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Desktop Backgroi Internet Explore Wallpaper

Windows7 Basic

Save theme Getnr

Save theme Getnr

Windows Default

Figure 4-12 Personalization is your home base for setting backgrounds, colors, sounds, screen savers, desktop icons, and mouse pointers.

A theme in Windows 7 is an über configuration that combines and names the various personalization settings that you can make . Themes can incorporate the following:

• Desktop background

• Settings that you make in the "advanced" Window Color And Appearance dialog box

• Desktop icons

• Mouse pointer scheme

Note that these are all settings that pertain to your own profile; that is, they're specific to your user account. Settings that apply to all users at your computer, such as screen resolution, are not included in the current theme

Windows 7 includes some terrific predefined themes, and you can select one simply by clicking it in Personalization . The theme is applied right away, so if you don't like what you see and hear, you can select another before you close Personalization.

For information about saving your own settings as a theme and using themes that others have created, see "Saving, Sharing, and Finding Theme Settings" on page 139.

r a Understanding and Using Windows Aero

This chapter contains several references to Windows Aero, which is the default graphical user interface in most editions of Windows . The Aero interface uses desktop composition to achieve effects such as these:

• Transparent window frames

• Live previews of running programs via buttons on the taskbar

• Live previews of the windows that you can switch to by pressing Alt+Tab

• Flip 3D—a feature that shows all open windows (and the desktop) as a three-dimensional stack when you press the Windows logo key+Tab

• Smoother window dragging

• Interactive window controls (Close buttons that glow on hover, for example)

• Animated window closings and openings

With desktop composition on, applications write to video card memory buffers instead of directly to the screen, and the Desktop Window Manager feature of Windows 7 arranges the video surfaces in the appropriate order and presents the results to the screen

In a nutshell, the requirements to use Aero are as follows:

• Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise (Aero is not available with Windows Starter edition)

• A DirectX 9-class graphics processing unit (GPU) with a Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 1 .0 or higher display driver

• An Aero-based theme (one from the Aero Themes category in Personalization or one based on any of those themes)

Turning Aero Off

Even if you're not wild about transparency and animation, there's plenty to like about Aero. Smoother window dragging, the preview icons on the taskbar, and the improved task-switching features are well worth the price of admission—for most users. Nevertheless, admission is not entirely free; the Aero interface uses more graphics memory than the non-Aero interface—especially because achieving smoother window movement requires Aero to store the contents of all open windows in video memory, not just the windows that are currently visible .

If Aero slows you down or annoys you for any other reason, you can turn it off. In Personalization, choose any of the themes in the Basic And High Contrast Themes category. For a solid, if stolid, user interface that retains the new look and feel of Windows 7 without taxing your graphics subsystem, choose Windows 7 Basic.

What if you like transparency but don't care for the animated opening and closing of windows or certain other effects? In the Start menu search box, type effects and then click Adjust The Appearance And Performance Of Windows . Clearing the Animate Windows When Minimizing And Maximizing check box, on the Visual Effects tab in Performance Options, turns off these animated transitions. Other options let you squelch other unwanted Aero effects .

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