The 10 Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts you need to remember

Takeaway:  There are 100+ keyboard shortcuts available for Windows 8, but there are a small number you’ll want to remember because you’ll use them often.

In April 2012, Greg Shultz created a free cheat sheet of 100 Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts. That download contained just about every keyboard shortcut you could imagine. Those shortcuts are still valid of course, but if you are like me you can only remember a few shortcuts at a time, so you want to remember the ones that will be most useful.So, while I highly recommend that you take advantage of the free PDF download listing of 100 Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts, I also recommend that you commit the following 10 keyboard shortcuts to memory, because you are going to need to access these features often and, for efficiency’s sake, it’s best to have them at the ready.

10 Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 8 you need to remember

Windows 8 Specific Keyboard Shortcuts



Switch between Metro Start screen and the last accessed application
 + C Access the charms bar
 + Tab Access the Metro Taskbar
 + I Access the Settings charm
 + K Access the Devices charm
 + Q Access the Apps Search screen
 + F Access the Files Search screen
 + W Access the Settings Search screen
 + X Access the Windows Tools Menu
 + E Open Computer



How to Invert Your Browser’s Colors for Easier Reading at Night


If you’re a night owl, you know how much a regular white web page can hurt your eyes when you open it up. Here are two browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox that will make the web a little bit nicer at night.

We’ve shared a few ways to make your screen more eye-friendly in the dark, but Google recently released an extension designed to make the web more night-friendly. Here’s the lowdown on it and a similar extension for Firefox.

High Contrast Inverts Colors on a Per-Site Basis in Chrome


Google’s official High Contrast extension for Chrome is pretty great. By clicking on its icon in your menu bar, you can invert the colors of your web pages, making blindingly bright black-on-white sites white-on-black for easier viewing. It ignores photos, too, so you can still see pictures without them looking like film negatives. You can also choose an inverted greyscale if the colors get too wonky for you.


What’s especially nice is that you can set it on a per-site basis, so if you frequent sites that already have “night modes” built in, you can ignore them from being inverted. And, you can set Ctrl+Shift+F11 to toggle inversion on any site you want. Above all, it actually looks good when it’s enabled—a lot of color inversion tweaks can really make your screen look weird, while this extension makes everything look somewhat natural.

Blank Your Monitor Lets You Customize Your Inverted Color Scheme in Firefox

How to Invert Your Browser's Colors for Easier Reading at NightFirefox users have a similar extension calledBlank Your Monitor that, with a keyboard shortcut, will invert the colors in your browser for easier night reading. Unlike Google’s extension, however, you can open up the options and customize the colors for page backgrounds, text, and links, so it looks exactly how you want it to look. It also has a cool feature in which you can select text and press a keyboard shortcut to put it on a reader-friendly, inverted page.

That said, certain page elements can sometimes look weird with this extension (like Google’s Instant Previews, page logos, and text boxes), so if you prefer an alternative, check out theMyflavolours userstyle, which also inverts your colors but leaves these things intact.

These aren’t the only ways to make your browser more night-friendly, of course. OS X users have a built-in shortcut for inverting the entire screen, and apps like F.lux will change the color temperature automatically based on the time of day, but this is a slightly more extreme solution for those of us with ultra sensitive eyes. If you have any of your own solutions for nighttime screen brightness, share them with us in the comments!



The Best Address Book App for Mac OS X

Mac OS X has a great built-in address book and a number of useful third-party alternatives, but out of all the options Cobook is our favorite. It’s a very new app, currently still in beta, but its intelligent search and social media integration make it very easy to love.

The Best Address Book App for Mac OS X


Platform: Mac OS X
Price: Free
Download Page

  • Identifies the type of information you’re searching or adding as you type it.
  • Automatically updates your contacts via social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Utilizes the Mac OS X built-in Address Book database so you can still use Address Book if you want. This means you can still sync with iCloud and any other service Address Book supports (e.g. Google Contacts).
  • Lives in your menubar for quick and easy access.
  • Very simple setup process that walks you through everything you need to do to get started.
  • Global keyboard shortcut allows for full keyboard control.
  • Automatically checks for updates and offers to update itself.

The Best Address Book App for Mac OS X

Cobook understands what you’re typing based on its format, whether you’re searching or adding new information to a contact. If you type in a phone number that doesn’t exist it’ll offer to create a new contact. If a contact is listed, it’ll offer to add whatever information you’ve put into the search field. Cobook just knows what you’re trying to do. This makes it super easy to find and update your contacts.

On top of that, Cobook pulls data from Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to updated your Address Book without any effort on your part. This saves a ton of time because your updates will involve adding notes more so than it will involve adding phone numbers and addresses.

All in all, Cobook automatically updates your address book for you and makes it much easier to perform an manual updates you need to make yourself. Plus it’s free, and we love apps that both cost nothing and also happen to be pretty amazing.

The Best Address Book App for Mac OS X

Because Cobook’s interface only lives in the menubar, this poses a few problems. First and foremost, if you want to view contact information while you’re typing in another window, you can’t really do that because clicking away from Cobook will hide the interface back in the menubar. Additionally, Cobook can really only live in one location and can’t be resized. While I like having it tucked away in the menubar, it can be problematic on occasion and it would be nice to be able to switch to a moveable window when needed.

Because Cobook syncs with your social media accounts, you’re letting it change you address book based on what other people input into their profiles. Most of the time this is great because you don’t have to update anything at all, but you also can end up with more information than you want or a different information than you need. This isn’t Cobook’s fault, but it’s something to be aware of when using an app that uses data you don’t control to change the data you do.

The Best Address Book App for Mac OS X

Address Book is the obvious competition. It’s already built into Mac OS X and is pretty great. Cobook relies on it, so it’s hard to argue it can do anything that Cobook can’t. In fact, you really have to use them together if you’re planning on setting up sync with iCloud (or other services) as Cobook can’t handle that functionality. While it’s technically another app and therefore competition, both work very well together and you don’t really have to pick one or the other.

Microsoft Outlook for Mac is what you use when you need an address book app with Microsoft Exchange support. Other than that, there aren’t too many plusses.

Contact Book ($5) is an Address Book alternative that pulls from the same databased but offers a slightly different interface and a few bonus features. You can color-code contacts, add social networking information, remind yourself of various events, and more. But it costs $5 and does less than Cobook, so it’s hard to consider it as a better option.

Private Contact ($7) is a simple address book that’s designed for storing private contacts. The idea is pretty simple and straightforward, but pretty useful if you want to safeguard your contacts.

The Daylite Productivity Suite ($230 or $30/month) includes more than just a contacts app. It is, as the name suggests, a large suite of tools to help you get things done better. This allows for tighter integration with its other apps so you can better manage your contacts and sort them by relationship rather than just name. This is a good option if you’re looking for something more business-oriented, though the cost is pretty high if all you want is the contacts app.