No touchscreen? No Problem!

26 Jan

Hi Everyone,

It’s Krista, techspert onboard the Zuiderdam where we’re sailing through the Caribbean and visiting the Panama Canal. As we sail, we’re learning all about Windows 8!

I use Windows 8 on a laptop that I upgraded from Windows 7, and guess what? It does not have a touchscreen.  A lot of people think that you need a touchscreen with Windows 8, but actually it works great with mouse and keyboard as well!  For those of you in a similar situation as me, I thought I’d post today on some little tips and tricks I’ve discovered in Windows 8 that you might find useful.

Switching from one open app to another
Most of us do more than one thing on the computer at a time, and you might wonder how to jump from one open app to another.  With a touchscreen you just swipe from the left edge of the screen but, how do you do that with a mouse?

Just point your mouse to the upper left corner of the screen and click.  Every time you click you’ll swap to the next open app.

But what if you have several apps open and you want to jump to a specific app, not the one you used most recently? Do you really have to click several times to get to your desired app?

Screenshot (11)
After you place your mouse in the upper left corner, instead of clicking pull it down and you’ll see a menu come up on the left edge of the screen that shows you all the apps you have open.  Now just click on the one you want!

Closing an App
To close apps in Windows 8 using the mouse, place your mouse at the top of the screen, left click and hold, and drag your mouse to the bottom of the screen. 

But what if you have several apps open, do you have to jump to each one and drag them down one by one?  Not if you don’t want to!

In the previous section I showed you how to bring up a list of all your open apps on the left side of the screen.  Try right clicking one.
Screenshot (12)
It brings up a menu, and one of the options is “close.” Click that to quickly and easily close the app from there, no dragging necessary.

The hidden start “button”
One of the biggest changes you’ll notice in Windows 8 is the absence of the start button in the bottom left corner of the screen.  In my opinion, this is no big deal, but a lot of people seem to miss it.  But guess what, there is technically still a start button there!

Remember what I showed you in the previous section, well did you notice what was in the lower left corner?  Here it is again:
Screenshot (11)
It’s a small version of my start screen! Any time I move my mouse to the lower left corner, I’ll see that mini start screen.  When you click the start button in previous versions of Windows it opens your start menu.  Clicking this mini version of your start screen (which shows up exactly where the start button used to) takes me back to my start screen.

And if you right click in the bottom left corner of your screen you’ll get a handy menu you can use to open things like the control panel or the task manager.

All Apps
In previous versions of Windows you clicked on the start button and then pointed to “all programs” to see all the programs installed on the PC.  You can see this in Windows 8 as well.

Go to your start screen and right click.
Screenshot (14)
This brings up a menu at the bottom of the screen, and in the bottom right corner there’s an icon that says “all apps.” The word app is just another word for a program, so “all apps” = “all programs.” Click the “all apps” icon.
Screenshot (15)
And there’s all your programs listed in alphabetical order by section.  Click on any of them, and the program will open up.

Need more help in Windows 8?  Click here for even more info on using Windows 8 with a mouse OR with a touchscreen!

I hope some of those tips helped you as you discover all the new things in Windows 8!

Techspert Krista, Zuiderdam


2 Responses to “No touchscreen? No Problem!”

  1. Jack Cummings January 26, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Excellent primer on Win 8, thank so much

  2. Willem Daniels March 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    Krista I’ve been wanting to thank you for the suggestions you emailed me on how to fix a problem with Adobe that I discussed with you on the 2012 Rotterdam Christmas cruise. Can’t find the email anymore but hope this gets to you. I solved the problem by upgrading from Windows 7 to 8. With fingers crossed but it worked flawlessly, the Adobe problem is gone, and I like Windows 8! Evidently whatever caused the glitch resided in my W7. Am going to follow your most helpful blog. -Willem

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