Windows 8 introduces the Metro user interface to the desktop environment. With a reputation for being quick and powerful on Windows Phone 7, can this productivity-boosting UI really benefit desktop users?
One way Windows has set out to improve Metro’s efficiency is by allowing users to create groups of tiles for easier navigation. To further enhance this feature, users can name these groups for quick reference as the amount of apps begin to pile up.
While the Consumer Preview has a limited number of apps to play with, you can bet that the average desktop computer running Windows 8 will have quite a bit more scattered across the interface, making good use of track pads and directional scroll-wheels as users swipe back and forth through their collection of Windows apps.
So how do you group these apps together and label them for a more organized, efficient experience? Here’s how:
Microsoft has made great strides to keep the Metro UI as efficient and easy to use as possible. Undoubtedly, the drag-and-drop functionality of Metro is a borrowed personality from the iOS and Android environment. You can arrange your Metro tiles into columns by clicking and dragging them.
To create a new column (group), all you need to do is click and drag that first app over to the side until you see a transparent partition appear between the app and a nearby tile group. Dropping the app should create a new grouping that you can add to just as easily.
If there are pre-existing apps on your machine that you don’t see on the Metro UI that you’d like to, all you need to do is right-click your mouse in a blank space within the Start screen and select All Apps from the menu bar that appears on the bottom of the screen. Right-clicking any of these apps in this list will give you the option to pin them to your Start screen.
Naming groups is almost just as easy as creating them. The first step is to open your Start screen using the Windows key or the hot corner located on the lower-left portion of your screen. Once that’s done, you’ll see a little icon that looks like a magnifying glass and four window panes. Selecting that should zoom out on the Metro UI, giving you a full view of all your apps in their places.
Moving your mouse cursor over any existing group should highlight it. Now, all you need to do is right-click so a check mark appears in the upper-right corner of the group, and select Name Group on the menu bar at the bottom of the screen. You’ll be given a field in which you can enter a name. At this point, you can simply hit the Name button under the field and your group should be given a fancy title above the tiles.
There you have it: organizing and naming groups in Windows 8. If you would like to share a Windows 8 tip or trick, please leave a comment below and let us know. Your comment may appear in a future article here on LockerGnome.