Open the Start screen. The colorful rectangular tiles that make up the new Start screen are easy to reach.
Touch screen: Swipe your finger into the screen from the right border to make the Charms panel appear (described next); tap Start.
Mouse: Point to the lower-left corner of the screen; when the Start screen icon appears, click.
Keyboard: Press the Windows key.
Many new tablets and laptops have a dedicated Windows-logo button under the screen. Pressing it also opens the Start screen.
Open the Charms panel. The Charms menu is a thin vertical panel of important icons like Search, Share, Start and Settings.
Touch screen: Swipe your finger into the screen from the right border.
Mouse: Point to the top right corner of the screen.
Keyboard: Press the Windows key+C.
You can also jump directly to one of the buttons on the Charms panel.
Share button: Windows+H
Settings button: Windows+I
Devices button: Windows + K
Open the App menu. Programs designed for TileWorld often have a few options, represented as icons in a hidden horizontal bar. In Internet Explorer, for example, this bar shows all your open browser tabs.
Touch screen: Swipe into the screen a short distance from the top or bottom of the screen.
Mouse: Right click anywhere in the window.
Keyboard: Press the Windows key+Z.
Next app. Here’s how you jump from one TileWorld app to the next. (The Desktop, and all of its own programs, are represented as one jump.)
Touch screen: Swipe into the screen from the left border.
Mouse: Point to the upper left corner of the screen.
Keyboard: Press and release the Windows key+Tab.
App Switcher. In regular Windows, Alt+Tab (and hold down the Alt key) shows you a little dashboard displaying the icons of all open programs, so you can jump directly to the one you want.
Touch screen: Swipe into the screen from the left border, then back out again. A vertical column of open app icons appears.
Mouse: Point to the lower left corner of the screen.
Keyboard: Press Windows key+Tab, but keep the Windows key pressed.
Or press Alt+Tab (hold down Alt) as you always have. That brings up the traditional horizontal row of open-app icons. This app switcher includes open desktop apps (traditional Windows apps).
Split the screen between two apps. This feature made its debut with Windows 7; it lets you split your screen between two programs’ windows.
Touch screen: Swipe your finger slowly into the screen from the left or right border. Or swipe down from the top edge, then to right or left.
Mouse: Drag a window’s title window to the left or right side of the screen until its outline changes to a full-height, half-width window. Release.
Keyboard: Press Windows key plus the left or right arrow key.
Close an app. Here’s how to exit a program in TileWorld.
Touch screen: Swipe down from the middle of the top border, almost all the way down the screen.
Mouse: Point to the top of the window to make the grabber handle appear; drag it all the way down the screen.
Keyboard: Press Alt+F4.
Right click. In Windows, right clicking an item summons a shortcut menu — a short menu listing commands relevant only to the object you clicked. In Windows 8, that menu takes the form of a horizontal strip at the bottom of the Start screen, offering options like Uninstall and Unpin (from the Start screen).
Touch screen: Swipe down from a tile on the Start screen.
Mouse: Right click, of course.
Keyboard: Press the little menu key.
Zooming in or out. To magnify or shrink your view of a photo, map or Web page, proceed like this:
Touch screen: Spread or pinch two fingers on the screen, just as on an iPad.
Mouse: While pressing the Ctrl key, turn your mouse’s scroll wheel.
Keyboard: Press Ctrl and the + or – key.
Zooming fully out. On the Start screen, you can zoom out so far that your tiles become little icons; in this mode, you can group them or move them en masse.
Touch screen: Pinch two fingers on the screen.
Mouse: While pressing the Ctrl key, turn your scroll wheel. Or point to the bottom right, and then click the Summary View icon that appears. (To zoom out again, click any blank area.)
Keyboard: Press Ctrl+the minus key.
Search for files or settings. The new TileWorld Search command requires that you specify what you’re looking for: an app, a file and so on. But there are shortcuts for file searches and settings searches.
Touch screen: Swipe in from the right border; tap Search; tap Files or Settings.
Mouse: Point to the top right corner of the screen; tap Search; tap Files or Settings.
Keyboard: Press the Windows key+F for files, Windows key+Q for settings.
Search for apps. This one’s really best with the keyboard: you can jump to an app on the Start screen, even if it’s several horizontal scroll-pages away.
Touch screen: Swipe in from the right border; tap Search.
Mouse: Point to the top right corner of the screen; tap Search.
Keyboard: At the Start screen, just start typing.
External monitor/projector options. Do you want your main screen mirrored on the external screen, or extended onto it? You can open a handy panel that lists your options.
Touch screen: Swipe in from the right border; tap Devices; tap Second Screen.
Mouse: Point to the top right corner of the screen; tap Devices; tap Second Screen.Keyboard: Press Windows key+P.