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Windows XP Power Hound by Preston Gralla

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Icons and Themes

You can make Windows XP into your digital alter ego by choosing your own icons, adding a screen saver, or picking a desktop theme. Read on for hints on giving Windows XP a dash of individuality.

Turning Your Photos into a Screen Saver

You may not be a star on the big screen but you can be the star of your computer screen, or more precisely, your screen saver. Simply create a screen saver using your own digital photos or pictures you've scanned.

First, put all the photos you want to display on your screen saver in Documents and Settings [Your Account Name] My Documents My Pictures.

Right-click the desktop and choose Properties Screensaver (Figure 2-21). From the drop-down list, select My Pictures Slideshow. In the preview screen, your photo slideshow begins to play.

Click the Settings button if you want to change the size of the pictures, how long each photo should display, and whether to use transition effects between pictures—say, fading to black after the last shot of your triumphant bike race finish. (Hey, no one needs to know you came in 837th place.) When you're done, click OK until you get back to the desktop. Your screen saver is ready to go.

When you choose a folder to be the launching pad for your customized screen saver, Windows turns all the pictures in that folder into a slideshow. If you want to create several screen savers, with different pictures for each, save the photos for each screen saver in separate folders within My Pictures. Then designate each folder as a screen saver's launching pad.

Figure 2-21. When you choose a folder to be the launching pad for your customized screen saver, Windows turns all the pictures in that folder into a slideshow. If you want to create several screen savers, with different ...

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