Coly Computer Help

Setting the display (the monitor screen)

The Desktop
The components of the desktop

Icons are the little pictures which you double click to access a program or folder. Icons are only signposts, if you delete an icon, the  program or folder is not deleted. Similarly, if you destroy the signpost pointing to your town or village, the town/village is not destroyed.

Windows will probably place your icons in inconvenient and illogical locations on the Desktop. Make Windows  allow you to place icons where you want them to be. Right click an empty area on the Desktop and click Arrange Icons By . On the next fly-out menu, un-tick everything except Show Desktop Icons . Then click on the Desktop to close the little menus. You will now be able to drag the icons to your preferred locations using the left mouse button.

If  you would like the icons to be in neat rows then also tick Align to Grid in the above fly-out menu.

My preferred arrangement for Desktop icons is as follows: Recycle bin in top right corner to prevent accidentally dropping an icon into it. Then similar functions are grouped in rows e.g. internet and email icons in one row, anti-virus and anti-spy icons in another row. My Documents and Word in another row.

Setting the size of screen items. Six settings are available for setting the size of icons, toolbars, and fonts to suit your preferences. There was a seventh known as 640 x 480 but this is no longer used. The six current settings are 800 x 600, 1024 x 768, 1152 x 864, 1280 x 1024, and 1600 x 1200. Now screen manufacturers have complicated things even more by producing wide screen displays (e.g. 1280 x 800). These give distorted pictures (circles become ovals) and they display odd looking web pages.

In each case the first figure is the width in pixels, and the second figure is the depth. The size of your icons, toolbars and fonts decreases as you select bigger settings. A setting of 800 x 480 gives large icons toolbars and fonts, a setting of 1600 x 1200 gives extremely tiny icons, toolbars and fonts. Anything above 800 x 480 makes my eyes sore, but users must choose their own setting. Websites are designed to fit either 800 x 640 or 1024 x 768. Any setting above 1024 x 768 displays smaller web pages.
Setting the size. RIGHT click an empty space on the Desktop. Click Properties . Click the Settings tab. You will see a section with the heading Screen Resolution . With your left mouse button, grab the little pointer and slide it to the next setting. Click OK . The screen will probably go black for a couple of seconds. Usually a little box pops up asking if you would like to keep the new setting. Accept it or reject it.


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Adrian West  © 2007 computer help, Computer problems solved

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Windows XP has an irritating habit of removing icons from the Desktop and hiding icons on the Notification Area . To stop this silly behaviour, right click the Taskbar .
In the Properties window, all the items should have their boxes ticked except for the two below which must be unticked
        Auto hide the Taskbar         Hide inactive icons
To tick or un-tick a box just click it.
To finish, click Apply and then click OK

Now right click in an empty area on the Desktop. Click Properties . Click the Desktop tab. Click the button labelled Customize Desktop . Un -tick the box labelled Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days . Click OK. On the next window click Apply then OK .

Be sure to put icons on the Desktop for the folders My Computer , My Documents and My Pictures . Click Start. At the top of the Start list, RIGHT click  the item labelled My Documents.  A menu will drop down. Click the item labelled Show on Desktop so that a tick appears next to it. A shortcut icon for the My Documents folder will have appeared on the Desktop . Repeat this for the other two folders

Some favourite programs may not appear on the Start list. To access these from the Start list by clicking All Programs. Then right click a program for which you want an icon on the Desktop . Click Send To . Click the words Desktop (create a short cut) .

Configure your screen to suit your personal preferences. Most TFT (thin flat) screens are factory set to maximum brightness. This results in washed-out (very pale) colours. Set the screen to give more realistic richer colours.

On laptops the brightness can usually be set with a special key on the keyboard. As no two laptops are the same, you will need to read the manual (usually an on-board manual) to see how to adjust the brightness. However if your laptop has two keys with a sun symbol and up and down arrows, you can reduce the brightness holding down the Fn key and tapping the key with the sun symbol and the down arrow.

One common reason why laptop colours look faded is because the screen has been set at the wrong angle. Tilt the screen until the colours are at their richest.

On Desktop computers the monitor will have an array of buttons on the front panel. The leaflet which came with the screen will describe how to reduce the brightness to reveal the proper colours. If you have lost the leaflet you will need to use trial and error. Usually there is a one button which pops a menu on the screen. Clicking another button will move a selector over the various icons on the menu. Select the brightness icon. Usually you then press the menu button once to confirm that you wish to adjust the brightness. You will then see a bar with a pointer which you can slide left or right to increase or reduce the brightness. Then press the menu button once and wait until the menu disappears.

To change the screen's background picture: This picture is called the Wallpaper . To chose another picture from the standard Windows range, right click a blank area of the screen (blank means avoid clicking icons or other things such as the taskbar). Click Properties . Click the tab labelled Desktop . Under Background , click a name from the list to see what it looks like in the little preview window. When you have chosen the wall paper you may need to set the position as Stretch. Then click Apply and then OK.

To use one of your own photos for the wallpaper:
Follow the same procedure as above but ignore the list under Background and click the Browse button. Navigate to the My Documents folder and then to the My Pictures folder and select a picture (click it). Click Open to preview it. You may have to select Stretch to fill the screen. Then click OK .

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