Keyboard shortcuts are always popular but they are especially useful in Windows 8.x on non-touchscreen systems. A previous tip gave some of the common keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8 and here are six more for Windows 8.1 Update.
1. Winkey+T – If you are on the Start screen, you can use this shortcut to open the taskbar there. This is a new feature in Windows 8.1 Update.
2. Winkey+period+right arrow – Allows you to place up to four full screen apps side by side. The combination Winkey+period+left arrow can also be used. Personally, I find pressing all three keys used in this shortcut to be awkward. Another new feature in Windows 8.1 Update.
3. Home key – If you are using the desktop interface and the desktop has the focus, pressing the Home key takes you to the first desktop icon. This seems to be new in Windows 8.1 Update. Pressing the End key supposedly moves the focus to the “last” desktop icon. However, I am not sure how “last” is defined and personally I find that it is hard to predict which icon will get selected when the End key is pressed.
4. Escape key – Returns from Start screen to the desktop interface. Similar in some way to pressing Windows key but does not work as a toggle. Pressing the Escape key again does not take you from the desktop back to the Start Screen.
5. Winkey+down arrow – This closes a Start screen app but the app remains running in the background. It will still be present in the desktop taskbar.
6. Alt+F4 – This is not new but is very useful and worth mentioning. It shuts down a full screen app completely so it doesn’t take up memory. If you are using the desktop, this shortcut will bring up a dialog for shutting down the computer when the desktop has the focus.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.
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