Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Reader Asks How To Make Icons Bigger

A reader wrote in with a good question..

Q: Paul I hope you can provide a solution I have been unable to find elsewhere. I purchased a new Windows 7 computer from Dell. I find the notification area and the date/time display too small. I already have “Use Small Icons” unchecked, and I do not want to reduce my screen resolution, but would like the icons to be larger. Any suggestions? Thanks!

A: I am going to read between the lines a bit here, and assume from what you have written that you have already explored changing the various Display settings, and further, that you are referring specifically to the icons.

(But, if you haven’t, you can try scaling the DPI.
Right-click on your Desktop, choose Personalize (or, go to Start button > Control Panel > Display, and in left column select Custom DPI setting.) In the left column, click Adjust Font size – (DPI). Click on Large scale (120 DPI), and click Apply. Or, Click ‘Set custom text size (DPI)’ in the left pane to customize the text size with the slider.)

Other than that, to make the Date/Time text bigger, you might try a 3rd-party ‘tweak’ tool (I’m fairly sure there’s some out there..) but to make the icons themselves bigger, well, I am afraid my answer is you are (most likely going to be) out of luck.

(Most of) The Notification Area icons are created and installed during the installation of your various programs (usually “3rd-party”), and it has been long a standard that these “activity” icons be quite small. To the best of my current knowledge, that isn’t a Windows “setting”. And I know of no way to change them.

If this is really a problem for you, you might try placing a “stick on” (plastic sheet/”film”) magnifying “lens” down in that corner.. sorry I don’t have a better answer. Perhaps someone out there can provide a different (happier) answer?

Here is what Microsoft has on this subject: Change how icons appear in the notification area.

Today’s quote:Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” ~ Ronald Reagan

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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February 23, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, tweaks, Windows 7 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beginner Customizing – Slideshow Screensavers

Show off your best photos with a screensaver “slideshow”

If you have seen someone’s computer showing a changing display of pretty pictures and thought to yourself, “that’s neat…I wonder how they did that?” then this post is for you. The trick is in using Windows’ built-in slideshow feature, and it is a straight-forward and easy adjustment to make. (And.. it does away with that boring black Microsoft logo screen…)

Tip of the day: To create a custom screensaver slideshow, all you have to do is, basically, turn it on. It will by default show a slideshow of the pictures contained in your “My Pictures” folder (just “Pictures” in Vista), but you can point it to any folder which contains images — and here’s where the customization comes into play.

To get started, let’s assume that all you want to do is display your My Pictures folder. This will allow me to demonstrate the first step: turning on a screensaver slideshow. First, right-click on any blank area of your desktop and select “Properties” (in Vista, “Personalize” >”screensaver”). This will open the Display Properties window.
Next click on the “Screen Saver” tab. Now go down to the drop-down arrow box labeled Screen saver and click on the down arrow to open your list of choices. Select “My Pictures slideshow” (“Photos” in Vista). Now instead of the boring black background with a moving XP logo, the screensaver will be your pictures. In XP, click the Preview button to see what it will look like.

While we’re here, let’s take a look at some of the other settings. Here is where you can set how long a period of idle time elapses before the screensaver kicks in. To redirect the slideshow to a different folder, and to modify your slideshow’s variables (such as how long each picture displays), click the Settings button. You should get a screen like the one pictured below.


As you can see, you can “tweak” your slideshow quite a bit here, and even add transitions between slides. Again, use the previous screen’s Preview button to see how these adjustments will actually play out. If you’re happy, you can quit here and click the “Apply” button. But if you don’t want to display your whole My Pictures folder — but instead, only a subset — or want to use a different folder of pictures, keep reading.

First, open your My Pictures folder (Start >My Documents >My Pictures) and right-click on any blank area. On the menu that opens, select New, and then folder. Give your new folder a name like “slideshow”. Now fill this folder with copies of the pictures you want to display, by right-click + dragging them into the “slideshow” folder, letting go, and selecting “Copy here”. Repeat this until you have your selections all copied into the “slideshow” folder. (Called “drag and drop”)

Now that you have your slideshow folder all set up, return to the My Screen Saver Properties window (the one pictured above) and click the “…Browse” button. Double-click on the “slideshow” folder (you may have to navigate to it: do so by clicking My Documents >My Pictures >slideshow), and you’re done. Again, you can use the Preview button to see how it will look.

To make your PC more immune to casual browsing while you’re away from your desk, go back to Display Properties’ (right-click any blank area on your Desktop and select Properties) Screen Saver tab and put a check in the checkbox labeled “On resume, display Welcome screen.” If you’ve followed my advice from earlier posts, this will require your user password to log in.

Today’s free link: I don’t have my screensaver displaying my own photo’s, I have it set to display a series of “Demotivators” (free for personal use) — an amusing and ironic play on the “motivational” posters that Executive-types love to hang in work areas. If you haven’t seen the Demotivators (and their often spectacular photography) yet, do yourself a favor and click here. And be sure to browse the different categories.

*Original posting:6/26/07

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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October 20, 2009 Posted by | computers, Digital Images, how to, PC, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments