Tag Archives: Desktop Tools

Changing Wallpapers and Themes in KDE 4.4

If you’re new to KDE4 or KDE for that matter, you might be a little bit lost in trying to customize it, especially when it comes to themes and wallpapers. Here’s how you can change them.

Right-click on the desktop and left-click “Desktop Activity”

Desktop Activity
Desktop Activity

Desktop settings opens up.

Desktop Settings
Desktop Settings

From the above screenshot – you’ll see two options – open, and Get New Wallpapers. By clicking on Open you can browser to the directory where all your images are stored, select it and set it as your wallpaper.

Select the required wallpaper
Select the required wallpaper

Once you’re chosen your required wallpaper, hit apply, and your selected image will be set as the wallpaper.

Selected wallpaper is set
Selected wallpaper is set

If you don’t have too many wallpapers on your system, or prefer getting some excellent wallpapers from outside sources, KDE4 provides a neat way to get and install them. At the Desktop Settings screen, click on the Get New Wallpapers button.

KDE 4.4 Get Hot New Wallpapers
KDE 4.4 Get Hot New Wallpapers

You’ll get the Plasma Addon installer screen. The screen gives you various options to get your desired wallpaper. You can sort by highest ratings, downloads, most popular, or just enter a search criteria of your own. Once you’ve selected your wallpaper, just click on the Install button, and the wallpaper will be ready to be installed.

Choose your wallpaper
Choose your wallpaper

Hit the close button to head back to the previous screen. You’ll see that the wallpaper is available, just select it, and hit Apply. Your new wallpaper is ready!

Your new wallpaper is ready!
Your new wallpaper is ready!

Let us have a look at how you can change themes. Like wallpapers, you can change themes by downloading from the Internet or by using the Get Hot New Stuff interface. We’ll use the Get Hot New Stuff interface. The screen for changing themes is a bit hidden, we’ll have to goto Desktop settings (read: Personal Settings / Configure Desktop)   first.   Once there, click on Appearance.

Desktop Settings
Desktop Settings

Once in Appearance, click on Styles and Workspace tab. Then proceed to click on Get New Themes.

Get new themes
Get new themes

Select a theme which you like, and click on the install button. Then click on close to go back to the theme selection screen. Click on the theme and click Apply. That’s it, your new theme is installed!

If you want to change individual aspects of the theme, mix and match best elements of multiple themes, head back to Personal Settings, and click on the Advanced tab, and from there select Desktop Theme details

Desktop Theme Details
Desktop Theme Details

Once in, mix and match and customize till you’re happy with the final results!

Your masterpiece!
Your masterpiece!

Taskbar Helper : Hide Your Opened Windows In System Tray

Taskbar Helper is free utility that lets you hide or show application windows in the system tray. You can do this for any program even if the program does not offer this by default e.g Google Chrome. By doing this you can have less cluttered taskbar.

Download Taskbar Helper and install it.

Start the application. Now you will see the opened application windows listed in it.

hide-open-windows-on-taskbar-taskbar-helper-main-window

There are options using which you can set any opened application to hide in the system tray when you minimize them. You can also make those windows totally invisible (not recommended).

You can use the Start With Windowscheckbox to make the tool start when your Windows boots.

Although you can configure the hiding options for any opened window from the Taskbar Helper main window, the changes are valid only for that instance of the application. Hence to make them applicable to all the instances of the application use Preferences. The Preferences button an be found at the top of the window. Click it and make the necessary changes and press “Apply” once you are done.

hide-open-windows-on-taskbar-taskbar-helper-preferences-window

Techie-Buzz Verdict

Taskbar Helper is a free tool with very little (2-3Mb) memory requirements. The configuration process is also very simple. The tool is compatible with all Windows platforms. On a concluding note, I must mention that it’s a perfect choice for people who prefer to multi-task and need to keep multiple windows opened while working.

Techie-Buzz Rating : 3.5 / 5 (Very Good)

Memeo Connect – Access Google Docs on Desktop

Google Docs has recently announced two new features. Primarily, you can share any folder as a whole and secondarily, you can upload and save any file of any type to your Google Docs account. Taking advantage of these two features, Memeo has created a new Google Docs desktop collaboration tool Memeo Connect.

[Download Memeo Connect]

The three main features of this tool are :

1. Access Or Edit Documents on Multiple Computers

This proves to be a very useful tool if you have to work on multiple computers. Memeo synchronizes all your edits done on Google Docs documents across any number of computers you use. So, if you are half-done editing a document while in office, you can finish the job on the go or when you reach your home computer.

memeo-connect-google-docs-on-desktop-access-sync

2. Working Offline And Auto Update

This is an extension of the previous feature. i.e if you are half-done editing your documents on your laptop while you are at home and suddenly you get a call for an urgent presentation at office, you could finish the edit on your way there without needing to stay connected to internet. Now when you reach to your office just connect Memeo to the internet and all the offline edits will be auto updated into your online copies stored on Google Docs.

memeo-connect-google-docs-on-desktop-work-offline

3. Migration

This feature is brought forward to leverage Google’s decision of allowing any kind of file storage on Docs. This makes it easy for collaboration within a team. You can possibly share a PDF file or PowerPoint presentation with your team member without necessarily sending him an email. The sharing is pretty easy because all you need to do is drag-and-drop the file within the Memeo Connect and the file gets uploaded to Google Docs once you are online. Now you can share the file with your team members easily.

memeo-connect-google-docs-on-desktop-file-migration

Memeo Connect needs a Google Apps Premier Edition and a full license worth $9(per user annually) for proper functioning. It has a trial edition(with full functionality) though, but still you will need the Google Apps Premier Edition for it.

Techie-Buzz Verdict

Memeo Connect is compatible with Windows and Mac platforms. It is aimed to solve the anomaly between Microsoft’s and Google’s different approach to process documents. Though its a failure as of now, because Google’s poor formatting is unable to comply with that of MS-Office. It also deals with another task of keeping files synchronized across multiple computers. The tool generates a PDF version of all the Google documents for offline viewing, which is also a nice addition to this new tool. This is a nice tool for collaborating, with a reasonable price.

Techie-Buzz Rating : 3.5/5 (Very Good)

7Stacks: Get MAC Like Folder Stacks in Windows

Want to organize your work folders in a cool vertical MAC like grid layout? Check out 7Stacks – a free utility for Windows that can arrange folders of your computer like Mac vertical layouts. 7Stacks helps your productivity at work or at home, because it can arrange all the folders in a vertical grid as shown below:

7stack-folder-stack

To get started with 7Stacks, download the application and install it. After that, create a new folder stack and enter the root folder in the stack setttings.

folder-stacks-mac-style-windows

If you have subfolders placed inside the root folder, make sure to select the checkbox “Browse subfolders”. Select the font size and the icon sizes for the stack you want to create. Next, you can choose a custom icon for the stack. If you want to preview the images stored in the folder then you can choose to display the thumbnails also. A new stack will be created on your desktop and double clicking it will open all the folders in a cool MAC like grid layout as shown below

folder-stacks-windows

The folder grids are called “Folder stacks” and you can create as many stacks as you like. This is quite useful because it lets you navigate to the important folders of your computer without having to use the Windows Explorer. The folder stacks shortcuts can be placed on the desktop, on the quick launch bar or can be pinned in the Windows 7 taskbar.

Techie-Buzz Verdict

7Stacks is brilliant and it’s a great way to organize files and folders which I use quite often. The best thing about 7Stacks is the ability to quickly navigate back and forth within folders and subfolders. I would like to see custom hotkeys being supported in the future versions so that we can navigate to the stacks instantly. 7Stacks works with Windows XP, Windows Vista and WIndows 7.

Techie-Buzz rating: 4/5 (very good)