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Finding Hidden Hotspots in Windows 8

Part of the Windows 8 For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Every app you load in Windows 8 fills the entire screen. That lets you concentrate on the information in front of you. But that also means that you won't see any menus. When you need those menus — to switch between apps, close them, or change their settings — you need to find the hotspots in Windows 8. Each hotspot triggers a different reaction.

The following three tables explain three methods of finding hidden hotspots in Windows 8: using a mouse, using a keyboard, or using your fingers on a touchscreen tablet or monitor.

Finding Hidden Hotspots with the Mouse
To Perform This Action . . . . . . Point the Mouse Here
Return to the Start screen. Lower-left corner and then click the miniature Start screen that appears.
Choose from currently running apps. Upper-left corner and then lower the mouse pointer. Click an app's thumbnail to return to it.
Open the Charms bar. Lower- or upper-right corners.
See options for current app. Right-click a blank part of the app's screen.
Finding Hidden Hotspots with the Keyboard
To Perform This Action . . . . . . Press These Keys
Open the Start screen. Windows key.
Choose from currently running apps. Hold down Alt and press Tab repeatedly until you've highlighted the desired app. Then release both keys.
Open the Charms bar. Windows key and C.
See the currently viewed app's menus. Windows key and Z.
Finding Hidden Hotspots on a Touchscreen
To Perform This Action . . . . . . Do This
Open the Charms bar. Swipe from the right.
Open the Start screen. Open the Charms bar and then tap the Windows icon.
Cycle through last used apps. Swipe from left and then tap the desired app.
See options for current program. Swipe from bottom.

For many people, the new Windows 8 Start screen is a distraction to be avoided. The sooner they move onto the desktop, the better. For moving quickly to the desktop, reposition the Desktop tile to the Start screen's top-left corner so it's the first app listed. Then, whenever you see the Start screen, just press Enter to head straight for the desktop.

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