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Learn How to Use Windows 8 Charms
Submitted by adfm
Posted Oct 29 2012 03:38 PM
Remembering every new user interface element and expecting to know how it works intuitively doesn't always work the way developers expect it to. If you've recently upgraded to Windows 8 and would like to familiarize yourself with its new Charms, then you won't want to miss this excerpt from Ciprian Adrian Rusen and Joli Ballew's "Windows 8: Step by Step":
Charms appear when you position your mouse in a specific area of the screen. Charms can also appear when you right-click inside an app or flick upward with your finger (such as for the Weather app), or they might be part of the app itself, available from its interface all the time. Charms can be customized by software and hardware manufacturers, so you won’t always see the same charms for every app. In the previous section, you saw the charms available from the Weather app.
Windows 8 has some default charms that appear when you call on them, and they do not change. To see these charms, position your mouse in the bottom-right corner of any screen. This is called a hot corner. When you position your cursor here, the charms fly out from the right side. Alternatively, you can use the Windows+C keyboard command. Charms include Settings, Devices, Start, Share, and Search.
TROUBLESHOOTING If you are using a device without a physical keyboard or mouse, swipe with your finger or thumb from the middle of the right side of the screen to the left (inward) to see the default charms.+
After the charms appear, their titles appear next to them as you move your cursor toward them. This technique works on the Start screen, on the desktop, in apps, and in other windows and views. What you see when you click any charm depends on what is currently open when you access the charms.
These aren’t the only charms you’ll see as you work with Windows 8. You’ll see charms in other places as you work through this book. Charms can appear on the side or across the top or bottom of the screen. Often they appear when you position the cursor on a preconfigured hotspot. Other times, a right-click or an upward flick makes hidden charms available. In still other instances, charms are available all the time without positioning the cursor in a particular area of the screen or right-clicking anywhere.
After a charm is available, just click (or touch) it to use it. When you select a charm, a new pane opens and configuration options (or search or share options) appear. What you see depends on the charm you click.
The following list describes the five default charms available in Windows 8, from any screen, from the bottom-right hot corner.
▪ SETTINGS Use this charm from the start screen to access the pc settings hub, to get information about your network, to change sound levels, to set screen brightness, to turn notifications on or off, to choose a power option, and more. You click Settings to power off your computer completely. If you access this charm while in an app (perhaps calendar), you’ll see additional options.
▪ DEVICES choose this charm to access settings related to the devices that are available for use with the current app, screen, or window. For instance, you can use a second monitor if such a device is available.
▪ START Use this charm to access the start screen.
▪ SHARE choose this charm to access share options applicable to the current activity or open application. what you see here will differ depending on the application that’s open. sharing photos with others is a common way to use the share charm.
▪ SEARCH Use this charm to open the search pane and to access all the available tiles. you can use this option to search for anything on your computer, including things you find in control panel, but understand that there are other ways to search, too.
Tip Try to get used to using the Windows+C keyboard shortcut to access these charms. Note that Windows+Q brings up a list of all the applications installed on your computer. Put these two keyboard shortcuts into your long-term memory! They make navigating Windows 8 much easier.
Tip While in the Search window, you can type a few letters, a word, or a file or folder name and then choose where to search by clicking one of the options under it (perhaps Apps, Settings, or Files) to cull the results.