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Best way to access Desktop apps and commands?

    General discussion

  • This may be a generalization of the thread about Shutdown and Run.   Anyway my examples are different.

    First of all what determines what command is available via the Start screen search?  E.g. true we can find cmd there but today I wanted first regedit but found only reg and then wanted eventvwr but didn't find it.

    Secondly, in W7 I have been avoiding Libraries like the plague but decided that perhaps I should try creating a Library out %windir% and then be able to type commands with AutoComplete that way.   So I created a Library called Desktop Commands and stuck that folder in it.   Now what?  It looks like it may be crashing.   E.g. I lose my Desktop and have to start over.   ICIM I am starting from the Desktop toolbar.  But even when I do get it open, e.g. from just the Libraries node and then start searching for commands that I know are there Search won't find them?

    So far I am finding that the best solution is to resort to an elevated cmd window, e.g. go back to DOS techniques.   This was my same resort with Vista and W7 when I could barely contain my bile over all the deficient usability I seemed to be finding.   At least then I don't have to leave for an exercise session to try to calm down.   ; }

    BTW cmd is how I do shutdown too.   In particular,  shutdown.exe  /r   to  Restart   shutdown.exe /h  to Hibernate.   Although I suppose if I did those once in the Run... dialog  Win-R, F4  and cursoring  could be quicker--until they got flushed by MRU logic.   ; }

     

    Robert Aldwinckle
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    Thursday, November 03, 2011 3:18 PM

All replies

  • Like Windows 7 you can search from the Start screen to launch:

    • Apps (Desktop apps and Metro apps) - This is the primary function of searching from Start.
    • Commands - The PATH environment variable specifies a set of directories where executable programs are located. These .exe files can be launched by filename with or without parameters depending on the executable.  These commands can be invoked by typing the full executable name.
    • Known folders – Known folders like “Documents” can be launched by typing the full name.
    • Paths - You can use the search box to walk paths like c:/mystuff/ and then open the desired folder or file
    • Protocols – You can use the search box for protocols like http:// .

    Specific cases you mentioned

    • Regedit should be available by typing “regedit”. Eventvwr can be launched by typing “eventvwr”. Note that you must type the full file name (just like win7)
    • Event Viewer is in a set of Administrative Tools which, depending on the Win7 SKU, were either enabled by default or hidden by default. I believe the Admin Tools were not pinned to Start by default in the Developer Preview. You can pin them to start (and thus make them searchable) by following these steps
    1. Go to the Start screen
    2. Use the Settings charm (swiping from the right of the screen for touch, charms are available by putting your mouse in the lower right, or via keyboard Win+C)
    3. Click “Start, Configure Start” in the Settings charm pane
    4. Slide “Show administrative tools” to yes
    • Libraries are a useful tool for storing and managing your files. They serve the same purpose as the “My Documents” folder has in past releases but have the added benefit of being able to “include” folders from various locations like external hard drives. Once locations are included they are easily navigable and search is extremely fast. In your case where you’re creating a %windir% library you seem to be hitting an issue. This scenario is not a recommended use of libraries but I am not expecting the issues you are having
    • Finding Shutdown has been an issue that other users have mentioned as well. Shutdown is available via the Setting charm (swiping from the right of the screen for touch, charms are available by putting your mouse in the lower right, or via keyboard Win+C). We also mentioned on the Building Windows 8 blog that we’re working to make shutdown more accessible.

    Thanks for your feedback. For more information on search I suggest taking a look at Designing search for the Start screen on the Building Windows 8 Blog.
    -BrianUp

    Friday, November 04, 2011 6:13 PM
  • Like Windows 7 you can search from the Start screen to launch:

    you must type the full file name (just like win7)


    TY.   I should have thought of that.  Oops.

     

    1. Click “Start, Configure Start” in the Settings charm pane
    2. Slide “Show administrative tools” to yes


    In fact, I did have that but I hadn't figured out what it meant exactly.  I had been guessing it was for some metro customization to follow, e.g. WIP.   Again, Oops.

     

    • Libraries are a useful tool for storing and managing your files.

      Once locations are included they are easily navigable and search is extremely fast. In your case where you’re creating a %windir% library you seem to be hitting an issue. This scenario is not a recommended use of libraries but I am not expecting the issues you are having


    In fact, today it became much clearer what is happening.   On behalf of the Desktop toolbar, Windows will create a sorted "menu" of every single file in  System32--provided I wait long enough.   Again, Oops.

     

    Shutdown is available via the Setting charm (swiping from the right of the screen for touch, charms are available by putting your mouse in the lower right, or via keyboard Win+C).

    Since I have been using this approved (and faster) method of Restart I have not seen any more crashes (reported elsewhere).

     

    For more information on search I suggest taking a look at Designing search for the Start screen on the Building Windows 8 Blog.


    Thanks for all these tips.  ; )

     

    Robert
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    Saturday, November 05, 2011 2:30 AM