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How To Video: Getting around on the Microsoft Surface

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How To Video: Getting around on the Microsoft Surface

2:08 /

Microsoft's Surface tablet hits users with a radically different Windows experience than they've seen before. Here's how to get around using touch-screen gestures and the optional keyboard Touch Cover.

-The surface tablet is a daring new piece of hardware from Microsoft, but between the hybrid tablet design and the Windows 8 software, it takes a little bit of practice to find your way around. I'm Donald Bell. I'm gonna show you some tips and shortcuts for navigating the Microsoft Surface. First, some basics. With the touchscreen, it's pretty obvious that you can touch things on the screen to interact with them, but what isn't obvious is that a lot of the navigation here is done by swiping in from one of the four edges of the screen. Swipe in from the right and you get the Charms bar for adjusting settings like Wi-Fi connections or screen brightness. Swipe in from the top or bottom to view all of your available apps or swipe in from the left to jump between open programs. The left edge also has a few other tricks. If you pull over an open program halfway, you can view it side by side with another window. And if you swipe in from the left just a little and circle back, you can see shortcuts for all of your open apps. Now, if you have the keyboard cover with your Surface, you can do a lot of the same tricks without even touching the screen. Here's some useful key combos that all center around the Windows key. Windows C will bring up the Charms bar. Windows E will take you to the File Explorer. Windows tab will cycle you through all the open programs and perhaps the most important shortcut here is, from the home screen, just start typing the search for anything on your computer. Finally, some tips on personalizing the home screen. All of the tiles here can be rearranged, adjusted, or even hidden. You can rearrange by holding on the icon and then sliding it where you want it. For more options, try dragging the tile to the bottom of the screen and letting go. Now, you'll see settings for the tile. You can make the tile bigger or smaller or unpin it from the home screen so you don't have to look at it every time you use your computer. So, there you go. Those are my tips for getting around on the Microsoft Surface. For more cool stuff to do with Windows 8, visit howto.cnet.com. And if you want more from me, you can go follow me on Twitter. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.
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