A long time ago, we introduced you to John’s Background Switcher right here in the Worldstart Computer Tips Newsletter. As you’ll remember, the program allowed you to set a group of photos to rotate as your desktop background so that you won’t get the same boring wallpaper every time you look at your desktop. Microsoft has now decided to implement the same idea in Windows 7! The best part is, you can get started right now, as there are some ‘wallpaper slideshows’ already included in your copy of Windows 7.
To get started, go back to your desktop and right-click your mouse. Hit Personalize and a window will pop up. Scroll down to Aero Themes and choose one of the themes with more than one picture above the theme name – for example, the Landscapes theme in the screenshot below.
Once you click on the theme you want, a short sound will play and the desktop wallpaper will change. If you want to change the settings of the slideshow, simply click Desktop Background at the bottom of the window. In this settings window, you can change the amount of time one picture is displayed before it is replaced by another, choose which pictures you want displayed and even automatically disable slideshows to save power when using a laptop battery. Hit Save changes when you’re happy with your tweaks.
Your pre-loaded images will cycle through as your desktop background just like you requested! It’s also possible to have the screen saver and sounds of your computer adjusted to suit your new theme.
Once you get bored of the nature photos that came with your copy of Windows 7, jump online to download a few more ‘themes’. Back on the theme choice window, click Get more themes online, scroll down and you’ll be presented with a selection of themes ranging from the best of Poland to the wonders of Bing, Microsoft’s newly-revamped search engine. Click the Download button below the theme you would like and Run or Open the file (depending on your internet browser). You can now use your downloaded theme as you would a pre-loaded one!
If you want to use your own pictures as your wallpaper, the process is a bit more complicated. For this example, I’ll use two images from Worldstart’s fantastic wallpaper collection, located at http://www.worldstart.com/wallpaper/. Firstly, head back to the theme choice window. If you’ve forgotten, you can get to that by right-clicking on your desktop and clicking Personalize.
Next, click the Desktop Background link at the bottom of the window. To pick which images you’d like in your rotation, firstly click Browse:
Once you’ve chosen the folder in which the images are in, check the boxes next to the images you would like included in your theme. In the screenshot below, I’d like both images included in my rotation so I have checked both of the boxes. After choosing how you’d like your images to appear on your desktop (stretched across the screen or tiled, etc.) and how frequently you would like the images to change, click Save Changes.
You’ve finished with the desktop background aspect of your theme, but you’re still not done customising the rest of your Windows 7 experience. For example, by clicking Sounds at the bottom of the theme choice window, it’s possible to choose what sounds you would like announcing various messages. Your screen saver can also be chosen by clicking Screen Saver at the bottom of the theme choice window. As the option windows for Sounds and Screen Savers are very similar to that of Windows Vista, I won’t go into those here.
Once you’re done with customising your theme, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve just finished adjusting the appearance of your operating system with hardly any effort at all. Congratulations!