Microsoft has designed Windows 8 for touchscreens, but many of us will still be using the old keyboard and mouse to get around. So, it's time to learn the Windows 8-specific keyboard shortcuts.
In the video above, you can see most of the basic shortcuts in action. This is essential knowledge for any Windows 8 user sitting in front of a keyboard. The vast majority of these shortcuts start with the Windows button on the keyboard, and are completed by pressing another key simultaneously.
|Windows key||Your "get out of jail free" card. Striking the Windows key by itself will return you to the home screen.|
|Windows + D||This command will exit whatever app you are in and take you to the Desktop view. Expect this to be a favourite of gamers for some time to come.|
|Type anything||From the home screen, typing anything on the keyboard will launch a universal search. By default, this will search first for apps, but you can quickly switch to search a number of fields, including the web.|
|Windows + C||The Charms menu is one of the iconic features of Windows 8. To access the Charms without a touchscreen, use Windows + C, then the cursor keys and Enter to choose the Charm you are looking for.|
|Windows + Q||If poking around in the Charms is too much bother, Windows + Q will skip the first step and take you straight to Search. This is context sensitive, so it will launch a search based on the app you are in.|
|Windows + I||Microsoft wants you to forget about Control Panel (even though it is still available). To jump into your system's settings, start with this command.|
|Windows + W||If you need to search for a specific setting to adjust, this combo will bring up a search box dedicated to the task.|
|Windows + H||Similar to iOS and Android, Windows 8 now shares content from app to app. Looking at a photo and want to email it? Press Windows + H in the photo gallery, and you're away.|
|Windows + "."||Windows 8 can display two apps at the same time. Windows + full-stop snaps them into position, changintg the position if you repeat the command.|
|Windows + Z||The full-screen app experience is one of the key design tenants in Windows 8, but this means that all of your options are hidden. To reveal them, press Windows + Z.|
|Windows + L||When the day is done and it's time to put Windows to bed, Windows + L will lock your screen.|
More advanced commands
|Windows + X||Probably the most useful command for advanced users, Windows + X opens a menu over the Metro homescreen giving access to classic system tools like Control Panel and Task Manager.|
|Windows + R||Launch the Run dialogue (Desktop mode).|
|Windows + E||Launch Windows Explorer (Desktop mode).|
|Windows + K||Brings up a list of all connected devices, like wireless peripherals.|
|Windows + F||Launch a file search.|
|Windows + ","||Windows + comma minimises all applications and shows the Desktop, but for only as long as you hold down the keys.|
|Windows + M||Minimises all active Desktop applications.|
|Windows + Shift+ M||Maximises all active Desktop applications.|
These shortcuts should be enough to give you a head start into using Windows 8 without a touchscreen. If you know of other tips or tricks, make sure you leave them for us in the comments section below.
Also, for a look at how to interact with the new Windows 8 interface, watch our beginner's guide video here.