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- This Week's Free Computer Tip -

141 - How To Make Your Favorite Photo Your Wallpaper Picture

They are known as "wallpaper", "background", or just desktop photos, but they are all the same thing. I used to think that everyone knew how to make a personal photos into wallpaper on their computer screens. That's probably because I had spent my professional time surrounded by computer programmers. Since starting Computer Skills Group, I realize that many people don't know how to take advantage of this simple pleasure. Let's take care of that today. If you already know how to set a picture as wallpaper, you still might want to read the note about display modes.

The photos are often sent to us by friends or relatives. These days, lots of people have digital cameras and can directly load these images and send them to us. For this tip, I'm going to assume you already have the photo available on your computer. If your favorite photo is not in digital form just yet, give me a call and we'll see about getting it on to your computer.

Here's how to make the photo into "wallpaper" -

  1. Double-click on My Computer on your desktop and locate your favorite picture.
  2. RIGHT-click on the picture's file name and select Open With, Internet Explorer (or Netscape, if you use that browser).  The picture will display.
    (If you don't see a choice for "Open With", just double click on the file name to open it. It probably opens with Internet Explorer by default anyway. If all else fails, open your browser and tell it to open the photo file. No matter how you get there, it will work.)
  3. Place the cursor directly on the picture and RIGHT-click.
  4. Select "Set As Background".
  5. Exit from any open windows and you should see the picture on your screen.

A quick note about display modes -
Windows has three modes for displaying wallpaper pictures. They are called "Center", "Tile" and "Stretch". The default seems to be Stretch. Here's what they do.

So, here's the tip -
I generally use Center mode as my first choice. I may try the Stretch mode, just to see if I like it, but Center is often the better way to go. Baby pictures are the perfect example. The baby is chubby enough without squishing him down even more!

. . . and here's how to change the display mode -
This one is very quick and easy.

  1. RIGHT-click on any open part of your desktop and select Properties.
  2. Select the Desktop tab.
  3. Near the lower right of the window, find the Position box.
  4. Click on the down arrow to see the three choices.
  5. Pick one, click Apply, then OK to exit.

You see a preview of what the result will be, but I like to exit and look at the actual result, before deciding which one I want to use. You can see how easy it is to just go back in and do it again if you don't like the result.

That's it. Your neighbors might have known how to make pictures into wallpaper, but they've probably been wondering why their pictures have been looking a little funny! You can tell them about "Stretch". Enjoy.

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