Ask Mr. Modem: Searching for a little help with Windows 8

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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I bought a new computer that has Windows 8. I like it, but can you explain how its Search feature works? I had been using Windows 7 previously, but this is very different. Thanks, Mr. M.

The Search in Windows 8 has been significantly improved when compared to all previous versions of Windows. To search for a file or run a program in Windows 8, from the Start screen just start typing what you’re trying to find or what you want to run.

As you begin typing, results will appear on the left side. In addition to being able to search for files and run programs, the Search also supports limiting searches to apps such as Finance, People, Maps, Photos, Mail, Music, Videos, Weather and more. If what you are searching for is not a file or program, click the app you want to use as the search. For example, if you were searching for “New York” and selected the Weather app, you would be shown the weather in New York.

By default, Search organizes available apps by how frequently they are used and presents them in alphabetical order. If you want to keep your favorite app at the top of the Search list, right-click the app and choose Pin. Pinning the app will lock it in place regardless of how often it is used. The Search feature can also be launched by pressing the Windows logo key + F, which I assume stands for Fearch. OK, OK, it’s F for Find, which raises the question: Why didn’t Microsoft call it the Find feature? I’m guessing it’s because that makes too much sense and it would be too easy to remember.

How can I increase the default font that my Chrome browser uses?

The easiest and fastest way to increase the size of a Web page is to use its zoom function, which you can deploy by pressing and holding the CTRL key while repeatedly tapping the + key to incrementally increase the size of what appears on screen. Conversely, you can decrease the size by holding down the CTRL key and pressing the - (minus or hyphen) key on your keyboard.

Although this is the quickest way to increase or decrease the size of everything on a page, some people only want to increase the size of the font without adjusting other elements on a page. Depending on the version of Chrome you are using, try either of the following:

1. Click the little wrench icon in the upper right-hand corner and select Options > Under the Hood tab > Web Content. Adjust the default font using the preset options (very small, small, medium, large, very large) or you can select Customize Font for even greater flexibility.

2. Click the wrench icon, select Settings, then Advanced Settings. Under Web Content, select the size font you want to use (I prefer Large) and any style customization that tickles your fontsy.

Mr. Modem publishes “Ask Mr. Modem!” each week, featuring PC tips, tricks and plain-English answers to your questions by email. For more information, visit

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