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Digital Workshop: No Touchscreen? No Problem!

Special thanks to Zuiderdam’s Techspert Krista who posted this on HAL’s Digital Workshop blog.

It’s Krista, techspert onboard the Zuiderdam where we’re sailing through the Caribbean and visiting the Panama Canal. As we sail, we’re learning all about Windows 8!

I use Windows 8 on a laptop that I upgraded from Windows 7, and guess what? It does not have a touchscreen. A lot of people think that you need a touchscreen with Windows 8, but actually it works great with mouse and keyboard as well! For those of you in a similar situation as me, I thought I’d post today on some little tips and tricks I’ve discovered in Windows 8 that you might find useful.

Switching from one open app to another

Most of us do more than one thing on the computer at a time, and you might wonder how to jump from one open app to another. With a touchscreen you just swipe from the left edge of the screen but, how do you do that with a mouse?

Just point your mouse to the upper left corner of the screen and click. Every time you click you’ll swap to the next open app.

But what if you have several apps open and you want to jump to a specific app, not the one you used most recently? Do you really have to click several times to get to your desired app?


After you place your mouse in the upper left corner, instead of clicking pull it down and you’ll see a menu come up on the left edge of the screen that shows you all the apps you have open. Now just click on the one you want!

Closing an App
To close apps in Windows 8 using the mouse, place your mouse at the top of the screen, left click and hold, and drag your mouse to the bottom of the screen.

But what if you have several apps open, do you have to jump to each one and drag them down one by one? Not if you don’t want to!

In the previous section I showed you how to bring up a list of all your open apps on the left side of the screen. Try right clicking one.

It brings up a menu, and one of the options is “close.” Click that to quickly and easily close the app from there, no dragging necessary.

The hidden start “button”
One of the biggest changes you’ll notice in Windows 8 is the absence of the start button in the bottom left corner of the screen. In my opinion, this is no big deal, but a lot of people seem to miss it. But guess what, there is technically still a start button there!

Remember what I showed you in the previous section, well did you notice what was in the lower left corner? Here it is again:

It’s a small version of my start screen! Any time I move my mouse to the lower left corner, I’ll see that mini start screen. When you click the start button in previous versions of Windows it opens your start menu. Clicking this mini version of your start screen (which shows up exactly where the start button used to) takes me back to my start screen.

And if you right click in the bottom left corner of your screen you’ll get a handy menu you can use to open things like the control panel or the task manager.

All Apps

In previous versions of Windows you clicked on the start button and then pointed to “all programs” to see all the programs installed on the PC. You can see this in Windows 8 as well.

Go to your start screen and right click.

This brings up a menu at the bottom of the screen, and in the bottom right corner there’s an icon that says “all apps.” The word app is just another word for a program, so “all apps” = “all programs.” Click the “all apps” icon.

Holland America Line is a proud partner of Microsoft on the Digital Workshop powered by Windows program.

  • Danielle

    Very useful. Thanks a lot. I am on board Amsterdam but the Techexpert time is generally during the bridge session.

  • pamy

    will be on board same ship in April for Panama cruise. Hope the same T expert will be there.

  • pamy

    We will be on board the same ship in April for the Panama cruise. Hope the same expert will also be on board.

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