Tips & Tricks
Given that it’s so important, and so easy to change, you’d have thought that Microsoft might have included more than two themes with Windows XP. Fortunately, it’s easy to change the existing ones.
To change themes or colors, you’ll need to get into the Display Properties. To do this, go to the Start menu and select ‘Settings > Control Panel’, then in the Control Panel select ‘Display’.
Click the Appearance tab at the top of the dialog. You’ll see that you can manually go in and change the color of every menu, piece of text, dialog box and so on. If you don’t like the default colors in the color palette, click ‘Advanced’, then click the color square, select ‘Other’ and you can create your own colors using RGB or HSV values.
For easier re-selection of colors that you create manually, click the ‘Add to Custom Colors’ button once you’ve created a new color you’re happy with, and it will now be added to the User Palette.
Finally, click the ‘Desktop’ tab. Here you can select an image to use as a background picture for your desktop. You can either use a small repeating pattern that can be tiled to fill the desktop, or you can use a single larger picture that fills the entire screen. If the picture is too small for the screen, you can select the stretch option to ensure that it fits.
Click the ‘Browse’ button to select a picture file from your hard drive. Windows XP recognizes BMP, GIF, JPG, JPEG, DIB and PNG picture formats, as well as HTM and HTML web page formats.
Having customized your display, click the left-hand tab in the Display Properties dialog, and you’ll see the Themes window appear. From here, you can select one of the defaults from the drop-down list. More importantly, you can save the current theme for future use.