While many, rightly or wrongly, continue to dismiss
Microsoft Windows 8 as a failed operating system, some users, like me, continue
to find little features which make the operating system more palatable than you
might want to believe. The Windows 8 File Explorer for example, has several
features that are either new or just newly made obvious, which makes
manipulating files a much more efficient experience.

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.

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.

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.

Figure C

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.

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)

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.