Without a doubt, Windows 8 marks a definite change of direction for the Windows platform, which provides a secondary interface class that I met since the days of Windows 95 in favor of a simple designed and full compatibility with devices based on touch screens.
Windows 8, at least in the Consumer Preview version, presents users with a completely new Metro interface masking the desktop completely and eliminate iconic Start Menu, replacing the Start screen filled with large rectangular icons representing applications installed.
There are several reasons why a user may prefer keyboard instead of a mouse. One is convenience. Most important though is productivity, which Metro interface aspect still leaves much to be desired, especially if we have a touch screen interface.
Fortunately Windows 8 supports a comprehensive list of applicable commands of short combinations of keys and we can quickly activate functions we need:
- Windows Key – essential for most commands, the Windows key down allows individual display of the screen in Metro-style. You can type the desired program name in the search box, just like Windows 7.
- Win + B – allows rapid switching in Windows classic and puts the focus on Windows Tray Notifications section.
- Win + R – opens the so-called Charms Menu, a set of tools shown to the right screen, the search, share functions and advanced configuration options.
- Win + D – Show Desktop command works in Windows 7, showing the classic Windows desktop.
- Win + E – Launch Windows Explorer file manager, open the Computer section.
- Win + F – Opens the File Search Metro, which can initiate searches to find files or information from files hosted on your hard drive.
- Win + W – opens the search function in Metro Settings screen.
- Win + Y – allows rapid visualization of classical desktop.
- Win + Z – Opens App menu bar for current application.
- Win + Page Up/Down – running lists back/forward.