For those who have decided to upgrade from Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 to Windows 11, Microsoft has introduced new features that are worth considering. Some of these features are new and some others can be considered an improvement over Windows 10, which will reach its end of life in 2025.
1- WINDOWS DICTATION WITH AUTO PUNCTUATION
In Windows 10 you could dictate but the feature didn’t include auto punctuation. If you open a notepad file to dictate your speech, you can press the Windows key together with the H key. The dictate tool opens up and you can go straight to the settings gear. In the settings, there’s now a new option for auto punctuation. Make sure to turn that on now when you click into this text field. After clicking on the microphone icon, you can begin recording your voice. The cool feature is that Windows can detect the tone of your voice to add punctuation by itself, without users inputting periods, question marks and colons.
2- MULTIPLE DESKTOPS
In Windows 11 users can now set up multiple desktops and can customize how those desktops look like. In the taskbar, there’s an icon to view all of your desktops and when you click on the multiple desktop icon you will see that the computer has only one desktop by default. Click on the plus icon to add another desktop and to customize your desktop you can right click on it. By right clicking it you can rename your second desktop with a different name and even choose a different background. This cool feature is not present on Windows 10 operating system. The only downside of this feature is that at present users cannot put one desktop on one monitor and the second desktop to another monitor. This usability issues hints at further work that Microsoft would need to do to improve Windows 11.
3- WINDOWS SNAPPING
Windows 11 is taking snapping to the next level. Users can always snap in Windows 10 such as simply taking a window and drag it over to the side or snapping it into another position. In Windows 11, I can hover over the maximize icon and I will be able to see nice snapping hints that will let users decide whether to place the snapped resource in the top right hand corner or right down. In addition, there is a third party Microsoft tool that will allow users to get the most out of snapping. Microsoft offers a free tool called Power Toys that can be installed both of Windows 10 and Windows 11 to enhance users’ experience. Power Toys introduces a more advanced feature called Fancy Zones; users can customize Fancy Zones by creating a new layout in case they don’t like the built-in layout that come with this feature. You can download Power Toys from here.
The Widget icon is located in the taskbar and if you click on it you can get helpful information such as tasks to do, weather, traffic, calendar. Widgets in Windows 11 can also be resized and reordered.
Scrolling down, users can also add more widgets such as:
- Stocks Watchlist
- To Do
As Windows 11 will be further developed, I believe that Microsoft will add more widgets to the main menu.
5- FILE EXPLORER TABS
This much awaited feature is finally deployed on Windows 11. Instead of clicking on the File Explorer icon twice and have two windows of the same item open, Microsoft has made things easier by putting a tab within the file explorer when we need to open it in a new tab. This feature is very helpful and saves user time when it comes to work on the File Explorer and its submenus. It sounds like that Microsoft this time listened to its users when it made File Explorer look similar to a browser tab that can be opened multiple times. You can also right click on a folder and select “Open in New Tab”.
6- ADVANCED GESTURES
A very handy feature is the customization of the three fingers gestures. Go to the settings >touchpad and you will see the three and four finger gesture. Slide each of the two tabs and you will get the advanced gesture options where you can swipe down, up, left and right. Users can also apply the behavior to multitasking view, show desktop, and switch apps. In some older HP and Dell laptops that have been upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11 the advanced gestures will not work. Sometimes after the upgrade the touchpad gets disabled, but you should check it out anyway. Open settings, click on Bluetooth and click on touchpad: make sure that the touchpad is on. If the touchpad is on, the advanced gesture will show up and therefore it can be customized.
7- LIVE CAPTIONS
The live caption feature will transcribe whatever audio comes out of a video into text that can be displayed on the top of your screen. The feature can be customized even further by including microphone and audio and filtering the language. Live captions can be enabled by typing the following keys on your keyboard:
Windows + CTRL+ L
8- DRAGGING APPS TO THE TASKBAR
This is not a new feature but an improvement. In Windows 10, users were not able to drag apps from the start menu to the taskbar but now it will be very easy to move apps within the taskbar and drag them down to it. In addition, Windows 11 stops apps from running in the background. This feature was not present in Windows 10, and is an important fix for many users. It is also an important victory for those who use their computer on battery power, as unnecessary apps can drain power rather quickly.
Upcoming updates of Windows 11 will come equipped with Virtual Reality, advanced multitasking, and better collaboration between real and digital world.