most frequent uses is sliding images in the gallery or banner.


A tap is used by smartphone and tablet users to activate actionable elements of the app or website.

screen lock

Locking the screen is an action taken when you press the button that turns on the standby mode of a device, keeping the screen off, but the device itself is kept on.


When watching any streaming content (video or audio), manually moving the cursor across the timeline is called video scrubbing.


You are typing the information when you enter data in a device using a keyboard (either a physical or an on-screen one).


Zooming in action on Windows desktops is performed by pressing CTRL and + on the keyboard or CTRL simultaneously and scrolling up on the mouse wheel. Users with macOS must press COMMAND and + or COMMAND and scroll up the mouse wheel to zoom in.

To zoom out, Windows desktop users must press the keyboard combo CTRL and - or CTRL and scroll down the mouse wheel. Users with macOS need to press COMMAND and - to zoom out or COMMAND and scroll down the mouse wheel.

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