You can download DesktopX from http://www.stardock.com/products/desktopx/. A freeware version of DesktopX is available, as are enhanced and pro versions. DesktopX is also a component of the Stardock Object Desktop. So, it can also be purchased as part of this suite of skinning and GUI modification programs, which includes WindowBlinds, ObjectBar, and SkinStudio.
After you have downloaded and installed DesktopX, you can start it from the Windows Start menu; click Start, All Programs, Object Desktop, DesktopX. When you run DesktopX for the first time, you are prompted as to whether you want IconX to control the appearance of the Windows desktop icons. IconX provides a number of enhancements to desktop icons, including drop shadows. So, I suggest you allow IconX control over your icons.
IconX is another program that is part of Stardock's Object Desktop. It can be used to select custom icon sizes within the Windows environment, among other icon enhancements. By default, Windows allows only one icon size.
DesktopX then loads the default DesktopX theme. This desktop modifies the standard Windows desktop only slightly. The standard taskbar is still present, but it does provide a number of custom widgets on the desktop such as a calendar, a clock, a mail access widget, and a widget that allows you to access DesktopX and its manual (see Figure 14.14).
Figure 14.14. Add widgets to the desktop.
To add a widget to the desktop, click the DesktopX widget. Then click the Widgets icon in the DesktopX object window. The Widgets folder opens. Several widgets are provided, such as a battery meter, calculator, and weather widget. Double-click a widget to add it to the desktop. When you have finished adding widgets, you can close the Widget folder.
You can also add objects to the desktop. Click the Objects icon in the DesktopX Object window.
The Select Object window opens. You can scroll through the list of objects (see Figure 14.15).
Figure 14.15. Add objects to the desktop.
When you find an object you wish to add to the desktop, click the object in the list and click the Load button. The object is added to the desktop. You can also use the Select Object window to browse through the available widgets. Click the Widgets option button at the top of the window.
When you have finished working with the Select Object window, click its Close button. This returns you to the desktop.
Objects typically point to programs installed on your computer. So, an object allows you to quickly open a program such as Microsoft Word. Widgets are objects, but they are special objects that are miniprograms in the form of their own executable files.
To close the DesktopX object window, click the DesktopX widget a second time.