Windows 8: keyboard shortcuts that will save lives

It must be confessed, Windows 8 is an operating system particularly destabilizing. Interface for touch, another for common applications, you can easily get lost even more than the control with the mouse is not always the most obvious. Of course, we can significantly improve the user experience with our multitouch gestures touchpad, but there is also another way to boost our productivity keyboard shortcuts. For more shortcuts usual, Microsoft had the great idea to incorporate new key combinations that will save you valuable time. Why? This is what we will see throughout this article.

Before we begin, it should be noted that this article does not deal multitouch gestures supported by touchscreens or those that can be set up on the touchpad. If you want to know more on the subject, remember that just click on the link that is just above and behind you kindly arms. Here, we will focus only on these keyboard shortcuts that should change your life and allow you and faster access to the most interesting features of the system.

Switch between applications

We will start by looking at all the keyboard shortcuts that allow you to switch easily between running applications.
  • Alt + Tab (*): No big surprise here since this shortcut was already present in previous versions of Windows. Just know that it can switch between all open applications (Modern UI + Desktop) from left to right.
  • Alt + Shift + Tab: Same principle as above, except that this time scanning is performed from right to left.
  • Windows + Tab (*): This handy shortcut will allow you to switch between open applications Modern UI, just as if you go through multitasking available from the home screen. Scanning takes place from top to bottom.
  • Windows + Shift + Tab: Same as above, except that the scan is done this time from bottom to top.
From my point of view, these shortcuts must be memorized because you will save a lot of time jumping easily from one application to another. Very handy when bump on a file in Word and need to go check the meeting of the day on our calendar.

Work on Modern UI applications

As you probably already know, the Modern UI interface integrated into Windows 8 will display a full-screen application, of course, but it is also possible to open simultaneously two windows side by side. And again, we'll find a few shortcuts that will greatly simplify our life since we avoid to use the mouse or the touch screen of our hybrid machine.
  • Windows: Well, here it is rather simple since simply press this button to return immediately to the home screen and then on our beautiful tiles.
  • Windows +. (*): This key will allow you to embed the application open on the right side of the screen.
  • Windows + Shift +. (*): This combination is exactly the same, except that in this case the application will be anchored on the left.
Then of course, if you decide to use these shortcuts, you can add a little behind "Alt + Tab" to change history broadcast application. This is a blow to take, but this combo is very ninja daily practice.

Managing the "charm bar"

The "charm bar" is this smart bar that appears on the right side of the screen and gives us the opportunity to quickly in search, configuration options, the options for sharing or connected devices in our machine. Basically, to make it appear, it is necessary to place the mouse in a corner of the screen to the right, but you can save time by using a few keyboard shortcuts.
  • Windows + C (*): A keyboard shortcut is simple, effective and will simply allow you to show the "charm bar."
  • Windows + H (*): Same as above, except that this key combination will allow you to directly access the sharing options.
  • Windows + K (*): The same, but this time it's the "charm bar" dedicated to devices that appear on the screen.
  • Windows + I (*): The same, but this time it's the "charm bar" dedicated to configuration options that appear on the screen.
  • Windows + P: This shortcut will not necessarily useful because it allows everyone to simply display the second screen of the computer.
Frankly, the "charm bar" does not absolutely convinced I was in the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 but suffice it to seriously look over to realize that it is particularly challenging in the life of every day. Especially to access the settings of our applications, in fact.


Windows 7 and previous versions, the search was often anecdotal and it was thus not unusual to turn away in favor of some launchers. With Windows 8, Microsoft has completely redesigned this feature and it should make you proud and services, be it that in order to get their hands on some applications or even some configuration tools. And again, these shortcuts will save you a lot of time.
  • Windows + F (*): The keyboard shortcut for the more useful because you can simply start the search. Be careful though because in this case, it is searching for files is enabled by default.
  • Windows + Q (*): Same as above, except that this key combination will allow you to search directly from applications.
  • Windows + W (*): The same, except that there is research settings is active.
With the disappearance of the "Start" menu, the search built into Windows 8 has become the best entry point to achieve to put their hands on one configuration option or even application. This is why it is essential to fully master these three combinations.

And the traditional office then?

If Microsoft has added keyboard shortcuts for fully Modern UI interface, the company has not forgotten the traditional desktop and is provided as a series of useful shortcuts and you will ultimately better control your windows.
  • Windows + T: A keyboard shortcut quite useful since it will allow you to switch between different buttons anchored on the taskbar. To launch an application, simply then press the space key on your keyboard.
  • Windows + 1... 9 (*): Another key combination very interesting as it gives you the ability to launch one of the applications directly anchored to the taskbar.
  • Windows + Left arrow (*): If there is a keyboard shortcut to know is good because it will give you the opportunity to automatically dock the active window to the left side of the screen.
  • Windows + Right arrow (*): Same as above, except that the active window will be this time anchored on the right side of the screen.
  • Windows + Down arrow: Less useful, this shortcut will all-of-you troubleshoot even in some cases because you will automatically minimize the active window.
  • Windows + D (*): Probably one of my favorite shortcuts. This will actually allow you to hide all open applications to show the desktop, or do the opposite if you then repeat.
  • Windows + X (*): The "Start" menu is no longer however it is possible to display a specific menu using this shortcut menu that allows you to quickly access system functions (explorer files, control panel, etc.).
  • Windows + R: This key combination will not necessarily useful for everyone but it may interest some of you as it allows you to quickly open the window "Run".
  • Windows + Pause (*): A shortcut handy because you will see the options of the system, and therefore the control panel of Windows 8.
  • Windows + L: This key combination does not lack interest since it will allow you to lock your computer and return to the screen for entering the password for the user.
That's outline. Afterwards, of course, there are dozens of shortcuts and more targeted you will probably use less often, but here's a list:
  • Windows + O:  This key is essentially the shelves, or hybrid machines, since it allows you to lock the screen orientation.
  • Windows + V: A shortcut pretty nice because you can see all active notifications in an instant.
Note: Because it is quite difficult to memorize all the keyboard shortcuts available in Windows 8, I added an asterisk after those that seem most useful. You are of course free not to agree with my selection, right, because we are a free country, is not it, and it takes all kinds to make a world, huh.

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