TechSpot



 

 

Windows 9x/ME Customization Guide

This first part of guide covers basic customization. More advanced users may want to skip to part two, although it is recommended that you at least have a look through part one before moving on too anything else. This guide was prepared on windows 98, with specific references to differences in Windows 95/Millenium where necessary.

Wallpapers

By default, all versions of Windows give you the option of changing the wallpaper and window appearance. Open up control panel and open display properties.

Windows 95 will only display background pictures (i.e. bitmaps) saved within the windows folder. Windows 98 will display bitmaps or JPEG files saved in the windows folder or the \windows\web\wallpaper folder. Windows Me will also look under the my pictures folder (usually located under my documents). In order for JPEGs to be used as a wallpaper active desktop has to be enabled. You can always browse to a picture if you’d rather not move it to one of windows’ specified folder, or you can specify the my pictures folder as another folder of your choice by clicking start, run, typing in regedit & browsing to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders, double clicking on the my pictures value and changing the directory from there.

You can easily browse to another directory, although windows will not store them on the file list if you change your wallpaper to something else. All versions of windows since 95 support stretching of the image to fit the size of the screen. However, if you’re still on windows 95, you’ll have to settle for the image being in the center of the screen, or the screen in the center of the background depending on the size of the bitmap (in pixels). Tiling keeps repeating the wallpaper over the screen, or just shows a portion of it if it is bigger than the current resolution.

A favorite method of mine to create a visually pleasing desktop is to create a blurred background. NB This cannot be done in Windows 95. Active desktop must be disabled.

To do this, open up Microsoft paint. Resize the image until it is a small white square in the top left corner of the screen, then zoom in. Keep doing this until you are at 8x magnification. I suggest a size of four or six pixels. Now select some colours you think you might want & colour the individual pixels, like this:

Save the file as a bitmap in the directory of your choice. Now open display properties & select that bitmap as your wallpaper (you may need to browse to it, depending on where you saved it). Make sure stretch is selected for the type of display. Now click apply. If the image shows banding of colours, change your desktop colour depth to 32 bit from the settings tab. NB The preview will not display a blurred image.

Blurred desktops work best with transparent icons. Details of how to achieve this are under the icons section.

If you have desktop themes installed, you can individually import the wallpaper from a desktop theme without importing any other setting. To do this, go into control panel and double click on Desktop themes. Select the theme you want from the drop down list & click to uncheck every check box under settings apart from Desktop Wallpaper. Now click apply.

Screensavers

Go into display properties and move to the Screen Saver tab. Here, surprisingly, you can change your screensaver. After selecting it, you can change the settings of it (screensaver dependant) or preview it.

Screensaver files (*.scr) are normally stored in \windows\system32 on win9x/Me machines, and unneeded ones can always be deleted safely, although I’d recommend uninstalling it instead if possible. Windows screensavers such as flying through space or flying windows can be installed/uninstalled from windows setup. Go into control panel, open up add/remove programs, move to the Windows Setup tab, select accessories & click on more details, select screensavers & click on more details.

User installed screensavers can be removed from the normal add/remove programs control panel.

If you have desktop themes installed, you can individually import the screensaver from a desktop theme without importing any other setting. To do this, go into control panel and double click on Desktop themes. Select the theme you want from the drop down list & click to uncheck every check box under settings apart from Screen saver. Now click apply.

NB You can also preview a theme’s individual screensaver before applying it by clicking on Screen saver in the Previews box.

 



Go to next page !

Get weekly updates on new
articles, news and contests
in your mail!




-

  TechSpot  The PC Enthusiast Resource    |    News    |    Reviews    |    Features    |    Product Finder    |    Downloads    |    Drivers    |    Forums    |    Archive   


  Copyright © 1998-2014 TechSpot.com. TechSpot is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved.

Advertising | About TechSpot