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KingLerxst Jul 12, 2000 11:48 AM
New to Macs...desktop theme query
Hey, I'm a Windows user converted to Macs, and I have a G4 with Os9. I was just wondering how the heck you change your desktop theme to a picture. I saved a desktop picture from, and tried doing what the instructions there told me to do, but the picture doesn't come on the preview screen for the desktop. On the desktop tab it will just display the original pattern and won't show the picture saying something like "Unable to display picture". How do I go about changing my desktop theme? Thanks.


wlonh Jul 12, 2000 12:21 PM
ok, first off, drop a jpeg file (like a prospective desktop pic) onto your System Folder icon and see what happens...

then open your Appearance control panel and go to the Desktop tab and click Select Picture button then Set Desktop button

should happen for ya, check it out and play araound with it, you will figure it out
KingLerxst Jul 12, 2000 12:28 PM
Arggh! Tried that and it's still doing the same thing! Any other suggestions? Thanks again.


wlonh Jul 12, 2000 12:37 PM

well, this is a file you downloaded from MacDesktops so it should be recognized by the Appearance control panel... i don't think the resolution should matter but did you download the proper size desktop pic?

try putting the Desktop Pictures pref's file and the MacOS preferences file in the trash and restarting and reset Appearance and try to use your pic
reader50 Jul 12, 2000 02:30 PM
With the Appearance Control Panel open to the Desktop tab, just drag the picture file's icon into the preview window and let go.

It sounds like you may be looking at the preview pane in the file navigation dialog rather than the preview pane in the Appearance control panel. If so, the next time you boot up Appleworks use the Open File dialog to find your jpeg file. The file navigation dialog will offer a button to "create preview" under the empty preview pane.
KingLerxst Jul 12, 2000 11:51 PM
It is still saying "This picture cannot be displayed." Should I just give up or something?


wlonh Jul 13, 2000 12:04 AM
no don't give up... i am really perplexed though, never seen this before

try increasing the memory allocation to the Appearance control panel by doing a 'Get Info' command while the Appearance control panel icon is selected and use the drop menu in the window to select the Memory allocation , set the Preferred setting to a slightly higher value
KingLerxst Jul 13, 2000 12:11 AM
Ok....I'll try that. I think it may work this time. Thanks


reader50 Jul 13, 2000 12:25 AM
You may have just gotten a corrupt jpeg download. It does happen sometimes. Try some other pictures. The Appearance control panel is not limited to jpegs, it can also handle PICT and GIF files.
KingLerxst Jul 13, 2000 12:27 AM
Yeah, I might try using another picture from another site. I even tried using a different size of the desktop picture and it still didn't work. But again, I'll try another picture.


MacOS761 Jul 13, 2000 11:15 AM
Say... have you tried changing from one picture to another out of the ones supplied on your system already? If that doesn't work, you should throw out your Appearance Preferences and start over. Being new to Macs, I should congratulate you on crossing over, and tell you that deleting the preference file for an application that is acting strangely is often a good solution (at least for pre-Mac OS X... dunno about X yet ) Prefs are in the Preferences folder in the System Folder, natch. Good luck!
wlonh Jul 13, 2000 11:45 AM
if there's one thing that riles me, it is when someone acts as if advice was not already given...

and there is NO such thing as Appearance Preferences, i have already stated which pref's files are in question here

bad advice, confusing at least
EricDD Jul 13, 2000 12:03 PM
wloh: is it necessary to grop the jpeg into teh system foler. I've always added a photo by going to apearances, desktop, choosing remove picture and then choose picture. then i save it as a theme if i want to use it., i keep all pics in a folder. is this proper? thanks. Eric
wlonh Jul 13, 2000 12:11 PM
you can do it anyway you like, navigate to it where ever it is
some like to keep them grouped in the Appearance folder
MacOS761 Jul 14, 2000 03:32 PM
Sorry, Lon... got a little carried away. I am unfortunately using a PC here at work. I think it messes with my mind.

[This message has been edited by MacOS761 (edited 07-14-2000).]
Lunchbox Jul 14, 2000 04:33 PM
The Appearance control panel is not limited to jpegs, it can also handle PICT and GIF files.
It can also handle TIFFs and (this is cool) Photoshop files. Furthermore, it can use alpha masks. So you can have a desktop pattern, then put a Photoshop file with transparency over it as a desktop picture, and it'll use the mask so the underlaying pattern shows through.

Just thought you might want to know.

[This message has been edited by Lunchbox (edited 07-14-2000).]
keston Jul 14, 2000 09:05 PM
Make sure you have quicktime installed though... i think it uses quicktime to display pictures.
markreynolds Jul 27, 2000 06:59 PM
Originally posted by keston:
Make sure you have quicktime installed though... i think it uses quicktime to display pictures.
I think that keston is on to the solution. MacOS uses the Quicktime translation to view all JPEG's, GIF's etc. If it doesn't have Quicktime translation available (extensions not loaded) or it's not loaded, it doesn't know how to handle the files and gives an "unable to display picture" error.

Log onto Apple's site, pick the Quicktime tab do a full download and install. Good luck and welcome to the Mac.

P.S. It could be worse, you could be trying to diagnose Win98!
disectamac Jul 27, 2000 10:59 PM
Test your Picture file:

That picture you downloaded from well click on that picture once and choose "Get Info" from the "File" menu.
If it's file size is less than 25k then try downloading the picture again, you probably hit a broken link. Still not sure? drag you pic onto the "Appleworks Icon" if it doesn't open it's not a pic. If it does open than you should be able to use it as a desktop pic.

Aside from some sort of major computer software flaw your "Appearance control panel" should be able to display many kinds of pics really easilly. I know, I have hundreds upon hundreds of Desktop Pics and they all work without any snags.

Laplaze Aug 1, 2000 03:16 AM
wlonh, not to be contrary here, but there is an Appearance Preferences in my System Folder Preferences on OS 8.6... what gives?
wlonh Aug 1, 2000 07:07 AM
no that is not a preferences file it is a folder oh please people people people

gosh and golly and holy cow batman!!



big difference, no??

oh wait, you are using that antiquated MacOS 8.6... all bets are off, i do not remember 8.6 anymore... use 9.04 and be happier, i swear!
disectamac Aug 2, 2000 12:14 AM
Ahem! I happen to like 8.6. it works like a charm although OS 9.x does have it's perks.

and no there isn't anything 'appearance' in my preferences folder either. I still use 8.6
AnswerMan Aug 6, 2000 05:57 PM
I HAVE THE ANSWER!!!!! I see that our friend is using AOL. Appearence Control Panel can NOT!! Display AOL Files. You will have to download the picture from an external browser. This is one of the reasons I left AOL!!

wlonh Aug 6, 2000 07:10 PM
aha! good on ya, answerman!

well, i will take this opportunity to bash AOL yet again, never ever have i used AOL and all of my friends and acquaintances that have dumped it due to my prodding have never regretted it, indeed they are glad they did and wish they'd never used it...

KingLerxst Aug 6, 2000 10:32 PM
THANKS ANSWERMAN! It finally worked!


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