My first experience with the Windows 8 operating system began in December 2012 when I helped friends install their new desktop computer. Windows 8 was installed on the computer and my goal was to set-up Wi-Fi and install their printer. I thought the process would be easy, it was not. I quickly became frustrated during the installation process, because I like many others could not easily find the programs for which I had become accustomed to using, such as the Control Panel. After a few hours of mulling my way around the system, I was able to get everything successfully installed and went happily back using Windows 7. Fast forward to now… I recently began using a Surface Pro tablet, which comes with Windows 8. I really like the Surface Pro tablet and decided (this time) to explore features of the operating system more deeply. This post is designed to share the answers to initial questions you may have about the operating system.
1.) How do I take a screen shot with Windows 8?
2.) Where is the Start button?
The Start button has been replaced with the Start screen in Windows 8. The Start screen is the initial screen that you will see upon logging into the Windows 8 environment. The files and programs that were listed on the Start button are now presented as tiles on the Start screen. You can accesTiles can open desktop programs and system tools, such as, Microsoft Word and File Explorer, and Windows Store apps.
Windows 8 does not show you all of the tiles on your Start page. In order to see all of the tiles, scroll or swipe to the right side of your screen. As you can see, I loaded a variety of apps and programs.
3.) How do I close multiple applications running in the background?
Windows 8 does not include a Close button for the applications. In order to see all of the applications that are open and close them, move your mouse to the top left corner of the screen. All of the applications that you have open will appear. Right-click on the application you want to Select and press Close.
4.) How do you access the Windows Desktop?
One of the nice features of Windows 8 is that the programs you have access to appear as tiles on a customizable Start Screen. In the example below, the Desktop tile is highlighted, appears on the left-hand side of the screen, and can be accessed by clicking or swiping the tile.
5.) What does “pinning icons” to the Desktop taskbar do for you?
My desktop is presented using the Tiger theme. Windows 8 allows me to pin icons, representing your favorite programs, websites, or apps, to the Desktop taskbar so that they are always visible and easily accessible.
In the example below, I pinnned Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, and PowerPoint icons to the Desktop Taskbar. When the icon is clicked or tapped, the program will open up. This feature helps prevent the frustration that may come with having to flip through multiple screens to find what you are looking for.
6.) What applications are on the computer?
If you load Windows Store apps on your computer, you will be able to see them by right-clicking anywhere on the Start screen and then selecting the All Apps icon that appears on the menu bar.
All of the apps that are loaded on your computer are listed first, followed by Windows accessories and the System tools. In this example, I have merged the app screens so that you will have an idea of how the apps will be presented.
7.) How do I customize the Windows 8 environment?
A new feature of the Windows 8 environment is the Charms bar. The Charms bar can be found by swiping or scrolling to the right hand side of your screen and allows you to access Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings from any place on your system. In this example, when the Charms bar is highlighted, the date and time also appear.Once you have selected the Settings charm, you will need to select Change PC Settings. In this example, I will focus on the use of the Settings Charm to change the Lock screen, add an account picture, and to change the look of the Start screen.
The Lock Screen
The Lock screen appears when you simultaneously press the [Cntl+Alt+Delete] keys, and allows you to keep your work private when you walk away from your computer. Windows 8 provides you with the opportunity to pick the image that will appear on your computer when it is locked.
Change Your Account Picture
You can add a picture to the Microsoft account that you use to log in to Windows 8.
Windows provides a placeholder image for your account before you add a picture. You have the flexibility of uploading and selecting any picture that you like as an account picture.
The Start Screen
Select Change PC Settings. The PC settings screen will appear. Select Start screen. You can change the color of the start screen and include a background design. In this example, the background remains blue and a design is placed in the left-hand corner.
8.) How do I add users?
If you share a computer with others, you can create a user account for each person. Providing each person with their own account allows them to maintain their own files, privacy settings, etc.
Click or tap the Add a user button. The Add a user screen will appear.
Enter the user’s email address and click or tap Next to complete the process.