Although using a Windows desktop is not an overly complicated procedure, it is helpful that you understand what components make up the screen that you see each and every time your computer is powered on. The Windows XP desktop provides a number of components that can be fully customized based on your needs and how you use the computer. The next section details the specific components that comprise the Windows desktop. From the illustration below you can see what my Windows XP desktop looks like:
How To Customize The Windows Desktop
In this section I will outline some basic instructions to help you customize a Windows desktop. Although the concepts apply to Windows XP, they are also applicable to other releases of Microsoft Windows. It is important that you understand the concepts, so it doesn’t matter which version of Windows you are running. You should know that getting to a specific part in the instruction or command may be a little different because of the version of Windows you are running.
This section will walk you through the process of configuring advanced appearance options associated with the XP desktop. Figure 1.3A shown below shows the appearance window. Each option contained on this window is explained in the following section.
Access The Display Properties Window in Windows XP:
- Right click an empty area on your Windows desktop.
- From the drop down menu select Properties. The Display Properties window will be shown.
- Left click the Appearance tab to configure advanced options.
|1.||This area provides an active preview of all changes made on this window.|
|2.||To specify a different theme automatically for all windows and buttons left click this drop down menu and select a value from this list.|
|3.||To specify a color for the theme currently installed left click this drop down menu and select a value from this list.|
|4.||To change the size of fonts on your screen left click this drop down menu and select a value from the list. The three options you have to choose from include Normal, Large, and Extra Large, with each value increasing the size of fonts displayed on your screen.|
|5.||To configure more miscellanious display options left click this Effects button. A new window will appear and all options are described in section 1.3B.|
|6.||To configure other more advanced display options left click this Advanced button. The options you can specify on the following window are described in section 1.3C.|
|7.||Left mouse click this Apply button to save all changes up to this point.|
|8.||Left mouse click this Cancel button to abort all changes and close the window.|
|9.||Left mouse click this OK button to finalize all changes and close the window.|
Introduction To A Modern Windows Desktop
So now that you have a basic understanding of what comprises a desktop and how to customize associated features, lets fast forward a bit and understand the Windows 10 desktop since it is a more modern operating system.
As you can tell the Windows 10 desktop only differs slightly in appearance. The objects and elements that appear on older Windows desktops are present in more modern Windows desktops with added functionalities.
Here is a description of the objects that are included on the Windows 10 desktop:
|Desktop||The main program area in which you access desktop functions.|
|Start Button||This button links to the Start menu where you can access programs, data, and also customize the computer functions.|
|Cortana Search Box||This allows you to use the Cortana function included with Windows 10 to search the Internet for a specific resource.|
|Voice Activation||This function allows you to control computer functions by speaking into a microphone.|
|Settings||This link allows you to customize various computer functions and other settings.|
|Notification Icons||These icons provide specific program information related to programs that are running on the computer.|
|Date and Clock||The date and clock function show the current date and time on your desktop.|
|Notifications||These notifications provide crucial information related to the programs running on the computer.|
|Cursor||The cursor is the pointing device used to control how you interact with the desktop. The cursor will change based on the activity you are completing on the desktop.|
|Wallpaper||Is an image that can be used to enhance the look of the desktop.|
|Shortcut||A shortcut is a link that points to a program or file on the desktop. You can make shortcuts to obtain easier access to programs and data on the computer and you can also customize what picture shows in the shortcut.|
Congratulations! So there you have it: an explanation of an older Windows desktop and the more modern Windows 10 desktop. You should understand that the concepts are very similar to old and new, but getting there and the screens you might see during that time may differ slightly, but the concepts will always remain the same.