The settings search experience brings together all settings and Control Panel items across the system in one view. Settings search results are matched not only to the name of the Control Panel applet or task, but also to the various keywords that may describe it.
We have also heard your frustration that shutdown is not available as a search result, and we will address this along with improvements to the Start user interface for shutdown (as a reminder, you can also just use the power button or close the lid).
Figure 6: Full-screen settings search resultsThe number of files on PCs keeps increasing over time as users continue to acquire and create more documents, music, photos, and videos. Our goal, while redesigning the file search experience, was to make it seamless and complete so you can achieve your task of quickly finding a file without having to transition to Windows Explorer.
In File search, you’ll also see search suggestions as you type to help you quickly and efficiently complete the search. The indexer provides these search suggestions based on the content and properties of files it knows about. Search suggestions are a very powerful concept made popular and used extensively on the web—they help you to pinpoint relevant search terms with just a few keystrokes. In Windows 8 we built search suggestions into the file search experience and also made this feature available in the platform for all Metro style apps to use. Note, this feature also accounts for typos or spelling errors, and suggests the auto-corrected search term as you type. Using the arrow keys to choose suggestions autocompletes the term in the box. This makes it easy to add more terms to the query and quickly narrow down the set of results to find the one you want.
You can also still search using AQS (Advanced Query Syntax) from Windows 7. AQS allows for greater precision and control when constructing the query to get targeted results. Here are some sample searches and their advanced query syntax:
Find all files authored by Brian or David
author: (Brian OR David)
Find all photos with an F-stop of 2.8 where no flash was fired
f-stop:2.8 flashmode:no flash
Find all files where the file name contains a word starting with Metro and the file size is greater than 1MB
Figure 7: Search suggestions based on the content and properties of files
Figure 8: Full-screen file search showing resultsSeparating searches for apps, settings, and files into their own views allows room for each of them to evolve and breathe— this way they can each provide their own ideal display format—unlike the single list of results in previous versions, which required conformity to achieve aggregation in the limited space. For example, the file search view also provides filters to easily refine the results based on the type of file you’re searching for. Filtering by type is a powerful way to efficiently reduce the results set, irrespective of where the file is saved.
More relevant and contextual information for each file is also now displayed to make the search experience complete. This helps differentiate between similar results and also makes it clear to you why a given result was returned, by highlighting the property that matched the search term—something not possible in the Start menu before. For example, when searching for the term “performance,” the results now highlight where “performance” matched. In one result, it matched on the Title property, and is clearly indicated that way in the result. The results also show file type and size to help further disambiguate between results.
Figure 9 File search results highlight the property that matches the search term
Using a mouse, hovering over a result reveals a rich tooltip with some additional details. For example, for the video result shown below, the rich tooltip shows the duration of the video, frame height, frame width, date modified, and the full path to the file. Using touch, pressing and holding on an item reveals the tooltip.
Figure 10: Rich tooltip reveals additional details in file search