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Windows 8 Tips

Windows 8 Tips

Windows 8 Tips

Windows 8 has been out for a while now and many of us have upgraded to 8.1 now. A very important update I feel which took care of several bugs that were a problem with the first release. This interface looks drastically from what many of us are used to. The interface is great if you have a tablet or smart phone but is a bit more difficult on a desktop. These windows 8 tips will hopefully improve your productivity with Windows 8.

Give Me Back My Desktop

With Windows XP and Windows 7 we had our that familiar desktop. Now when we start our new Windows 8 machine and login we are blinding by color tiles and charms. It can be a little intimidating to you at first.

If you press Start+D, you’ll shoot instantly to the desktop environment from wherever you are. Press it again, and you’ll clear all the windows to show the desktop you’ve spent the last two decades getting comfortable with.

Choose New Default Apps for Music, Video, and More

One of the things that was frustrating for me are a lot of the default apps in Windows 8 will shoot you into a Live app. To remedy this, you just have to right click on any file of the type you want, and mouse over the Open with option. From there, select Choose default program…. You’ll be able to select whether any app opens in Windows 8 or desktop. You can do this for multiple file types at once by going toPrograms > Default Programs. To me this was one of the changes I made that made windows 8 easier to navigate.

windows 8 default apps

 

How to Use Gestures Without a Touchscreen or a (Working) Trackpad

One of the best things about Windows 8 is that it adds an incredible amount of functionality to your arsenal with swipes and taps. You know, gestures. But if you don’t have a touchscreen or a compatible trackpad, here’s how you can still take advantage of all the new shortcuts. Microsoft calls them “hot corners,” but they’re basically just mouse-friendly maneuvers:

Start: Mouse to the bottom left corner, left click the tile.
Power User Navigation: If you right click the bottom left popup instead of left clicking it, you’ll get options for a host of commands, like opening Task Manager or Control Panel, or individual settings like Power Options or Device Manager.
Multitask Quick Swap: Mouse to the top left corner and left click it (You can also right click to close or snap left or right)
Multitask Bar: Mouse to the top left corner, then slide your cursor down the left side of the screen. (Right click closes or snaps left or right here as well)
Charms: Mouse to the top or bottom right corner.
Close Live App: Click the top-center of the app and drag it to the bottom of the screen.
Live App Menu: Right click anywhere in the Live app
Aero Peek: Aero Peek is still here! Mouse to the bottom right corner and leave the cursor there.

Other New Keyboard Shortcuts

Start+C: Open charms
Start+Q: Search charm
Start+H: Share charm
Start+K: Devices charm
Start+I: Settings charm
Start+Q: Search apps
Start+W: Search settings
Start+F: Search files (It’s easier to just type directly into the Start screen, but these take you directly to your desired search category.)
Start+,: Peek at desktop
Start+B: Back to desktop
Start+Enter: Open Windows Narrator
Start+X: Open system utility settings menu

For Live Apps
Start+.: Snap app left
Start+Shift+.: Snap app right
Start+Z: App options
Start+Tab: Cycle through app history
Start+F4: Close an app

Run two apps side by side

Modern UI apps are what Microsoft calls ‘immersive’ applications, which basically means they run full-screen – but there are ways to view up to four at once.

On Windows 8, swipe from the left and the last app you were using will turn into a thumbnail; drop this, and one app displays in a sidebar pane while your current app takes the rest of the screen. And you can then swap these by swiping again.

If you haven’t already done so update your computer to Windows 8.1. These windows 8 tips expands on this and can display up to four apps simultaneously, if you’ve enough screen space. Move your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, and when it changes to a hand icon, drag and drop your app to the left or right. Once you’ve moved it enough, a dividing line will appear, you can drop the app, and it’ll appear in just that part of the screen. Use the bar between your apps to resize their window widths, or if you need to make one full-screen again.

Run two applications

If you like these windows 8 tips please let us know. If you have questions about a problem your having with Windows 8 post it here or give us a call.