Windows 8 cheat sheet

How to find your way around Microsoft's new OS and make the most of its features

By Preston Gralla, Computerworld |  Windows, windows 8

First, make sure you're running both apps. When you're in one of the apps, move your mouse to the upper-left hot corner. When a thumbnail of your last location appears, move your mouse down, and thumbnails of your currently running apps will appear. Click and hold the thumbnail of the app you want to run side by side with the current one, and then drag the thumbnail to the right and drop it. The two apps will now be running side by side, with the one you just dragged appearing in a sidebar on the left.

Running apps side by side in Windows 8. Click to view larger image.

You can use each app as you would normally. There's a border with three dots on it running on the right side of the app running in the sidebar, separating the apps. Drag it to the left or right to resize the app so it takes up more or less of the screen. To go back to running just one app, drag the dotted bar to the edge of the screen.

3. Bring back the Start button

One of the biggest complaints about Windows 8 is that Microsoft killed the very useful Start button on the Desktop. However, I've found two downloads that bring back some of the Start button features. One of them even lets you bypass the Start screen entirely and go directly to the Desktop when you log into Windows 8.

StartFinity Starter Edition from WinAbility Software adds a Start button to the Desktop. Click it, and up pops a list that looks quite similar to the old Windows 7 Start menu, with links to Documents, Pictures, Music, Control Panel and so on. You can also click Programs to see and run all your Desktop apps. The Starter Edition is free, but if you want to customize the program, you'll have to pay $14.95 for the full version.

StartFinity adds its own Start button and menu to the Windows 8 Desktop.Click to view larger image.

Another option is Start8 from Stardock. It offers a menu that's much like the old Windows 7 Start menu, with links to programs, Control Panel, Documents and so on; it also includes a search bar for finding programs and files.

In addition to offering a menu like Windows 7's Start menu, Start8 lets you bypass the Start screen and head straight to the Desktop when you sign into Windows 8. Click to view larger image.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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