Chapter 5. Customizing the Windows Interface
This chapter is all about making Windows XP yours. Being able to personalize your copy of Windows XP can not only make interaction with the operating system more enjoyable, but it can also lead to better productivity. In other words, you'll get the most out of your computer when it's set up just the way you like it.
The chapter gets under way with a discussion of changing interface components such as the theme, the desktop background, and the time and date. But this just scratches the surface of all the available user interface changes. I'll even show you how to train XP to react to your voice commands.
The latter part of the chapter focuses solely on the Start Menu. In most instances, the Start Menu serves as your first point of contact when working with the operating system. It is therefore very useful to know how to tailor the Start Menu to best suit your objectives. In previous Windows operating systems, the Start Menu was pretty much a constant. That is, the Start Menu behavior and arrangement was preset, and any changes to the menus and shortcuts were done by hand. Now, however, the XP Start Menu is a constantly evolving component.
That being said, you still retain the ability to manually control many behaviors of XP's Start Menu, just as you could before. One of the cool things about most Windows interface components is that they are completely customizable. If you think you want to change something in the look and feel of the Windows experience, you probably can. We start with a discussion of themes.