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The charms bar is the new universal menu in Windows 8 to access commonly used settings

 

To access this menu move your mouse pointer to the top or bottom right corner (or swipe in from the right of the screen if using a tablet), and you will see the five icons appear

 

charms_1_win8

 

As you move the mouse up/down to select one of these icons the screen will change as below, showing the date/time, network status, battery level and the five available options

 

charms_2_win8

 

These options are explained in more detail below:-

 

charms_datetime_win8

Date/Time, Network and Battery Status: This area shows the current date/time as well as icons showing the current network/internet connection status and battery level

 

charms_search_win8

Search: Opens up a search pane which allows you to search local files, settings, applications and the web

 

charms_share_win8

Share: Allows you to share the currently selected item via email, post it to you social network, or to add it to your reading list to view later

 

charms_start_win8

Start: Opens up the start screen

 

charms_devices_win8

Devices: Options to allow you to Project (send current screen to an external device such as a projector or second display), Print or Play (stream video/music to an external device)

 

charms_settings_win8

Settings: Opens up the settings screen which shows settings for the currently active program, as well as shortcuts to change PC settings, notifications, screen brightness, power settings and volume