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Windows Vista Security: Praxisorientierte Sicherheit für Profis by Marcus Nasarek

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Personalizing Windows Vista
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Personalizing Windows Vista
From fine-tuning your window colors and experience level to choosing your desktop
backgrounds, screensavers, sounds, mouse pointers, themes, and display settings,
you can personalize Windows Vista in many different ways. Navigating this maze of
options can be tricky, especially when you want to achieve robust performance while
maintaining a desired look and feel. Even experienced users often neglect the basics
of this essential balancing act, so you may be tempted to skip this section. But don’t.
Fine-Tuning Your Window Colors and Experience Level
Aero gives the user interface a highly polished, glassy look. When you use Aero, you
can set the glass color, intensity, and transparency. Several default colors are avail-
able, including graphite, blue, teal, red, orange, pink, and frost. By selecting a color
and then using the “Color intensity” slider, you can create softer or bolder colors. By
enabling transparency, you make it possible to see through parts of windows, menus,
and dialog boxes. You can also create the exact color you want using Hue, Saturation,
and Brightness color mixers. The one feature sorely missing is a way to enter numeric
color values, which would allow you to use standard colors from color palettes.
Figure 3-8. Viewing the enhanced experience level
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Chapter 3: Fine-Tuning Windows Vista’s Appearance and Performance
Of these many Aero settings, the transparency setting is the biggest
resource hog. If your computer has a low to middling score for its pro-
cessor, physical memory, general graphics, or gaming graphics, you
might want to disable this feature to achieve better performance.
Optimizing Aero glass
When you are using Windows Aero, you can configure the glass color, transparency,
and intensity by completing the following steps:
1. Click Start and then click Control Panel.
2. In the Control Panel, click Appearance and Personalization and then click
Personalization.
3. On the Personalization page, click Window Color and Appearance.
4. As shown in Figure 3-9, select one of the base colors available. Do this to save
time even if you want to use the color mixer.
5. To enable transparency, select the “Enable transparency” checkbox. To disable
transparency, clear the “Enable transparency” checkbox.
6. Use the “Color intensity” slider to control the intensity of the color. Move the
slider to the left to soften the color. Move the slider to the right to make the
color bolder.
7. If you want to adjust the color, click the “Show color mixer” button and then
use the Hue, Saturation, and Brightness sliders to achieve the desired color.
8. Click OK to save your color settings.
Changing the experience level and appearance effects
By default, Windows Vista uses the highest experience level your computer is capa-
ble of. If you want to change the experience level, complete the following steps:
1. Click Start and then click Control Panel.
2. In the Control Panel, click Appearance and Personalization and then click
Personalization.
3. On the Personalization page, click Window Color and Appearance.
4. If you are using Aero, click “Open classic appearance properties for more color
options.”
5. On the “Color scheme” list, shown in Figure 3-10, choose the desired experi-
ence level. If you choose an option other than Windows Aero, Windows Vista
Basic, Windows Standard, or Windows Classic, you’ll be using a modified color
scheme for the Windows Classic experience level.
6. Click OK to save your settings or continue with the next procedure.
Personalizing Windows Vista
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While you are working with the Appearance Settings dialog box, you may want to
set appearance effects for screen fonts, shadows under menus, and display of win-
dow contents while dragging:
1. In the Appearance Settings dialog box, click the Effects button. This displays the
Effects dialog box, shown in Figure 3-11.
2. By default, Windows Vista smoothes the edges of screen fonts to make them eas-
ier to read. Typically, this is the desired behavior. For CRT monitors, you’ll want
to use the Standard setting. For LCD monitors, you’ll want to use the ClearType
setting.
3. Displaying shadows under menus adds somewhat to the overhead when draw-
ing menus. To help conserve your computer’s resources, you can disable this fea-
ture by clearing the “Show shadows under menus” checkbox.
4. Showing window contents while dragging can use a considerable amount of sys-
tem resources, especially when dragging large or graphics-intensive windows. To
help conserve your computer’s resources, you can disable this feature by clear-
ing the “Show windows contents while dragging” checkbox.
5. Click OK twice to save your settings.
Figure 3-9. Setting the window color and appearance

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