Archive for March, 2014

Finding your way around Windows 8.1

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Win 8_1

Windows 8.1 is the new operating system from Microsoft. Released in October 2012 it caused something of a stir with it’s new ‘Metro’ interface but as time has gone on, and with the release of 8.1, it has proven to be a stable system and, if you spend some time finding your way around, not so different to use after all.

The Metro Interface was definitely designed with touch screens in mind. The large Charms display your applications boldly. Some Charms, such as those for social media or email applications, can also display current content and alerts, so everything you need is there as soon as you switch on your PC, laptop or tablet.

Navigation is via a combination of swiping in from the sides on a touchscreen or moving the mouse cursor to the corners of the screen. For example, top-right or bottom-right will show you Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings. Bottom-left will take you back to the Start screen.

For users that prefer a more traditional view, the Desktop charm will take you into a more familiar desktop environment.



There is no Start Menu but clicking the Windows icon, bottom-left will show you all your available applications as Charms. Any applications you use regularly you can pin to the Taskbar by right-clicking on them and selecting pin to Taskbar.

For those that like the more technical aspects, in the Desktop view the Windows logo key Windows-logo-s +Z will bring up a menu with more technical utilities such as Control panel and Command Prompt.



In Windows 8.1, Search is a very good way to find any files, applications, settings or virtually anything you require. Move the mouse cursor to the top-right, or swipe in from top-right, and type in whatever you are looking for. If you are in the Metro interface you can just start typing and it will automatically open the Search box.


For many more details on the various key board and mouse shortcuts available and finding your way around Windows 8.1, Microsoft have produced some great guides, which can be found at