About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

March 11, 2014

Windows 8.1, Part 2

Last week I mentioned that I am no longer "afraid" to use Windows 8.1 and that is only 8.1 not 8, about which I still have reservations.  I also said that you need to learn a few new things and make a few "edits" and changes to Windows 8.1 to make it work better for you.  For the following I will figure that you have set up your system to "skip" the W8.1 start screen. 

So today we will look at a few things I think you need to know before you become an 8.1 professional. 

First thing you will notice is that the desktop looks very similar to Windows 7.  One big difference is that there is no longer the familiar, "Start Button" in the lower left-corner.  This feature has been in all Windows OS since Windows 95.  I believe is there largest mistake with 8/8.1 since it was so easy to use and very well accepted by users.  There is a button that resembles the old one but not so helpful, in my opinion.  When clicked it you take you back and forth between the desktop and the start screen.  More on the start key later along with a way to get the old start key and menu back.

image In using 8.1 you will find that when you try to start programs you may have had to hunt for the program for quite a while.  Hopefully, you found it but possibly not…this operating system is not user friendly.   I have found, for me, that the easiest way to find your program is to press the Windows key on your keyboard and start typing what you are looking for.  For instance, I am now typing in Word and need to open an Excel Spreadsheet.  I press the Windows key and type, "excel" and then press enter.  Excel opens up and is ready to roll – easy.  You can search for folders, files, programs, documents containing specific words, etc.  Yes, if you have the word "Doyle" in one file, type "doyle" in the search menu and it will very, very quickly find the file.  Click it to open it. 

To close the program once you are finished, either click File/Close or click the large "X" in the upper right corner, just as in the "old" days.

Not all programs in 8/8.1 close as I said above.  The ones that do not close that way are usually the "native" Windows 8 programs.  Some of them are hard to find out how to close.  That is why I use a quick short-cut key.  This key combo has worked in all of the past versions of Windows OS.  While in the program you want to close, hold down the Alternate key and tap the F4 key (Atl + F4).  It will either ask you to save the current document if needed or shutdown the application automatically.  Be careful that you do not do this while on the desktop or it will ask to shutdown Windows.image

More to come.

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