We recently acquired a Windows 8 computer at our house and it is quite different from any of the previous versions of Windows. Here are some good tips to know if you work on a Windows 8 computer and as an added special bonus — totally free of charge today only! — a few for Windows 7 as well.
Windows 8 is all about the “hot corners’. The corners on your screen are hot corners and give you access to different Windows features.
Bottom Left-hand corner: The bottom left-hand hot corner of the screen will allow you to access the Start screen, if you’re in the Start screen and have the Desktop open, this corner will open the Desktop from the Start screen.
Top-left corner of the screen: Moving the mouse to the top-left corner and then down will display all the apps running on the computer. Clicking and dragging any of these apps to the left or right-hand side of the screen will snap that app to that side of the screen.
Right-hand side of the screen: Mousing over on the right-hand side of the screen will give you access to the Windows Charms
I have found that knowing some easy keyboard shortcuts will save you a bit of sanity while trying to learn Windows 8.
- Press the Windows key to open the Start screen or switch to the Desktop (if open).
- Press the Windows key + D will open the Windows Desktop.
- Press the Windows key + . to pin and unpin Windows apps on the side of the screen.
- Press the Windows key + C to open the Charms.
- Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings.
- Press and hold the Windows key + Tab to show open apps.
- Press the Windows key + Print screen to create a screen shot, which is automatically saved into your My Pictures folder.
If you’d like even more, jump over and grab this listing of 100 Windows 8 shortcuts. [PDF]
And for most of everyone else who is still working in Windows 7 here are a few for you too.
- Press the Windows key+Home: Clear all but the active windowP
- Press the Windows key+Space: All windows become transparent so you can see through to the desktopP
- Press the Windows key+Up arrow: Maximize the active windowP
- Press the Windows key+Down arrow: Minimize the window/Restore the window if it’s maximizedP
- Press the Windows key+Left/Right arrows: Dock the window to each side of the monitor
(If you’ve got dual monitors, adding Shift to the mix (e.g., Win+Shift+Right arrow) will move the window to the adjacent monitor.)
- Press the Windows key+T: Focus and scroll through items on the taskbar.P
- Press the Windows key+P: Adjust presentation settings for your displayP
- Press the Windows key+(+/-): Zoom in/outP
- Shift+Click a taskbar item: Open a new instance of that application