One of the perks for using Windows Vista are the icons – not only are they great shortcuts but also are more flexible. When Microsoft introduced Vista, people were rather hesitant to adopt it because they had just gotten used to its predecessor – XP.
But those who wait are missing out on those cute Windows Vista icons that are visually pleasing on the screen – they’re like “signposts” making your work much easier.
Those who have made the transition from XP to Vista will find that the Windows Vista icons are a joy to work with. But first, what’s an icon?
The Microsoft Help Center defines a Windows Vista icon as a small picture that represents a file, folder, program or another object. This means a user does not have to navigate through files and folders in his hard drive because these Windows Vista icons serve as his quick shortcuts and sit right on his desktop.
Working with Windows Vista Icons
Note that Windows Vista icons aren’t rigid pictures that are “untouchable.” Users can actually add, move, rename, and delete them. While Windows created certain automatic icons, there are two cases where you will have to add an icon yourself:
• if you have a document or folder that you work with frequently and want quick access to it instead of looking for it in “my documents.”
• if you have an Internet link you’d like to add to your desktop. For example, if you like to read the online version of the New York Times every morning, you go to the home page, click on “file” and then click on “send to”. You choose “desktop” and a Windows Vista icon is then created and stays on your desktop.
Using Windows Vista Icons to Add Program Shortcuts
Follow these steps to create icons to designate shortcuts for your programs/files:
• Click “start.”
• Choose “documents” or “programs” (depending which one you want to create a shortcut for).
• Find the document or folder you want to create an icon for.
• Right click on that document or folder. Then click “send to” and then choose “desktop”. A Windows Vista icon will be sent to your desktop.
You can also change the standard Windows desktop icons (such as the recycle bin) to personalize them.
Replacing Standard Windows Desktop Icons with Windows Vista Icons
• right click on your desktop and select “personalize” from the menu.
• look on the left side of the next window and then select “change desktop icons.”
• then select the particular icon you want to change.
• click on the “change icon” button. It will open a dialogue box entitled “chance icon.” This lists the available icons in an executable or icon file. You can also browse in the folder of icons you may have downloaded earlier from the Internet.
Changing a Windows Vista Icon of a Folder
• right click on the folder’s icon.
• select “properties” from the drop down menu.
• click on the “customize” tab in the properties box.
• click on the “change icon” button located at the bottom of the dialog box.
Note: if you don’t want to use the standard Windows icons, click the “browse” button to look in your hard drive for the desired icon and then click the “open” button to select. Click OK.
Changing all Icons at Once
There is an IconPackager program created by a company called Stardock that allows users to change all of their Windows icons at once by applying a package of icons to replace the ones that come with your Windows PC.
IconPackager has the functionality to change hundreds of icons from “My Computer”, “Recycle Bin”, Folders, to specific file format icons such as .doc and .xls files and any other file type a user wishes to use. This program also supports the new “live” folder previews.
It can also
• allow users to explore icon libraries via the Icon Explorer.
• the shell integration feature enables browsing users to right-click any of their files and and go to the added “Icon” tab and change the icon.
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