Themes Are Fun Way to Personalize Your Computer
Have you noticed that personalization and customization are bigger than ever?
Just walk down the street and you will see people wearing T-shirts and hats displaying their school, their own personal theme or a message they want to convey. Personalized license plates are also very popular.
But when I go out and help people with their computers, I find that most of them use the computer just as it came out of the box, with no personalization or customization. This disturbs me because personalizing your computer is easy, and it adds a certain element of belonging and fun to the computing experience.
Why not make the background that you see on your computer screen something meaningful to you? Why not make it a picture of something that makes you smile?
This little change might actually help your day go better. I use pictures of our backyard roses in full bloom, pictures of happy family members and fun vacation pictures. I change them regularly to keep everything fresh. Looking at them always makes me feel better. So don't keep looking at that Dell or HP logo.
You can quickly and easily change that picture. If you are using Windows XP, right-click on any empty spot on your computer desktop. Then choose properties. Click on the desktop tab to change the picture. In Windows Vista, right-click on any empty spot on your computer desktop, then choose personalize. Click on the desktop background choice to change the picture.
When using either of these operating systems, you will want to look around this area for other ways to customize your computer, as well.
If you are lucky enough to be using Windows 7, the customization is easier and much more fun. Windows 7 allows you to easily create a slide show of your own pictures with special sounds and screen savers. These are called themes, and you can not only create them on your own computer, but you can also share them with any friends who use Windows 7. To access the themes, right-click on any empty spot on your computer desktop, then choose personalization.
You will see that there are several themes included with Windows 7 that you can try. These include landscapes, nature scenes and pictures of the United States. To try one, just click on any theme you see and your Windows desktop background will change to that theme.
Remember that you may have to minimize the customization window so you can see the desktop. Alternatively, you can simply move your mouse to the bottom right corner of your screen and hold the mouse cursor over the thin rectangle in that corner. This will show you the desktop and your new theme.
Most of the built-in themes use slide shows. That means they contain several pictures that change based on the timing set in the theme. You can select only the pictures that you like. To do that just click on desktop background and check off the pictures you want to use. You can also set the timing of the slide show in this area.
Now comes the fun part. It is easy to create your own theme. Click on desktop background and then use the browse button to select the photos you want to include in your theme. You can only choose pictures from one folder, so it is best to keep all the pictures you want to use in one folder.
Choose the Picture Position (fill, fit, center, stretch or tile). Start with the fill choice, which is good for most pictures. (You can play with the other settings later, if necessary.) Then choose how often you want the picture to change.
When you click save changes, you will be taken back to the main theme page, where you will see a new theme, called unsaved theme, at the top of the page. Right-click that and choose either save theme or save theme for sharing.
If you will only use the theme on your own computer, you should choose save theme. You will be asked to give your theme a name. You new theme will then move down to the my themes area of the page with the title you gave it.
If you want to share the theme with others, choose save theme for sharing and then name the file. Save it somewhere you can easily find it. Then you can email it to others, and they can use it as well. All they need to do is to double-click the theme file, and it'll be added to their collection.
If you will be emailing your theme, you may want to limit the number of photos that you use, so the email won't get too big to send.
Be sure to check out these customization options. Soon, both you and your friends will be looking at fun pictures on your computers.
And with a little investigation, you will find that you can also change your screen saver and Window's sounds quite easily. Be careful, though; I once changed the sounds to something called "The Jungle" and I almost jumped out of my skin when I closed a window and a lion roared!
Contact Sandy Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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