Windows XP includes options to customize display settings to each user’s individual preference. These options include desktop background, start menu look and
feel, Windows text properties, and hardware options such as screen resolution. There are two ways to access display properties:
1) Right-click on the desktop and choose properties.
2) Click start – control panel – display
The display properties dialogue box has five different tabs, each with a different subset of information.
The Themes tab
The first such tab is the themes tab, which allows the computer to use different desktop themes. Although there are a few themes built-in to Windows XP, they are but a small fraction of available themes. For the most part, this tab is pretty useless. But if you’re into Windows themes, here is the place to change them.
The Desktop tab
The desktop tab allows you to change the desktop background. Choose among the options provided in the list, or browse for your own bitmap or jpeg picture. For
further desktop options, use the Customize Desktop button, which includes some options that are self-explanatory.
The Screen Saver tab
The screen saver tab is also quite self-explanatory, allowing you to change your desired screen saver. Keep in mind that these systems are set to power off the monitor after 15 minutes, so a screen saver may not be necessary. Although there is another menu, under the power button, ITS asks that you do not change these settings.
Configuring Power Settings
Using Power Options in Control Panel, you can adjust any power management option that your computer's unique hardware configuration supports. Because these options may vary widely from computer to computer, the options described may differ from what you see. Power Options automatically detects what is available on your computer and shows you only the options that you can control. To configure your power settings:
1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click Power Options.
2. Or, if you see the little battery indicator on your task bar, right-click it and then click Adjust Power Properties. The Power Options Properties dialog box opens, as shown in Figure 2.
In the Power Options dialog box, you set options for a power scheme. Windows XP comes with several preconfigured profiles. I've shown the Normal profile for my laptop here, but you can easily create custom profiles that fine tune the properties for your particular circumstances. You can create a new power scheme by clicking the time settings you want, clicking Save As, and typing a name. I've got one used for playing music CDs, for example, that shuts off the hard drive and screen almost immediately, but doesn't ever put the system into standby mode.
The Appearance tab
The appearance tab allows you to make changes to Windows buttons, the color scheme, and font size. Feel free to play around with these settings to customize the desktop to your tastes. Also feel free to enter the effects or advanced boxes, and play around with those options. If the system ever gets out of control, and you just want to get back to the way it was, simply change the settings back to the defaults displayed in the picture below.
The Settings tab
The settings tab controls two vital aspects of display quality. The first setting, screen resolution, determines how many pixels are displayed on the screen. The higher the number of pixels (or resolution), the more information can be displayed. In addition, the higher the resolution, the smaller everything is on your desktop. Although small text may be overwhelming at first, most users get used to it quickly, and soon discover the benefits of higher resolution. Common resolutions based on monitor size are 800 x 600 for 15” monitors, 1024 x 768 for 17” CRT monitors, 1280 x 1024 for 17” flat panel monitors, and 1280 x 1024 for 19” CRT monitors. Usually, if you have a large monitor, you will want a large resolution. The color quality selection allows you to choose the number of possible colors that can be displayed on the screen. The higher the number, the better the picture will be. So always choose 32-bit resolution if possible. The advanced button allows you to change advanced settings for the video card, including display positioning, refresh rate, 3d options, and a huge variety of other options related to the video card installed. Changing these settings is not for the novice user. But feel free to investigate, and call the help desk if you have questions
Changing the resolution and the color depth
Graphic resolution, number of colors and other settings we can most often realize by: 1. a special program designed for changing colors and resolution (the least often used method).
2. opening the Display option (1. Start - Settings - Control panels - Display. 2. Click the right mouse button on the desktop and choose Properties. 3. In the command line, use the control desktop command).
To access the settings for resolution, color depth and others use the Settings panel.
Screen resolution - you can set the screen resolution here. The value determines the screen display in number of dots (pixels) in horizontal and vertical lines. The higher resolution, the more details you will see on the screen, however, this can cause that everything is too small and difficult to recognize. The resolution you set up is a combination of the size and the properties of your monitor, the graphic card properties and your eyes´ needs. More information about resolution you will find bellow. More information about monitors and graphic cards you will find in our articles.
Color quality - number of displayed colors. It says how many bits are used to save the color information of each dot. The most frequently used are High Color and True Color according to the graphic card´s capabilities. For True Colors with the resolution of 800x600 you need a 2MB graphic card, with 4MB you can set the resolution of 1280x1024.
For Vista, you get the “Personalize” option in the context menu. This replaces the Display Properties of old and here’s the lowdown on the options:
© 2008 Palm Lakes Village, Inc. All rights reserved.