Working Man Creative | 7 tips and tricks for the Surface 3
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7 tips and tricks for the Surface 3

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7 tips and tricks for the Surface 3



92 West is an Omaha Web Design Agency

As with many things, when it comes to tech it can often be the little wins that really make the difference, and these can also be the features that don’t get much focus. This is definitely the case with the Surface 3, where many people stumble across its best features by accident – or never discover them at all.

In this post we’re going to reveal some of the hottest features on the Microsoft Surface 3 (many of which are also available in the Surface Pro 3), that can either aid your productivity, speed up your work, or simply improve your overall experience.

Combined, these tips can make a big difference to how use your Surface 3, and will help you get the most of this fantastic tablet/laptop hybrid from day one.

01. Full screen grabs


It’s easy to grab full screens on your Surface tablet

To grab full screens on your Surface 3, which will be automatically saved to your ‘Screenshots’ folder, all you need to do is hold down the Start button to the right of your screen, quickly followed by the volume down key on the side of your device.

Make sure you do it in this order, or you’ll just keep jumping to the start screen. Annoying.

02. Turn off taps


Turning off touchpad taps can prevent finger-related frustration

This is a tip that could save your sanity if, like us, you’re a little heavy handed on touchpads. By default the Surface 3 (when you have the optional keyboard attached) has touchpad taps turned on. This means that every inadvertent tap on the touchpad is registered as a click.

To turn it off search for ‘Mouse and touchpad settings’, scroll to the bottom of the screen, and select ‘Turn off taps’ in the dropdown.

We also recommend turning off right-clicks whilst you’re there, avoiding accidental menu calls (right clicks can then be instigated by hitting the touchpad with two fingers in this mode).

03. Save media to a MicroSD


It’s easy to save pics, music and video to a MicroSD card

There are some very popular tablet devices, not mentioning any names, that don’t offer the option for removable storage via MicroSD, but both the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 do, and it’s extremely useful.

Firstly, you should be aware that the MicroSD slot isn’t where you might think – sitting at the edge of the device – and can actually be found squirreled away under the kickstand. If you do choose to save pics, music and video to a card, you do it in the following way:

  1. Swipe in from the right of the screen and choose ‘Settings’
  2. Select ‘Change PC settings’ at the bottom of the screen
  3. Then choose ‘Devices’ on the left
  4. And then hit ‘Set up’ under ‘Default save locations’ at the bottom of the screen

04. Multi-task with snap apps


You can tile apps in tablet mode as well as desktop mode

Although you can have multiple apps on screen when using your Surface 3 in Windows desktop mode, many owners aren’t aware that you can tile apps in tablet mode, too.

Microsoft calls this ‘snapping’. To do this swipe in from the left of the screen to reveal open apps, then select the app you want to ‘snap’ and drag it to the right without letting go.

In a second you’ll see a solid vertical line with three dots appear, at which point you can let go, and adjust the amount of screen it occupies by selecting the three dots and moving them left or right. You can do this with up to four apps.

05. Edit the tablet Start screen


Make the Start screen work for you by customising it to your needs

To edit the Start screen in tablet mode hit the ‘Start’ button and you’ll be taken to a series of tiles. To edit this tile screen swipe down from the top of the screen and hit ‘Customise’.

Tap a tile and you can unpin (remove) it, resize it, turn off live updating and uninstall if need be. To add apps to the Start screen hit ‘Start’ and swipe up to the Apps screen.

Now swipe down, hit ‘Customise’, and select the app(s) you want to add.

06. Quickly share grabs


OneNote integration makes sharing grabs a cinch

One of our favourite features on the Surface 3 is the seamless integration of OneNote, and this is definitely the case when sharing grabs.

To quickly grab a screen all you need to do is swipe in from the right, select ‘Share’, and then choose OneNote (when a new note, including your grab, will be created). You can share via other apps, too, including Facebook and email).

07. Get Office 365 for free


Get access to all the Office apps, for free!

Whilst many people are aware of this fantastic offer for customers that purchase the Surface 3, it’s worth reiterating that all new customers will get a 12-month subscription to Office 365 Personal – worth £59.99 – for free.

This entitles you to all the Office apps, 60 minutes of free Skype calls each month, and 1TB of online storage. And your 365 sub entitles you to use on one Mac or Windows PC, as well as one tablet device.

Created in partnership with Microsoft Surface 3

92 West | Branding + Strategy + Web Design

92 West is a branding, digital marketing, web design and advertising agency focused on helping brands discover their true voice and sense of purpose; genuinely inspiring audiences.

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