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Ways to work more efficiently with Windows 10

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By now, you surely are in a minority if you have not been at least exposed to Windows 10, if not using it regularly. Many clients still grumble about the unfamiliar tiled start screen and other features, and hark back to the good old days of Windows XP and 7. But I also recall when XP made way for Win7, that clients grumbled long and hard about that change as well. Perhaps reading this column may help new and unfamiliar users work more efficiently with Win10 in the future.

Firstly, just to explain, the Windows tiled Start page has been designed to take into account two things. Firstly, it allows easy touch access to many such enabled devices. There has been a dramatic increase in the production of touch devices, from smartphones to tablets to convertible laptops.

The reason for this is simple, and most children under the age of 18 will echo this, currently touch input is faster and more intuitive than the tradition keyboard and mouse method. Give a touch tablet to a child of five (or younger, these days) and watch how quickly they learn to access their device. Give them a keyboard and compare their learning curve! Secondly, Microsoft is looking to provide a seamless experience across all devices, using the tiled menu page.

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By the end of this year, they plan to ensure that whatever start screen you create (on your user account) on your desk or laptop; this same start screen will be replicated on any other device that you use once you sign in. Combine this with the adoption of cloud services for applications and data, and guess what, all your devices will be interchangeable. You will be able to work from anywhere that has internet services, with any device that you choose. No need to carry around a laptop any more.

OK, now to Win10. Do you know, it is now not necessary to know exactly where you store your applications and data? Why worry when all you need to do is hit the Search icon (magnifying glass) on your task bar, and typing in the name of what you are looking for. Be it a folder, a file or an application, typing in the name will bring it up for use. This, for a start, makes the desktop now defunct as a place to view most widely used files or applications.

So, forget about your desktop. Use Search. As a side note, this Search option is also used to access Microsoft’s Cortana, this is a voice activated intelligent search assistant that talks to you and provides searches on your device and the internet if required.

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The second way to quickly and efficiently do your work is by using the File Explorer option. This also shows as a yellow folder pinned to your Task Bar. Try this for me, right click on this icon and see what happens? You should see two subdivisions, one marked “Pinned” and one marked “Recent”.

I am sure you just have had the experience of editing an important document, and later in the day having to find it again to make changes? Here is how you do so quickly, the Recent list shows all the most recent folders you have accessed, form her you can get to your document.

The Pinned list shows you all the folders you use regularly, allowing you to access them very quickly i.e.: two clicks (or touches). To pin folders to this list, open File Explorer, select the folder you wish to pin and right click on Quick Access, this appears on the left-hand side. This gives you the option to pin this folder to Quick Access.

While you are there, have you noticed that clicking Quick Access also displays the latest files that you have used? Now doesn’t that beat hunting around the folders for your recent files?

This column was originally titled “Five Ways to Work More Efficiently With Win10”. But space only allows me two at this stage, I promise to cover more in later columns.

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