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Windows 8.1 Essential Training
Illustration by Neil Webb

Getting familiar with the user interface


From:

Windows 8.1 Essential Training

with David Rivers

Video: Getting familiar with the user interface

For anyone who is switching to Windows 8.1 from previous versions of Microsoft Windows, version 7 and earlier, you're going to see some major differences to the user interface. Even for people moving from Windows 8 to 8.1, you too will see some changes. That's why we're going to begin with a tour of the UI. Now when you launch Windows and log in, the first thing you see is this Start screen, which is really designed around touch technology. The modern UI has a number of different tiles and shapes and sizes.
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  1. 1m 23s
    1. Welcome
      47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 32m 40s
    1. Assessing your hardware and Windows 8.1 versions
      2m 43s
    2. Getting familiar with the user interface
      8m 11s
    3. Exploring the Windows 8.1 desktop
      6m 13s
    4. Using touch screens and gestures
      2m 8s
    5. Switching between apps with Switcher
      3m 50s
    6. Personalizing Windows 8.1
      7m 33s
    7. Creating tile groups
      2m 2s
  3. 43m 58s
    1. Using the ribbon in File Explorer
      10m 21s
    2. Organizing folders and files
      6m 22s
    3. Customizing folder behavior
      5m 28s
    4. Searching for files and file contents
      7m 22s
    5. Creating easy access to files and folders
      4m 56s
    6. Using SkyDrive
      4m 29s
    7. Copying files in a single window
      5m 0s
  4. 1h 11m
    1. Managing mail with the Mail app
      7m 46s
    2. Keeping dates with the Calendar app
      6m 59s
    3. Managing contacts in the People app
      9m 55s
    4. Communicating with contacts using Skype
      10m 13s
    5. Working with photos
      10m 58s
    6. Reading text with the Reader app
      4m 14s
    7. Managing music with the Music app
      8m 29s
    8. Locating places with Maps
      8m 29s
    9. Timing things with Alarms
      4m 19s
  5. 28m 18s
    1. Typing text with Sticky Notes, Notepad, and WordPad
      10m 30s
    2. Creating graphics with Paint
      10m 18s
    3. Performing calculations with the Calculator
      2m 55s
    4. Taking screenshots with the Snipping tool
      4m 35s
  6. 31m 17s
    1. Viewing your current system specs
      4m 4s
    2. Controlling sound device volume settings
      7m 36s
    3. Removing unwanted applications
      2m 55s
    4. Setting default programs
      5m 26s
    5. Setting accessibility options
      8m 45s
    6. Navigation settings for desktop lovers
      2m 31s
  7. 20m 34s
    1. Getting connected
      4m 1s
    2. Connecting PCs with HomeGroup
      6m 29s
    3. Connecting to another computer with Remote Desktop
      2m 44s
    4. Selecting sharing options for networks
      3m 54s
    5. Adding and removing devices
      3m 26s
  8. 40m 48s
    1. Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
      4m 26s
    2. Viewing and resolving security issues with Action Center
      3m 28s
    3. Battling malicious software with Windows Defender
      4m 52s
    4. Controlling user account access
      3m 53s
    5. Secure your account with passwords and PINs
      5m 51s
    6. Using Parental Controls
      10m 8s
    7. Encrypting a drive with BitLocker
      4m 22s
    8. Using Encrypting File System (EFS)
      3m 48s
  9. 12m 2s
    1. Printing files directly from Windows
      3m 27s
    2. Printing files to the XPS format
      4m 53s
    3. Accessing and changing printer options
      3m 42s
  10. 20m 43s
    1. Finding issues in the Troubleshooting control panel
      4m 10s
    2. Fixing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
      4m 40s
    3. Backing up with File History
      5m 57s
    4. Reversing a fatal crash with System Restore
      3m 21s
    5. Reseting your Windows 8.1 installation
      2m 35s
  11. 40s
    1. Next steps
      40s

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Windows 8.1 Essential Training
5h 3m Appropriate for all Oct 17, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Windows 8 was a new direction for Microsoft, offering mobile integration, cloud storage, and security enhancements. But some people were unhappy with its design. Windows 8.1 answers these complaints and takes Windows a step further. In this course, David Rivers shows you all its essential features. Take a tour of the interface, review the new file and folder behaviors, and meet the most useful apps, including Calendar, Photos, Maps, and Music. David also shows how to adjust system settings like default programs and volume, work with external devices, and set up networks. The final chapters show you how to keep your computer even more secure with Access Control and Windows Defender, and how to troubleshoot potential issues, like reversing fatal crashes.

Topics include:
  • Using touch screens and gestures
  • Organizing files and folders
  • Managing your inbox with the Mail app
  • Working with photos
  • Managing contacts in the People app
  • Controlling system sounds, volume, and accessibility options
  • Getting connected to other PCs and devices
  • Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
  • Using parental controls to block unwanted content
  • Printing from Windows 8
  • Fixing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
  • Keeping file backups with File History
Subjects:
Business Operating Systems Productivity Home + Small Office
Software:
Windows
Author:
David Rivers

Getting familiar with the user interface

For anyone who is switching to Windows 8.1 from previous versions of Microsoft Windows, version 7 and earlier, you're going to see some major differences to the user interface. Even for people moving from Windows 8 to 8.1, you too will see some changes. That's why we're going to begin with a tour of the UI. Now when you launch Windows and log in, the first thing you see is this Start screen, which is really designed around touch technology. The modern UI has a number of different tiles and shapes and sizes.

And if you're on a touch screen attached to your PC or using a tablet or smartphone, you can use gestures to get around. Tapping tiles, swiping, pinching. We'll talk about gestures a little bit later on in this chapter. Of course, you can continue to use your old hardware. A standard monitor on a PC, and use your mouse to get around. And that's what we're going to do as we take this tour of the UI. So the first thing you'll notice here on the Start screen, the tiles, some of them, are displaying information that's being updated.

We call these live tiles. You'll also notice default Apps are appearing, like the calendar, photos, for example, each in their own default shape and size. This, too, can be customized, and we will be talking about customization later on in this chapter as well. For now, though, let's just move around and try launching one of these apps, let's say the Calendar, for example. We'll give it a tap, or a click with your mouse. Now, it does launch one of these new modern-style apps built into Windows.

So you don't see some of the things you might be used to, like a title bar, a menu bar with File, Edit, View, all the way across to help, for example. You don't see on the top right corner the standard minimize and maximize buttons. There's no status bar. We're just simply running this new modern style app called Calendar. So you're kind of on your own, but as you move around, you see things sort of popping up, like these little arrows that allow you to move. In this case, from month to month that's the view I'm in. You might be in a different view. How do you change views? There is an ellipses up here in the top right corner and as we hover over that, you'll see a prompt.

You can show more commands using Windows and a Z or you can right click anywhere. Let's try that. We'll right click anywhere, there's our different views across the top. You might be looking at what's next for example. This gives you a view of what's happening in your calendar, in order. Let's right-click again and switch to a Weekly view. Let's right-click and go to the bottom where we can sync up our calendar on multiple devices, or create new events. We could also use keyboard shortcuts, like Ctrl+N for new, or we could just click anywhere on the calendar and then click on a date We start creating new events.

Now, we don't need to get into the calendar right now just to know that we're running one of these new modern style apps. To get back to the start screen, there are a number of different options. My favorite and fastest way, I think, is to use the keyboard. Tap the windows key on the keyboard and you're back to your start screen. So no matter what you're looking at, tapping that key will take you here. Now notice we didn't actually minimize or close up the Calendar app, it's still running in the background. If we wanting to switch back to it, we could click the tile once again or we could use one of the hot corners.

Hot corners are each of the corners on your screen, and they're called hot because things happen when you move to them. So if we move our mouse, for example, to the top left corner of our screen, something pops up. It's a little tile representing the calendar, and we can click it to switch back. Let's go up to the top right hand corner here with our calendar app running. The hot corners work while the apps are running as well. When you get up there, you'll notice these charms that appear down the right hand side, and as you move your mouse down the right hand side, there's search functionality, sharing.

There's one way to get back to the start screen, we could click right there. Access our devices and settings from here as well. Let's just click the Start icon and we're back to our Start screen. Again, we haven't closed up the Calendar app, it's still running in the background. What if we want to run something else? Let's say, for example, Maps. We'll click that tile and now we're running a second app. With Maps running, you might see prompts, for example, asking for your location, et cetera. Notice at the top we're looking at the US, but we can change the region.

And then I click no thanks. Really, it doesn't matter what app it is or we're running, we're going to go back to our Windows start screen. This time, let's go to the bottom right hand corner. You'll notice in that hot corner we get the same charms showing up. And we can go back to the start screen from there. Now let's go up to the top left corner. When you move up there, and then slide down. You'll see tiles representing all of the apps that are running. Notice also, we can go to the start screen from here as well. Lets click Calendar, move down to the bottom left hand corner, the last hot corner.

And there's our little Windows start icon. Click that and you're back to the Start screen. So many ways to get back here. Again, I like the keyboard shortcut, just tapping the Windows key. Those apps that are running are using up system resources in the background. If we really want to close them up, there's a couple of different options. Let's go up to the top left-hand corner, that hot corner. And click the calendar icon, and that switches us to the calendar. One way to close this is to move your mouse to the very top and when you see the little hand appear, click and drag straight down to the bottom of your screen.

Now in Windows 8 we could let go at this point, but if you just wait a minute it'll actually flip over. Then you can release your mouse button to have closed it up. That means that if we go up to the top left hand hot corner we won't see the calendar app anymore. It's just our map. So we'll go up there and close this a different way. We'll right click and choose Close from there. Now we've closed up those apps. Nothing's running in the background. Notice in the bottom left hand corner here, when we move our mouse around, this little arrow appears.

This represents all apps. Now in Windows 8 we could right click and go to all apps over here, but now we see customize. So to get to all of the apps that are installed, we can click this little arrow in the bottom left hand corner. Changes our view. And, if you're on a touch screen, you could simply swipe from the bottom up to see this as well. Notice we're looking at, all of the modern style apps that come with Windows 8.1 that are installed. We can also scroll over to the right hand side, to find some of the accessories that are installed as well.

Here's where you can get to anything that's installed on your computer. In fact, if there's so many that you need to scroll through several screens, you might consider using the search field up here. If I wanted to go to the Calculator, for example, I could start typing in, calculator. There's two options, a new modern style Calculator, or the old fashioned one, in my old desktop environment. Or we could just, click up here, take that out. And we're back to looking at all of our apps. Notice the arrow down at the bottom now has switched to an up arrow. Clicking that takes us back to our original start screen.

We can also go up to our credentials here in the top right hand corner. Once you've logged in using your Microsoft account, for example, like a Windows Live account. This gives you access to things like your sky drive, for example, your mail. If you're logged in as a local user, you can still go up here and click to do things like Sign out, Change your account picture, even switch to different accounts if you're sharing this computer. So, that's a quick tour of the user interface which by the way is fully customizable.

There is an old environment that you would be more familiar with called the Desktop. Notice there is a tile titled desktop. In some of the older apps or programs will run in this environment, but we can go there at any time. And explore that as well. We'll do that in the next movie.

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