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What is a desktop wallpaper?

Definition: A computer wallpaper is an image used as desktop background on a computer screen.


The wallpaper is commonly used in Microsoft Windows, Macintosh Mac OS, Linux, and in other operating systems. The term used in Windows is desktop background or wallpaper, and in Mac OS is desktop picture. Prior to Windows Vista, only BMP or JPG images were recognized. However, with introduction of Windows Vista and Windows 7 the following file formats are recognized: JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG and TIF.

Screen resolution is the number of dots (pixels) on the entire screen. For example, a 640x480 pixel screen is capable of displaying 640 distinct dots on each of 480 lines, which are about 300,000 pixels (0.3MegaPixels).
The most common screen resolutions are: 1920x1600, 1440x1280, 1280x1024, and 1024x768.
Please note that setting small images as wallpaper for your desktop will enlarge them too much and the picture will look pixelated.


Position options:

When you set a background picture on your desktop you have 3 positioning options: tile, center, or stretch.


Stretch - you must manually choose it for those pictures closer to your screen resolution. If the picture is too small, when you apply stretch settings it will be distorted.  BioniX Desktop Changer, which automatically resizes the picture to fit your desktop with one of its smart functions. This smart function allows you to:

  • Enlarge small wallpapers until one border touches the edges of the screen
  • Enlarge small wallpapers with no more than x% so the picture won’t look pixelated

Enlarge small wallpapers until one border touches the edges of the screen     

Classic Windows stretch


Smart stretched desktop wallpaper 
BioniX smart stretch


Tile - puts repeated image on your desktop in the form of tiles. You just need to find that picture that will look nice in tiled settings.

Classic Windows tile    BioniX smart tile wallpaper

                Classic Windows tile:                                                                                BioniX smart tile (with horizontal mirror effect):

Center - places your image in the middle of the screen.

Classic Windows center  BioniX centered wallpaper

Classic Windows center                                                                         BioniX center (and border fade)


Smart background color

Another amazing feature available ONLY in BioniX is the Smart background color: the program can analyze the wallpaper and determine your desktop background color in order to blend the image into the background seamlessly. If the wallpaper doesn't have a predominant color the program can fade wallpaper's borders to black using a smart fade effect.

Autocolor Detection - Compare



Aspect ratio

Aspect ratio is the proportional relationship between image's width and its height . For example a monitor with a height of 9 inches will have a width of 16 inches.
Five common aspect ratios are: 3:2(aspect ratio found in photography, old digital cameras), 4:3 (old CRT monitors, old digital cameras), 16:9 and 16:10 (modern LCD monitors), 1.85:1, 2.39:1 (cinemas).
Please note that in Microsoft Windows, using wallpapers with an aspect ratio different than the aspect ratio of your screen will distort them. However, BioniX Background Changer has a feature called ‘Smart Enlarge’ that allows it to fit a wallpaper on your entire desktop/monitor without distorting it.



Setting your wallpaper

You can set on your desktop any kind of pictures: family, travel, holidays, animals and pets, favorite vacation, celebrities, and even abstract arts that you admire, also your desktop wallpapers can refer to specific the time of year (holidays (like Christmas), summer, winter), your mood, etc... And if you are tired of the plain background and simple pictures you can set animated wallpapers on your desktop like rain showers, screen bubbles, billowing wind, movie scenes, etc.
To customize your computer you can choose personal pictures to set them as wallpaper. Under Windows XP/Vista/7 this can be done by navigating to the folder where your photos are stored and right-clicking on any image file. This will display a pop-up menu. Choose Preview to open a slide-show window to cycle through the images in the folder. Find the picture you want to use as desktop wallpaper, right-click on it and choose Set as desktop background.


How to change your wallpaper (the hard way)

Here is how you can do this on Windows Vista/7:

  1. Right click on a clear area of your desktop. This will show a pop-up window.
  2. Click on Personalize. This will open a new window with many options. Here you can choose a theme to set as wallpaper (those themes are created by Windows or you may create one by yourself). A theme is a category of pictures that changes.
  3. Click on Desktop Background. Now you have on the screen another window with settings for your current wallpaper (position settings, picture location).

Unfortunately, Windows allows you to change pictures in 10 and  30 seconds; 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 minutes; 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12 hours and 1 day.  But what if you want to change your picture every 2 minutes, or 10 hours, or, why not, every 15 seconds? There are two solutions: you can change it manually (this is the hard way), or you can use BioniX Desktop Background Switcher (the easy way). It is extremely flexible and it allows you to choose any interval you want between one second and 60 hours.
If you have a dual monitor configuration and you cannot find wide-screen wallpapers you can set use dual-monitor feature offered by BioniX Background Changer.  It auto detects multi monitor configurations and permits you to set different wallpapers on different monitors. It can set automatically the wallpapers in miscellaneous ways:

  • Clone wallpaper on all monitors - the same wallpaper will be set on each monitor. The wallpaper is stretched independently to fit to each monitor.
  • Expand wallpaper on all monitors - if the wallpaper is large enough, it is stretched through multiple monitors.
  • Individual wallpaper on each monitor - each monitor shows a different wallpaper.


How to change your wallpaper (the easy way)


Drag and drop some wallpapers in BioniX. In playlist double click the preferred wallpaper.

There are a few other hundred of features of BioniX Desktop Background Switcher. Click here if you want to see the entire list.





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