How To Make a Photo Your Computer Background

The background is one of the easiest things to customize and modify on your computer. Also called the wallpaper, this is one of the easiest customizations you can do. If you work at an office with lots of other computers, you can easily stand out by making your background wallpaper reflect your personality. Just about every picture can be used to be a computer background so you never run out of choices. Here's how to use your own photo to make a background for your computer.

  1. Find a photo. You have literally millions of choices for photos. If you love movies, celebrities or TV shows, you can easily look for an image online. Many of these may already be formatted to fit most screens as wallpapers. By default, widescreen computers have resolutions of 1280x768. Non-widescreen monitors are oftentimes 1024x768.

    You can also use any of the images you have on your computer. You can search for these in your Pictures or My Pictures folder. You can even capture new images using your webcam, if you want to place a picture of yourself or of you with your friends as a wallpaper. Your images don't necessarily have to be in the right dimensions, since the system will be able to stretch, compress or resize these as necessary.

  2. Work from within Windows. If you're using Windows XP or Windows Vista, all you have to do is right click at any blank space on your desktop and select “properties.” Under the “desktop” tab, you can now choose a new image for your desktop from among pre-defined choices. You can use the “Browse” button to look for images that are not in the default folder. Alternatively, you can take a long-cut, which involves opening Control Panel, and opening the Display settings applet.
  3. Work from the browser. You can turn any picture that you view online into your background wallpaper. On your browser, simply right click an image and select the appropriate option. On Firefox, select the “Set as Desktop Background” option. On Internet Explorer, select “Set as Background.” Doing any of these will automatically turn the current image into your background wallpaper.
  4. Make adjustments. You can check your background by clicking on the Desktop button on your taskbar, by minimizing all windows, or by pressing Win-D. If the image doesn't appear properly, you might have to make adjustments. Open the Display Properties, as described above. Under the “Desktop” tab, you can see a few options under the “Position” dropdown box. You can choose “Stretch,” “Center,” or “Tile.”

    Stretch is meant for images that are too big or too small. This setting would resize the image such that it fits into your current screen resolution perfectly. This might involve some squeezing, though, so your image might look a bit strange. Center, the default option, would simply place the picture at the center of the screen. If it's too small, then you will have a border around it. If it's too big, then only the centermost part will be displayed. Tile is the best for use with small images. This option will place your image on the screen in a repeating manner. This is best used with patterns, many of which come bundled with Windows.

Changing your background image can be a fun way of personalizing your computer. You can establish your identity and style by applying any photo of yourself, your family, or any object of interest.


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