For most developers the ability to drive applications with just the keyboard is as much instinctive as it is productive and Windows 8 allows it. Following on from my previous post this post covers how to navigate and use the touch interface of Windows 8 with the Keyboard
The key to effective Windows 8 keyboard mastery is the the Windows key, the Windows key will bring you back to the start screen and act as a short cut to most Windows 8 key (groan) features. The short version is navigate with the arrow keys, Windows Key +Z or the List Key will display the app bar and return complete the action.
Start Screen Navigation
On the start screen UP,DOWN,LEFT,RIGHT allows navigation as you would expect and return opens a tile. Importantly Spacebar or the List Key (looks like a drop down list) selects an item and you can move about selecting items until you want to act, Tab then moves the selection to the Action Bar to set the tile size,unpin from start, , uninstall, open new window and All Items.
If the application is a Desktop application you also get the options to Run As Administrator, Open file location and pin/unpin from task bar.
Start an Application
The quickest way is just to type the name of the application, this actually starts search charm in the application context, but what you get is a very fast way to start applications.
Application and Screen Control
The biggest issue using the Keyboard is screen control, but the simple application of Win+. allows left and right snap view and using Win + Tab to cycle through the current Metro applications (the desktop counts as one application) or Alt+Tab to step through all of the applications
On the start screen tab will select the user icon which allows logout, or use Win+I for settings and select power from there. I pin a shutdown button to my Desktop Tab. I will follow up on this in a later post
I have split the key Summary into Essential the essential keys are key combinations you NEED to know and Nice to know
Essential Keys (new)
|Win ||Toggles between the start and the current application |
|Win + C ||Charms Menu |
|Win + I ||Settings ( Current Application, Volume,Wi-Fi and Power ) |
|Win + X ||Start Menu |
|Win + D ||Show the Windows Desktop |
|Win + Z or List Key ||Shows the App Bar |
|Win + . (full stop) ||Snaps the current application to the right side of the screen. (+shift for left) Keep pressing . to cycle left right then center |
Essential Keys (Windows 8 and Windows 7)
|Win + L ||Locks Windows |
|Win + Tab ||Displays the current Running Applications, repeated tabs cycle through the Applications |
|Win + R ||Opens the Run Dialog (Run application) |
|Win + P ||Selects the Second Screen (projector) mode |
|Win + Left/Right/Up/Down ||Dock the current Desktop windows left/right or maximise/minimize |
|Win + <number> ||Runs the position <number> application on the Task Bar |
Useful Keys (new)
|Win + O ||Locks device orientation |
|Win + D ||Switches to the Traditional Desktop |
|Win + H ||Share Charm Panel |
|Win + K ||Devices Charm Panel |
|Win + F ||File Search |
|Win + J ||Swaps focus between snapped applications |
Useful keys (Windows 8 and Windows 7)
|Win + P ||Projector view switch between single/dual monitor |
|Win + E ||Launch explorer |
|Windows key and + or - ||Zoom in/out |
In summary you can fully drive Windows 8 from the desktop, try it!