Taking the shortcuts in Windows 8

 Jun 17, 2014

For many years, there has been a split between those who prefer the mouse and those who prefer the keyboard. Often, shortcut keys were realised as the more efficient way of doing things but “how do I remember them all?”
At the time of writing this entry, there is an advertisement on TV for an insurance firm that effectively says “If only life had an undo function” it then goes on to say that when something happened “I could hit CTRL Z.” Now, this is the first time I can recall a shortcut key hitting the mainstream media in this fashion. So, although there are many, many shortcut keys, I’ll focus on some of the shortcut keys I use frequently within Windows 8 itself. NB: The following are for Windows 8, most will work on Windows 8.1 Update 1, however, you may find some small discrepancies.

Shortcuts for Window Management

Rather than minimising, maximising and moving windows with the mouse, you can utilise the Windows logo key and cursor keys to perform the same actions.
  • Windows key + Left Arrow: Snap the window to the left side of the screen
  • Windows key + Right Arrow:

    Snap the window to the right side of the screen

  • Windows key + Up Arrow:

    Maximise the window

  • Windows key + Down Arrow:

    Restore / Minimise the window

  • Windows key + Shift + Left Arrow or Right Arrow: Move an app from one monitor to another

Shortcuts for Launching Applications

When looking at your taskbar, you can press the Windows logo key + a number that represents the position of the application. Given the following taskbar, Windows + 1 would open Outlook, Windows + 4 would open Google Chrome.

Taking the shortcuts in Windows 8

You can rearrange your icons to make it easier for you to keep your recently used icons to the left and thus, lower numbers.

General Windows Shortcuts

The following are some more general Windows shortcuts that I find myself using over and over.
  • Windows key + E: Opens File Explorer
  • Windows key + F: Opens the Search charm to search for files
  • Windows key + L: Locks your computer
  • Windows key + P: Choose a Presentation mode
  • Windows key + W: Opens to Search charm to search for settings
  • Windows key + D: Shows or Hides the Desktop
As I said, there are many more shortcuts, however, these are shortcuts I find myself using over and over, and have saved me an awful lot of time. If you work on laptops for presentations with different devices, then the 'Windows key + P' shortcut is definitely a lifesaver! Happy typing!

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About the Author:

Steve Wiggins  

Steve is a highly experienced technical trainer with over 10 years of specialisation in Software Application Development, Project Management, VBA Solutions and Desktop Applications training. His practical experience in .NET programming, advanced solution development and project management enables him to train clients at all levels of seniority and experience. Steve also currently manages the IT infrastructure for New Horizons of Brisbane, providing him with daily hands-on experience with SCCM, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.

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