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ATPM 11.05
May 2005



How To



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Desktop Pictures

Canadian Rockies

Canadian Rockies

Recently, Bill Jastram and his wife took a winter vacation to the Canadian Rockies. These photos include shots taken in both Banff and Yoho National Parks. They focus on four locations:

  • Canmore, just outside Banff National Park (a wonderful place to stay before entering Banff Park).
  • The region around Banff, including some amazing views from atop the Gondola ride (well worth the price of admission).
  • Lake Louise (a fantastic glacier and lake. A must see, but not necessarily a place to stay).
  • Emerald Lake, by far their favorite. 30 minutes west of Lake Louise, 15 minutes into the mountains from the adorable little railroad town of Field. Not generally on the tourist route, but a jewel (pardon the pun) of a place to take a walk around the lake and experience a worthy meal at their lodge.

Going in winter they hit the weather just right, with lots of sun and just touch of snow. The rates are far better (they went in March) and there are fewer people.

The photos were taken with a simple Canon PowerShot S230, about the size of a thick pack of cards and easily carried in a coat pocket or with a small belt-loop case. Bill has taken it on many journeys, and it works like a gem. He uses a 15" Aluminum PowerBook to manage the photos with GraphicConverter.

Previous Months’ Desktop Pictures

Pictures from previous months are listed in the desktop pictures archives.

Downloading all the Pictures at Once

iCab and Interarchy (formerly Anarchie) can download an entire set of desktop pictures at once. Use the “Web > Download Entire Site” command in the File menu, giving it the URL to the pictures page above. In iCab, use the Download command to download “Get all files in same path.”

Contributing Your Own Desktop Pictures

If you have a picture, whether a small series or just one fabulous or funny shot, feel free to send it to and we’ll consider publishing it in next month’s issue. Have a regular print but no scanner? Don’t worry. E-mail us, and we tell you where to send it so we can scan it for you. Note that we cannot return the original print, so send us a copy.

Placing Desktop Pictures

Mac OS X 10.3.x

Choose “System Preferences…” from the Apple menu, click the Desktop & Screen Saver button, then choose the Desktop tab. In the left-side menu, select the desktop pictures folder you want to use.

You can also use the pictures with Mac OS X’s built-in screen saver. Select the Screen Saver tab which is also in the Desktop & Screen Saver System Preferences pane. If you put the ATPM pictures in your Pictures folder, click on the Pictures Folder in the list of screen savers. Otherwise, click Choose Folder to tell the screen saver which pictures to use.

Mac OS X 10.1.x and 10.2.x

Choose “System Preferences…” from the Apple menu and click the Desktop button. With the popup menu, select the desktop pictures folder you want to use.

You can also use the pictures with Mac OS X’s built-in screen saver. Choose “System Preferences…” from the Apple menu. Click the Screen Saver (10.1.x) or Screen Effects (10.2.x) button. Then click on Custom Slide Show in the list of screen savers. If you put the ATPM pictures in your Pictures folder, you’re all set. Otherwise, click Configure to tell the screen saver which pictures to use.

Mac OS X 10.0.x

Switch to the Finder. Choose “Preferences…” from the “Finder” menu. Click on the “Select Picture…” button on the right. In the Open Panel, select the desktop picture you want to use. The panel defaults to your “~/Library/Desktop Pictures” folder. Close the “Finder Preferences” window when you are done.

Mac OS 8.5-9.x

Go to the Appearance control panel. Click on the “Desktop” tab at the top of the window. Press the “Place Picture…” button in the bottom right corner, then select the desired image. By default, it will show you the images in the “Desktop Pictures” subfolder of your “Appearance” folder in the System Folder, however you can select images from anywhere on your hard disk.

After you select the desired image file and press “Choose,” a preview will appear in the Appearance window. The “Position Automatically” selection is usually fine. You can play with the settings to see if you like the others better. You will see the result in the little preview screen.

Once you are satisfied with the selection, click on “Set Desktop” in the lower right corner of the window. That’s it! Should you ever want to get rid of it, just go to the desktop settings again and press “Remove Picture.”

Mac OS 8.0 and 8.1

Go to the “Desktop Patterns” control panel. Click on “Desktop Pictures” in the list on the left of the window, and follow steps similar to the ones above.

Random Desktop Pictures

If you drag a folder of pictures onto the miniature desktop in the Appearance or Desktop Pictures control panel, your Mac will choose one from the folder at random when it starts up.


An alternative to Mac OS’s Appearance control panel is Pierce Software’s DeskPicture, reviewed in issue 5.10 and available for download.


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