One of the most difficult things about returning to work on a Monday is the realization that you are going to be staring at that monitor for the next 5 days. You had a relaxing weekend with friends, family and fun and now here you are… trapped at a desk for a full week. Or maybe you are just in a bit of a rut and need something to spice up your daily routine. One of the easiest, and most entertaining ways, to provide yourself with a little “escape” is to change up that old desktop with some fresh new wallpaper.
Back in December, we brought you the article Decorating is Not Over – Time to Spruce Up That Desktop, where we highlighted 5 of the best wallpaper sites on the web. While the sites listed have some wonderful new images, we thought it was time to return to the art of desktop decorating and bring you some new ways of thinking about your wallpaper. Over the next few days, we will shed some light on the different ways that you can “skin” your desktop to provide both entertainment and functionality.
Part I: Multiple Displays
Monitor prices have dropped steadily over the last couple of years and many offices are upgrading their workstations to larger monitors or, if you are one the lucky ones, dual monitors. If you manage to convince your employer to pony-up the funding for that second monitor, don’t let the space go to waste. You can increase your productivity and take advantage of the added space by finding a dual-monitor wallpaper. These specially formatted desktop images span the two monitors (or more if you are really, really lucky) to form one, seamless image.
So, instead of wasting your space and staring at one wallpaper twice:
You can search for and install a wider image that makes use of this wide-screen configuration:
A quick search on Google will return thousands of images for you to choose from, but we have a few favorites for you to check out.
- VladStudio has support for 2 monitor and 3 monitor setups and provides some of the most unique images on the web. **Unfortunately, these multi-monitor wallpapers require a membership (minimum is 3 months for $9.99)
- DeviantArt.com provides Multi Display images from various artists around the world. The images are all FREE and cover a wide range of categories/interests.
- DualMonitorBackgrounds.com (DMB) is exactly as advertised and FREE. The site is very simple and easy to navigate, providing hundreds of wallpapers from 18 different categories.
Desktop Image Considerations
Before diving in completely and making a decision on that new wallpaper, there are a few things you should consider:
- Don’t download any installation files (.exe) or unknown file-types from web sites you are not familiar with. Only download image files, like JPG or PNG.
- Check the resolution of your monitors (right-click on desktop/properties/settings) and choose images that are formatted to the same resolution/aspect ratio for the best quality. Example: if you have two monitors set at 1280×800, then will want to pick an image that is 2560×800.
- If you have a hard time finding icons and important documents on your desktop, try choosing an image that is more of a solid color or pattern. Very light or very dark images make great, functional backgrounds.