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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Handy-Dandy Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 8

Last night, I found a post on Ars Technica about start menu replacements in Windows 8. After reading many of the comments there, I realized that some of the problems people are complaining about are easily solved with keyboard shortcuts available in Windows 8.

With this in mind, here are some keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8 that you should memorize (shortcuts newly available in Windows 8 will have "New" after them) with some explanations about what they do:
  • Win : This one is the most obvious. Pressing the Windows (logo) key on the keyboard will take you back to the Start Menu screen.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Delete : This one has been around since the early days of Windows and is still available for your use in Windows 8. If you don't already know what this keyboard shortcut does, it brings up a little menu which allows you to lock your session, switch the current user, logout, or open the Task Manager.
  • Alt + Tab : This allows you to cycle through the list of all open programs (both Metro-UI programs and Win32 programs). Furthermore, after pressing Alt + Tab, you can also use the mouse to click on the (open) program you want to switch to.
  • Ctrl + X : Cut (or Move, if dealing with files)
  • Ctrl + C : Copy
  • Ctrl + V : Paste
  • Win + Tab (New) : This allows you to cycle through the list of all Metro-UI programs. Please note that all Win32 programs fall under one big program here, "Desktop". Like Alt + Tab, , after pressing Alt + Tab, you can also use the mouse to click on the (open) program you want to switch to.
  • Win + C (New) (Important) : This keyboard shortcut is very important. It opens up the "taskbar" on the right side of the screen. This keyboard shortcuts saves you the effort of moving the mouse to the bottom-right corner of the screen to make it show up.
  • Win + E : opens up a new file explorer window
  • Win + X (New) : This keyboard shortcut is a system administrator's best friend. Pressing it will bring up a little menu where the start menu button used to be. This menu contains links to all essential administrative parts of Windows.
  • Win + F (New) : This keyboard shortcut brings up the search menu, where you can search for items in all available categories.

This is just a short list of (essential) keyboard shortcuts. For a fuller list, please see Microsoft's list of keyboard shortcuts in Windows 8. In my next post, I will share my thoughts on how to fully utilize the potential of Microsoft's new Start Screen in Windows 8.

So, hopefully, this helps you to be more productive with the latest version of Windows, Windows 8. Is there a keyboard shortcut I should add this list that isn't there already? If there is, or if you have any other thoughts about this in Windows 8, please share them in the comment box below.

While you're learning about these new shortcuts in Windows 8, why not drink some delicious Mystic Monk Coffee? Mystic Monk Coffee (use this link or click on the picture below to access the store and purchase) is what you really need when it comes to coffee. Trust me, it's good coffee (in most instances, much better than Starbucks coffee) and you won't regret buying some (just keep it away from your computer keyboard or laptop/tablet). If you like tea more than coffee, they also offer tea. Using the link (or picture below) to buy the coffee (or tea) helps the monks out and helps me with college expenses as well. The coffee (or tea) also makes for great gifts for friends and family as well.

For my existing Windows Phone apps, the update for the free version of Mobile Media Manger is out. However, I found an embarrassing bug in that update (the button to move items up in the playlist manager is not working, but the one to move items down in the playlist manager is working and everything else works). I will be submitting a fix for this in the next day or two, along with an update for the paid version of Mobile Media Manger. The update for BSA Eagle Tracker will soon follow. If you want to get my apps now while waiting for the update, use the following links:

BSA Eagle Tracker download:
Mobile Media Manager (paid version) download:
Mobile Media Manager (free version) download:

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