The Windows 10 operating system has been around for a while now but how many of us have spent the time to find out how we can use some of it’s less obvious features to help us with our work.
Customising Start Tiles
The start button shows a list of all the apps available in alphabetic order. An app can be any program you have installed such as Excel, Word, Calculator and much more. This list can be quite long so getting to the app you need can take some time. To the right of this some of these apps show up automatically as shortcuts. To customise this right-click on the app and select pin to start. The tiles can then be dragged to the preferred position. If dragged to the very top or bottom they form a new group. This can then be given an appropriate name. To unpin at any time right click on the app and choose unpin from start.
In Windows 10 the taskbar sits at the bottom of the desktop window. It can also be customised to quickly access apps you frequently need. From the start button right click on the app to add. Select more, then pin to taskbar. If it is no longer required then right click on the app (either from the start menu or the taskbar) and select unpin from taskbar. The order of the apps can be altered by clicking and dragging within the taskbar.
Right click start button
This brings up a menu allowing access to some of the options that are available in the settings (used to be called the control panel).
Cortana/Search from Start Button
There are lots of apps available in Windows 10 and many choices that can be made in the settings. It can sometimes be time consuming navigating to the right option especially if you are not sure what it is called. By clicking on the start button and starting to type what you need to use or click on the Cortana “Type to Search” button on the taskbar and doing the same will give you information on apps, files, settings and more incorporating the text you have entered. Cortana can also be voice activated. Note that some companies disable Cortana. Cortana is a much-improved search option from the old favourite clippy!!
At the very right of the taskbar there is an option that is almost invisible! There is a vertical line and if you click to the right of this it enables you to go directly to the desktop. It minimises any windows you currently have open.
Just to the left of this there will be a number of notification icons. Some of these will depend on the apps available on your device, others like battery power, loudspeaker volume and Wi-Fi connectivity will always be visible.
Task View Button
If you have been using ALT + TAB to rotate between open apps then this is still available. However the new Windows 10 Task View icon, available from the taskbar, is more sophisticated. It shows the apps open but also files that have been used recently and when they were used on a timeline. There is also the option to create multiple desktops. This can be useful if you are presenting and want a clear desktop but want to keep all the files you have just been working on open too.
Shake and Wiggle
If you lightly shake the bar at the top of an app when it is maximised it restores it to its previous size. Dragging back to the top of the screen maximises it again. If you wiggle it vigorously it minimises all windows except for the one you are wiggling. Repeating this action brings all the minimized windows back. Windows can also be docked to the left and right of the screen by dragging to this area. It will automatically take up 50% of the screen width, perfect if you want to see another application beside it.
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