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Tips and Tricks > Windows 8 Touch Gestures and Keystrokes
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Windows 8 Touch Gestures and Keystrokes


Windows 8
provides simple, easy, mouseless ways to navigate whether you're on your computer, your mobile phone, or your tablet.

Using Keystrokes to Navigate the Windows 8 Start screen :

Refer to the following chart for the most common Windows 8 keystroke combinations and the resulting actions.


Keystrokes Result

Windows key (Windows 8 keyboard key)

Switches between the Windows 8 apps and Start screen and the Windows Desktop (or the last full-screen application that displayed).

Windows key + C

Opens the charms bar and the Clock. To open the charms bar on a notebook computer, swipe the edge of the track pad.

Windows key + H

Opens the Share charm.

Windows key + I

Opens the Settings charm.

Windows key + K

Opens the Devices charm.

Windows key + O

Locks or unlocks the screen orientation if your computer can detect and adjust screen orientation.

Windows key + W

Opens the Search charm with the Settings mode selected.

Windows key + F

Opens the Search charm with the Files mode selected.

Windows key + Q

Opens the Search charm with the Apps mode selected.

Windows key + X

Opens the menu on the Desktop or the Start screen.

Windows key + Z

Opens the commands or options for the app currently open on the screen (if the app has any commands or options defined).

Windows key + Tab

Shows the most recently used or currently running apps on the Start screen. To move from app to app, hold the Windows key and press the Tab key.

Windows key + Prt Scr (Print Screen)

Takes and saves screenshots instantly. Your screen flashes and Windows saves the screenshot to your Pictures folder as a PNG image file.

Alt + Tab

Shows all the apps that are open on the computer. Hold the Alt key and press the Tab key to move from app to app.

Alt + F4

Closes the software you are currently using. If you select Windows Desktop, the Windows Shut Down menu displays.

Ctrl + F1

Toggles the Explorer ribbon in File Explorer and other apps that support this function.



Using Touch Gestures to Navigate the Windows 8 Start Screen:
Gestures  Action Result
 Gesture_Tap  Tap/Double tap  Select an item
 Gesture_Swipe_Left

Start at the right edge and swipe across the screen.

Opens the charms bar.

Swipe from the right edge acros the screen to open the Charms bar, tap the Search charm, and then tap the category, such as Files. Then tap the Search box to use the on-screen keyboard. Search for an app, setting, or file.
Swipe from the right edge to open the Charms bar, and then tap Start. Open the Start screen.
Swipe from the right edge of the screen to open the Charms bar, tap the Settings charm, and the tap Power. Shut down the computer.
 Gesture_Swipe_Right

Start at the left edge and swipe across the screen.

Opens the previously used app.

 Gesture_Swipe_Down

Start at the top of the screen, and swipe down to the bottom.

Display the app commands.

 Gesture_Slide_Any_Direction

Slide two fingers left and right or up and down.

Scroll left or right and up and down.

 Gesture_Pinch_Stretch

Use two fingers to pinch or stretch.

Zooms in and out.


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