Windows 8 Tutorial

Windows 8 Speech to Text Alive and Well

Windows 8 Speech to Text Alive and Well

Microsoft speech to text is alive and well in Windows 8.  We’re still not sure of the status of speech to text in Windows RT. This tutorial assumes that you are using either standard Windows 8 or Windows 8 pro.  Speech recognition software can be used to not only dictate but to control both desktop and Start Screen (Metro) programs and applications.

To launch Speech to Text, go to Start Screen and type Speech. Click the Speech App and setup your system using short tutorial. Use a GOOD MICROPHONE.

To View Start Screen say: Press Windows

To Start an App While in Start say: App Name

To View App Options say:  Press Windows Z

To Close App say: Close App

To Switch to Desktop say: Desktop

To Close Desktop Windows say: Close Window

To Press a Screen Button say: Press Enter

To Scroll  say: Scroll Right or Left

To Access Options say: Show Numbers

Or say:  Mousegrid


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Screenshot 2016-05-30 at 11.45.04 AM

Living on the Windows 8 Desktop using Classic Shell


Living on the Windows 8 Desktop using Classic Shell

Video and comments apply to Windows 8. Do not confuse with Windows RT.

I along with many other long time Windows users was upset when I heard Microsoft was dropping the Start Button and Menu in Windows 8 (not to be confused with Windows RT.) After a few hours of using Windows 8 on my upgraded Acer W 500 tablet and five other computers, I became a fan of the dual user interface design.

Most negative reviews and consumer feedback predictively focus on the need to flip through the Start Screen, lack of Start button and the need to use Charms when accessing Windows search and settings. These concerns can be easily jettisoned with the addition of Start Button replacement programs. The free Classic Shell and five dollar Start 8 programs not only restore the Start Button and Menu, they allow users to completely bypass the new Windows 8 Start Screen.  Best of all, both products are easy to install and offer more flexibility than the original Windows counterparts.

If you are totally turned off by the Start Screen and want to take advantage of the faster boot time, enhanced security, improved speed, reduced need for computer memory, almost seamless access to free cloud storage, and improved reliability then you can stop twisting in the wind and upgrade to Windows 8 followed by a simple install of the free Classic Shell start button and menu.

Classic Shell allows access to both traditional desktop and new Start Screen programs. You can of course stay away from the Start Screen and miss out on the thousands of excellent free apps such as Netflix, Music, News, Kindle reader, Nook reader and the ever growing number of time wasting games but I would encourage even those who find the Tiles Start Screen an abomination to take a peek.

If you just can’t fathom ever using Start Screen apps such as Mail you can always install your favorite desktop program or the familiar Windows Essentials suite of programs on your desktop. There is no need for any angst over learning or using the new Start Screen interface. You can stay put on the desktop and use the enhanced features of the Classic Shell menu to navigate just as you do when using Vista or Windows 7.  Programs like Classic Shell and Start 8 will essentially make the Start hide in the background as you click your way through familiar desktop programs.

Contrary to many misleading blogs and reviews, you can open as many Windows as your system resources allow when using the Windows 8 Desktop mode.

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Navigating Windows 8 Quick Tips

Navigating Windows 8

Navigating Windows 8 using your mouse and keyboard. Use the Windows Key to toggle between last used App and the Start Screen. While viewing the Start Screen press the Enter key to run the App in the far left corner. Use the Windows + C key to display the Charms bar or the Windows + Q key to open Windows 8 Search.

Move your mouse to the FAR LEFT corner and then DOWN to display the Switch Bar along with active Apps. Right click on an App to display menu and select Close or Snap option.

Stay tuned for more StartScreenTips videos.


Windows 8 Classic Shell Start Button and Menu Episode 6

Episode 6 Installing and Using Classic Shell Start Button and Menu With Windows 8

Long for a Windows 8 Start Button and Menu? Fortunately, Windows 8 users have a growing list of programs that give back what Microsoft has taken away. This screencast focuses on the free, open source Classic Shell Start Button solution. 

Classic Shell is an Ivo Beltchev open source project. The producer of this screencast and video has no financial interest in  and makes no claims as to fitness for use or efficacy of Ivo Beltchev products. Please review the Classic Shell license before installing. 

Windows 8 Charms Episode 5

Episode 5 Windows 8 Charms

The Windows 8 Start Screen combined with a new set of icons Microsoft refers to as Charms replace the Start Button and Start Menu.

To activate Charms, slide the mouse to the upper right corner of your screen and then down until the five Charms icons are displayed against a dark background.  You may also pressed the C key while holding down the Windows Key.  The first Charm is used to Search apps, settings and files.  This Charm replaces the search function found in previous versions of Windows.  The new Search is better integrated and more useful than previous versions.

To locate an app or program, type in the name while apps is highlighted.

To change a setting, click on Settings below the search box and type the key word associated with the setting you wish to modify.  Likewise, click Files and begin typing the name of the file you are searching for.

The second icon is used to Share Start Screen a.k.a. Metro applications.  Share allows photos, news clips and e-mail text to be shared using e-mail or your sky drive account.  The Share Charm does not work with desktop applications or programs.

The third charm displays the Start Screen.

The fourth charm allows you to view and select attached devices such as additional display screens.

The fifth charm displays frequently accessed computer settings such as Internet access, system volume, brightness and power.  This charm may be quickly accessed by typing the i key as you hold down the Windows Key.  Clicking the Change  PC Settings link will take you to the PC settings screen where you can personalize the lock screen, start screen background and your account picture.  This is where you also manage user settings.  Windows 8 Start Screen apps can automatically notify users when changes have been made such as new incoming e-mails.  You may use the symbolic slider to the right to turn off or on the ability of apps to display these notifications.  You may manage a listing of apps that can be searched and delete your search history.  You may select apps that can share using this option.  This is the screen from which most common changes in settings are made.

You have one additional screen that allows access to more traditional and detailed computer settings.  To go to this feature, move your mouse mouse to the bottom left corner of the desktop screen. When the Start Screen icon is displayed,  right click or press the x key while holding down the Windows Key to display a list of computer management options familiar to users of previous versions of Windows.  The computer management menu displays everything from programs and features, device manager, disk management, task manager, search to the  run prompt.  The Windows 8 Task manager has been greatly enhanced and will be detailed in a future screencast.

Experiment with the Charms.  In particular, the new search Charm will prove very useful navigating the visually disorienting Windows 8 full screen display of apps and programs.  Because it is so useful, Microsoft has provided a special search keyboard combination.  Access the search function from almost anywhere including the desktop by typing the q key while holding down the Windows Key.

 Windows Key + Q: Display Search

Windows Key + X: Display computer management menu.

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