Chapter III.1. Personalizing Your Desktop

In This Chapter

  • Taking control of each desktop level

  • Traipsing through themes

  • Starting a screen saver in a flash

  • Finding the real story on how Windows puts together your desktop

It's your desktop. Do with it what you will.

You might think it'd be easy for a computer to slap windows on the screen, but it isn't. In fact, Windows 7 uses six separate layers to produce that Windows 7, er, vista — and you can take control of every layer. I show you how in this chapter.

I also include a discussion of desktop themes, backgrounds in Windows Explorer, and the deservedly famous (but oh-so-derivative) Windows 7 gadgets. Pretty cool stuff.

Most importantly, I include instructions for creating a Super Boss Key in the later section "Selecting Screen Savers." Whenever you press a key combination that you choose — say, Alt+F10 — a Windows 7 screen saver immediately springs into action. If you've ever been surprised when the boss walked in as you were dusting off your résumé, day trading, or playing a mean game of Minesweeper, you now know how to cover your tracks. You're welcome.

Recognizing Desktop Levels

The Windows 7 desktop — that is, the collection of stuff you see on your computer screen — consists of six layers (see Figure 1-1, which shows five of the six layers).

For a quick change of pace, desktop themes change five of the six layers, all at once. I talk about desktop themes in the section "Using Desktop Themes," later in this chapter.

Figure III.1.1. The Windows ...

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