Always changing

With the October 2020 update, known as 20H2 to techies, Windows 10 continues to improve, adding features, new visuals, and helpful refinements.

I’ll describe my favourite new and improved features in these ten pages.

  • – Search
  • – Clipboard history
  • – Windows Hello face login
  • – OneDrive
  • – Photo, video, and mixed reality tools
  • – Ink
  • – Screenshot tool
  • – Snip & Sketch app
  • – Continue On PC
  • – File Explorer Quick Access list

What knowledge have you accumulated with Windows 10 can you share to help other readers enhance their Windows experience? Let us know in the comments below every page.

Search box

The search box beside the Windows start icon was enhanced earlier in 2020. It’s no longer tied to Cortana. You can now search your local files, including text within them, your OneDrive files or your corporate SharePoint files.

The search panel, which appears when you click in the search box, now has quick search buttons for the weather, news, history, and top movies.

Clipboard

The revamped Windows clipboard lets you access many previously copied items. You access the list of copied items using Windows Key-V instead of Ctrl-V.

In the past, this clipboard history was available only within Microsoft Office.

Cloud Clipboard is a new feature that will sync the clipboard history across all the devices you define. You can configure it in Settings.

Hello to you too!

 

Windows Hello biometric authentication beats the tedium of typing your password again and again. It’s available on PCs equipped with a 3D and IR camera.

As a precaution against being locked out of your PC, when you try to log in in a low-light area or forget to shave, do set up a pin and store it somewhere safe where you can find it for sure.

Expect that more apps will support Hello in the future.

Image source: Microsoft.

OneDrive

 

Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud service for online storage plays an increasingly prominent role in Windows 10. OneDrive lets you back up and sync the Desktop, Documents, and Photos user folders automatically.

OneDrive Files On-Demand spares you from downloading everything to all PCs in your account; 

OneDrive’s recent Personal Vault feature uses strong encryption to safeguard your most sensitive files. You need to authenticate your account to open the folder. 

Photos app

 

The Windows 10 Photos app is a decent photo and video editor. It also supports mixed reality objects. We all appreciate automatic photo fixes like red-eye correction, lighting, colour, and Instagram-like filters. For videos, it’s easy to add titles, crops, filter effects, 3D effects, and background music.

Digital ink

A touch screen is the most intuitive interface possible. Windows’ digital ink allows the stylus to work just like a pen and convert writing into text. Over time the accuracy of handwriting interpretation has become uncanny, and the text predictions have improved.

Screenshots

Windows 10 now has enhanced screenshot capabilities. You press Windows key-Shift-S to launch the screenshot app. Using the cross-hairs, you can select a rectangle, a free-form section of the screen, or the full screen. The app sends the result to the clipboard. You can insert the clipboard image into another app by pressing Ctrl-V at the insertion point.

The PrintScreen key for full-screen capture or Alt-PrintScreen to capture the active window continues to work as always.

Snip and Sketch

The new Snip & Sketch app offers more features than the familiar Snipping Tool, including saving your snip in more graphic file types. Snip & Sketch lets you mark up, crop and share your snipping. It even lets you clip a non-rectangular shape and draw circle sections with a protractor.

If the Snipping Tool is ingrained in your mind, it reminds you that the Snip & Sketch app is available.

If you absolutely must save the snip in an unsupported graphic file type, you can paste the snip into Word or PowerPoint and then right-click to Save as Picture and select your required graphic file type.

Incoming AirDrop!

The Continue On PC app for your smartphone has been around for a while. It’s become more useful as the number of devices in our lives continues to increase.

When you’re browsing on your smartphone, you can send the current web page to your Windows 10 PC. Your PC will open the browser automatically to display that same web page. Email and other apps can also make the jump from smartphone to PC.

Don’t forget about Quick Access

 

The value of File Explorer’s Quick Access section, while not new, is overlooked by many Windows end-users. It lets you quickly find whatever file you were last working on regardless of the related application.


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Yogi Schulz
Yogi Schulz has over 40 years of Information Technology experience in various industries. Yogi works extensively in the petroleum industry to select and implement financial, production revenue accounting, land & contracts, and geotechnical systems. He manages projects that arise from changes in business requirements, from the need to leverage technology opportunities and from mergers. His specialties include IT strategy, web strategy, and systems project management.

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