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Changing the Visual Appearance of Windows 8

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This document pertains to computers with Windows 8.
Use the sections in this document to change the way Windows 8 appears on your display screen or monitor. In Windows 8, there are two main full screen views that you will work and play from: the Windows Start screen and the Windows Desktop. The Windows desktop is an experience similar to previous version Windows and is where many software applications are used. The Start screen is an environment for apps, work and play and open anything quickly from this menu. With Window 8, you can change the appearance of the Windows desktop and the Start screen to suit your style.
Figure 1: Windows 8 Start screen
 Graphic of Windows Start screen
NOTE: If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.

Changing the size of the display in Windows 8

Windows, by default, sets the display size to the native resolution (the true resolution of an LCD monitor screen). Use these steps to change the display resolution or to return it to the native (default) resolution. IOn an LCD or LED monitor, items in Windows may appear slightly out of focus when using a display resolution that does not match the native resolution of your monitor.
Use the following steps to check the resolution for your monitor or display, or to change the resolution.
  1. If you are using a CRT monitor, skip this step.
    If you are using a flat panel display, find the native (maximum) resolution for the monitor. You can find the native resolution in the following places:
    • In the specifications on the box.
    • In the printed material that came with the monitor.
    • In the product specifications on the HP Web site.
  2. Right-click anywhere on the Windows desktop, and select Screen resolution.
    Figure 2: Screen resolution option
    Image of the screen resolution option.
  3. Click Resolution and find the resolution listed with (Recommended).
    This is the default resolution, and usually the highest supported resolution for your display. Lower resolutions are usually supported but the text and display quality might not be as good as the recommended setting, and the screen might not be centered, or might be stretched.
    If you are using a CRT monitor, change the resolution to 1024 x 768.
    Figure 3: Desktop Screen Resolution
    Image of the Screen Resolution window with the recommended resolution highlighted.
  4. Click OK.
  5. In the confirmation window, click Keep changes to save the settings, or click Revert to cancel the change.
    Figure 4: Display Settings confirmation
    Image of the confirmation screen.
Use these steps to customer your display objects without changing the display resolution.
  1. Right-click an empty area of the Desktop, and then click Personalize.
    Figure 5: Personalize
    Image of the desktop Personalize options.
  2. Click Display to open the Display window.
    Figure 6: Windows 8 Personalization options
    Image of the Personalization options screen with Display highlighted.
  3. To increase or decrease the size of the text and windows, use the mouse pointer to move the slider bar to the left or right, and then click Apply.
    Figure 7: Windows 8 Display window
    Windows 8 Display window
    To complete the changes, select Sign out now.
  4. To change the text size on specific desktop features, select an item in the drop-down list for Change only the text size and change the font size or bold the item.
    Figure 8: Change the text size
    Image of the Display window with text options highlighted.
    Click Apply to save the changes.

Customizing your Windows 8 Start Screen

Customize the Windows 8 Start screen to suit your own personal style and needs.
The tiles on the Start Screen can be moved around or the size can be changed.
  1. To open the Start screen, press the Windows key on the keyboard. You can do this from any screen at any time.
  2. Using the mouse, click and drag a tile to a new location on the Start screen.
  3. To change the size of a tile, right-click the tile and select Resize.
  4. Select the size you want form the list.
    Figure 9: Change the tile size
    Image of the Start screen with
Favorite or often used apps and web pages can be pinned to the Start screen:
  1. Select an application or web location from Apps as follows:
    1. Click the All apps arrow in the lower-left corner of the Start screen.
      Figure 10: The All apps arow
      The All apps arrow
      The Apps menu opens.
    2. Right-click the application you would like to pin to the Start screen.
      Figure 11: Example Apps menu
      Apps screen with
  2. Select the Pin to Start icon from the options across the bottom.
    NOTE:Windows Accessories and Windows System Apps have additional options, such as Run as administrator, Open file location, Open in new window, Pin to taskbar, and Find in Start.
Use the following instructions to customize your Start screen background picture or color.
  1. Press the Windows + I key.
    The Settings menu opens.
  2. Click Personalize.
    Figure 12: Personalize selection
    The Personalize selection in Settings
  3. Select one of the background choices or change the background or accent colors.
    Figure 13: Personalizing the Start screen background and colors
    The choices for personalizing the Start screen

Changing the Windows 8 Desktop

Use the following steps to personalize your Windows Desktop experience.
To change the pattern or wallpaper on the Windows Desktop, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click an empty area of the Desktop, and then click Personalize.
    Figure 14: Personalize
    Image of the desktop
  2. Click Desktop Background to open the settings window.
    Figure 15: Personalization window
    Personalization window, showing location of Desktop Background.
  3. To change the Desktop image, select one of the standard backgrounds, or click Browse and navigate to a picture stored on the computer. To use a personal picture as a background, save the picture in a file format with one of the following extensions: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .DIB, .png.
    Select more than one picture to create a Desktop background slide show.
    Figure 16: Windows 8 background selections
    Image of the Windows 8 background selections.
  4. Use the Picture position drop-down list to change the way the picture appears on the background.
    If creating a slide show, choose how often the pictures change.
  5. After making the adjustments, click OK to save the settings and close the Display Properties window.
To adjust the size of the icons:
Right-click an open area of the Desktop and click View. Click Large icons, Medium icons, or Small icons.
Figure 17: Adjust icon size
Adjust icon size
NOTE: You can quickly adjust the size of all icons by clicking the Desktop and pressing and holding the CTRL key and using the scroll wheel on the mouse.
To adjust the size and font of the icon text, use the next section: Changing the appearance of windows and text .
To change a folder name on the desktop:
Right-click the icon for the folder, and then click Rename. Type the new name and press Enter.
Figure 18: Rename
Image of the Desktop  Rename option.
To create a new folder on the desktop:
Right-click an open area of the desktop, click New, and then click Folder.
Figure 19: New Folder
Image of the New  option.
Pin a folder or file to the Start screen as follows:
  1. From Windows desktop view or from File Explorer, right-click the icon of the folder or file you want to pin to the Start menu.
  2. Select Pin to Start
Figure 20: Pin new folder to the start screen
Image of the Start screen with a New folder.
You can use the Color and Appearance window to determine the colors that Windows uses for the default task bar, window border, and title bar color. To change the color, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the Desktop background, and click Personalize.
  2. Click Color Automatic.
    Figure 21: Windows 8 Color
    Image of the
  3. Select a color from the color pallet, or click Show color mixer and create your own color.
    Figure 22: Windows Color and Appearance
    Color and Appearance window.
  4. Click Save changes.

Adjusting the brightness of the screen in Windows 8

To adjust the screen brightness from the settings in the Charms menu, follow these instructions.
  1. On the Start screen move the cursor to the upper right corner to open the Charms menu.
  2. Click Settings.
    Figure 23: Charms menu
    The Charms menu with Settings selected
  3. Click Brightness. If brightness is unavailable, see the instructions to adjust the brightness from HP My Display .
    Figure 24: Settings
    Windows 8 settings with Brightness selected
  4. Click the slider and drag it up or down to adjust the brightness of the screen.
    Figure 25: Brightness control bar
    Brightness control bar
If the brightness feature is not available in Settings, use HP My Display to adjust the brightness.
After clicking Settings in the Charms menu, if it shows Brightness as Unavailable, continue with these instructions.
  1. From the Start screen, type HP My Display
  2. Click HP My Display.
    Figure 26: HP My Display
    Search with HP My Display selected
  3. Click Adjust.
    Figure 27: HP My Display Mode screen
    Mode screen with Adjust selected
  4. To adjust the brightness of the screen, click and drag the slider to the desired brightness.
    Figure 28: Adjust screen
    Adjust window with the Brightness button selected

Advanced display settings in Windows 8

NOTE:Your computer may have more tabs than those listed here. Many video card manufacturers provide settings designed for their video hardware. These extra settings vary by the type of video hardware used and are not discussed here.
Follow these steps to open the advanced display settings.
  1. Right-click an empty area of the Desktop, and then click Personalize.
  2. Click Display to open the Display window.
  3. Click Change display settings to open the Display Settings window.
    Figure 29: Change display settings
    Image of the screen resolution screen with Change display setting highlighted.
  4. Click Advanced settings.
    Figure 30: Display Settings
    Screen resolution window showing location of Advanced settings.
Properties: Click the Properties button to access the hardware properties for your video card or on-board video hardware. This properties window can also be accessed through Device Manager.
List all Modes: Lists all the supported graphic resolutions and refresh rates that can be sent to the monitor by the video card or on-board video hardware. You can use the list of valid modes to find a mode that is compatible with the monitor you are using. After finding a compatible mode, you can change the refresh rate from the Monitor tab, and the display resolution from the Settings tab of the basic display properties window.
Figure 31: Adapter tab
Image of the Adapter tab.
Properties: Click the Properties button to access the hardware properties for your monitor. This properties window can also be accessed through Device Manager.
Screen refresh rate: Determines how many times the monitor displays an entire screen in one second. Higher refresh rates may be more pleasing to the eye, but cause the video hardware to work harder and use more resources. Select a lower rate that is compatible with the adapter. If you can detect minute flickering or the change bothers your eyes, try adjusting the rate to the next available higher rate. Never exceed the rate available to the monitor.
CAUTION:Do not remove the selection next to Hide modes that this monitor cannot display. Changing the refresh rate to a rate that the monitor cannot accept may permanently damage some monitors.
Colors: To change the number of colors, select a color setting from the Colors list. For the best compatibility, select True Color 32-bit if it is available. You can however select lower settings if colors are incorrect when using a particular software application.
Figure 32: Monitor tab
Image of the Monitor tab.

Using a screen saver in Windows 8

Windows is preloaded with a number of screen savers. Screen savers help prevent stationary images from burning a ghost image into the phosphors of CRT monitors. They are also used to show entertainment when the computer is not being used. To change the screen saver, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click an empty area of the Desktop, and then click Personalize.
  2. Click Screen Saver.
    Figure 33: Personalization window
    Personalization window showing location of
  3. Select the screen saver to be used from the menu.
    Figure 34: Screen Saver Settings
    Image of the Screen Saver Settings.
  4. Click Settings to open a setting window for the selected screen saver (if settings are available).
  5. Click Preview to see how the screen saver appears on the computer screen. Move the mouse to return to the Display Properties panel when finished previewing the screen saver.
  6. Select the number of minutes in the Wait field. This is the number of minutes of inactivity that needs to pass before the screen saver opens.
    NOTE:Make sure that the number of minutes for the screen saver is less than the number of minutes that it takes for the monitor to enter a sleep state.
  7. Select On resume, display logon screen if you want the logon screen to open when anyone attempts to use the computer after the screen saver opens.
  8. Click OK to save the settings and close the Display Properties window.

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