As a new Linux user one of the first things I set out to do was customize my Ubuntu installation. I started to explore the main desktop and window options and I discovered that window backgrounds can be modified to use whichever picture a user designates. The user can also add Emblems to their files and folders to help identify contents at a glance. The guide below will walk you through the process of modifying an existing window background with colors or patterns and how to quickly assign emblems to your files. The last part of the tutorial will demonstrate how easy it is to add your own patterns, colors, and emblems to your Ubuntu installation. If you have any comments or questions please post them below.
1. Click on Places > Home Folder in the Ubuntu menu
2. With the window open, click on Edit > Backgrounds and Emblems
3. The Background and Emblems window has three sections;
- Patterns: Allows you to select a pattern for the background of all windows.
- Colors: Allows you to designate a color to be used for the background of all windows (in place of the pattern).
- Emblems: Are icons that you can affix to folders in Ubuntu. Some of the default emblems are Camera, Cool, Documents. They are visual tags.
4. To assign a pattern background, click on the Patterns icon and select and drag your favorite pattern over to an open window. The pattern will automatically be applied to all windows. To undo the pattern selection, drag the Reset icon over to the window. When you’re done, click Close.
5. To assign a color or to replace a pattern with a color, click on the Colors icon, select and drag your favorite color over to an open window. The color will automatically be applied to all windows. To undo the color selection, drag the Reset icon over to the window. When you’re done, click Close.
6. To assign an emblem to a file or folder. Click on the Emblems icon and drag your favorite emblem on top of the file or folder you wish to assign the emblem to. To undo the emblem assignment, drag the Eraser icon (all the way at the bottom) over to the file or folder you wish to clear off the emblem. When you’re done, click Close.
Setting Up Custom Patterns
Ubuntu allows users to further customize the interface by allowing a user to import their own pattern/color/emblem. Follow the simple instructions below to assign a custom pattern to Ubuntu.
1. With the Backgrounds and Emblems window open, click on Add a New Pattern button.
2. Browse and locate the image you would like to use, select it and click Open.
Note: When selecting a custom color the user will be presented with a color wheel.
When selecting an emblem, the user will have to specify a Keyword associated with that image. Once the keyword is entered click on the Image button to add the image. Follow the same steps for adding a custom pattern described in step 2 of the Setting Up Custom Patterns section of this guide.
Once a new pattern, color, or emblem is created, follow steps 4-6 to assign it.