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Do you move around some of the things on your desk? Everyone likes their working space to be a little different. The area you see when you first open Windows is called the “desktop”.
Have you found out that you can hold and drag those little icons all around ? What fun! You can arrange them just as you would arrange pens, paperclips, etc. on your real desk.
Then you get serious and want them to stay where you put them, but every time you turn the computer on again.. there they are, over on the side again! Don’t despair, help is here!
Put your mouse pointer on an empty space on the screen, and click the RIGHT button. At the top of this pop-up menu, it says ” Arrange icons”, then slide the mouse over to find several choices, by name, or type, but it’s the middle two that make a real difference. “Auto arrange” puts them where Microsoft wants them. No matter where you move them, they will pop back.
If you click on “Align to Grid”, a check mark will show, and your icons will still be lined up neatly, but more or less in the order and place that YOU choose.
When their names start with “Shortcut to” or are rather long, in order to arrange them by name you will want to remove the words “Shortcut to”. Put pointer right on the words, and right click, then slide down to “Rename”. The name will be highlighted for you, then put the pointer at the very beginning of the name, and press the Delete KEY on the keyboard for each letter until the unwanted words are gone. When it is as you want it, then move the pointer away from the words to an empty space and click it once.(This is how you tell the computer that you are done with that operation.)
If you’ve had some of your icons disappear, you need to know about this: one of the most annoying things anyone at Microsoft ever thought of, the automatic “Desktop Cleanup”. If you don’t use a particular icon frequently, it will be removed and placed in a folder called Unused Icons, which you will probably never notice.
To stop this unpermitted manipulation:
1. Place your mouse pointer in an empty part of the screen.
2. Click the RIGHT mouse button.
3. Move to the bottom item: “Properties”, and left click on it.
4. In the Display Properties box, click on the 2nd tab: Desktop
5. Near the bottom, there is a button “Customize Desktop”
6. At the bottom of the General tab page, there is a box labeled “Desktop Cleanup”
7. Read what it says, and then uncheck the box, by clicking on it.
To realize why that is there, many programs put up icons that you will never use. Eventually your screen is a bigger mess than your real desk. This will “clean up” an overcrowded desktop. The only icons on your screen should be important ones, such as the Wastebasket, and the ones that YOU use every day, or at least every week. Anything else you can get from a Menu, and keep your desktop clean. You make the decision for each one. If you want it Gone, just point to it, right click, then click on Delete. It only deletes the shortcut icon, not the program.
In the Properties dialog box, the second tab is “Desktop”. This is where you can change the background to your favorite picture (if it’s already in your computer) or a different color, or some jazzy psychedelic effects! Try all of it out, so you can see how it works. I find that it’s easier on the eyes to keep the background fairly plain, but plain is boring.. so find a happy compromise. The color patch choice is for the color of the labels under the icons. If it’s a photo you want, you can find the file when you press the browse button. When you like it, then press Apply and take a look.. You can even have a slide show of ALL the photos that are stored in My Pictures..(Be careful, there may be some there you don’t want showing when a neighbor drops by!)
Next Tab: Most of our monitors now don’t actually need a Screensaver, but people still love them, and I have found a great use for a particular one. Click on the tiny down arrow, and choose the Marquee. Then click on Settings. In the Text box, I write myself a reminder..( it beats my memory).. and each time I leave the computer (on), and come back to it a few minutes later.. there it is.
Now, the next thing to play with is the Appearance.. this means the color scheme of Windows.. You can change it to a cool green or pink or silver, when you get tired of blue. Or maybe you are color-blind to one color and so prefer another.
I would recommend you to look at the “Effects” that have been set for you. These will be a real drag on your computer’s memory, and can slow down your computer.. I prefer to uncheck them.. except for the Fonts: this refers to the size of the text under your icons on the Desktop.. not anywhere else.
Take a look at all the ITEMS you can make changes to.. You can kill a whole day playing with this stuff! It’s also a great place to make everything more readable for yourself.
Now that you’re a pro in making changes, we’ll tackle some of the
The Settings tab is where you can change the resolution of your screen to a different size.
Resolution is what defines how clear and sharp, but also the size of what you see. Our monitors were built to show images at a particular resolution, but we can make objects bigger by pulling the slider to the left, to a lower setting. Unfortunately, that also means that the edges will be a little fuzzier. Putting the setting to the highest point, will make them crisp and sharp.. and MUCH smaller! So you have to try the settings out to find out which is best for your eyes.
This also affects how much of an area can be seen in a window.. somewhat as a magnifying glass will make an object bigger.. but you can only see a small part of it.
There are a lot of other settings that can appear in this area, depending upon what kind of a graphics card (hardware) that is in your computer. Do not play with these settings.. leave it to the geek who fixes things for you!
These are the basic ways to customize your computer to look and work as you want it to do.