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Essential Mouse Clicks

Essential Mouse Clicks

Just as every Windows PC has a keyboard, all Windows PCs also have some sort of pointing device. On a desktop PC this is likely to be a mouse; on a notebook PC, it’s likely a touchpad of some sort.

As you may have heard, Windows 8 is “optimized for touch operation.” That means that the brain trust at Microsoft designed Windows 8 to be used primarily on touchscreen devices. Now, unless you just purchased a new high-end computer, it’s unlikely that your PC has a touchscreen. You might think that would leave you in the lurch; fortunately, Microsoft decreed that almost all the necessary touch gestures should also be accomplished with a mouse or touchpad. Lucky us.

Since Windows 8 introduces a slew of new operations and accompanying touch gestures, this means there are a corresponding number of new mouse operations to learn. As with all things Windows 8 related, these new operations are not necessarily intuitive—or even easy to accomplish.

The following table details what you need to know.

Operation

Mouse Operation

Close currently running desktop app or window

Click the X button in top right corner of window

Close currently running Metro app or window

Drag the top of the app to the bottom of the screen

Display Charms bar

Mouse over upper or lower right corner of screen

Display context-sensitive options menu

Right-click

Display Options bar

On Start screen or in any Metro app, right-click anywhere on the screen

Display two Windows 8 apps side-by-side (snap the apps)

Mouse over the top left corner of the screen, then move the cursor down to display thumbnails of all open apps; select the app to snap and drag its (large) thumbnail to either the left or right side of the screen, then release the mouse button

Lock computer

From Start screen, click username, Lock

Move an item to new location

Click and drag, then release

Open a program or document

Click (sometimes double-click)

Open All Apps Window

From Start screen, right-click to display Options bar and then click All Apps

Open Windows Help

From Charms bar, click Settings, Help

Return to Start screen

Mouse over lower-left corner of screen, then click Start screen thumbnail; alternatively, display Charms bar then click Start

Scroll down

Click and drag scrollbar or scroll arrows; alternatively, use mouse scroll wheel

Scroll left

Click and drag scrollbar or scroll arrows; alternatively, use mouse scroll wheel

Scroll right

Click and drag scrollbar or scroll arrows; alternatively, use mouse scroll wheel

Scroll up

Click and drag scrollbar or scroll arrows; alternatively, use mouse scroll wheel

Search

Display Charms bar and click Search

Shut down Windows

From Charms bar, click Settings, Power, Shut Down

View or switch to other open apps

Mouse over top left corner of screen, then move cursor downward to display thumbnails of all open documents; click thumbnail to switch to that item

Zoom in to Start screen (or zoomable apps)

Click anywhere on zoomed out screen; or press Ctrl key then use mouse scroll wheel

Zoom out of Start screen (or zoomable apps)

Click – (minus) button in lower right corner of Start screen; or press Ctrl key then use mouse scroll wheel

Here’s something else. If you have a new-fangled touch mouse (both Logitech and Microsoft sell ‘em), you can also use your mouse to execute many of the touch gestures that we discuss next. That is, you can use a touch mouse just like a regular mouse, or as a kind of low-rent alternative to an expensive touchscreen display.

Same thing with the touchpads on many newer notebook PCs. Many newer touchpads are enabled for touch gesture operation, or at least for use with some touch gestures. Check with your notebook’s manufacturer to see which, if any, touch gestures your touchpad supports.

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