Desktop background and icons in Windows 7

To change the background of your desktop follow the below steps:

Go to Control Panel and then Personalization window, click Desktop Background. The dialog box shown in Figure 1 appears.

FIGURE 1: The Control Panel’s Desktop Background dialog box

In the Desktop Background dialog box, you can choose a background for your desktop. The drop-down menu offers several options, allowing you to browse through various backgrounds included with Windows 7. Categories for backgrounds include:

1) Black and White: Here you will find a selection of gray scale pictures.

2) Light Auras: These nifty lighting effects make for cool, abstract background art.

3) Paintings: Several backgrounds look like brush strokes, or oil on canvas.

4) Textures: From blue pebbles to wood grain, these images are studies of interestingly textured objects.

5) Vistas: These are mainly sweeping nature pictures.

6) Widescreen: Especially for wide monitors, this category includes some of the light auras, vistas and textures in a different aspect ratio.

One of the options from the drop-down menu, Solid Colors, allows you to choose a simple color for your desktop background.

Note: If you choose an image, you can choose how to position it via the three radio buttons at the bottom of the screen. These are the equivalent of the earlier Windows’ background options of Stretch, Tile, and Center, respectively. The first option resizes the image to take up the full screen, changing its aspect ratio if necessary. The second option tiles the image into a pattern. The third option centers the image; the rest of the desktop appears in a solid color that you can choose by clicking Change background color.

You can browse your computer or your network to choose an image of your liking and make it your desktop background. Simply click the Browse button next to the drop-down menu in the Desktop Background dialog box.

When you find a picture, click it. It immediately becomes the desktop background. Minimize your open windows to check it out.

Note: Instead of minimizing each open window individually, you can also click the “View Desktop” button in the Quick Launch bar, if it is available. Look on the left side of the Taskbar, just to the right of the Start button, for several Quick Launch buttons. By default, one of the Quick Launch buttons minimizes everything instantly and shows you the desktop background.

If you like the desktop picture you have chosen, bring the Desktop Background window back up from the taskbar and click OK. Otherwise, choose a different background.

Now, go back to the Personalization screen by clicking Personalization in the interactive path bar. Take a look at the Tasks pane on the left. Click Change desktop icons to invoke the window shown in Figure 2.

Here, you can customize the icons displayed on your computer’s desktop. Choose the icons to be displayed from a bank of six system icons under the heading Desktop Icons. By default, only the Recycle Bin is displayed. Then, check out the actual icons. You can change each one, including Computer, Recycle Bin, and so on, by highlighting it and clicking Change Icon. Select an icon and click OK.

Note: You can hide all the desktop icons easily right from the desktop. Right-click in an empty area of the desktop, hover the mouse over View, and then uncheck the menu item Show Desktop Icons. This selection overrides anything you select in the Desktop Icon dialog box.

FIGURE 2: Adjust the desktop icons here.