Invert selection and click boxes
I like having click boxes next to files when I am using File Explorer, but that feature is off by default, as you can see in Figure A.
No check boxes
In Windows 7, you would have to navigate to the Tools tab and then the Folder Options screen and then find the check box that would turn on check boxes. In Windows 8, the check box feature is an item on the ribbon under the View tab, as shown in Figure B.
Just click the box to turn on Item check boxes
Now that we have check boxes enabled, when can highlight and mark specific files for copying or pasting or whatever. In Figure C, I have marked a few files recently downloaded for my test machine.
Ready to do some file manipulation
Again, while this next feature for inverting the selected files was available in Windows 7, it was hidden under a not very intuitive tab. In Windows 8, the invert selection feature is right there in the ribbon under the Home tab, as you can see in Figure D.
The invert selection is right there on the Home tab ribbon
All one has to do is click the feature and your file selections are inverted. (Figure E)
The original selection is inverted
Give the Ribbon a chance
Both of these features are more obvious and available because of the presence of the "dreaded" ribbon interface in Windows 8 File Explorer. While the ribbon interface does take some getting used to, there are definitely some benefits to its presence.
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.