Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing the desktop wallpaper, part of Mac OS X Yosemite Essential Training.
- Here's one more quick thing that you're probably gonna want to customize on your desktop, the wallpaper. The wallpaper is the background image on the bottom of your desktop. In this case you can see I just have a flat, blue color, but you're probably gonna want to put a picture up there. You'll spend a lot of time looking at this image, so make it a good one. There's a couple of ways to get to the screen where you can change your desktop wallpaper. One way to do it would be to just right-click on a blank empty desktop and choose, change desktop background.
Now what's happened here is it's opened up system preferences into a specific area. I'm going to quit system preferences. So I wanna show you, you can also get there by going into the system menu, open up system preferences, and just go to the section on desktop and screen saver. So once we're in here there's two options, desktop and screen saver. Some people get confused and refer to the background image as the screen saver and that's not accurate. The background image that we're talking about is the desktop image or the wallpaper.
You can see what I have here. I have a standard flat blue. So how do we change it? Well, over here on this little sidebar you can see I've got different categories. Right now I'm in the category of solid colors. So I can click on any of these solid colors and it just switches it. That's all you really need to do. Select the one you want and it swaps it out. If you don't like any of these colors you can come to custom color and then choose something that you might want there. That looks terrible, so I'm gonna close that and go back to the flat blue, but you may not want a flat color, you might want a picture.
So let's go to the sidebar again and go to desktop pictures and you can see a bunch of pictures that come with OS 10 by default. This one right here is the standard default, Yosemite desktop wallpaper. If you buy a brand new computer, this is probably the wall paper that it's gonna have and of course there's a bunch of other wallpapers here as well, but you may want your own picture. You might not want one of the stock pictures. Again, looking at the sidebar, I can see this option here for pictures. If I click on that, I can see my pictures.
Let's talk about where these pictures are Where do these come from? Now I've said this before, I'll say it again. We're gonna talk about finder in a chapter dedicated to finder coming up soon in this course, but for the moment I'm gonna go back into finder, and I'm gonna go into my pictures folder. You can see I've already placed pictures in my pictures folder in finder. That's actually what we're looking at here. This option here in system preferences that says pictures, is the pictures folder that's already on my hard drive and I've already put some pictures there.
What's interesting to see here though is I've got a bunch of loose photos in this folder, but I also have this folder called Italy. I do not see my Italy pictures on this list, so it does not look in subfolders, but if I want to add a new folder to this list it's pretty easy. I can just locate that folder and drag it onto this sidebar and now I've got my Italy pictures. It does not have to be a subfolder in the pictures folder. It can be a folder anywhere. I'm gonna go ahead and close this for now.
Now if you use a photo management application like Photos or iPhoto, then you'll also see your photos library listed here, but I'm gonna just focus on the pictures I have in that folder. Let's choose a good picture. I'm gonna switch to the main pictures folder and I'm gonna click on this and I think this looks really nice as desktop wallpaper, but let's think about that for a second. Why is this good for desktop wallpaper? One of my biggest criteria is if I'm gonna have icons, you know files and folders and stuff sitting on my desktop then I don't want my picture to compete with it.
I want to be able to comfortably see my icons without getting confused with visual clutter. So this is nice, the Golden Gate Bridge. It's not too dynamic. It's not taking up a lot of my visual interest and this whole right side is pretty empty anyway, so this works really well. Let's choose a picture that would be bad. This, I think is a pretty nice picture, but it's starting to get kind of cluttered. It's not too bad right now, but if I had two or three more rows of icons across the face of this deer, that could look pretty bad.
Now let's look at this picture right here. This I think is a pretty great picture, but when I use it as my desktop wallpaper it really doesn't work. The top of the dogs head is being cut off, so what's going on there? Well, if we look at our pictures you can see that this is a portrait orientation picture. It's much taller, it's not wide, so it's the wrong shape for this screen. That doesn't mean I can use it. Of course I could use it like this. I probably wouldn't do that because I don't think it looks very good, but I could choose this picture and this option here where it says fill screen, I could choose to fit to screen and now the picture shrinks down and I can see the whole picture.
Now I've got whatever color as the background that I had when I was in my solid colors. Now I could change that here by just clicking here, choosing a different color. Let's actually go to blue and then I'll change this slider down so it's a really nice dark blue. There we go, and maybe come around the color wheel a little bit until I find something that I like a little bit better. So by mixing the fit to screen option with choosing a specific color you might end up deciding you like this. As a matter of fact, if I keep all of my icons out here in this blue area, this might look pretty good.
Another thing you might do is choose stretch to fill screen. It will not cut off any part of this image it'll just stretch it. In this case, I really don't think it works. I don't like to do this if it's a picture of an animal or a person. I think the stretch looks pretty bad, especially if it's stretching a lot. So I'm just gonna go ahead and choose a completely different picture. Landscapes are pretty nice. Here's a picture from my own trip to Yosemite. That looks pretty good.
I don't really like how vibrant those colors are, so I might go back here and you know maybe go back to my Golden Gate Bridge picture which I liked a lot. So that's really all there is to setting your own desktop wallpaper. It's easy to do and it's one of those small decisions that could really affect how much you enjoy your computer on a day-to-day basis.
- Installing and running Mac OS X 10.10 for the first time
- Organizing your desktop
- Browsing file folders with Finder
- Creating, copying, moving, and renaming files and folders
- Launching and quitting applications from the Dock
- Using Dashboard Widgets and Mission Control
- Saving and searching
- Browsing the web with Safari
- Communicating with iMessage and FaceTime
- Using iTunes, QuickTime, and Maps
- Installing applications from the App Store
- Sharing over a network
- Backing up and restoring Mac OS X 10.10