10 quick tips and shortcuts for Windows 8

  • Windows Key + O: This key combo turns off, and on, screen rotation. It allows you to lock the screen where you want it, thus when reading in bed the darn thing doesn’t rotate. This is the sort of shortcut that makes life far less maddening.
  • Windows Key + L: This functional little pairing of keys will take you to the lock screen, and pronto. It’s the dead simple way to lock your Windows 8 machine from the touch interface with no effort.
  • Windows Key + Z: This will bring up the application bar (on the bottom of the screen) in a Metro-style application. If you don’t want to reach up and swipe it with your finger, this is the simple way to pull up the options.
  • Windows Key + E: This combination will take you from the touch interface to the classic desktop, and launch Explorer for you. It’s a very quick way to get to a file view that is full-powered.
  • Windows Key + C: This shortcut will pull out the charms menu and will also bring up the time panel. Note, the charms will not appear on the right if you employ this combination, as Windows 8 does not count your input as touch, and thus does not place the charms in their touch-initiated position.
  • The combination of the Windows Key + any letter key that is not assigned to a specific function will yield a search that starts with that letter. I suppose that that was put together to ensure that any Windows Key combination had a purpose, thus lessening user confusion.
  • In a Metro-style application, right clicking raises the app bar.
  • Your scroll wheel will reveal all open applications (Metro-style).
  • Hit your cursor onto the left side of the screen to see a thumbnail of your most recently used application.
  • For semantic zoom, use CTRL + your scroll wheel.
  • Do you have any Windows 8 guides, tips or shortcuts? If you do and they are relevant, I’ll publish them.

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    1. John D

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