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Change Display Settings In Windows XP, 98, and ME

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Change the size of the desktop and colors

To change the display settings, follow the procedure below: Notice the steps are almost identical, and the visual appearance of the displays is almost identical.

For Windows 98 or ME

  1. Click Start, click Settings, and then Control Panel. The Control Panel window will open.
  2. In the Control Panel window, double-click the Display icon. The Display Properties window appears.
  3. In the Display Properties panel, click the Settings tab.
    Settings tab - 98 or ME
  4. To change the screen area size, click the slide under Desktop area. Drag the slide to the left to decrease the screen area, or to the right to increase the size area.
  5. To change the number of colors, click the arrow to the right of the drop-down menu under Color Pallet. A list of items appears.
  6. Click the number of colors desired. When using more colors, the pictures and images will appear more realistic; however, more display memory is used and the display refresh time is slower.
  7. Click Apply, and then click OK to save the settings.
  8. Close the Display Properties window.

For Window XP

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel. The Control Panel window will open.
  2. From the Control Panel window, double-click Display. The Display Properties window will open.
  3. In the Display Properties panel, click the Settings tab.
    Settings tab - XP
  4. To change the screen area size, click the slide under Desktop area. Drag the slide to the left to decrease the screen area, or to the right to increase the size area.
  5. To change the number of colors, select the desired quality from the drop-down menu under Color quality.
    When using more colors, the pictures and images will appear more realistic; however, more display memory is used and the display refresh time is slower.
  6. Click Apply, and then click OK to save the settings.
  7. Close the Display Properties window.

Change the desktop background

Change the background of the screen by adding a patterned design or wallpaper (a picture or image that can display on the screen).There are several display options for the image used on the desktop.
  • Change wallpaper to a full screen graphic or a small graphic that appears only in the center of the screen.
  • Stretch a graphic until it fills the entire screen or tile a graphic across the screen.
  • Tiling a graphic is like tiling a floor. The small image is placed in the upper-left corner of the screen, and then the image is repeated until the entire screen is filled with the now tiled image.
To change the pattern or wallpaper on the screen, follow these steps:

For Windows 98 or ME

  1. Click Start, click Settings, and then click Control Panel. The Control Panel window will open.
  2. In the Control Panel window, double-click the Display icon. The Display Properties window will open.
  3. In the Display Properties panel, click the Background tab.
    Background tab - 98 or ME
  4. To change a pattern, select a pattern in the Pattern list.
  5. Click Edit Pattern to change squares from one color to another, click the squares in the Pattern area. Repeat this procedure until the pattern in the sample area looks right.
  6. In the Wallpaper list, select the wallpaper to be displayed.
    • Under Display, click Center, Tile, or Stretch.
    • To use a personal picture as a background, save the picture to any folder and click Browse to search for the picture. Personal files with the following extensions can be displayed as a background: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .DIB, .png, .htm can be use.
  7. Click Apply to save the wallpaper settings. A preview of the wallpaper is visible behind the Display Properties window.
  8. Click OK to save the wallpaper settings and close the Display Properties panel.

For Windows XP

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel. The Control Panel window will open.
  2. From the Control Panel window, double-click Display. The Display Properties window will open.
  3. In the Display Properties panel, click the Desktop tab.
    Desktop tab - XP
  4. In the Background list, select the background to be displayed.
    • Under Position, click Center, Tile, or Stretch.
    • To save a picture from a Web site as a background: right-click the picture and then click Set as Background. The picture is listed in the Background box as Internet Explorer Background.
    • To use a personal picture as a background, save the picture to any folder and click Browse to search for the picture. Personal files with the following extensions can be displayed as a background: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .DIB, .png, .htm can be use.
    • If choosing an .htm document as the background picture, the Position options are unavailable. The .htm document is automatically stretched to fill the background.
  5. Click Apply to save the wallpaper settings. A preview of the wallpaper is visible behind the Display Properties window.
  6. Click OK to save the wallpaper, and then close the Display Properties panel.

Change the screen saver

Windows has a number of screen savers. Screen savers help to prevent an image from permanently "burning" into the display. To change the screen saver, follow these steps.
The screen saver options and procedures to change the settings are the same for Windows 98, ME, and XP. The use of a password when clearing a screen saver is the difference in procedures (details below).

For Windows 98, ME, and XP

  1. Click Start, click Settings, and then click Control Panel. The Control Panel window will open
  2. In the Control Panel window, double-click the Display icon. The Display Properties window will open.
  3. In the Display Properties panel, click the Screen Saver tab.
    Screen Saver tab - XP
  4. In the Screen Saver pull-down menu, select the screen saver to be used.
  5. Click Settings to modify the settings particular to the selected screen saver.
  6. Click Preview to see how the screen saver will appear on the computer screen. The preview will end and return to the Display Properties panel in a few seconds.
  7. To specify when to activate the screen saver, enter a number of minutes in the Wait box. Either enter a specific number or use the arrows to increase or decrease the wait time.
    • To clear the screen saver after it has been activated and resume operation, move the mouse or press any key.
  8. To automatically lock the computer when the screen saver is activated, select the Password protection box.
    NOTE:For Windows 98 and ME, click Change and follow the prompts to specify a password. A blank password may be used, however that defeats the reason for using a password.For Windows XP, the user login password is used.
  9. Different monitors have different features, including Energy Saving options.
    Please refer to the support documentation included with the monitor, or check the manufacturer's site for information on changing settings for the monitor being used.
  10. Click Apply to save the screen saver settings. A preview of the desktop is visible behind the Display Properties window.
  11. Click OK to save the screen saver settings, and then close the Display Properties panel.

Change the appearance of the windows and text

Changing the appearance refers to the colors that are used by Windows for the default color scheme of the background, windows, and text fonts.
The appearance options and procedures to change the settings are almost the same for Windows 98, ME, and XP. The differences are shown in the specific procedures (details below).

For Windows 98, ME, and XP

  1. Click Start, click Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In the Control panel, double-click the Display icon to open the Display Properties panel.
  3. In the Display Properties panel, click the Appearance tab.
    Figure 6: Appearance tab - XP
  4. For Windows XP, use the Windows and Buttons option to select either the new Window XP visual look, or the Classic Windows 98 look.
    This option is not available on the Windows 98 or ME display.
  5. Select a color scheme from the Scheme drop-down menu to change the appearance of all screen elements simultaneously.
    A color scheme is a predetermined group of colors used for the menus, title bars, and other elements of the screen. The selected color scheme appears in the Preview pane and shows how the current settings will look on the monitor.
    After changes are made, the scheme can be named and saved.
  6. To modify an individual display element, select the desired item from the drop-down Item menu.
    The Item option is used to change individual display elements and fonts used on the various windows screens. Customize the appearance of as many desktop items as desired.
    For each individual Item, select the desired Size or Color from the drop-down menus.
    NOTE:For Windows XP, click Advanced to open a panel and display the Item options.
  7. To modify the fonts used on the display panels, select the desired font Size from the drop-down menus.
  8. Click Apply to save the scheme settings.
  9. Click OK to save the scheme settings, and then close the panel.

Change Plus! settings

Microsoft Plus! for Windows 98, or ME provides several features designed to enhance the look of Windows and make computer maintenance easier. Plus! is an add-on package and may not be installed on every PC. To change the Plus! settings on the computer, follow these steps:
  1. In the left bottom corner of the screen, click Start, click Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel window, double-click the Display icon. The Display Properties window appears.
  3. In the Display Properties panel, click the Plus! tab.
    Figure 7: The Plus! tab - 98 or ME
  4. Do the following activities to change the desktop icons.
    1. Select the icon to be changed, and click Change Icon. A panel will open to display available alternate icons.
    2. On the display panel, select the desired alternate icon, and then click OK.
    3. Repeat these steps for each icon to be changed.
  5. Check the Use large icons box to change the size of the icons as they appear on the desktop.
  6. Check the Show window contents while dragging box to see the contents of a window as it is moved. Also see how much information fits in the window as it is size it.
  7. Check the Smooth edges of screen fonts box to make large fonts appear better on the computer screen by smoothing out any jagged edges. To take advantage of font smoothing, the monitor and video card must support at least 16-bit color.
    NOTE: The Smooth edges feature uses a significant amount of memory. To conserve memory, uncheck this box.
  8. Check the Show icons using all possible colors box to enhance the color clarity of the desktop icons.
  9. Check the Stretch desktop wallpaper to fit the screen box so that the wallpaper fills the entire monitor space. Make sure to select Center in the Background tab.
  10. Click Apply to save the Plus! settings.
  11. Click OK to save the Plus! settings, and then close the panel.

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