Windows 8 has some great new tricks and improves many existing Windows 7 features - here are eight tips for tools that are new in Windows 8
1. Organise your Windows 8 apps
The new Start screen allows app tiles to be organised by dragging and dropping them wherever you please. However, they at first appear to be arranged in several random groups, with no obvious way to arrange these gatherings. The secret to arranging them is to click the small minus (-) sign at the bottom-right corner of the Start screen. This shrinks all the tiles down into a mini-thumbnail view. Now, click on a group of tiles and drag it where you please. Groups can also be named - right-click on a group then click the Rename button at bottom left.
Watch: Windows 8 video tips
2. Explore disc image files
Disc images, or ISO files, are commonly used to store the entire contents of a CD or DVD in an easy-to-download format. Their contents cannot be viewed in Windows Explorer but in the new Windows 8 File Explorer can do the job. In File Explorer, locate the ISO file and select it. Click the coloured tab the top of the window labelled Image Tools. Click the icon labelled Mount, and the ISO file will be opened as a ‘virtual' CD/DVD drive, allowing all the files to be accessed just like an ordinary disc. To close it, select the new drive in the left-hand pane of File Explorer, right-click it and choose Eject.
3. Easier printing with Windows 8
Although printing from old-style Desktop applications works just as it does in Windows 7, printing from those apps that support it, such as the Photos app, can be a puzzle. This is because there is no obvious print button or menu option. The secret is that printing in Windows 8 apps is now done via the Devices charm. Move the mouse to the top-right or bottom-right corner (or press the Windows key and C together), then choose Devices and select the printer. A shortcut is to press the Control (Ctrl) and P keys together - this opens the Devices charm directly.
4. Custom sync features in Windows 8
The new sync feature of Windows 8, which works only if you log in to the PC with a Microsoft Account, is handy if you have several Windows 8 PCs. It saves having to change all the settings on each PC, such as Desktop wallpaper, display preferences, browser history and passwords. However, if you would prefer to be more selective over what is synchronised, this is possible. Press the Windows key and I together, then click ‘Change PC Settings' at the bottom. Choose ‘Sync your settings' then click the toggle switches for those items you do not want to sync, or click the top toggle to disable sync.
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