This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
How To Video: Make Microsoft Surface easier to use
About Video Transcript

How To Video: Make Microsoft Surface easier to use

2:55 /

Three easy tips for improving the usability of the Microsoft Surface tablet and getting the most from the included software.

The Microsoft Surface Tablet bridges the gap between laptop and tablet but it makes a few usability sacrifices along the way. I'm Donald Bell, and in this How To video, I'm gonna show you some easy ways to make the Surface a little easier to use. When I'm placed with this 10.6-inch screen feels particularly crammed is in a traditional desktop view. The texts and icons are extremely tiny here so I suggest bumping it up by holding your finger on the screen for a few seconds. Selecting Personalize then Display. Here you can switch the overall size of things from the default small size up to medium or hit custom to scale things up even further. I personally like how this thing looks like about 150 percent. Hit Apply and let the system sign you out. Log back in and you should see a big improvement, no pun intended. If you're crazy about the touchscreen keyboard, you can fit it around with a few alternative options down here in the corner. But there's an even cooler alternative keyboard that you can pull up with this trick. From the metro view, swipe in from the right and hit Settings, then tap Change PC Settings here on the bottom, select Ease of Access from the menu here on the left and you'll see an option for customizing about what happen when you hold down the Windows button and the volume buttons at the same time. From that drop down menu, select On-screen keyboard. Now, whenever you hold down that Windows button and the volume button in that order, you'll get an overlay keyboard that can resize and has a bunch of neat tricks like predictive texts, function keys and a fade button that allows you to glance on what's behind the keyboard. And to close the keyboard, just use the same Windows Volume key combo. Finally, one of the best features of the surface is that includes a basic preview version of Microsoft Office, but you what's better? The final version. And it's free for you to download if you know where to look. From the metro view, swipe in from the right and tap Search, then type Updates and then select Settings from under the search box. From the results on the left, tap the link for Install Optional Updates that says your system is up to date. Tap the link on the left then check for updates. Now looks like I need a firmware update but I'm gonna take the extra step here to click, See all available updates, and look what we have here. A box to update Microsoft Office to the final version. I can't say they made that easy to find but free is free, so make sure to check and then hit install. So there you go. Three tips that will improve your surface tablet experience. Head over to howto.cnet.com for more tips like these. You can also find more tips from me over on twitter. I'm Donald Bell. See you next time.
  • This is the interactive sidebar!

    Click any icon for more information as they appear--don't worry, we'll pause the video and wait for you to come back.

  • Links Polls Galleries
  • Video Review

New releases

The Armor A60 portable drive can...
2:10 October 24, 2014
CNET editor Dong Ngo did some blah blah talking and then a real-world drop test on the Silicon Power Armor...
Play video
Macan: Meet the very different...
21:47 October 24, 2014
Porsche Macan marks the beginning of several chapters for the carmaker, plus a new list of the safest cheap...
Play video
Help battling robots cause even...
6:03 October 24, 2014
This week on Crave, we take a closer look at the Hendo hoverboard, fly on a Virgin Galactic spaceship, and...
Play video
Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2: A...
2:00 October 24, 2014
The C5 Series 2 sounds better than the original and is one top in-ear headphones for less than $200.
Play video
Mr. Coffee gains some smart home...
2:27 October 24, 2014
The $150 Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Smart brews 10-cups at a time and can be controlled by the Wemo mobile a...
Play video
The Philips 100W Equivalent LED...
1:20 October 24, 2014
We tested this bulb to see if it's a better buy than GE or Cree
Play video
Breaking open iPads, Groupon's...
2:54 October 24, 2014
The iFixit team reveals the secrets inside the new iPads, Groupon mimics Yelp, and Microsoft kills the free...
Play video
Vizio P series: Good and cheap...
2:31 October 24, 2014
The highly anticipated Vizio P series is among the cheapest 4K TVs available and delivers a very good picture,...
Play video