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Windows XP

Changing the Appearance of Windows XP

This document will show you how to change display settings in order to customize the appearance of Windows XP for your own personal use. This document will also familiarize you with Windows XP screensavers and backgrounds and show you how to change them to fit your individual needs.

NOTE: UW-Eau Claire students do not use roaming profiles, so students cannot save display settings to their SGS account. However, changing and saving display settings for off-campus or non-networked computers is still possible.

return to topLogging On

Before you can make the changes described in this document, you must log in.

  1. Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Delete]

  2. In the User name text box, type your Windows username
    HINT: This is the same as your email username.

  3. In the Password text box, type your password
    Your initial password is UWEC followed by your pin#. Example: UWEC1234
    NOTE: For information on passwords, including how to change your password, refer to Windows XP Passwords.

  4. Verify the domain is UWEC
    If not, from the Log on to pull-down list, select UWEC.

  5. Click OK

return to topAccessing the Display Properties Dialog Box

The screen you see after logging in is called the Desktop. You can personalize the Desktop to fit your needs by changing settings available in the Display Properties dialog box, which include Themes, Desktop, Screen Saver, Appearance, and Settings.

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel
    The Control Panel appears.

  2. Double click DISPLAY
    NOTE: If Display does not appear, click SWITCH TO CLASSIC VIEW.
    The Display Properties dialog box appears.

OR

  1. Right click anywhere in a blank part of the Desktop » select Properties
    The Display Properties dialog box appears.
    display properties dialog box

return to topChanging the Appearance of Windows

It is easy to change the display settings of windows. You can choose color options from the palette, modify font size, and change the size and style of dialog boxes. You can also adjust the resolution in the Settings tab to make text appear larger or smaller on the screen.  These settings are found in the Display Properties dialog box.

NOTE: Selections will often be based on your individual computer set-up (e.g., operating system, video card, etc.).

UW-Eau Claire students do not use roaming profiles, so students cannot save display settings to their SGS account. However, changing and saving display settings for off-campus or non-networked computers is still possible.

Some computers require that they be restarted before setting changes are applied.

Changing General Appearance

  1. Access the Display Properties dialog box

  2. Select the Appearance tab

  3. From the Windows and buttons list, select Windows XP Style or Windows Classic Style
    Your choice is reflected in the preview box at the top of the dialog box.

  4. From the Color Scheme pull-down list, select the desired color scheme

  5. OPTIONAL: From the Font size pull-down list, select the desired font size

  6. OPTIONAL: To make more detailed changes, click ADVANCED
    The Advanced Appearance dialog box appears.
    1. From the Item list, select a Windows item that you would like to change
      Depending on the item you have selected, you will be able to make adjustments to the size or color of the item. You may also be able to adjust the font style, size, and color.
    2. Click OK
      The Display Properties dialog box reappears.

  7. To activate the changes you have made, click APPLY

  8. If you are satisfied with the changes, click OK
    If dissatisfied, repeat steps 3-7

Changing Display Settings

  1. Access the Display Properties dialog box

  2. Select the Settings tab

  3. OPTIONAL: Under Screen resolution, click and move the sliding bar to adjust the Desktop size

  4. OPTIONAL: Under Color quality, make desired choice (Medium, High, or Highest)

  5. OPTIONAL: To test the settings, click Apply
    After you have viewed the new settings, a window verifying your decisions will appear.
    1. If you approve of the new settings, click YES
    2. If you are not satisfied, click NO
      NOTE: You will only have fifteen seconds to decide, then Windows will convert the Desktop back to its original settings.

  6. Click OK

Changing Font Settings

  1. Access the Display Properties dialog box

  2. Select the Settings tab

  3. At the bottom of the dialog box, click ADVANCED
    The Monitor and Graphics dialog box relative to your computer appears.

  4. Select the General tab

  5. In the DPI setting pull-down list, select the appropriate size

  6. OPTIONAL: In the Compatibility portion of the window, select from three display options:     

return to topWorking with Screen Savers

A screen saver is an image that prevents screen burn-in when a computer is not in use. Screen savers can be changed in the Display Properties dialog box.

NOTE: UW-Eau Claire students do not use roaming profiles, so students cannot save screensavers to their SGS account. However, changing and saving screensavers for off-campus or non-networked computers is still possible.

Applying a Screen Saver

  1. Access the Display Properties dialog box

  2. Select the Screen Saver tab

  3. From the Screen saver pull-down list, select a screen saver
    A thumbnail preview appears in the dialog box.

  4. OPTIONAL: For a full-screen preview, click PREVIEW
    NOTE: Preview continues until you move your mouse.

  5. If you are satisfied with the screen saver preview, click APPLY
    If you are dissatisfied, repeat steps 3-5

  6. Click OK

Adjusting Screen Saver Settings

Screen saver settings that you can change include the Wait option and the Energy manager. The Wait option designates how long the computer will sit idle before the screen saver turns on. The Energy manager allows you to set the computer monitor in stand-by mode and then later turn it off. These settings are found in the Display Properties dialog box.

  1. Access the Display Properties dialog box

  2. Select the Screen Saver tab

  3. To adjust the wait time before the screen saver activates, in the Wait text box, type the number of minutes

  4. To change settings unique to your screen saver click SETTINGS

  5. When done, click OK

  6. OPTIONAL: To preview the screen saver, click PREVIEW
    NOTE: Preview continues until you move your mouse.

  7. If satisfied with the screen saver preview, click APPLY
    If dissatisfied, repeat steps 3-7

  8. Click OK

Adjusting Energy Management

  1. Access the Display Properties dialog box

  2. Select the Screen Saver tab

  3. At the bottom of the window, click POWER...
    The Power Options Properties window opens.

  4. Select the Power Schemes tab

  5. In the Power Schemes pull-down list, select the best description of your computer

  6. In the Settings for (selected computer) power scheme portion of the window, use the pull-down list to determine when your monitor and hard disks will turn off

  7. Click APPLY

return to topChanging and Applying Backgrounds

The background image on the Desktop, which is often a plain solid color, can be changed to something unique. This can be done using the Desktop tab in the Display Properties dialog box. Background images are often referred to as wallpaper.

Once you have found an image or background you would like to apply, you must set it as background. For more information on using images as background, refer to Using Images from the Internet.

NOTE: UW-Eau Claire students do not use roaming profiles, so students cannot save different background or wallpaper settings to their SGS account. However, changing and saving background or wallpaper settings for off-campus or non-networked computers is still possible.

  1. Access the Display Properties dialog box

  2. Select the Desktop tab

  3. To change the background, under Background, select a background you like
    OR  
    1. Click BROWSE... to locate an image file
      Navigate through the Browse dialog box until you locate and select the appropriate image file.
    2. Click OPEN

  4. To activate the background, click APPLY

  5. If you are satisfied with the background, click OK

Using an Image from the Internet

A good place to find detailed 3D backgrounds on the internet is at Digital Blasphemy.com, but you can follow this procedure with any image on the web.

WARNING: Some background files tend to be quite large, from 500KB to over 5MB. Keep this in mind when choosing backgrounds, to avoid using too much space on your hard-drive. If you are unable to tell how much space an image uses, you can find out by viewing info about the image.

NOTE: UW-Eau Claire students do not use roaming profiles, so students cannot save different background or wallpaper settings to their SGS account. However, changing and saving background or wallpaper settings for off-campus or non-networked computers is still possible.

To determine the file size of an image:

  1. Using your Internet browser, locate an image

  2. Right click the image » select Properties

  3. To see how much space it uses, look at the Size

  4. To close the dialog box when done, click the X in the upper right corner 

To select an image:

  1. Using your Internet browser, locate an image

  2. Right click the image » select Set as Background

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