From the Kenosha News on 9-3-06

Use your favorite picture as desktop wallpaper

The background picture or pattern on your Windows desktop is called “wallpaper.” If you have a standard Windows installation, it might be plain blue and say Windows or it might have a picture of a grassy field. There are several ways to change your wallpaper.

One option is to choose from the patterns or pictures provided by Windows. Right-click on an empty space on your desktop; then click Properties. Click on the Desktop tab. A list of backgrounds will display in the lower half of the window. Remember that your icons will appear on top of the picture, so don’t choose something too “busy.” When you find a pattern or picture you like, click the Apply button. Wait a few seconds for the background to change. Click OK to exit.

You can also use any of your own digital photos as wallpaper. To do so, follow the instructions above to get to the Desktop tab. Then click the Browse button and find the picture you want to use. (Hint: In case your pictures don’t have names that indicate what they are, you can preview them at this point by right-clicking on the image name and selecting Preview. Close the preview and then highlight the name to select it.) Once you have selected the image, click the Open button. Click Apply, wait a moment for the change, then click OK. If your photo does not fill the screen, select Stretch from the drop-down menu under the Browse button. If stretching the photo gives poor quality, you mach choose Center from the list, which will put a black border around the image.

When you use the above method, your photo will not stay on the list of possible backgrounds if you change it later. If you’d like for one or more images to stay on that list, copy or drag the images from their usual location to the c:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper folder. (To open this folder, double-click My Computer; then double-click the Windows folder. If you are warned that “These files are hidden,” click “Show the contents of this folder” at the left. Double-click the Web folder, then the Wallpaper folder.) Once you put items into this folder, name them with logical names but keep the .jpg extension - for example: newbaby1.jpg. Now when you display the list of backgrounds as explained above, you’ll see newbaby1 on that list.

Various web sites offer high quality photos to download as wallpaper. To get images from National Geographic, point your web browser to ngm.com, then click Fun Stuff, and click Wallpaper. Follow the instructions on the page to use an image as wallpaper. Another site with good pictures is pbs.org. Type “wallpaper” into the search box to find pages that offer wallpaper images.

If you would like a different picture to display periodically, check out the software available at webshots.com. Their free application can download images and change them each day or even each hour. Before you install or use Webshots on a work computer, make sure it’s OK with your employer since it can take up quite a bit of your internet connection and will install an application and multiple images on your computer.

By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 9-3-06