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This chapter is from the book

Learning Important Windows Operations

Now that you know how to use your mouse or touchscreen to get around Windows, it’s time to learn some important Windows operations. Most of these actions can be initiated with either a mouse or a keyboard—or, on a touchscreen display, with your fingers—as detailed in Table 4.1.

TABLE 4.1 Essential Windows 8.1 Operations





Close currently running app or window


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

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

Display Apps screen

From Start screen, press Ctrl+Tab

From the Start screen, click the Apps (down arrow) button.

From the Start screen, swipe up from the bottom toward the middle of the screen.

Display Charms bar


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


Press and hold the item with your finger.

Display Options bar


Right-click anywhere on the screen.

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

Display Start screen

Windows key

Click the Start button.

From the Charms bar, tap Start.

Display two or more Modern apps side-by-side (snap the apps)


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 the 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 the right edge of the screen.

Lock computer


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


Click and drag, and then release.

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

Open a program or document


Click (sometimes double-click).


Open Windows Help


From the Charms bar, click Settings, Help.

From the Charms bar, tap Settings, Help.

Scroll down

Pg Dn or down arrow

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

Swipe up.

Scroll left

Pg Up or left arrow

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

Swipe right.

Scroll right

Pg Dn or right arrow

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

Swipe left.

Scroll up

Pg Up or up arrow

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

Swipe down.


Windows+Q or Windows+S

Display the Charms bar and click Search.

Display the Charms bar and tap Search.

Shut down Windows


Right-click the Start button to display the Quick Access menu; then select Shut Down, Shut Down.

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

Switch to previous application



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

View or switch to other open apps


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


Click anywhere on the zoomed-out screen; or press the Ctrl key and 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


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.

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