Windows 8 for the Keyboard User

Published on Friday, September 23, 2011


Windows 8 for the Keyboard User

What we've seen so far of Windows 8 is that it's all about touch. We're looking at really early bits and they were effectively delivered on a tablet; so, that's to be expected. But, for many people they're going to be using Windows 8 Developer Preview on hardware that doesn't have touch. So, how do we navigate around Metro apps and the Metro UX when we don't have touch?

Fortunately, the Windows team didn't forget about keyboards and mice and recognized there are still scenarios that involve keyboard and mouse even when using at tablet.

My contention is that touch devices are best for consuming information, and worst for entering or producing information. Windows 8 is powerful enough to not only run Metro apps but (depending on the tablet hardware you buy) also Desktop apps. The major scenario is plugging your tablet into a docking station and connecting to a keyboard and mouse and using your tablet as a desktop PC and making use of your Desktop apps like Word and Excel.

So, over-and-above using existing Desktop apps in Windows 8, how can we use keyboard/mouse with the Metro UX? Fortunately there's been a few good blogs/articles about new Windows 8 shortcuts. I'll detail them here:

Win + O: Locks device orientation

Win + V: cycles forward through notification toasts

Win + Shift + V: cycles backward through notification toasts

Win + F: Opens File Search App

Win + C: Opens charms bar (same as swipe from right of screen gesture)

Win + I: Opens Settings charm (same as swipe from right gesture & tapping Settings)

Win + K: Opens Connect charm (same as swipe from right gesture & tapping Connect)

Win + Z: Opens App Bar (same as swipe from the bottom of the screen gesture)

Win: Opens the App Bar (same as Win + Z or swipe from the bottom of the screen gesture)

Other goodies

If you don't have a Window key

If you're on the Start screen, simply start typing and you'll be sent to the Search Apps charm. You don't need to

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