What’s in the Clipboard of Windows 8.1’s Ribbon-Based Options

Moving on with our File Explorer tutorial series, we will now be working with the newly introduced feature in every Windows 8.1 machine which is called the “Ribbon-Based Options”. Before getting skeptical with this new feature just like how you felt about the Start Screen or some other features added as replacements for those that you’ve already got used to, you first need to have an idea of how this new feature compares to the ones that existed in Windows Explorer which is the predecessor of the new File Explorer in Windows 8.1. Options such as “Copy and Paste” as well as some others that will let you view a document’s or a folder’s properties once existed in the right-click menu but in the new Windows 8.1 system, all of these important options are found in a ribbon that is seated on top of the File Explorer Window. To learn more of what’s currently available in your computer new file management system, simply read this guide towards the end.

How to Open File Explorer

Windows is known for providing different ways in accessing the tools and other stuff that are built-in with the system itself or even those that you have installed yourself. In the case of File Explorer, you can also access this file management tool that is built-in with your Windows 8.1 machine in several ways but to make things simple for you, I will only be showing the easiest one here.

To access File Explorer in your Windows 8.1 machine, you can simply use the Search feature which is integrated perfectly with your Windows 8.1 system. To do this, just press on the Windows+S keys and you should be able to access the Search screen that will appear from the right edge of the screen. On this screen, all you need to do is enter the words “File Explorer” and hit the File Explorer shortcut that appears on the search results just below the input box.


Another way in accessing the Search screen is by clicking on its designated button which is located on the top-right portion of the Start Screen. Just press the Windows+C keys or click on the Start Button to access the Start Screen and once you are on it, you will need to click on the search button as shown on the screenshot below.


After clicking the button, you should be able to access the Search screen which will appear at the right edge. From here, just enter “File Explorer” into the input box that is provided and click on the File Explorer shortcut that will appear on the search results just below the box.

Working with the Basic Ribbon Based Options

Now that you know how to access the File Explorer Window, you’ll need to get acquainted with the newest features that were added to it. First, just select any folder or library that already contains files like the Picture folder or the Documents folder and after doing so, you will need to put your attention to the top portion of the File Explorer Window because this is where we are going to focus on for this tutorial.


How to Copy and Paste a File or Folder

As a long time Windows user, our automatic reflex when copying and pasting a folder is to select the file or folder that would be copied, do a right-click action on it and select the “Copy” option from the right-click menu that appears. After doing so, the next place to go is the folder or location where the file should be copied into, do a right-click gesture again on an empty area and hit the “Paste” option that is located on the same right-click menu.


However, in Windows 8.1, you don’t need to do these gestures. Even though they are still possible, there’s an easier way in doing these things which are relatively quick compared to the traditional way in doing it. This is where the ribbon-based options come into play. To “Copy and Paste” items to and from the different folders in your Windows 8.1 system, all you need to do is click on the file to be copied then at the top portion of the File Explorer Window, you will need to hit the Home tab and click on the “Copy” button which is located at the extreme-left portion of the ribbon itself as highlighted on the screenshot below.


After doing so, you can simply go to the location where you want to put the file in and once you arrive in it, you’ll need to click on the “Paste” option that is also located under the Home tab in the “Clipboard” options category just at the right of the “Copy” option.


As you can see, it’s a lot easier to use the ribbon-based options than the traditional right-click menu and it would surely increase productivity and speed in working with tasks when you master everything that has to do with these brand new options that are sitting just on top of the File Explorer Window.

Copy and Cut: What’s the Difference?

On the Clipboard section of the ribbon-based options in File Explorer, you will see some other buttons for “Cut”, “Copy path” and “Paste shortcut”. At this point, it is important to recognize the difference between the “Cut” and “Copy” options. While both options move files and folders to different locations within the Windows system, there is a significant difference between these options that you need to take note so you can use the right option for a certain situation. The former copies a file or folder and removes the file from the original location after it gets pasted into the new location while the latter keeps the file in the original location and pastes the new one in the new location.


Learn to Use Copy Path

Just below the option that says “Cut” is another one that is very useful especially if you want to direct other users to a certain location that contains the file or folder which you want them to access. Just get to the file or folder that you want to copy the path of and once you’re on it, simply select it and click  the “Copy path” button to finally get the address path of the file itself.


After doing so, you can simply paste the file path into a word document, in WordPad or even in NotePad and have it sent to the person whom you want to get access to the file that you’ve copied the path of. You can send the file via email or the chat box on a social network or simply give it through a portable storage device like a flashdrive where the file that contains the path is saved.

The Paste Shortcut Button

Another option that is found within the “Clipboard” section of the Home tab in File Explorer’s ribbon-based options is the one that says “Paste shortcut“. This option is very useful if you want to create a shortcut to a certain file that you have copied and you can do it anywhere within the reaches of the File Explorer tool in your Windows 8.1 machine. To use this option, just select the file that you want paste shortcut of then once it’s copied, just move to the place where you want to paste it and once you reach the location, simply hit the “Paste shortcut” option.


Now, a shortcut that leads to the file you’ve selected will be pasted and you’ll be able to double click on it to open the file or folder itself. The “Paste shortcut” option marks the end of this tutorial but there are still more options and tabs in the ribbon that you need to learn about so you can take its usage to the next level and that’s what we will be talking about in our next tutorials.