Using the Windows 8 Share Charm on your Surface

Using the Windows 8 Share Charm on your Surface
If you’ve had your Surface for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed the Share Charm when you bring up the Charms bar but have you figured out how to use it?

The Share Charm is a handy little feature that let’s you easily share screenshots in a contextual manner. For example, you could use the Share Charm to capture a screenshot of your desktop background and send it to someone via e-mail or use it to upload files to your Dropbox account.

The way it shares things all depends on what you’re trying to share and what application you’re trying to share it with.

So, I’ll start by covering how to use the Share Charm, then I’ll go a step further and show you where to configure the apps that can use the Share Charm.

Using the Windows 8 Share Charm on your Surface: Using Sharing

Using the share charm is pretty straight forward, just bring up the charms menu and select the Share option. From there, you’ll be given a list of sharing options which will depend on what applications are installed and what you’re trying to share.

As I said before, it’s contextual; so, I figured I’d show you a couple of examples.

In the first example, I’m sharing via email a screenshot of me writing this post . So, I brought up the Share Charm. Take note of the choices the charm gave me for sharing.

Next, I selected Email Tim Rolston from the list and it brought up the Modern Mail client and attached the screenshot.

Cool, huh?

It’s pretty easy to send screenshots this way and I often use this feature to send screenshots to Joanna when we are both writing posts in different locations (which occasionally happens).

In my next example, I’m going to share a song from my music collection via email. I used the Share Charm in the exact same way as I did with the screenshot but as you can see, there are different sharing options available to me.

When I select Email Tim Rolston this time you’ll see that it didn’t take a screenshot like before. Instead, it attached the music file and a copy of the cover art to the email.

OK, if the contextual nature of the feature didn’t make sense before, hopefully the above examples shone a little light onto it for you.

Using the Windows 8 Share Charm on your Surface-Error
Here’s a little gotcha to be aware of though. If your Surface can’t figure out what you’re trying to share, it will give you an error like the example to the right.

I got this message because I went into the Music app but didn’t actually select a song. As a result, it didn’t know what I was trying to do.

I wish the message was a little less ambiguous to make it easier to figure out what’s going on but, it is what it is.

Using the Windows 8 Share Charm on your Surface: Setup Sharing

Now that you know how to use the Share Charm, I’ll show you where to configure apps for use with the Share Charm. To get to the Sharing configuration, follow these steps…

  • Bring up the Charms Menu (swipe in from the right of the screen)
  • Select Settings
  • Select Change PC Settings
  • Tap Search and Apps

  • Finally, select the Share option

From this screen, you can set some options, like moving the options you use most to the top of the list and the number of sharing option that will appear when you use the Share Charm. More importantly, you can choose which apps can be accessed via the Share Charm. As you might expect, the list of options will vary depending on what applications you have installed.

You may have noticed that only Modern apps from the Windows Store appear on the list. That’s because an application has to be a Modern (Metro) app coded with the Share Charm in mind to integrate with the feature.

I hope you found this post helpful. The Share Charm is an unappreciated feature of Windows 8 that can be quite handy if you know how to use it.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them below.

You may also like our other Tips and Ticks for your Surface.


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