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Even for the most tech-savvy users, Windows 8 presents a bit of a learning curve. Just figuring out something as simple as shutting down your PC can be challenging.

Sure, you can read all the great Windows 8-related tutorials and how-to guides here at PC World, or even take a free online course. But sometimes your best bet is a cheat-sheet—something you can keep right beside your keyboard for at-a-glance information.

The folks at TradePub have just the thing: the Microsoft Windows 8 Quick Reference Card. It's a colorful two-page guide to Windows 8's most commonly used areas. And if you don't mind sharing a bit of personal information, it's free.

All you do is supply your contact info and some clues about your company and job role. (Not wild about including your phone number? Sign up for and use your Google Voice number, which is perfect for such occasions.) You'll need to include a valid email address so you can receive a download link for the card, which is provided as a PDF.

The pages are divided into logical, straightforward sections, starting with an overview of the Start screen and callouts to key areas. In other sections you'll learn how to launch and close apps, use keyboard shortcuts, access and work with Desktop mode, and navigate the Charms Bar.

At the risk of gushing, this is one of the handiest Windows 8 helpers I've seen yet. To my thinking, it's definitely worth some personal info. Then again, I've never been squeamish about sharing that kind of thing online. If you feel differently, check out PC World's "Ultimate Windows 8 starter guide," which requires nothing more than clicking the link that takes you there.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community ForumsSign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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