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Bob Cook
Bob Cook, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 618
Experience:  I have sold Macintosh Computers since 1984. I started Sun Remarketing in 1983 and sold over 25,000.
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When I change the desktop color it only changes a small square

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When I change the desktop color it only changes a small square in the middle of the screen. What is going on?
Hello,

I'll be glad to try and help you. My first guess is that a setting needs to be changed in your preferences to make the color fill the screen. I'd like you to:

1) Go to Apple Menu -> System Preferences and click on Desktop & Screen Saver
2) There should be a drop-down box that has the options: "Fit to Screen", "Fill Screen", "Stretch to Fill Screen", "Center", "Tile". Set this option to "Fill Screen"
3) Close the system preferences.


Let me know if that fixes the problem. Kind regards,

Shawn
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
My system is 10.3.9. I don't have an options button on the desktop preferences panel and the options for the screen saver has an options button that modifies the selected screen saver. Might it be another system preference?
Hello,

Okay. Are you trying to put a solid color on the screen, or is it a picture or pattern of some sort?


Kind regards,

Shawn
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, I am trying to use a solid color. I tried pictures and the other desktop patterns and they all fill the desktop. I guess the answer could be just don't use the solid color option, but I have seen this happen to maybe 6 or 7 computers in the 14 years of having a mac lab classroom and I was just curious as to what causes this to occur.
Hello,

Ok. I never saw that problem when I used 10.3 and don't have a computer with it installed anymore, so I'm not sure why that's occurring. I'm going to opt out so that another expert can help you.


Kind regards,

Shawn
There are two ways to handle this problem.

1. Export your photos. to Graphic Converter, scale them to fit the Desktop, then reimport to iPhoto.

2. Use the background feature from iPhoto and although your pictures change iPhoto takes care of the scaling.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The small square only happens in solid color mode. We have two computers in the lab now that do this with the desktop. They are emacs with OS 10.3.9. The photos and preset designs all fill the desktop, I was just wondering why this happens. I've seen it before in the macs, but not always.
Apple provides 10 or so solid colors to use as backgrounds in the Desktop system prefs panel, but what if you wanted a different shade? There appears to be no way to pick a solid color other than the 10 provided. Starting with a hint submitted by abrin523 and after some follow-up emails, he and I have figured out a fairly simple way to have a color picker available to create a solid background in any color you'd like to use.

In 10.2, when you use a non-screen-sized image in the Desktop prefs picture well, you'll see a pop-up menu offering choices for what to do with the image: Fill Screen, Stretch to Fill Screen, Center, and Tile. If you select Center, you'll then get a color swatch that, when clicked, displays the standard Apple color selector. Of course, this just gets you a small image in the middle of your screen surrounded by the color you picked ... but if the image you use is a "nothing" image, then you get a desktop covered with the color you chose.

I used Photoshop Elements to create a new 1x1 pixel TIFF image. I then saved it without doing anything to it at all. When I dragged this into the image well, the desktop went white. When I switched to Center mode and chose a color, though, the chosen color covered 100% of the desktop.

You could, of course, do this by creating an image swatch of the color you wish to use and then using "Tile" to fill the screen with it. But you'll have to create a swatch for each color you wish to use. If you use a blank image, though, you can select your own color through the Apple color picker each time your mood changes.
Bob Cook, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 618
Experience: I have sold Macintosh Computers since 1984. I started Sun Remarketing in 1983 and sold over 25,000.
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