tips

Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts

Windows 8 Logo

New to Windows 8? Microsoft have included a huge array of keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate around the new menu systems. Here is a list of Windows 8 specific keyboard shortcuts:

Windows key: Switch between Modern Desktop Start screen and the last accessed application

Windows key + C: Access the charms bar 

Windows key + Tab: Access the Modern Desktop Taskbar

Windows key + I: Access the Settings charm

Windows key + H: Access the Share charm

Windows key + K: Access the Devices charm

Windows key + Q: Access the Apps Search screen

Windows key + F: Access the Files Search screen

Windows key + W: Access the Settings Search screen

Windows key + P: Access the Second Screen bar

Windows key + Z: Brings up the App Bar when you have a Modern Desktop App running

Windows key + X: Access the Windows Tools Menu

Windows key + O: Lock screen orientation

Windows key + . : Move the screen split to the right

Windows key + Shift + . : Move the screen split to the left

Windows key + V: View all active Toasts/Notifications

Windows key + Shift + V: View all active Toasts/Notifications in reverse order

Windows key + PrtScn: Takes a screenshot of the screen and automatically saves it in the Pictures folder as Screenshot

Windows key + Enter: Launch Narrator

Windows key + E: Open Computer

Windows key + R: Open the Run dialog box

Windows key + U: Open Ease of Access Center

Windows key + Ctrl + F: Open Find Computers dialog box

Windows key + Pause/Break: Open the System page

Windows key + 1..10: Launch a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number

Windows key + Shift + 1..10: Launch a new instance of a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number

Windows key + Ctrl + 1..10: Access the last active instance of a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number

Windows key + Alt + 1..10: Access the Jump List of a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number

Windows key + B: Select the first item in the Notification Area and then use the arrow keys to cycle through the items Press Enter to open the selected item

Windows key + Ctrl + B: Access the program that is displaying a message in the Notification Area

Windows key + T: Cycle through the items on the Taskbar

Windows key + M: Minimize all windows

Windows key + Shift + M: Restore all minimized windows

Windows key + D: Show/Hide Desktop (minimize/restore all windows)

Windows key + L: Lock computer

Windows key + Up Arrow: Maximize current window

Windows key + Down Arrow: Minimize/restore current window W

indows key + Home: Minimize all but the current window

Windows key + Left Arrow: Tile window on the left side of the screen

Windows key + Right Arrow: Tile window on the right side of the screen

Windows key + Shift + Up Arrow: Extend current window from the top to the bottom of the screen

Windows key + Shift + Left/Right Arrow: Move the current window from one monitor to the next

Windows key + F1: Launch Windows Help and Support

PageUp: Scroll forward on the Modern Desktop Start screen

PageDown: Scroll backward on the Modern Desktop Start screen

Esc: Close  a charm

Ctrl + Esc: Switch between Modern Desktop Start screen and the last accessed application

Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel: Activate the Semantic Zoom on the Modern Desktop screen

Alt: Display a hidden Menu Bar

Alt + D: Select the Address Bar

Alt + P: Display the Preview Pane in Windows Explorer

 lt + Tab: Cycle forward through open windows

Alt + Shift + Tab: Cycle backward through open windows

Alt + F: Close the current window Open the Shut Down Windows dialog box from the Desktop

Alt + Spacebar: Access the Shortcut menu for current window

Alt + Esc: Cycle between open programs in the order that they were opened

lt + Enter: Open the Properties dialog box of the selected item

Alt + PrtScn: Take a screen shot of the active Window and place it in the clipboard

Alt + Up Arrow: Move up one folder level in Windows Explorer (Like the Up Arrow in XP)

Alt + Left Arrow: Display the previous folder

Alt + Right Arrow: Display the next folder

Shift + Insert: CD/DVD Load CD/DVD without triggering Autoplay or Autorun

Shift + Delete: Permanently delete the item (rather than sending it to the Recycle Bin)

Shift + F6: Cycle backward through elements in a window or dialog box

Shift + F10: Access the context menu for the selected item

Shift + Tab: Cycle backward through elements in a window or dialog box

Shift + Click: Select a consecutive group of items

Shift + Click on a Taskbar button: Launch a new instance of a program

Shift + Right-click on a Taskbar button: Access the context menu for the selected item

Ctrl + A: Select all items

Ctrl + C: Copy the selected item

Ctrl + X: Cut the selected item

Ctrl + V: Paste the selected item

Ctrl + D: Delete selected item

Ctrl + Z: Undo an action

Ctrl + Y: Redo an action

Ctrl + N: Open a new window in Windows Explorer

Ctrl + W: Close current window in Windows Explorer

Ctrl + E: Select the Search box in the upper right corner of a window

Ctrl + Shift + N: Create new folder

Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Open the Windows Task Manager

Ctrl + Alt + Tab: Use arrow keys to cycle through open windows

Ctrl + Alt + Delete: Access the Windows Security screen

Ctrl + Click: Select multiple individual items

Ctrl + Click and drag an item: Copies that item in the same folder

Ctrl + Shift + Click and drag an item: Creates a shortcut for that item in the same folder

Ctrl + Tab:  Move forward through tabs

Ctrl + Shift + Tab: Move backward through tabs

Ctrl + Shift + Click on a Taskbar button: Launch a new instance of a program as an Administrator

 Ctrl + Click on a grouped Taskbar button: Cycle through the instances of a program in the group

F1: Display Help

F2: Rename a file

F3: Open Search

F4: Display the Address Bar list

F5: Refresh display

F6: Cycle forward through elements in a window or dialog box

F7: Display command history in a Command Prompt

F10: Display hidden Menu Bar

F11: Toggle full screen display

Tab: Cycle forward through elements in a window or dialog box

PrtScn: Take a screen shot of the entire screen and place it in the clipboard

Home: Move to the top of the active window

End: Move to the bottom of the active window

Delete: Delete the selected item

Backspace: Display the previous folder in Windows Explorer  Move up one folder level in Open or Save dialog box

Esc: Close a dialog box

Num Lock Enabled + Plus (+): Display the contents of the selected folder

Num Lock Enabled + Minus (-): Collapse the selected folder

Num Lock Enabled + Asterisk (*): Expand all subfolders under the selected folder

Press Shift 5 times Turn StickyKeys on or off

Hold down right Shift for 8 seconds Turn FilterKeys on or off

Hold down Num Lock for 5 seconds Turn ToggleKeys on or off

Thanks to Microsoft’s Yash Tolia for compiling the list.

Computer hardware identification chart

Do you have problems identifying SATA from SCSI or PCI from AGP? Help is here! With a non stop growing number of connectors and interfaces it can be a minefield trying to identify what is what.

This excellent wallchart by Sonic84 will help you to identify common hardware for desktop and notebook  memory, hard drives, ports, CPU/Processor Sockets, expansion card slots, power connections and more.

 
Click to download full size image

10 tips in choosing an IT support company

It can be a minefield when it comes to choosing an IT support company. To make it a little easier and some points you should look out for, have a look at our top 10 tips:

1Services
2Location, Location, Location
3Knowledge
4Comminication
5Trust & Security
6Support staff
7Procurement
8Networks
9Contingency planning
10Cost

1 Services

What does the company offer as a service? Do they just carry out reactive repairs and maintenance or do they proactively look after your computers, server and network? Many companies claim to offer “full IT Support”, but it often turns out that they are just PC repairers. Posilan offer a complete IT service from network design to outsourced IT helpdesk for your company. In essence, to our contract customers, Posilan are their IT department for all staff to use when needed.

2 Location, Location, Location

In the main, you are going to need an IT support company that is either local, or can get to you within a reasonable time as set out by the contract SLA. Whilst it might seem to be a good idea to sign up with a company hundreds of miles away because they claim to be able to help you by telephone or remote support, that will offer little comfort if your server falls over and they can’t get to you for three or four hours.

Posilan offer contract support to areas we can efficiently get to within a reasonable time so the client really does know we will be there quickly if we need to. The main areas we offer contract support are Manchester, Cheshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, North Wales, Merseyside, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Cumbria. In general, places we can get to within roughly a 1-2 hour window. We can offer contract support outside these areas, but we would have to specify special SLA’s. We do however carry ad-hoc & remote support work nationwide.

3 Knowledge

Is the IT support company selling you what you need, or what they know? There are a lot of different technologies and operating systems available. The main two systems for networks and servers are Linux based and Microsoft Windows based. Each of these platforms have their own individual plus and minus points. Many IT support companies will specialise in one or the other and effectively dissuade you from the other.At Posilan we are specialists in both so we can truly bring you the benefits of both – either individually or as a combined solution.

4 Communication

How contactable are your IT support company? Does the phone always go to answer phone? Do emails get replied to? Do they keep you up to date with what is happening within the business? It’s amazing the number of companies who don’t update their website or have it “under construction” for years. What’s the point in having company twitter or Facebook pages and not updating them for months or filled with irrelevant information?

At Posilan we love to hear from our customers so we make it simple. We can be contacted by email (which opens a ticket on the system) and reply to really quickly, by telephone, via live chat on the website. We can also be contacted via social networking such as Twitter and Facebook. We are based in Manchester here in the UK so your call won’t end up in a foreign call centre.

5  Trust & Security

Your IT Support company generally has complete access to your company network and confidential files. You need to be able to trust the company is looking after them and keeping them secure.

At Posilan, our servers and networks are built upon security and protection. It’s never an afterthought. From protecting your servers and network with firewalls and patching software when necessary to our own VPN WAN ensures when we connect to your servers, it’s in a safe and secure way. For complete peace of mind, all staff are also CRB checked.

6 Support staff

As a client, are you able to build up a relationship with the staff at the support company? Or do you get through to a different person each time? Is there a high staff turnover?

At Posilan we like to get to know our clients. Everyone is different and everyone (even us!) have their own “quirky” ways of how they like things doing. We understand this – what’s right for one client may not be for another. We fully document and personalise the way we do this for the benefit of the client – you shouldnt need to have to explain things from scratch each time you call, and we try to make sure you don’t.

7 Procurement

Buying IT equipment and software can be a minefield. Does your IT support company have trade agreements in place with software and hardware vendors or do they just buy from the same places you can and add a markup?

At Posilan we have formed partnerships with many major hardware and software vendors and have direct accounts with the two largest IT distributors in the UK – that way we get the latest updates at the best prices and the best service and pass those benefits straight onto you. From a new computer mouse to server hardware and complex volume licensing – we can help and advise you.

8 Networks

There’s little point in having the latest computers and servers if your network underperforms. At Posilan we are network and server specialists and design clients networks with speed and reliability in mind. We are Windows and Linux specialists so can offer you truly independent advice of what would be best for you. We can help with not only the network in your main premises, but for home workers and branch offices to be able to seamlessly connect securely as though they were sitting in the same room.

9 Contingency planning

We all hate to thing about “what if?” but just for one moment think “What would happen if there was a fire?” or a flood or theft? Could your business survive for a day without its server? What about two days? A week? Yes, you may have backups but how long will it take to get new hardware installed and the backup restored? You may be looking at several days before you are up and running.

At Posilan we have the knowledge and experience in backups and designing disaster recovery or high availability servers for your business.  We can embrace virtualization technologies to ensure we get you up and running in the shortest time possible – this could be as little as 2-3 hours after complete loss of hardware. Think how much 2-3 days would cost your business if it was closed due to IT problems then think how much better 2-3 hours is.

10 Cost

Are you choosing your IT support company based on cost? Don’t. Instead select based on ability then look at price. There’s little point in choosing a company that costs little but is incompetent, but on the other hand it’s easy to pay too much.

At Posilan we never aim to be the cheapest. The simple reason for this is that we could not offer the level of service we do if we were. cheap PC repair companies are “10 a penny” but will they be there when you need them? We are however excellent value for money and chances are that by using us as your IT support company, we could probably save you money over the years.