How To Video
Best Windows 8 keyboard shortcutsNew users may have trouble navigating their way through the Windows 8 interface, especially without using a touch screen. Sharon Vaknin shows you how to find your way around with the keyboard instead.
-Even if you call yourself a Windows expert, there is a serious learning curve with Windows 8. There's a lot of dragging and swiping and mousing around to navigate the interface, and if you don't have a touchscreen computer, it gets a little annoying. The best way to navigate is with shortcuts and there's an entirely new set of them in Windows 8. They'll help you move around much faster and more efficiently. Let me show you the best keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8. All right, no matter where you are, Windows + C brings up the Charms bar where you can access the start screen, settings, and other key options. Use the arrows and then return to make your selection. The less time you spend with the mouse, the better. Windows takes you to the start screen and Windows + D takes you to the desktop. And if you ever hit the Windows Key by mistake, just tap Escape to go back. Now, I'll go to Maps. Every app has its own menu with features and options plus its own settings. To access options and features, hit Windows + Z, and to access the settings, hit Windows + I. You'll see settings on the right plus key system options like brightness and wireless just below it. And to close an app, you can still use Alt+ F4, and thank goodness, because dragging an app to the bottom of the screen is just overkill. One of the better features in Windows 8 is the new app, Snapping. You can stick any app to one side of the screen and do something else on the other. So, look, if you're in an app, hit Windows + period and it'll snap to the right. Hit it again and it'll snap to the left. One more time and it's back to normal. When you snap it to one side, you can open another app in the larger area. Do that by selecting the app with the Windows + Tab or opening it from the start screen. Here's another power user shortcut, Windows + X. This brings up a menu that lets you get to things like the task manager and control panel, run programs, anything that involves system management. It's especially useful for tinkerers, but good to know either way. Finally, the best of them all is the new screenshot shortcut. Microsoft was waylaid on this one, so I'm glad to finally see it here. Hit Windows + Print Screen and not only will you take a screenshot, but that file will automatically be saved to the pictures folder. Amen. All right, if you have any useful shortcuts, share them with me on Twitter and check out howto.cnet.com for the full written list of shortcuts. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin.