Ok, so how do I find things in Windows RT or Windows 8?

There are a ton of cool tricks that I should share first, but I will go with the one that got me right off. Again if you are like me with the ol’ “I don’t need to read the manual” attitude, the simplest of things will get you Windows RT and Windows 8. Learn to use the Search function in Windows 8 right from the get go.

Searching within Apps

If you don’t RTM (read the manual) on how search works in Windows 8 it will smack you in the face with the first app you launch. For me, I opened the STORE app. Immediately I though this is cool but how do I filter all the junk out to find something I am specifically looking for? The same was true of the Wikipedia app that showed “Suggested” reading but no real table of contents. What the heck? Where is that little search box that appears on traditional programs and apps?

Searching for Programs and Files

In Windows 8 finding Apps and Documents has changed quite a bit from previous versions. In the past I would use the “Search Programs and Files…” box to find everything on my PC. I never used All Programs from the Start Menu as that was just too much work for me (my start menu was a mess). In Windows 8 we start on Start Screen and there is no Start bubble on the desktop so how do I find things?

With Windows 8 the Search is in one central location. Both searching the System and Searching within Apps is all done in the same place. It is actually quite quick and useful.

It is so easy it isn’t funny searching on a Desktop or Surface with a touch cover. On the Start Screen just start typing. “Search” will fly in from the Right of the screen and start displaying results for what you entered.

On a touch device: Slide your right thumb inward (left) to open the Charms menu and choose Search. Enter your text and the results start displaying.

Apps will be selected by default (Apps on a Windows 8 Computer are the “Programs” that you have installed, On an RT device Apps will most often be 0). The results of your search will be displayed on the left of the screen.

Here we can

  • Click on a result to launch the Program, Application or Open a file that it has found.
  • Right-click on result to show a context menu for the application. The context menus allows us to Pin to Start, Pin to Task bar, Uninstall or (Win 8) Run as Administrator. Settings and Files will display the results of Settings or Files/Directories containing the text you entered into the search field.

If I wanted to find one of my Corel applications on the system:

On the Start Screen I would start typing “Corel” the search screen opens and displays the results.

Below Apps, Settings and Files is a separator. Everything below that separator is an App that we have installed from the (Microsoft) Store App. We can pass our search text to any of these installed apps. Clicking any of the Apps below the separator will launch (open) the app with the search criteria you have entered.

For example; with “Corel” still entered as my criteria I could click on Mail to show me only Emails that Corel is in the TO, FROM or Subject line. I could also click on my Wikipedia app to show only entries that contain Corel on Wikipedia.

Pretty cool stuff. With APPs installed from the Store, more times than not, you will want to go the other way around. Launch the app then invoked the Search.


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