Windows 8 has 8 cool new features worth celebrating & 8 tips and tricks to make using Windows 8 even nicer. In addition, there are some keyboard shortcuts & hot-corner capabilities you should know about to make using Windows 8 easier.
Eight cool new features in Windows 8
First, here are the 8 new capabilities I believe you will quickly warm up to:
I am finding the charms bar (which appears on the right side of the screen if you click/swipe there) to be much more helpful than I would originally thought. Such as, click/tap Settings, then Power to put the computer to sleep. The charms bar has icons for searching, setting preferences, switching and sharing between the Metro environment & the Windows 7 desktop.
I love that I am able to get Metro apps from the store for my PC now just like I do for my Windows Phone.
3. Windows Reader
With this built-in app, I can open a PDF & highlight paragraphs/ use the stylus on a tablet to make explanations in the file. Talking to PDFs, you can also bring PDFs into the forthcoming Word 2013 & work with their text in Word.
I like that you are able to log into your Windows Live account when logging onto your PC & have your personalization settings pursued you from one device to another (assuming they use the same live account).
This feature helps to look after you from a drive failure by letting you can pool multiple drives, à la RAID redundancy.
6. File history
This new, easy way of saving copies of your files lets you get earlier versions back if the current file is lost/damaged, close to OS X’s Time Machine utility.
The revamped task manager provides a more detailed and readable view of running processes. Admins & power users will love it.
With the Windows 8 Enterprise Edition, you are able to put your Windows environment on a USB thumb drive & take it with you for use on any PC compatible with Windows 7 and 8. IT can manage these Windows to Go images via Windows Server.
1. Start screen search
Do you need to find a file / an app fast? Head over to the Metro Start screen & start typing. Windows will repeatedly search for what you type & show you the results quickly. Windows 8 has no need to open a search box.
2. “Power user” menu
Place the cursor in the lower left of the Windows Desktop screen (a hot corner) — to the left & below any application tiles — & right-click the thumbnail image that appears. You can now open the new “power user” menu that gives you quick entrance to some of the most used features in Windows for techies & enthusiasts. (Note: You can also press Windows-X to bring up this menu; however there is no touch gesture to invoke it on a tablet).
3. Shutdown and sleep
One of the most perplexing aspects to Windows 8 is how to shut it down / put it to sleep. From the charms bar, click and tap Settings, after that Power in the pane that appears. You then get options to sleep (shut down / restart). If you have a corporeal keyboard, you can also press the conventional Ctrl-Alt-Del to bring up these options.
4. Picture password
On touch-enabled devices, you can choose a picture & a gesture (mouse movement) you apply on it to be your password. To set that picture password, select Settings in the charms bar, click and tap Change PC Settings, & select Users in the pane that appears. From the charms bar, choose Settings > Change PC Settings > Users, pursued by Create a Picture Password.
5. Show admin applications on the Metro Start screen
In the Metro Start screen, open the charms bar, click & tap Settings, and select Tiles. Move the Show Administrative Tools exchange from No to Yes. At this moment, your Metro Start screen has tiles for all those admin apps!
6. Organize Metro Start screen tiles into groups
You can “semantic zoom” (using a pinch gesture on screen / mouse pad, /using your trackball) out of your normal Smart Screen to view all app groups. You can move your groups approximately as a block. Right-click the block & give your groups a name.
7. See what’s running
From the Windows 8 Desktop, push Windows-Tab to see what apps are running. For more information, press Ctrl-Shift-Escape, & select More Details for an improved view.
8. Get the Start orb back
There is no built-in-way in Windows 8 to get this missing aspect, which makes it a lot harder to entrance commonly used applications in Windows 8. (Tip: Pin those apps to the task bar of Windows 7 Desktop so that you can unlock them from there.) / download Stardock’s free Start8 utility to get a Start orb.
Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts & hot corners you must know:
Working faster typically involves some type of shortcut. Windows 8 offers a bunch of shortcuts with the Windows key (which means you need a corporal keyboard to enter them); in addition to hot corners you can click by a mouse that make other aspects available.
Here are the essential shortcuts:
Windows: Click just this key toggle among the Metro Start screen, the last-run Metro app, & the Windows 7 Desktop.
Windows-C: Shows the charms bar.
Windows-D: Start on the Windows 7 Desktop.
Windows-E: Starts the Windows 7 Explorer.
Windows-F: Unlock the File Search pane.
Windows-H: Unlock the Share pane.
Windows-I: Unlock the Settings pane.
Windows-K: Unlock the Devices pane.
Windows-L: Lock the PC.
Windows-Q: Unlock the global search utility.
Windows-1, 2 & 3: Unlock the first, second, & third open apps on the Windows 7 taskbar, correspondingly.
If you float the mouse over and right-click the 4 corners of the screen (known as hot corners), you get these quick access options.
Lower left and upper left
This shows a thumbnail sample of the Metro Start screen, the last-opened Metro app, & the Windows 7 Desktop; push the thumbnail to switch to the item. If you scroll down from the thumbnail of upper-left corner & up from the thumbnail of lower-left corner, a pane shows with all open Metro apps, the Windows 7 Desktop, & the Metro Start screen; press the desired thumbnail to unlock its item.
Upper right and lower right
These hot corners open the charms bar.
On a touch screen PC / tablet, you can accomplish the same functions that the hot corners provide such as a mouse. For instance, slide one finger from the screen’s left side to switch to the next open application, the Windows 7 Desktop, & the Metro Start screen (anything Windows 8 sees as “next” in its list of running apps). To observe the thumbnails of those running apps, slip your finger to the right from the left frame; when the thumbnail for the “next” app shows, slip to the left until your finger come close to the screen frame. Just do not release your finger when doing the motion U-turn! To unlock the charms bar, slip one finger to the left from the right side of the screen.
There are definitely many more features in addition to tips & tricks for Windows 8. I will share those clues of Windows 8 as soon as possible.