Windows 8

Quick Tip: Display two Metro UI Windows 8 apps on the same screen

With the Windows 8 snap feature it is possible to have more than Metro UI display at once.

While, in general, I like Windows 8 and the new Metro UI that comes with it, I also realize that many of you are having a difficult time adjusting to the changes Microsoft has made to the Windows operating system. Make no mistake about, there is going to be a significant learning curve when it comes to mastering Windows 8 and all its quirks.

However, there are many features of Windows 8 and the Metro UI that you actually may find useful, if you know about them and give them a try. One of those features is a snap feature that will allow you to display two running Metro Apps on the same screen - something multiple-windows-open-all-the-time users should appreciate.

It's just a jump to the left

In Figure A, you can see that I am running a Metro version of Internet Explorer in all its full-screen glory.

Figure A

Internet Explorer
What you don't see is that I also have the Weather App running. For most of the spring and summer, Louisvillians have to keep an eye on the potential for severe thunderstorm activity. Let's say I want to check current weather conditions, I can just move the mouse over to the top left edge of the display until thumbnails of running apps appear, as you can see in Figure B.

Figure B

Thumbnails
Typically you would click the Weather App thumbnail and that app would replace Internet Explorer and you would see the weather in full screen mode. But I just want to keep an eye on the weather while I browse. For that, I can grab the thumbnail by left-clicking on it and then holding it down, while dragging the thumbnail toward the middle of the display. It will start to expand and then I can let it go, where it will snap to the edge of the display, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Snap a second Metro App into place for simultaneous viewing.

If I want to go back to a single app view, I can just grab the weather app and drag it back to the left side where it will disappear into the background.

The left side of the screen in Windows 8, whether you are in Metro or Desktop mode is going to come in handy - that is, once you get used to it.

Thanks to rockythemes.org

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

8 comments
emgub
emgub

Tried this with some metro apps (with/without live content) and it didn't worked (on Windows 8 Pro)

stephenmj
stephenmj

Does this actually work for anybody? I followed your instructions (in fact, read over it 4-5 times) and ain't nothing happening!

dogknees
dogknees

I typically have 5-8 windows set up in different sizes and overlaps so I can monitor things without having to continually swap apps. Is this sort of specific arrangement possible? I'm going to try and bite the bullet on this, but I need to know it's at least possible to set things up the way I want them.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

The more I work with Windows 8 the more features I find. What interesting features have you discovered?

NerdHerder
NerdHerder

With a mouse, right-click and choose Snap Right or Snap Left.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

The Metro Apps don't that that capability as far as I can tell - you'd be having those multiple windows open in Desktop Mode just like you do now in 7 or XP.

dogknees
dogknees

Are there new Gadgets for the Desktop mode? I was not a happy camper when MS pulled the Gadget repository as I use 5 all the time. Seems we started down the road of a live desktop with Vista and the gadgets only to have MS put a road-block in the way by removing the gadgets and forcing a choice of desktop where neither does it all.

NerdHerder
NerdHerder

Each app should have a Live Tile on the start screen that displays info. Instead of a gadget for weather on the desktop, the weather app's live tile displays the temp, pressure, graphic a cloud, etc.