How do you get Windows 8.1 to do what you want it to do? You can command a computer in many ways, depending on your equipment. For example, a desktop computer with a keyboard has different options from a handheld device like a tablet with a touchscreen.
Touch Your Screen
The following terms refer to ways you interact with a touchscreen:
Tap: Briefly touch the screen. You open an object, such as an app or activate a function, such as a button, by tapping it.
Press and Release: Longer than a tap. When you release, you may see a context menu.
Drag: Touch and hold your finger on the screen, then move your finger across the screen. You move an object, such as an onscreen playing card, by dragging it.
Swipe: Touch and move your finger more quickly than with drag. You can swipe your finger across the screen from any of the four sides of the screen to display options and commands. You swipe pages to move forward or back. Swipe an icon or tile up or down to select it. (You may see the word flick instead of swipe. Some people insist that a flick is faster or shorter than a swipe.)
Pinch and spread: Touch a finger and thumb or two fingers on the screen. Move your fingers closer to each other to pinch and or spread them away from each other. Generally, a pinch reduces the size of something on the screen or shows more content on the screen. Spreading your fingers usually zooms in, increasing the size of something on-screen to show more detail.
Watch for the words touch, tap, swipe, or pinch to indicate using your finger. Touch actions are often called gestures.
Use a Mouse
The following terms describe methods for using a mouse with Windows 8.1. In each, move the mouse first to position the pointer over a specified item before proceeding:
Click: Move the on-screen arrow-shaped mouse pointer over a specified item and press and release the left mouse button: that’s a click (sometimes called a left-click to distinguish it from a right-click). This usually opens the selected object, such as an app.
Right-click: Press and release the right mouse button to display available functions. Note that the word click by itself means use the left mouse button.
Click and Drag: Press and hold down the left mouse button, and then move the mouse pointer across the screen. When you want to move an object, you drag it. Release the mouse button to release the object. (Compare with Right-click and Drag, which displays a context menu on release.)
Watch for the word click to indicate using a mouse button and roll to indicate using the mouse wheel.
Keystrokes for Almost Anything
Keystroke combinations are fast but require a keyboard and some memorization. If you have a keyboard, you owe it to yourself to learn some of these — they are quite literally handy.
- Win (the Windows logo key) switches between the current app and the Start screen
- Win+C displays the Charms panel on the right [other keys take you directly to an option without showing Charms first]
Win+Tab switches between open applications (compare with Alt+Tab, which includes open windows on Desktop)
Win+Z displays the command bar (top and / or bottom of screen)
Win+D displays the desktop (minimizes all windows); repeat keystroke to restore open windows
Win+E opens File Explorer on the Desktop
Win+1, Win+2, Win+3, etc opens or switches to apps pinned to the taskbar on the Desktop. (Usually, Internet Explorer is 1 and File Explorer is 2, but apps can be pinned, unpinned, and reordered on the taskbar.)
Win+X opens the Power User’s Menu
Win+Down Arrow closes a modern app or minimizes a desktop app (compare with Alt+F4)
Win+Up Arrow maximizes an app or desktop window
Win+Right Arrow or Win+Left Arrow moves the current app to the right or left side of the screen.
F11 displays window full-screen “F(u)ll” (not all applications — desktop version of Internet Explorer is one)
- Search [Win+Q] (unnecessary on Start screen – just type)
- Share [Win+H]
- Start [Win]
- Devices [Win+K]
- Settings [Win+I]
Within an app or desktop program:
- Ctrl+A selects all text or objects in a document or window
- Ctrl+C copies the selected text or objects to the Clipboard
- Ctrl+X cuts (removes) the selected text or objects to the Clipboard
- Ctrl+V pastes text or objects from the Clipboard to the cursor location
- Ctrl+Z undoes the most recent action
- Ctrl+Y redoes most recently undone action
- Ctrl+S saves the current document
- Ctrl+P opens the Print diialog
- Ctrl+T opens a new tab in Internet Explorer (and in some apps, like Reader)
- Ctrl+W closes the current tab in Internet Explorer (and in some apps, like Reader)
- Ctrl+Shift+T reopens a closed tab in Internet Explorer (repeat as needed)
I’ve uploaded a PDF of this information.