COMPUTER BASICS / KIM KOMANDO
Easy-to-Install Windows Trim Can Add a
Homey Touch to Your Desktop
By KIM KOMANDO
Windows 95 is like a new home or office: pretty
when you first move in. While there is no documented
that a personalized Windows 95 desktop is a more productive
desktop, it's fun to set up and use. And since you see
it a lot,
why not make it your own?
For starters, rename the My Computer icon on the
desktop something a little more personal. (My secretary
hers "The Tormentor.") Right-click on the My Computer icon
and from the pop-up menu, select Rename. Type a new name,
press Enter and that's it.
Next, right-click anywhere on the Windows 95 desktop
and from the pop-up menu select Properties. This is
can really put the "personal" in your personal computer.
first stop is the Background tab, where you can change the
desktop's wallpaper without getting paste on your hands.
Point and click on the different patterns and
Play around. You can't hurt anything. Watch the sample
window as you click different options to get a sneak
your desktop's new appearance.
Instead of using Windows' canned wallpapers, use your
favorite graphic or image file. The catch is, the
graphic must be
a bitmapped image. Bitmaps are made up of dots. Imagine
taking a felt-tipped pen and drawing a face dot by dot. Any
drawing program--you got one free with Windows 95 called
Paint, located in the Accessories folder--allows you to
and save a file as a bitmap file with a BMP file
To use a BMP file as desktop wallpaper, click the
button and then select the folder where you think the
be. When you find the BMP file, click on it to select it.
Before you click Apply to save your new desktop
wallpaper, select the Screen Saver tab (a screen saver is a
program that starts when you haven't used your PC for a
certain amount of time). Click on the down arrow at the
the Screen Saver field and pick the screen saver you want
from the list.
Check out the Settings button. If it's not grayed
other options as desired (usually you can set blank time,
colors, patterns, speed, number of wiggle things and so
Click Preview to see whether you like the new screen
When you are done setting up a screen saver, click
Appearance tab. If you're like me and have trouble not
clashing colors, the Windows pre-made color schemes are
a high-tech interior designer inside the computer. Click
down-arrow underneath Scheme to see the list of options.
Pick the color scheme you like. If you picked a
desktop wallpaper earlier, though, it's probably not
part of the
Windows canned color scheme. Just click the Background tab
and pick the one you want again.
There's a lot more you can do at the Appearance
can change the colors, font and size of almost any item
desktop. For example, to make desktop icons bigger,
down arrow underneath Item. Browse the list to find Icon
select it. You change the icon's size by increasing or
the number in the Size box. You can also pick a
and change the size and color of the text.
The Windows color schemes aren't for everyone. If you
just can't find one you like or are simply feeling
your own. Start by selecting the Windows standard Scheme.
Notice that the sample window contains the elements of a
Windows desktop: the desktop itself, active window,
windows, title bars, borders and more. From here you can
point and click on various items in the sample window to
change an item's color and attribute.
For example, click on the desktop in the sample
Look in the Item box--It should say Desktop. The current
color of the desktop is shown in the Colors box. Click the
Colors box's down arrow to see a window that's full of
Here's where the fun starts. Click any colored
change the desktop's color. Then go back to the sample
window and pick the next screen element you want to
change--the title bars, a button's face, text or
clicking the sample element and picking a new color.
Now is a good time to experiment with the Custom
option, which enables you to create colors not on the
After you click the Colors box, select the button marked
Other. To get a shade of gray, click the color in the
On the right side of the color spectrum is a scroll bar.
arrow up or down to increase or decrease color
click Add to Custom Colors, and the color appears in a
the Custom Colors area. You can then use this color and
assign it to an element in the sample window.
After you finish creating a new color scheme,
Scheme and type a name for it. Click Apply, and you've got
your new colors saved--and you have a desktop that's more
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Kim Komando Is a Fox Tv Host, Syndicated Talk Radio Host
and Founder of the Komputer Klinic on America Online
(Keyword Komando). She Can Be Reached Via E-mail at