Every computer user has a different idea of what should appear on the computer desktop, which is the screen that is visible when all program windows are minimized. Some users are such purists that they prefer a plain-colored background to make the icons more visible. Others take new pictures of the children, or pets, each week and use them as wallpaper on the screen.
Mac and PC users will argue for hours about their personal preferences. No matter how many desktop icons exist, there are some steps that can be taken to organize the desktop and make it more useful.
1. Eliminate clutter – Consider every icon that is on the desktop. Remove all unused icons prior to deciding the best way to organize the remaining icons. Large monitors support the use of smaller icons, which take up less room. More space supports more icons without looking cluttered. Logical groups can be created by positioning the icons together in one area of the screen.
2. Visual pattern – Groups of icons can be snapped to the grid and held constant by the existing Windows or Mac operating system. Right-click on the background and read the options on the sub-menu titled “Arrange Icons By.” This menu allows the user to choose the best visual pattern for the icons.
3. Install software – Many creative people have created some great applications for grouping icons. Fence, Dexpot, Nimi Places, SideSlide, Stick and LaunchBar Commander are a few of the software options for those who wish to find a more advanced method for organizing icons.
4. Avoid clutter – Each software installation offers the option of adding an icon or shortcut. Desktop icons multiply quickly for the user who adds software frequently. Uncheck the option to add a new icon for the program if a clean-looking PC screen is important.
5. Be yourself! – Multiple users on the same computer do not have to share the same icon philosophy. Set up separate user IDs for each person. Each user can have a different preference without causing disagreements with others.
Software programs are more advanced than ever before, so each user can follow a different approach to organizing icons. Research will reveal innovative approaches to problems encountered by many other people who have the same philosophy about icons.
Differences can be supported when the opinions of each user are heard. Time spent organizing the icons is important to some users, and that time can be saved by using the “restore” option offered in operating systems and other software programs.