First Looks: Windows 8 Metro Interface - Page 2

By Helen Bradley
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Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

Unlike recent versions of Windows where you don't need to use shortcut keys to move around, when learning how to use Windows 8 on a desktop PC, everyone will benefit by knowing some crucial keystrokes.

Here are a bunch of Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows key: display the Start menu
  • Windows + tab: display the task switching panel
  • Windows + C: reveal Charms
  • Windows + D: show the desktop
  • Windows + H: Share charm
  • Windows + I: Settings
  • Windows + K: Devices charm
  • Windows + L: Lock the screen
  • Windows + P: extend to a second monitor
  • Windows + Z: display an app's application bar
  • Alt + Tab: Cycle through open apps
  • Right-click an application window: reveal the application bar

Other Windows 8 Metro Interface Tricks

There are a couple of things to note about Charms. The Start charm takes you to the Start screen, and the Settings charm is context sensitive, so it shows you the settings for the app that you're currently using. You can use general options, such as a Power button, to choose Restart, Sleep or to Shut Down your computer.

Windows 8 Metro settings.

Figure 4: Many of the Settings Charm options are context sensitive, and here it shows options for Internet Explorer.

Scrolling on the touch screen takes the form of swiping from left to right, which means you'll be swiping across the Metro screen from now on rather than scrolling up and down. The scroll wheel on a mouse will scroll left to right, and you can also drag the scroll bar across the bottom of the screen to move from left to right and back again.

You can access a small menu if you right-click at the bottom left corner of the screen. This gives you access to tools such as Computer Management, Command Prompt, Device Manager, Power Options and others from a standard Windows style menu.

The Metro Affect on Small Business

You might expect seasoned and advanced Windows users to embrace the Windows 8 upgrade. But most employees just want to get their daily tasks done, and they don't want to spend hours poking around trying to discover how things work.

You can't discover many of Metro's features through icons and buttons simply because there are none. Unlike other versions of Windows, everyone will need some immediate instruction to learn how to use Windows 8 so they won’t feel confused and angry.

Small businesses will be well advised to provide some training before users get Windows 8 to prepare them for the change. Also, provide your employees with cheat sheets of shortcut keys to help them adjust in the first weeks.

Helen Bradley is a respected international journalist writing regularly for small business and computer publications in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK and Australia. You can learn more about her at her Web site, HelenBradley.com

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This article was originally published on March 28, 2012
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