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Creating a Custom Wallpaper for Windows Vista

written by: Jennifer Claerr•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 1/3/2011

It's easy to create your own wallpaper for your Windows Vista computer. Find out how to make desktop background wallpaper using your own photos, artwork or images from the Internet.

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    Windows Vista Desktop Wallpaper Basics

    It's simple to use your own photos, scans or artwork to create a custom desktop wallpaper for Windows Vista. You can also download images off of the Internet to edit for use as wallpaper for your desktop background. If you plan to use the tools that come with Windows Vista, it's important to create a backup of your image files, since Windows photo editing software saves directly over the original desktop wallpaper file. Creating a backup will provide a way for you to go back and start over again if your desktop wallpaper doesn't turn out as you'd hoped. No matter what type of monitor you have, you can create original wallpaper that will look great.

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    How Can I Create Custom Desktop Wallpaper in Windows Vista?

    Using the tools that come with Windows Vista, you can create your own custom desktop wallpaper for your desktop background. Windows Photo Gallery image editing software comes with all versions of Windows Vista, including Vista Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate. To use the program, simply type "Windows Photo Gallery" in the search bar and click the entry which appears under "Programs." You can search for photos in your personal library by tag, by date taken, by rating or by folder. Select the photo or scan you'd like to use, then click "Fix." Then select "Auto Adust," "Adjust Exposure," "Adjust Color" or "Crop Picture" to adapt your image for use as desktop wallpaper. You can also fix red eye with this photo editing software. If you have a widescreen monitor, be sure that the finished image has a 16:9 aspect ratio so it will display properly.

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    Using Windows Live to Create Desktop Wallpaper

    You can also use Windows Live Photo Gallery to create your desktop wallpaper for Windows Vista. To install Windows Live Photo Gallery, navigate to the Windows Live website and download Windows Live Essentials. You can install this software if you're running either the 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows Vista Basic, Home Premium, Business or Ultimate. After installation, type "Windows Live Photo Gallery" in the search box and select the entry under "Programs." On the right, you will notice that Windows Live Photo Gallery has many of the same tools as Windows Photo Gallery. It also has additional tools, such as "Straighten photo," "Adjust Detail," and "Black and White Effects." You can also adjust shadows and highlights in the "Adjust Exposure" tool.

    When you've finished creating your desktop wallpaper, set it as your desktop background by clicking "Control Panel," "Appearance and Personalization" and "Change Desktop Background." Browse to the location of your new wallpaper image, then select the image. At the bottom of the screen, select how the wallpaper should be positioned. In most cases, "Fit to Screen" will be your best bet. Then click "OK."

    To find more choices for your Windows Vista desktop wallpaper, read Make Your Desktop Come Alive With Windows Vista Wallpaper.