Article 11: Show your computer who's in charge
Though you may sometimes feel like your computer is controlling you, believe it or not, you're the one in control. Many of the features of your computer can be customized to fit your unique needs, and the Windows Control Panel is the place to do it.
Using the Control Panel, you can change the date and time that is displayed on your computer, install new fonts, add and remove programs and hardware, change your screen saver, adjust the speed of your mouse, raise or lower the volume of your speakers, and so much more. The Control Panel gives you the tools to personalize your work environment to a great degree.
How do I open the Windows Control Panel?
Note: in Windows XP, you can view the Control Panel in one of two ways. Either you can see icons grouped in categories, or you can switch to the Classic View where each icon is viewed separately. If you have changed from Windows 98 to Windows XP, the classic view will be more familiar to you. In this article, all examples refer to working with the classic view.
When the Control Panel opens, you'll see many icons, listed in alphabetical order. Each one is a tool that can help you with your work on the computer. (You can see a brief description of each of these tools and learn more about the Control Panel here )
Let's use a few of these tools:
Adjusting the date and time display on your computer
The time is displayed in the lower right-hand corner of your computer screen, and if you rest (not click) your mouse arrow on the time display, the date will also be displayed in a light yellow box (called a tool tip).
Windows uses the Date/Time setting to identify when files are created or modified. Sometimes you may need to change the settings, for instance, to switch to Daylight Savings Time.
Here's how to change the settings:
Changing the look of your desktop
When you open your computer, the first thing that you see is your desktop. You can change many things about the appearance of the desktop: the color, the size of the icons and text, the wallpaper. It's easy to do, and you leave your own personal stamp on the computer screen.
Notice that when the Display dialog box opens, a small picture of your desktop is shown. Here you will see a preview of the changes you make.
More on the Control Panel next month!