What you’re missing in Windows 8 – Sticky Notes

note-iconThe most notable feature of Windows 8 is the Start screen with its tiles representing built in apps, apps downloaded from the Windows Store, and traditional software that has been installed. It is interesting, up to a point, but one big failing of this new menu system is that if there isn't a tile for an app on the Start screen, it tends to get forgotten about.

For example, how many Windows 8 owners use Sticky Notes? I bet a lot of people don't even know they have an app called Sticky Notes. After all, there isn't a tile for it on the Start screen.

Sticky Notes has been around for a long time in Microsoft's operating system and it is still in Windows 8, although it is hidden and therefore forgotten about by many people.

Windows Sticky Notes

Go to the Start screen and in Windows 8.1 (it's a free upgrade from 8, so go and get it from the Store), click the down arrow in the bottom left corner of the screen. This displays all apps that are installed in Windows and if you scroll sideways eventually you will come across the Sticky Note mini tile at the far right of the app list. Click it to open it. It opens on the desktop and it may contain a sample note or two if you have never used it before.

If you are at the desktop in Windows 8.1, hold down the Windows key and press S to open the search panel on the right. enter 'sticky notes' and then click Sticky Notes in the search results.

In Windows Vista if you go to Start, All Programs, Accessories you will see Windows Sidebar. If you run it (it might already be running), it adds a panel at the right hand side of the screen where you can place useful mini applications called gadgets. One of the bundled gadgets is Notes. It enables you to paste those sticky yellow notes on the Windows desktop and write notes, reminders, things to do and lists.

Use Sticky Notes

You can place Sticky Notes on the desktop anywhere you like. You can write on the notes and drag them to any position on the screen. There's a plus icon in the top left corner of each note and this is used to create a new note. The cross icon in the top right corner is used to delete a note.

The only obvious option is the ability to choose one of six colours. Right click a note and you'll see them in the menu that is displayed. Are there no more options? Actually, there are, but they aren't obvious because you have to use the keyboard.

Windows Sticky NotesClick and drag over some text and press Ctrl+C to copy it or Ctrl+X to cut it. Position the text cursor elsewhere and press Ctrl+V to paste the text.

Select some text and press Ctrl+B to make it bold, Ctrl+I to make it italic, Ctrl+U for underline, Ctrl+T for strike through, and Ctrl+Shift+L for a bulleted list. Press it again for a numbered list.

Press Ctrl+Shift+> to increase the text size and Ctrl+Shift+< to decrease the text size. Press Ctrl+A to select all the text on a note.

Sticky Notes are great, but there is one major drawback. You can't select the font and the one that is used by default is poor. Here is a workaround though: Copy a word or sentence of text in the font you want from elsewhere, such as WordPad, and paste it into a note. The font is pasted too and when you carry on typing it will be in the selected font.


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3 Comments on What you’re missing in Windows 8 – Sticky Notes

  1. Until this week (11/17/15) my sticky notes opened up on startup. Now they do not. I can hover over the bottom taskbar icon that they are pinned to, and they are there, but they will not open. Do you know how I might be able to open them? I am running Windows 8.1. Thank you.

  2. Butch, one possibility is that the sticky notes file has become corrupt. Press Windows+R and enter: %AppData%\Microsoft\Sticky Notes

  3. Thank you very much. I will give it a try.

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