Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How I Did It: Customising your desktop the quick and easy way!!

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under How I Did It




Now I’m the sort of person who finds I’ve always got way more projects to do than I’ve actually got time to do.  I like having a different desktop to look at each month, but I’m often short of time to actually do one!!  There are lots of quickpage templates out that will help you accomplish this same feat – but I like to look at my work.  Call me picky (you will by the time you finish reading this!).  Anyway, I’ve come up with a solution that works for me and I thought I’d share it with the rest of you.  

First, and this is often the hardest part, I pick my favorite layout from the last month or so.  For the purposes of this walkthrough lets grab one of my all-time favorite layouts.  This was really the LO that kicked off this whole idea – I couldn’t bear to just file it away on my harddrive when I finished it.  

And here’s a look at the desktop we’ll end up with…

Next, we need to figure out what our screen resolution is.  For those on Windows, you’ll find it on the ‘Settings’ tab of the ‘Display Properties’ dialog.  You can get to the Display Properties Dialog from your Control Panel.  In the image below you can see the screen resolution is set to 1024 x 768 – Write down these numbers!

Of course, life would get a bit boring if we did the same thing every month, so I’ve also tried a few other techniques to spice things up a bit!  This layout already had a neutral background paper, so I didn’t include it when I merged my layout and brought it into my desktop document seperately. I resized each component so that background paper stretched across the whole desktop, and the picture portion retained it’s square proportions.

For those on Mac, In Applications, select System Preferences. In the second row (Hardware), you will see display. That will show you your current screen resolution.  It should look something like the image below…

Now that we’ve got a LO and our screen resolution, fire up your graphics program of choice and open your layout. I recommend making a duplicate of the original layout and then closing the original as you’ll be playing with the layers a bit. You also need to create a new document with the same number of pixels as your screen resolution.

Now, for this first desktop I merged the entire layout into a single layer and dragged it into my desktop document. You’ll find your LO is much bigger than the desktop, so resize it down to the same height. Because I have all my icons on the left and I didn’t want them cluttering up my layout (picky me again) I placed my layout all the way to the right of my desktop. I then grabbed a coordinating paper from the same kit I used to assemble my desktop and used it to fill in the blank section to the left of my layout. It is then a simple matter of adding a calendar grid for the appropriate month and adding a few extra embelishments to tie it all together. I made my own calendar bits, but you could also use Wendyzine’s 2010 Calendar Brushes.

Of course, life would get a bit boring if we did the same thing every month, so I’ve also tried a few other techniques to spice things up a bit!  This layout already had a neutral background paper, so I didn’t include it when I merged my layout and brought it into my desktop document seperately.  I resized each component so that background paper stretched across the whole desktop, and the picture portion retained it’s square proportions. 

 


Sometimes I find my original layout doesn’t suit my desktop requirements. This LO was far to busy down the left hand side where my icons should be. So I flipped the layout before dragging to into my desktop. Again, here the background paper wasn’t included when I merged the bulk of the layout so that I could resize it seperately. The text was either brought into my desktop document seperately or removed entirely since flipping it would make it read backwards!

 

Once you’ve completed your desktop it is a simple matter of saving the document as a jpg. Don’t forget to save it in a layered format too in case you want to make any changes!! Open your jpg in Internet Explorer or Mozilla. From here, right click on the image and select ‘save as desktop’. Because we based our document on your screen resolution, your desktop image should be exactly the right size without any tiling or streching.

Now, for the neurotic on Windows who like me can’t handle the fact that the dreadful blue start bar clashes with their layout you can change the color scheme. To do this, right click an empty space on the Desktop, and select Properties from the menu. Select the Appearance tab and choose a color scheme from the Color scheme drop down box. I prefer the silver color scheme since it doesn’t clash with as many things. Now, if someone can tell me how to set it to exactly the color I want so I could match it to each month’s LO I’d be happy… Until I find something else to fuss over :)

Enjoy your desktops!

Comments

8 Responses to “How I Did It: Customising your desktop the quick and easy way!!”
  1. Karen Bowers says:

    oh lovely job of talking us through your process! thank you!

  2. Miss Behaving says:

    Wow! This IS really beautiful and you make it look soooo easy! I am going to HAVE to try this. Thank you!!! :)

  3. Karen Maggie says:

    Things for the tutorial. I never change my desktop, but you’ve given me the incentive to give it a try!

  4. Cathy Michels says:

    I love the idea of using a favorite layout – now why didn’t I think of that!! :) Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Bertiesmum says:

    This is the ‘most’ excellent tutorial, I just love your clear instructions. I did wonder how to utilise my favourite layouts for more than a screen saver. Just a question though! What did you do with all your shortcuts? Fabulous and thank you. Chris

  6. Bertiesmum says:

    This is just superb. Great lesson and great idea. I have inundated my family with them. Thank you

  7. Kait says:

    Love this. Don’t know why I didn’t see this tutorial before!

  8. Lyvian says:

    I never changed my desktop monthly. Is the same to entire year. All my goals to 2012 is listed on there (with pictures). If I can make a great work, maybe I can change. Thanks, darling! Sounds easy :-)

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