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Using the Windows 8 Interface : Working with Running Apps - Snapping an App

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4/3/2014 4:27:48 AM
One of the ironies of Windows 8 is that, at least as far as the new interface goes, there no longer seems to be any windows. After all, when you launch a Windows 8 app, it doesn’t appear inside a “box.” So what happened to the windows that gave Windows its name? The truth is that Windows 8 apps do technically appear in a window, it’s just that by default these windows take up the entire screen. You see this for yourself over the next three sections as we take you through various techniques for manipulating running apps.

Snapping an App

One way that you can take advantage of the hidden “windowness” of Windows 8 apps is to show two Windows 8 apps onscreen at the same time. So, for example, you could display your Finance app stock watchlist while simultaneously surfing the Web, or watch what your Facebook friends are up to while also shopping in the Windows Store.

You do this by snapping the current Windows 8 app to the left or right side of the screen. This means that the app shrinks down to about a quarter of its normal width and parks itself on the left or right side of the screen, and then the next app takes up the rest of the screen. Figure 1 shows the Finance app snapped to the left side of the screen, while the Internet Explorer app covers the rest.

Image

Figure 1. You can display two Windows 8 apps at the same time by snapping an app to the left or right side of the screen.


Note

You can’t snap an app unless your screen resolution is set to at least 1366×768.


How you snap a Windows 8 app depends on whether you’re using a regular PC or a tablet PC:

Regular PC—Move the mouse pointer to the top of the screen, where it changes to a hand, and then click and drag the hand down. As you drag, the Windows 8 app shrinks down to a small window. (This is what we mean when we say that Windows 8 apps have a hidden “windowness.”) Now drag the smaller window all the way to the left or right side of the screen and then release the mouse button. An easier method is to move the mouse pointer to the top-left corner to display the list of running apps, move the pointer over the app you want to snap, right-click it, and then click either Snap Left or Snap Right.


Tip

Another way to snap the current Windows 8 app is to press Windows+. (period). If you hold down the Windows key and tap. (period) repeatedly, Windows 8 cycles the app through snap left, snap right, and full screen.


Tablet PC—Place your finger at the top edge of the screen, and then slide down until the Windows 8 app shrinks down to a window. Keep dragging your finger to the left or right side of the screen and then release your finger.

 
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