What will you find in Windows 2000’s Display applet? Pretty much everything you found in the applet in Windows 9x. Still, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the Control Panel applet before you deploy the OS.

The Background tab of the Display Properties applet offers several new background images in Windows 2000.

The first tab in the Display Properties dialog box is the Background tab. The monitor image at the top of the tab shows how the desktop will look as the background changes. The list box displays the HTML pages and images you can use as background, and the Browse button lets you locate backgrounds that are not listed. The Picture Display button sets the properties of the background to either center it on the desktop, tile it across the desktop, or stretch it to consume the entire area of the desktop. One new feature is the Pattern button, which allows you to specify a pattern to fill the area around the background if it doesn’t fill the screen.

The next tab, Screen Saver, offers a drop-down list of default screen savers, as well as any third-party screen savers that have been installed. The Settings button changes the behavior of the screen saver based on the selected saver. The Preview button activates the screen saver so you can make sure you selected the desired effects. There is also a check box enabling password protection and a scroll box to adjust the wait before the screen saver activates.

The Appearance tab in Windows 2000 is similar to that found in earlier Windows platforms.

The Appearance tab customizes window environment colors and fonts. You’ll find a drop-down list of predefined schemes along with options to create new schemes. The Item drop-down list lets you set colors for elements such as Desktop and Title Bars. It’s possible, just as in Windows NT 4, to customize the size and color of these items, as well as the font for items that contain text.

The Web tab is new in Windows 2000.

The Web tab allows the addition of Web content for those with the Active Desktop installed, and it offers a check box for toggling Web content on the Desktop. Clicking New calls up a dialog box to enter the URL for a site and provides a button to browse the Active Desktop gallery at Microsoft. After entering a URL, you can choose to update the content manually or at a prescheduled time. There is also a dialog box for entering username and password information for secure sites.

Once you enter all the information, synchronization occurs, and the content becomes available in the text box, with a check box to toggle its use.

The Effects tab is used to customize behavior of specified objects.

The Effects tab lets you customize the behavior of specific objects. You can select a Desktop icon using the scroll bar and then click the Change Icon button. If you want to reset an icon to its original settings, click Default Icon.

Within the Visual Effects section, you’ll find check boxes for changing the behavior of icons and other visual elements. To avoid choppy appearances, you can smooth the edges of screen fonts. Using large icons and using all colors for icons improves appearance and may help those with visual impairments.

You can also opt to show the contents of folders while moving them, which can be reassuring but may also affect the appearance of items being moved. Finally, the Hide Keyboard Navigation Indicators Until I Use Alt Key option creates a simpler working environment.

The Settings tab in Windows 2000 is similar to its Windows 9x counterpart.

The last tab is the Settings tab. Options available on this tab will differ greatly depending upon the display adapter installed in your system. A picture on this tab simulates your display as the settings change. You’ll find a drop-down list for specifying the number of colors used and a scrollbar to adjust the screen area. The Troubleshoot button brings up the Display Troubleshooter wizard.

The Settings tab’s Advanced button permits fine-tuning of display adapter options.

Clicking the Advanced button displays additional options. For the Chips And Technologies adapter on the sample machine, the General tab offers font selection options and radio buttons for making dynamic adapter settings changes. The Properties button on the Adapter tab displays the current adapter settings. The Adapter tab also offers adapter information, such as Chip type and DAC type. The List All Modes button reveals the different geometry and frequency ranges of the adapter. The Monitor tab has a Properties button that provides information on the monitor manufacturer and device status. A Frequency drop-down list permits customization of refresh rates. The Troubleshooting tab has a hardware accelerator scrollbar, and the Color Management tab allows you to add new color profiles.

Ron Kauffman is a network engineer, IT consultant, and trainer with more than a decade of hardcore IT experience. He’s earned MCP+I, MCSE, MCT, and a host of other industry designations.

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