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Nine Tips for Working with Apps and Files in Windows 8

The main purpose of any operating system is to enable you to work with your files and software, whether full-blown programs on your desktop or smaller apps on mobile devices. Windows 8, like its predecessors, is designed to make it easy for you to work with apps and files. Keep the following brief tips in mind when accessing your favorite apps or document files in Windows 8.

Apps versus files in Windows 8

Windows 8 uses the term app when referring to both traditional desktop programs and Start screen apps. So whether you’re angry at some birds and doing a little target practice or needing to use the latest Microsoft Office program, Windows 8 has you covered.

Where to find an app

When choosing a default program, remember, if you can’t find the program you’re looking for on your computer, you can always search for an app in the Windows Store.

How to find apps in your Start screen

When starting apps from the Start screen, remember that the Start screen always opens to display the tiles on its farthest left edge. To see the apps and programs that are hiding from your view, point at the screen’s right edge with your mouse.

Save your work!

Unless you specifically save your work, your PC thinks that you’ve just been fiddling around for the past few hours. If you don’t save your work, it might be lost. Nobody wants to retype the same paragraphs again and again, or heaven forbid, enter data into a spreadsheet more than once.

Install free versus paid apps

When you find a free app you can’t live without, click the Install button. Paid apps let you click either Buy or Try for a limited trial run.

Find lost files and apps in Windows 8

Unlike Windows 7, Windows 8 doesn’t search your entire computer. Instead, Windows 8 first makes you specify which category you want to search.

Printing in Windows 8

This tip might be too obvious, but if the printed pages don’t look quite right — perhaps the information doesn’t fit on the paper correctly — review the print settings.

Limitations of older drives

When working with flash drives and other storage media, remember that some computers with older drives can’t burn discs.

Microsoft SkyDrive

If you don’t care for SkyDrive, buy a flash drive, store your files there, and keep the flash drive in your pocket.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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