Windows 8 Operating System Features

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Windows 8 Operating System – User Interface

Start Screen (Windows key The Windows Key)

metroThe Start screen, sometimes called the Metro screen, replaces the outdated All Programs list that was located on the Start button, in previous versions of Windows.  The Start screen is a tiled graphical listing of common “apps” and applications.  You may access a more complete list of you applications by right-clicking a blank area on the Metro screen.  On Windows 8 startup and login, the Start screen is displayed by default.  You may also access the Start screen by:

    • Using the Windows Key on your keyboard.
    • Moving your mouse pointer to the lower left of the screen and clicking the Metro pop-up
    • Swiping in from the right screen edge if you have a touch screen.

Classic Shell Start ButtonFor your convenience, Information Services has loaded an application onto the X1 Carbon and the Helix that mimics the MS Windows Start button.  This button functions in much the same way as the original Windows Start button.

 

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Charms (Windows Key + C)

 The Charms “Bar” help you access the things you do most often, like search, share content, setup devices, and change settings. What you can do with the charms can change depending on if you’re on the Start screen or using an app.

Charms Bar 

Search (Windows Key + Q for Applications, Windows Key + F for files)

The Search charm is contextually aware, which means that what is searched can change depending on if you’re on the Start screen or using an app.  For instance, if you have the Store app open, the Search function defaults to searching for apps in the Store.

Share (Windows Key + H)

The Share charm allows you to share files, photos, or webpages with people you know.

Start (Windows Key)

Brings you back to the Metro screen.

Devices (Windows Key + K)

Use the Devices charm to set up printers and print documents,  sync info with your phone and stream video.

Settings (Windows Key + I)

The Settings charm is contextually aware, which means that what is searched can change depending on if you’re on the Start screen or using an app. Use Settings to personalize your PC. If you’re in an app, you can use the Settings Charm to get to the settings for that specific app. There are also some common settings, like volume and brightness, that you can get to quickly. For more settings and ways to personalize your PC, open the Settings charm and then tap or click Change PC settings from anywhere on your PC.  View Settings Control Descriptions

 

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Mouse Gestures using ”Hot Spots”

Corner-Hot-SpotsWhen you do not have the luxury of a touch screen, or you are using and external pointing device (i.e. mouse), screen “hot spots” provide easy access to common Windows 8 functions.

Left Top Corner (Windows Key + Tab)

Hovering your mouse pointer over the top left corner will pop-out the last app that you were using.  If you slowly slide the pointer downward, a list of running apps will appear and you may click on any app to switch to it.

Left Bottom Corner (Windows Key + Tab, Start menu is also on Charms Bar)

Hovering your mouse pointer over the bottom left corner will display the shortcut to the Metro screen.  If you slowly slide the pointer upward, a list of running apps will appear and you may click on any app to switch to it.  Additionally, if you right-click the lower left corner, a menu of advanced computer functions (i.e. Run command, Control Panel, Task Manager,…) will appear.

Right Top & Bottom Corner (Windows Key + C, view video)

Hovering your mouse pointer over the top or bottom right corners will display the Charms Bar.

Top Edge (Windows 8 Apps only)

Hovering your mouse pointer over the top edge of the screen, the cursor will change to a hand, you may  easily shutdown an app by clicking and dragging the top edge to the bottom of the screen. 

Right Click

On Windows 8 Apps, right clicking in a blank space will open a menu of addition actions that may be performed using the app.  In Desktop mode, right clicking functions as it has in the past and will open a contextual menu list.

See: Touch: swipe, tap, and beyond

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Touch Screen Gestures

NOTE: Touch Screen gestures are dependent on software drivers and may not be available on all models.

View Microsoft Tutorial

Swipe from Left

This gesture will allow you to switch between running apps.

Swipe from Left and Back Out

This gesture will present a list of running apps.

Swipe from Right

This gesture will open the Charms Bar.

Swipe from Top

This gesture will open a menu of additional actions that may be performed using the app.  If you swipe all the way to the bottom of the screen, you will shutdown the running app.

Pinch Zoom

Pinching in and out will change the zoom level of the contents of the screen (where available).

Two Finger Scroll

By using two fingers on the screen, you can scroll content that is larger than the available screen area.

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TouchPad Gestures

NOTE: TouchPad gestures are dependent on software drivers and may not be available on all models.

View Microsoft Tutorial

Swipe from Left

This gesture will allow you to switch between running apps.

Swipe from Left and Back Out

Does not function.

Swipe from Right

This gesture will open the Charms Bar.

Swipe from Top

This gesture will open a menu of addition actions that may be performed using the app.

Pinch Zoom

Pinching in and out will change the zoom level of the contents of the screen (where available).

Two Finger Scroll

By using two fingers on the touchpad, you can scroll content that is larger than the available screen area.

 

The Desktop

Windows 8 versions Pro and above include the original Desktop interface.  Non-Metro based applications will still run in the Desktop mode.  In Desktop mode, the following features are still available:

Task/Quicklaunch Bar – This bar contains shortcut icons to applications that are “pinned” to the Taskbar or applications that are actively running on your computer.  A grey box will appear around any application that is actively running.  In this example, Firefox and File Explorer are the only running applications.
taskbar image

System Notification Area – Some applications run unseen in the background on your computer.  Many of these applications will provide a tool icon in the System Notification Area to assist a user in changing the software configuration of the computer.  Examples in the image below include (left to right), Symantec Antivirus,  BlueTooth control, Dolby sound control, pointing device control (mouse), Active Protection app, Windows Action Center, Windows power manager, wired/wireless LAN status, Windows sound control, time/date and the “Show Desktop” button (translucent button on the far right).
Notification Area 

Snipping Tool

 File Explorer Favorites and Libraries – Windows 8 implements the Favorites and Libraries function similar to Windows 7.

File Explorer Favorites

File Explorer Libraries

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Useful Hotkey Combinations

Knowing the Hotkey combinations for Windows 8 will help improve user satisfaction and productivity.

Getting to the Charms

Windows Key + C: Opens Charms Bar

Windows Key + I: Access the settings or control panel for active app

Windows Key + Q: Search your applications

Windows Key + F: Search your files

Windows Key + Z: Open the apps bar to see all your installed programs (on Metro Screen)

Display Controls

Windows Key + P: Switch displays

Windows Key + D: Switch to Desktop (Show Desktop)

Windows Key + Comma(,): Peek at Desktop 

Search and multitasking

Windows Key + Tab: Like alt tab, but for Windows 8

Windows Key + Number (1,2,3…): Runs (if not active) or Selects (active) applications on taskbar

Windows Key + Shift + Period(.): Snap current app to the left side

Windows Key + Period(.): Snap current app to the right side

Windows Key + T: Changes cursor focus to pinned applications on taskbar

Active window

Windows Key + Shift + Period(.): Snap current app to the right side

Windows Key + Left/Right Arrow: Snap current window to the left/right

Windows Key + Up Arrow: Maximize window

Windows Key + Down: Minimize window

Windows Key + Home: Minimize everything but the active window 

Advanced

Windows Key + Pause/Break: View machine and system info

Windows+ X: Menu of advanced options for system management, command prompts, etc.

Windows Key + E: Open Explorer

Windows Key + R: Open Run command

Windows Key + L: Enable Lock screen 

Accessibility

Windows Key + Plus or Minus(+/-) Key: Enable magnifier to zoom in and zoom out

Windows Key + Enter: Enable Narrator to read out text in active apps.

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Apps and Applications

Metro Apps: Designed to run from the metro interface (no UI chrome; full screen; edge swiping navigation , App Bar, and Charms for controls and settings). It is also intended to deliver and vet apps via the MS store. They are intended to be more single purpose so that they are intended to be smaller and more responsive.
 
Desktop Application: The traditional programs/applications that you install and use as you traditionally done. It has all the traditional UI chrome, the traditional point and click navigation, menus, etc. It runs from the desktop (hence why you see the desktop flash before the  if you launch a desktop shortcut from the Metro)

Page created by: Tommy Murphy