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Tips and Tricks to Make Windows 8 Easier to Use

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by Olga R. (subscribe)
I am a writer in the making with a passion for imagery, globetrotting and exquisite designs.
Published June 25th 2013
What are you and what have you done with my desktop
We all know that change is part of life. One must keep up with trends, acknowledge when the zeitgeist dictates a major shift in habits, learn to optimize time and resources. Why should the latest versions of Microsoft Windows be any different? And yet, the general knowledge of this universal truth hasn't made the infamous transition into Windows 8 any easier for most of us.

But not all hope is lost! Here are a few tips and trick to make the ride a little less bumpy.

"Oh, hello. Ehm….sorry, I think there has been a mistake. You see, I was expecting someone else…"


Tips

Image you are in a blocked elevator. What do you do? Don't panic. Help will come. Chances are, someone else has had your same issue and received assistance for it, free of cost, in one of the many user-based forums on the subject. Hop on Google and start searching for answers.

"Oh good, you're here. Thank heavens! The most distressing thing just happened…"


Remember, it's all natural. As in, this is all artificial, but what's natural for human beings is to adapt to change. The new generations will incorporate Windows 8 into their reality as effortlessly as you incorporated, say, automobiles. Mankind is constantly faced with inventions that rack its previous approach to the world. You will soon forget the old set up entirely, just like we've all forgotten what it's like to answer the phone without knowing who's on the other end of the line.

Notice a general trend. Anyone who's seen an iPhone or browsed through Pinterest will confirm that image-based interfaces have a certain irresistible appeal. Even the new version(s) of Facebook are slowly making more space for larger images. The new Windows 8 icon tiles are a quick and easy solution to make apps immediately recognizable (and much easier to press if you have a touchscreen!).

"No, not you again! Look, I don't know how else to say this: I am not interested! Don't you have some iPad to go to?"


Tricks

Take a shortcut.

Surprisingly, the best tip for putting order to madness at the moment is to go vintage on your PC. It will make your life a lot easier, and as you're waffling around, frantically stabbing the corners of your screen with your little white arrow, you will find that a simple combination of a couple of keys will fast-track you to your desired destination – so drop the mouse every once and a while and take to your keyboard. Have a look at this article for a selection of useful keyboard shortcuts. An example? Whiz back to your good old desktop in an instant by pressing Windows Key and D.

Order in the court! Set up your start screen with your desired tiles.

Windows 8 comes with a default selection of tiles on your start screen. Take it as a friendly suggestion, and then do as you please: the way you work determines which applications you use the most and you can set up your start screen accordingly. This walk-through explains how to personalize your start screen by arranging tiles, adding or removing tiles and more.

"There you are! Ok, I get it, he's here to stay. But we can still see each other, right? ….Call me!"


Multitasking made easy

According to research, only 2% of us are actually supertaskers, able to successfully carry out a few different assignments at the same time. However, the temptation is great and the distractions many, so for those who just can't give up multitasking, Windows 8 offers the chance to do just that. Simply open your desired app and press Windows Key and . (period). The first time you do so, this sequence will pin the app to the left side of the screen, the second time it will pin it to the right side, and the third will set it as your main screen. Repeat the sequence one more time to go back to full screen.

"Hi. Look, I feel like we got off on the wrong foot. Smooth layout, by the way..."


Let's get Cloud

The Merriam-Webster defines cloud computing as "the practice of storing regularly used computer data on multiple servers that can be accessed through the Internet". For common mortals, this translates into being able to access files and applications that used to be exclusively found in your computer at home, from a web-based service and therefore from virtually anywhere that has an internet connection.

With a Microsoft account, you will have free space in the cloud through Skydrive to store and share your files: this has the twofold advantage lightening the load of files on your PC and allowing you easy access to your files on the go.
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Why? Because we have to adapt to survive
When: Now
Where: On your PC
Cost: Free
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