Navigating Windows 8 on a desktop PC

Graham Jones, as a top engineer created many innovations and more recently led the Canadian user group VANTUG to a No.1 work ranking. In addition, Graham was a founder and long time Chairman of the largest international user group federation, GITCA, which is HQed in Canada. We met recently where he shared his useful insights into Windows 8:

Windows 8 has been designed to cater to both the mobile and desktop environments. There has been much comment about its suitability for desktop PC’s. Having now spent some time investigating Windows 8 on a desktop PC I have concluded that navigation via the keyboard is critical to success. Although previous versions of Windows have lots of keyboard shortcuts personally I haven’t really made much use of them since I didn’t find a compelling need. I have tended to be more of a “mouse” person. You can of course make good use of a mouse in Windows 8 but I find myself increasingly using the keyboard for basic navigation. The important key is the WinKey or Windows Key. In Windows 7 it brings up the Start Menu which no longer exists in the same form in Windows 8, it being replaced by the Modern UI Start Screen. The purpose of this short article is to highlight the value in learning some of the WinKey shortcuts. If you want an exhaustive list there are many good lists on the Internet, for example or  I have listed just a few which I now use on a regular basis:

WinKey + start typing = search the PC

WinKey + F = open the Search Charm to search files [useful if on the Desktop]

WinKey + I = open the Settings Charm

WinKey + D = access the Desktop

WinKey + E = open File Explorer

WinKey + X = access the Windows Tools Menu which provides many useful shortcuts, eg. Control Panel, Command Prompt, Task Manager, etc.

Learning just a very few of the WinKey shortcuts has made a huge difference to my Windows 8 desktop PC experience!

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