Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server > Microsoft Windows Desktop

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Relearning Essential Operations

As previously noted, Windows 8 was designed with tablets and smartphones in mind. What these devices have in common is the touchscreen display—that is, you operate your iPad or iPhone with your fingers, not with a keyboard or mouse.

Similarly, Windows 8 can be operated with touch gestures—if your PC has a touchscreen display, that is. In fact, many operations, such as displaying the Charms bar or viewing running apps, are much easier and more intuitive on a touchscreen display.

All of these features are nice if your new PC has a touchscreen display—which few computers today do. If your PC doesn’t have a touchscreen display, you have to learn the keyboard shortcuts or mouse movements necessary to replicate the touch gestures.

To ease your way into using Windows 8 on your new computer, the following table details how to perform some of the most useful operations—with a keyboard, mouse, or touchscreen display. (Note that not all operations can be performed in all three ways.)

Essential Windows 8 Operations

Operation

Keyboard

Mouse

Touchscreen

Close currently running app or window

Alt+Q

Drag the top of the app to the bottom of the screen; for Desktop apps, click the X button in top-right corner of the window.

Touch the top edge of the screen and swipe down about halfway through the screen.

Display Charms bar

Windows+C

Mouse over the upper- or lower-right corner of screen.

Touch the right edge of the screen and swipe to the left.

Display context-sensitive options menu

Application (menu) key

Right-click.

Press and hold the item with your finger.

Display Options bar

Windows+Z

Right-click anywhere on the screen.

Touch the top or bottom of the screen and swipe toward the middle.

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

N/A

Mouse over the top-left corner of the screen and 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 and then release the mouse button.

Touch the left edge of the screen, drag your finger to the right, and then quickly drag it back to the left to display the switcher panel; press and drag the app you’d like to snap to the right and then drop it on either the left or right edge of the screen.

Lock computer

Win+L

From the Start screen, click username, Lock (where username is the username you use).

From the Start screen, tap username, Lock (where username is the username you use).

Move an item to a new location

N/A

Click and drag, then release.

Press and hold, drag to new location, and then release.

Open a program or document

Enter

Click (sometimes double-click).

Tap.

Open All Apps Window

From Start screen, press Ctrl+Tab

From the Start screen, display the Options bar and click All Apps.

From the Start screen, display the Options bar and tap All Apps.

Open Windows Help

Windows+F1

From the Charms bar, click Settings, Help.

From the Charms bar, tap Settings, Help.

Return to Start screen

Windows key

Mouse over the lower-left corner of the screen and then click the Start screen thumbnail.

Open the Charms bar and tap Start.

Scroll down

PageDown or down arrow

Click and drag the scrollbar or click the scroll arrows; use the mouse scroll wheel.

Swipe up.

Scroll left

PageUp or left arrow

Click and drag the scrollbar or click the scroll arrows; use the mouse scroll wheel.

Swipe right.

Scroll right

PageDown or right arrow

Click and drag the scrollbar or click the scroll arrows; use the mouse scroll wheel.

Swipe left.

Scroll up

PageUp or up arrow

Click and drag the scrollbar or click the scroll arrows; use the mouse scroll wheel.

Swipe down.

Search

Windows+Q

Display the Charms bar and click Search.

Display the Charms bar and tap Search.

Shut down Windows

Alt+F4

From the Charms bar, click Settings, Power, Shut Down.

From the Charms bar, tap Settings, Power, Shut Down.

Switch to previous application

N/A

N/A

Touch the left edge of the screen and swipe rapidly to the right.

View or switch to other open apps

Alt+Tab

Mouse over the top-left corner of the screen and then move the cursor downward to display thumbnails of all open documents; click a thumbnail to switch to that item.

Touch the left edge of the screen, drag your finger to the right, and then quickly drag it back to the left; you can then tap any app thumbnail to switch to that app.

Zoom in to the Start screen

N/A

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

Use two fingers to touch two adjacent points on the screen and then move your fingers apart.

Zoom out of the Start screen

N/A

Click the – button in the lower-right corner of the Start screen; or press the Ctrl key and then use the mouse scroll wheel.

Use two fingers at two distant points on the screen and then pinch your fingers in toward each other.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account