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Internet Explorer Tips

Fun with the Active Desktop

Along with the Channels, Active Desktop lets you add active content directly on your Desktop, including special "Desktop Components" made by content providers as well as components of any web page you specify! This article will only cover Desktop Components ... if you're interested in Channels, be sure to check out our ActiveIE Channels Tip

Getting Started

Before getting started, we need to be sure that you've got the Windows Desktop Update (the easiest way to know this is if you see the Active Desktop). If you didn't install the WDU or you never downloaded it, go to Help | Product Updates and install the "Windows Desktop Update."

Now that you're sure you have the Windows Desktop Update, you need to be sure that Active Desktop is enabled. You can do this quickly by right-clicking the Desktop and making sure that Active Desktop | View as Web Page is checked.

Let's start our adventure with Desktop Components with those available in the Active Desktop gallery on MS's site. To do this, we'll need to go to the control center of the Active Desktop: Control Panel | Display's Web tab. Here it is ...

To start, be sure that View my Active Desktop ... is checked. Then click New. Then, for now, click Yes - we'll get to the No stuff in a moment. You'll be transported to . From here, you can select from already made custom desktop components designed specifically for your Active Desktop. Choose the ones you like, and click that orange button to subscribe. You'll get the normal subscription capabilities that you do with Channels.

For instance, here, I've got the component. Once you've got a component on the Desktop, you have full power over its size, location, etc. Just move your mouse over the component. You can resize it like you would a window, drag it around with the bar on top of the component, and get to its properties by clicking the little down arrow ...

Components the way you like 'em!

Now that you've played with some standard components, you can have even more fun! Not only can you put specifically designed components on your Desktop, you can make any web page a Desktop component. Go back to Control Panel | Display's Web, and click New again. Now, this time, choose No. From here, you can type in any URL or a location on your Hard Disk. For instance, I've added ActiveIE's home page as one of my components:


That's all the time we have today =). Take some time out and change your desktop, and have fun! If you've got any questions, feel free to email me Byron here at ActiveIE! Have fun, and enjoy IE4!


This site is not related to the Microsoft Corporation in any way. Windows and the Windows logo are trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation. ActiveWindows is an independent site. The information and sources here are obtained from series of hard work & research.