Advertising
Advertising

30 Windows 8 Features You Should Know Before You Upgrade Your PC

30 Windows 8 Features You Should Know Before You Upgrade Your PC

Windows 8 was released last week and the latest version of Windows contains more than 300 new features as compared to the previous Windows 7. I know many of you are still thinking about whether you should upgrade your Windows system or not. Therefore, we have tracked down 30 new Windows 8 features that can help you to make that decision.

1. The new Start Screen

The new Windows 8 start screen has all of the information you care about in one place, such as weather, your contacts, and the next appointment on your calendar. The tiles on your start screen are brimming with content that will change and update in real-time so you can see what’s going on and stay on top of things.

    2. The new Charm bar

    Instead of traditional “Start Menu,” Windows 8 introduces a new implementation named “Charms.” The Charm sidebar offers five sets of options, which supports system settings such as volume and brightness or app-specific settings. Five options include Start, Search, Share, Devices, and Settings. The “Start” option takes you back to Windows 8 home screen. Devices option shows you a list of devices you have connected. “Share” option offers you direct sharing to Social Networks.

      3. More life to the lock screen

      In Windows 8, you can select up to seven apps that run in the background and send notifications to the lock screen. Some of the apps can show updated information at all times such as Weather app or Calendar app.

        4. Pin everything you love

        The New Start Screen is for not only live tiles and information updates; it is an important bulletin board on which you can pin whatever you like. For example, you can pin specific websites or particular sections of an app. You can pin one specific place from your travel app so that you can keep track of that location at the Start screen.

        5. Seamless integration of touch, keyboard, and mouse

        You can now switch between apps, organize your Start screen, and pan and zoom. With the touch keyboard, you can navigate, type, and interact on the go. Because you work in different ways depending on which app you’re using, Windows 8 make it easy to use whichever method works for you.

        6. New Windows store

        Advertising

        The new Windows store is designed to make it easy to discover apps without getting lost. You will see apps featured on the front page and it is easy to find apps because they’re well-organized in categories like New Releases, Top paid and Top free. After you decide, you can buy with peace of mind because before an app makes it to the Windows Store, it is screened and checked if there are any virus.

          7. Protecting children from the Windows store

          Using Family Safety, you can change the settings to determine what your children can download and see in the Windows store. Setting up a rating level filters the apps and games that children can access the Windows store in a safer environment on you preferred requirements.

          8. Windows 8 keyboard switch to your language automatically

          The new touch-enabled PCs with Windows 8 installed, the keyboard layout automatically adjusts to the language you have chosen based on your preference. So, language settings apply to the whole PC rather than just some of your apps in your PC.

            9. The new Navigation of Touch screen

            Some common Windows 8 gestures:

            • Swipe from the right edge for system commands
            • Swipe in from the left to switch app
            • Swipe in and out on the left brings up previously used apps
            • Swipe from the bottom or top edge for app commands
            • Drag an app to close an app
            • Press and hold to see more options

              10. Everything on Windows 8 is cloud-connected

              If you sign in your windows 8 device with Microsoft account, your personalization, desktop background, and settings are all there, which is similar to the synchronization feature of Google Chrome. You can now start a project on one PC, and finish it on another. When you use the cloud to store your information, the boundaries between devices dissolve.

              11. Windows To Go

              Windows To Go allows users to make a complete copy of their Windows 8 OS with their settings, wallpapers, apps, and even files into a USB thumb drive. Plugged it into another computer with Windows 8 already installed, and users can boot up the Computer with the look exactly alike the Windows 8 that you normally use.

                12. Connected to your files on cloud

                Advertising

                One of the new Windows 8 features is that you can switch from one Windows 8 device to another and be ready to pick up where you left off just by signing in. When your files are put in the cloud, you can access photos and other files on Microsoft SkyDrive when you have an internet connection.

                  13. Family safety in the cloud

                  You can now set up accounts for your children so that you don’t have to worry about their online activity. Family Safety will monitor your children’s activities and let you know what they are doing in real-time. If you connect the account, you can get a weekly report about their online activity. You can also set up web-site filtering and time limits as well as app restrictions for your children.

                  14. Applications work well with each other

                  In windows 8, apps work together very well so that you can share information between different applications and streamline your work. For instance, Mail and Photos apps are well-connected; you can select an image in the photos app and email it to one of your friends in your email contact list.

                  15. Web navigation by fingertip

                  The notorious Internet Explorer has been re-built in Windows 8. It is now designed to offer faster browsing via better hardware acceleration, along with high-speed gesture-based zoom, pan and web site navigation.

                    16. Support USB 3.0

                    USB 3.0 performs ten times faster than the original USB 2.0. Microsoft offers better support for native USB 3.0 devices. Now Windows 8 users can enjoy a super speed USB without using third-party driver.

                      17. Improved total search experience

                      If you want to search something, all you need to do is to type anything, and a search box will appear from the right and give you he results. The search capability is much stronger than previous windows version, which displays all the matching apps and files instantly.

                        18. Search within apps

                        Advertising

                        You can now search within apps within Windows 8 search function. The “Charm” pane that pops out on the right column will show you the list of apps that you can conduct the search in. If you’re looking for emails sent by a particular person in your contacts, type the name and click the email app you wish to search in.

                        19. Share between devices without any cables

                        Tap and Do works on mobile devices equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC), so you can tap two devices together and share information easily. Tap and Setup is another new Windows 8 feature that lets you connect wireless devices such as keyboards, mics, or headphones by simply tapping them against your PC.

                        20. High speed boot time

                        The Loading and boot up speed has greatly improved over Window’s predecessors because there is better resource allocations to applications and the system. Compared to Windows 7 desktop, Windows 8 has higher speed boot time.

                        21. Better support for multiple monitors

                        Windows 8 now brings increased support for multiple monitors. You can now extend the taskbar across two Computers without using any third-party apps. You can also extend your wallpapers across two monitors. You can also switch quickly between primary and secondary monitor by clicking the switch button.

                          22. Keep Windows Update out of your way

                          If you turn on Windows Update during the setup section and your PC needs to update, Windows 8 can now install it when you are not using your PC, or at a time you’ve specified.

                          23. Build-in mobile broadband features

                          In Windows 8, it adds support for 3G and 4G telecommunication, which enable business users on the go to connect to the internet immediately. Windows 8 mobile broadband support can help keep data usage costs low with built-in mobile broadband metering.

                          24. SmartScreen protects you from malware on the internet

                          If SmartScreen is turned on at startup, the technologies check the reputation of any new app or website, helping to keep users safe no matter what browser they are using. This can help to prevent malware and viruses from infiltrating your computer.

                          25. Protect computer without third-party software

                          Advertising

                          If you don’t have any malware scanners installed, Windows Defender monitors and helps protect your PC against viruses and other malware in real-time. If your PC becomes infected, it will automatically detect and removes malware. Windows 8 can also manage anti-malware software to help keep your PC safe.

                          26. Re-designed task manager

                          The new task manager is a handy dashboard that you can use to monitor and control your PC. The New Color-coded tiles present information in a way that’s easy to understand. You can keep track of resources efficiently and in real-time with graphs and details about process, apps and history as well.

                            27. Redesigned keyboard shortcut key

                            If you are not using touch-based devices, you can still enjoy new windows 8 features with keyboard shortcuts to access the best Windows 8 features. The following list includes some of the most useful commands:

                            • Windows key + F: To open the search on Charm
                            • Windows key + H: To open the share on Charm
                            • Windows key + C: To open Charm
                            • Windows key + K: To open the devices Charm
                            • Windows key + O: To lock the screen orientation on tablet
                            • Windows key + Z: To open commands for app

                            28. Easy restore

                            New Windows 8 has streamlined the options of system recovery, with options limited to “Refresh” or “Reset.” Refresh preserves your settings, files, and apps bought via Windows Store. “Reset” is a full system purge and restores the system without reinstallation, which is similar to restoring your iPhone via iTunes.

                            29. New login methods

                            Through a touch screen or mouse, you can now set your password to comprise a set of geometric gestures. This feature can only recognize simple gestures like lines or curves, but the result should be unique enough to make this a reasonable security alternative.

                            30. Better copy experience

                            Windows 8 introduced new copy operations, where all the file copying goes into a single dialog box. The new dialog box for file copying allows you pause, resume, or stop each operation. Now each copy job shows the speed of data transfer and how much data is left to transfer. In many cases, it can provide a quick and easy way to assess what is going on for a particular copy job.

                             

                            More by this author

                            Brian Lee

                            Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

                            Book Summary: The Power of Habit in 2 Minutes 1 Minute Book Summary: How To Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less 2 Minutes Book Summary: Thinking Fast and Slow 1 Minute Book Summary: Always Hungry? 2 Minutes Book Summary: How to Read a Book

                            Trending in Technology

                            125 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know 210 Best Calendar Apps to Get Your Life Back on Track 320 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently 420 Excel Tricks That Can Make Anyone An Excel Expert 518 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2018 Updated)

                            Read Next

                            Advertising
                            Advertising

                            Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                            25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                            25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                            Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

                            Or even better:

                            What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

                            You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

                            Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

                            How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

                            The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

                            In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

                            • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
                            • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
                            • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

                            As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

                            Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

                            Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

                            But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

                            his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

                            5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

                            Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

                            But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

                            Advertising

                            1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
                            2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
                            3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
                            4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
                            5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

                            Who can use Excel shortcuts?

                            There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

                            • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
                            • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
                            • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
                            • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

                            Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

                            With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

                            25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

                            Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

                            1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

                            If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

                            2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

                            If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

                            If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

                            3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

                            Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

                            =sum(

                            …and then press F3.

                            When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

                            4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

                            Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

                            =match(

                            …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

                            Advertising

                            When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

                            But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

                            5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

                            If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

                            • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
                            • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
                            • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
                            • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
                            • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

                            6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

                            By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

                            The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

                            For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

                            A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

                            7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

                            When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

                            8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

                            When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

                            9. Use filtering

                            Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

                            It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

                            To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

                            10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

                            Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

                            Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

                            Advertising

                            To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

                            11. See formula results with F9

                            If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

                            Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

                            12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

                            If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

                            13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

                            Here’s how to use EDATE:

                            =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

                            =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

                            14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

                            Here’s how to use EMONTH:

                            =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

                            =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

                            15. Remove spaces with TRIM

                            TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

                            16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

                            In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

                            17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

                            When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

                            And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

                            Advertising

                            18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

                            If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

                            19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

                            Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

                            You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

                            20. Use data validation

                            This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

                            • Create dependent drop-down lists;
                            • Create drop-down lists;
                            • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

                            21. Use conditional formatting

                            It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

                            22. Use formula auditing

                            This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

                            The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

                            23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

                            Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

                            It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

                            24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

                            INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

                            25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

                            OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

                            The bottom line

                            As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

                            That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

                            If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                            Read Next