Monday, February 25, 2008

Background Tiles As Desktop Wallpapers, A Mini-Tutorial

If I judge correctly from how long some visitors stay on my site when they're searching for certain desktop wallpapers, I don't think they understand what desktop wallpapers are. In some instances, they are fixed-width images, e.g. 800x600 pixel photos or color graphics. In other instances, they are graphical tiles, mostly with seamless edges, in a variety of pixel sizes, e.g. 10x10 or 100x100 or 10x100, as examples. While I offer the fixed-width images as desktop wallpapers, you can use any of the web page background tiles on your desktop also. It's how you set the graphic on your desktop that allows the image to cover it.

The fixed width image, should you go ahead and install it immediately, is set as a Stretched image (Windows). Because you set it that way, you have to be sure you download the correct size for the resolution you've set your monitor. For example, if you're using the resolution of 1024x768, you download the desktop wallpaper sized at 1024x768. You can also use the option of Center, if you've downloaded the correct size. (Theoretically, you can use a size larger than your monitor's resolution, but you end up losing some of the image -- right and bottom sides -- in doing so.)

The other option is to Tile the image. Obviously, with a fixed-width image, it makes no sense to tile it since it covers the entire desktop anyway. This is the option you choose when you use a background tile. Instructing the computer to tile the image on your desktop will cover it all. Check it out. If you tell the computer to center the background tile, all you'll see is this lonely tile in the middle of your desktop. If you stretch it, watch out! It will be so huge and out of focus, maybe even funny-looking. (The screenshot doesn't do the real look justice. Believe me it looks bad.) Tiling the tile makes sense and is the best way to go. Additionally, the best thing about background tiles is you don't have to worry about knowing your monitor's resolution.

Centered, a 100x100 pixel tile

Stretched and fuzzy

Tiled

Words of caution: If the small, single tile looks good, it does not necessarily translate into a good-looking desktop wallpaper. It may end up looking too busy. Try them out. You can always change it easily, unlike wallpaper you put on house walls.

How do you set your image on your desktop? With Windows, you right-click on the image until a menu pops up and select "Set As Desktop..." Then in the next popup window, select the Position and change the color, if necessary. Finally, press the "Set Desktop Background" button. You're done!

For Mac users,
click on the link to view the desktop image. Click and hold the mouse cursor over the image and drag it to your desktop. The image will be copied and saved. (The browser window may have to be resized in order to see and reach the desktop so the image can be dragged and dropped.) Next, open the appearance control panel ( Main Apple Menu drop down menu -> Control Panels -> Appearance) When the appearance control panel window opens, click on the "desktop" tab. Drag the saved image from the desktop into the appearance desktop window. Choose how you want the image to be displayed (i.e. position automatically, center on screen, tile...) then click on "Set Desktop".

Here are the Desktop Wallpapers and Background Tiles pages at Arride Graphics:

Wallpapers 1 - space images
Wallpapers 2 - more space images
Wallpapers 3 - variety of images
Wallpapers 4 - more variety of images
Background Tiles - color and patterned

Have fun!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Top Border Web Page Background: Green Jewels

Top border backgrounds are pretty popular nowadays, if I can judge from the number of visitors here searching for them. I'll continue to make and offer them in a variety of patterns and colors as the demand dictates. Today, I'm offering two, similar top border backgrounds - Green Jewels - made with an emerald bead tube and Virtual Painter in Paint Shop Pro 7.

The beads line the bottom of the green, textured top border. One background graphic has a large bead and a tiny bead, giving the graphic a bit of presence. The other background graphic has a small bead and a tiny bead, a much more subdued yet still elegant look. The choice is yours. Both graphics are shown on sample pages from which you can download the graphic, and the instructions are right on the page.

You can find the thumbnail images on page four of the top edge or border backgrounds page. Each thumbnail image will open a new window with the sample pages. Have fun choosing!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Desktop Wallpaper: Hammock at the Beach

Last year, you saw this image on the July calendar desktop wallpaper. It's a photo of a white hammock strung from palm trees on the beach in Sri Lanka. The photo was taken by Ana C. Golpe and offered at Morguefile.com.

Feeling a little bit anxious for warm weather and for spring and summer to arrive, I decided to resurrect this image for another desktop wallpaper more permanent than a calendar one. Also because the beachy/summery image I had on my computer's desktop -- although nice and warm feeling -- was the one provided by Microsoft and I wanted something different, so I chose to bring this back. I love Ana's photo and the feeling it gave me when I first saw it. I remember sighing deeply and wishing I could be laying there in the hammock right then.

Now, the photo was a bit skewed with the horizon slanted upwards from left to right. So I leveled that out. In doing so, I needed to crop the image so that the background color I used would not be part of the photo. That meant the image sizes would be off the standard heights, e.g. instead of 800x600, it is 800x592 and instead of 1024x768, it is 1024x758 and so on. I also made the image less fuzzy by sharpening it a bit. All this was done with Paint Shop Pro 7.

Does this sound like something you want on your desktop? Go to the fourth wallpapers page (click link) to download in one or more of four widths, and enjoy!


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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

New Desktop Wallpaper: Blue Ice

Finally got a burst of energy to churn up another desktop wallpaper for you. This will be the last of the wintry-themed wallpapers for the season because I'm ready for spring!

This desktop wallpaper, Blue Ice, was made from a photograph obtained at ImageAfter.com. I couldn't tell who the contributor was, so I guess he or she will remain anonymous. The quote is from QuoteGarden.com and I thought it was appropriate for the image. Finally, the font I used for the text of the quote is called Rage Italic from the Esselte Corporation and Microsoft Corporation, a commercial font.

You can view then download the wallpaper in one or more of the four sizes on the fourth wallpapers page at Arride Graphics.

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