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Home > Windows > Basic Concepts > Windows Customization Technology World's Official Guide To Customizing Windows XP
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Basic Guide To Windows
On This Page:
1.3A - Changing The Appearance of Windows and Other Objects
1.3B - Configuring Advanced Effects Of Windows, Menu Items, And Buttons
1.3C - Changing Advanced Display Settings For Window Elements
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Document Details:
Article Title: Changing The Appearance of Windows and Other Objects
Author: Michael J. Casimir
Creation Date: April 10, 2007
Last Modified: Friday, September 20, 2013 1:38 PM
Applies To:
Windows XP Media Centre Edition
Windows XP Home Edition
Windows 7
Windows Vista

1.3A - Changing The Appearance of Windows and Other Objects

This section will walk you through the process of configuring advanced appearance options associated with the XP desktop. Figure 1.3A shown below shows the appearance window. Each option contained on this window is explained in the following section.

Access The Display Properties Window in Windows XP:

  1. Right click an empty area on your Windows desktop.

  2. From the drop down menu select Properties. The Display Properties window will be shown.

  3. Left click the Apperance tab to configure advanced options.
Advanced Appearance Window
Figure 1.3A - The Windows XP Appearance Tab
1. This area provides an active preview of all changes made on this window.
2. To specify a different theme automatically for all windows and buttons left click this drop down menu and select a value from this list.
3. To specify a color for the theme currently installed left click this drop down menu and select a value from this list.
4. To change the size of fonts on your screen left click this drop down menu and select a value from the list. The three options you have to choose from include Normal, Large, and Extra Large, with each value increasing the size of fonts displayed on your screen.
5. To configure more miscellanious display options left click this Effects button. A new window will appear and all options are described in section 1.3B.
6. To configure other more advanced display options left click this Advanced button. The options you can specify on the following window are described in section 1.3C.
7. Left mouse click this Apply button to save all changes up to this point.
8. Left mouse click this Cancel button to abort all changes and close the window.
9. Left mouse click this OK button to finalize all changes and close the window.

1.3B - Configuring Advanced Effects Of Windows, Menu Items, And Buttons

Advanced Appearance Window
Figure 1.3B - The Windows XP Appearance Tab
1. Left click a value from this drop down menu to specify the fade effects for menus and tooltip elements.

Scroll effects - this will cause items to scroll open and closed.

Fade Effect - this will cause items to fade open and closed.

2. Left click a value from this drop down menu to specify how fonts are displayed on the screen.

ClearType - is best suited for laptop monitors and computers with an LCD display and results in a much clearer display.

Standard - is best suited for computers with a CRT based monitor.

3. Left click this checkbox to have Windows display icons at a larger than standard size.
4. Left click this checkbox to have Windows always display a shadow style under menus. Unchecking this option will result in faster performance.
5. Left click this checkbox to have Windows always display the contents of any window being moved or resized. Unchecking this option will result in faster performance.
6. Left click this checkbox to instruct windows to not underline letters for shortcuts and other keyboard commands until you actually start navigating with the keyboard.
7. Left mouse click this Cancel button to abort all changes and close the window.
8. Left mouse click this OK button to finalize all changes and close the window.

1.3C - Changing Advanced Display Settings For Window Elements

Advanced Appearance Window
Figure 1.3C - The Windows XP Appearance Tab
1. This area provides an active preview of all changes made on this window.
2. Left click a specific value from the drop down menu to specify additional settings and colors for the item.

Click this link for a page that shows a description for each item within this drop down menu.

3. This box will allow you to specify a size for the selected item in box 2.
4. Left click a value in these boxes to specify the colors for the selected item in box 2.
5. Left click the values in this area to specify additional attributes for the selected item in box 2.

Bold Icon This option will specify a bolded option for the selected item in box 2.
Bold Icon This option will specify an italicized option for the selected item in box 2.
6. Left click this drop down box and select a color for the font associated with the item selected in box 2.
7. Left mouse click this Cancel button to abort all changes and close the window.
8. Left mouse click this OK button to finalize all changes and close the window.
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