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Tips and tricks for navigating the new windows 8 user interface


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Tips and tricks for navigating the new windows 8 user interface

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Tips and tricks for navigating the new windows 8 user interface

  1. 1. PREPARED BY RAVI KUMAR LANKE Page 1Tips and Tricks for Navigatingthe New Windows 8 UserInterfaceGet over the learning curve and quickly master the newUI with these insights.The new Windows 8 user interface (UI) can seem intimidating at first glance, especially for desktop and notebookusers who dont have touch screens. But a little education can go a long way toward alleviating fears.Here are a few tips that can quickly get you up to speed so you can maintain your productivity when you upgrade to(or are migrated to) the new operating system.1. Windows 7’s Keyboard Shortcuts Haven’t Gone AwayThankfully, many of the keyboard shortcuts used by Windows 7 still work in Windows 8. For example, pressing theWindows key + R still brings up the Run dialog box, so you can type the name of the program you want to run.Pressing the Windows key + E still opens Windows Explorer, allowing you to browse the fixed and removable driveson your system. And pressing the Windows key + F still lets you search.2. Dealing with Changes in SearchIn Windows 7, if you want to search for documents, presentations or email messages, you can press the Windowskey + F and type what you’re searching for in the search box. In Windows 8, when you press this keyboard shortcut,the Start screen is displayed, with a Search bar on the right:
  2. 2. PREPARED BY RAVI KUMAR LANKE Page 2This new Search bar (technically called the Search “charm,” but it looks like a bar to me) lets you specify what yourelooking for: files, apps, settings or other items, such as web pages or emails.This takes some getting used to, but the nice thing is that you can type your search string first, and then use the upand down arrow keys to move through the different search items until you find what youre looking for.Or you can use different keyboard shortcuts to set the focus on specific types of search items, such as these: Windows key + Q sets the search focus on Apps Windows key + W sets the search focus on Settings Windows key + F sets the search focus on FilesSome of the other types of search items are really cool. For example, heres what I got when I searched for"notepad.exe" and clicked the Bing item:
  3. 3. PREPARED BY RAVI KUMAR LANKE Page 33. Run Programs the Easy WayIf you want to open Microsoft Paint in Windows 7, for example, you typically press the Windows key + R and type"mspaint" and then press Enter. This same procedure will work on Windows 8, but if the Start screen is currentlydisplayed, theres an even easier way to do this: simply type "paint" and press Enter.This type-to-run feature of the Start screen can be powerful, once you get used to it. The feature works when youtype anything while you’re on the Start screen; it automatically opens the Search bar, with the focus set on Apps.4. Switch Between the Start Screen and the DesktopIf you dont like the new Start screen, you can always switch back to the traditional Windows desktop by pressing theWindows key on your keyboard.You can quickly switch back to the Start screen by pressing the Windows key again. On a nontablet computer, I findthis a lot easier than moving the mouse pointer into the bottom left or top right corner of the screen and then left-clicking.Remember: The Windows key is your friend.5. Quickly Access Commonly Used ToolsOn either the Start screen or the desktop, move the mouse pointer to the bottom left corner of the screen and thenright-click. A menu will be displayed that lets you quickly access some commonly used tools, as shown here:
  4. 4. PREPARED BY RAVI KUMAR LANKE Page 4You can also bring this menu up at any time by pressing the Windows key + X.6. Customize Your EnvironmentNeed to customize the settings of your PC or desktop environment? Just press the Windows key + I to open theSettings bar (okay, its the Settings charm) on the right side of your screen. The bottom portion of the bar looks likethis:If you click Change PC Settings, a new PC settings screen will appear, letting you personalize your Start screen,create users, configure notifications, modify search settings, and more:
  5. 5. PREPARED BY RAVI KUMAR LANKE Page 57. Putting the Magic of Charms to Good UseOkay, lets call it the Search charm instead of the Search bar. Are there other charms? Sure. Just press the Windowskey + C (thats "C" for "charm," of course) and youll see the different charms in a black bar on the right side of yourscreen:
  6. 6. PREPARED BY RAVI KUMAR LANKE Page 6Weve already seen what the Search charm is for, but what about the other charms? Basically, they are used whenyou have installed Windows Store apps on your computer. For example: Share: Lets you share content from your app or with people or services Settings: Lets you configure preferences for your app Devices: Lets you connect to devices to send content or print from your app Start: Returns you to the Start screen8. Lock Your ComputerNeed to step away from your computer? Click on your user name or account picture at the top right of your Startscreen and click Lock: