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Home > Windows > Basic Concepts > Windows Customization How To Use The Windows Active Desktop Feature
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Basic Guide To Windows
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1.3E - Displaying a Webpage on Your Desktop
Adding A New Desktop Item
 
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Document Details:
Article Title: Overview Of The Windows XP Active Desktop
Author: Michael J. Casimir
Creation Date: October 24, 2013
Last Modified: Thursday, October 24, 2013 7:08 PM
Applies To:
Windows XP Media Centre Edition
Windows XP Home Edition
Windows 7
Windows Vista
1.3E - Displaying a Webpage on Your Desktop

Internet Explorer comes pre-built with a feature known as Active Desktop. This feature allows you to add web pages and other web elements to your desktop. Microsoft has created a number of active desktop components readily available from their website. One such component will display your local weather forecast; another will allow you to track and view satellites all around the world. Other active desktop components can be downloaded from websites all around the Web. For a list of websites offering these components see Appendix B.

This page will described the features of Active Desktop as well as show you how to customize a webpage to appear as your desktop.

Advanced Appearance Window
Figure 1.3A - The Windows XP Appearance Tab
1. Place a checkmark in any appropriate box to select a page you want to display on your desktop. If the page does not exist you can specify a new one by clicking the New button. This will start the New Desktop Item wizard as described in section 1.3F.

2. To specify additional properties for the current Web page click Properties. The properties window for the selected address appears as shown in Figure 3.7A below. To make the selected Web page available offline, click the Web document tab and ensure the “Make This Page Available Offline” is marked. You should be online to ensure the latest version of that particular page is downloaded.
3. To download the most recent version of the webpage checked off in the Web pages box left click Synchronize. This will instruct Windows to download the most recent version of the page you requested.
4. Left mouse click OK to finalize all changes done on this screen.

Adding A New Desktop Item
Windows XP can show any Web page on the Internet on the desktop. This Web page functions normally and it can be resized, minimized, or maximized to fill the entire background. To utilize this feature simply click the Web tab on the Desktop Items window. The following screen is shown.
Advanced Appearance Window
Figure 1.3A - The Windows XP Appearance Tab
A. If you know the location of the Web page you want to show on your desktop, enter the Web address (URL) in this area. The HTTP: prefix is not required.

B. Internet Explorer comes pre-built with a feature known as Active Desktop. This feature allows you to add Web pages and other Web elements to your desktop. We discuss this feature in a different section.
C. If you don’t know the location for the new desktop item or if you want to add a file that exists in your computer, click the Browse button. Find the file you would like to use and click the Open button. You can choose between Active Desktop files, HTML files, and image files.
D. To finalize settings click the OK button. Windows will immediately make the appropriate changes.

 
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