Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Trying to Get Started With Windows 8.1

  1. #31

    I agree 10soonerlater, but so far I've gone into the high contrast themes twice. I can change all sorts of parameters on the windows. But when I select "desktop background", no matter what I change it to, it comes out blinding white or totally black. I'll go back in and see if there's a parameter inside the high contrast thing I'm missing.


    Just went back in. I can change window background, text, hyperlinks, disabled text, selected text, active window title, inactive windows title, and button settings. But I don't see anything for changing the desktop. And when I go to desktop background and set the custom color I want (127,127,127 - 14% gray), it changes it to blinding white... Even some of the preset colors don't come out the way the preset looks when set as the background. It's not a huge deal - I'm currently using the dark gray for the desktop, which is less awful than blinding white, but I'm gonna rummage around and see what I can find.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #32

    I apologize for misunderstanding you.

    Desktop background can be 'determined' by the wallpaper image you select as the backdrop.

    I suppose you can 'paint' a 'square' and tile that as your wallpaper.
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  3. #33

    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,177
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    Gracie do you mean "Window Background "and not Desktop?
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  4. #34

    Actually, it's desktop picture, background is under it. Background is what shows under an icon when you put cursor on it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #35

    As it turns out, it's FAR worse than I thought...

    The vast majority of my time is spent doing critical editing on digital images. Consequently, having the widest spectrum (gamut) and most accurate colors possible is essential. The image on the monitors has to match what comes off the printer - as much as possible when dealing with transmitted light versus reflected light.

    From THAT standpoint 8.1 is a total disaster. For example, my desktop is NEVER a picture. As it WAS IN WINDOWS 7, it SHOULD be a 14% reflectance, neutral gray. That's 127,127,127 in RGB colors. In Windows 8.1 I have been unable to achieve that. In THEORY, using the Personalize, selecting solid colors for the desktop, and going into the color mixer to create a gray color, I should be able to have a neutral desktop that does NOT adversely impact anything else.

    UNFORTUNATELY, creating that medium gray desktop causes horrendous color shifts in other applications. For example, in Lightroom (where I spend FAR too much time), the palette backgrounds go dead black, which makes it extremely difficult to make adjustments. As does the filmstrip background at the bottom of the screen.

    In other tools, Photoshop for example, the ENTIRE SCREEN goes dead black. It should NOT be black.

    If I, instead, use the limited palette of gray solid colors (of which there are TWO), the darker one causes the same black on a variety of applications. The lighter one causes the opposite in some applications - back to the screaming, blinding WHITE...

    And it's NOT limited to other applications. If I use the sort-of medium gray from the Personalize and get a gray desktop, when I go to the Apps screen, the background is ABSOLUTELY BLACK. As is the metro screen. This is with one of the high-contrast themes, so that may be the problem. But, without using those, there's VERY limited adjustability for any of the windows color parameters.

    I'm going to head over to the GTX 970 forum and see if there's something I need to do differently - not use the display port, change something in the monitor settings, SOMETHING, although I did exactly the same thing on the Windows 7 system and never encountered any problems......

    Thank goodness I don't have to do any real work right now, 'cause if I did I think Windows 8 would already be gone.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #36

    Posts : 41
    Windows 8.1 x64

    Quote Originally Posted by strollin View Post
    On my Win 8.x machines I also use an additional toolbar, the Programs Toolbar. The Programs Toolbar has links to every installed program, very similar to the Start Menu. To create the Programs Toolbar, right-click on the Taskbar and select Toolbars->New toolbar.... Enter this as the folder to point to: "%PROGRAMDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" (no quotes). This will create a menu structure on the right-side of the Taskbar that will look like this:
    thank you for this and the folder path too...
    just tried it...

    it'll take a lot of cleaning up but at least i got a menu
    and it's on the right where my hand is anyway
    looks like i can ignore the start screen completely
    except for the pretty desktop picture
    which is the only thing i see...

    (i have hundreds of beautiful pictures
    and they cycle every five minutes...)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #37


    I think third-party software companies have, like you and I, ignored the high-contrast themes because of the color adjustability of previous windows OS. With 8 and 8.1, that ignorance has come home to roost. As more and more users find high-contrast themes to be somewhat of a relief, problems not dealt with in the past are biting us now. The problem you described has to be shouldered and solved by the third-party programmers. Or windows 10 gives us back complete color adjustability. Either side has to concede or we will continue to suffer the color vagaries of the user interfaces.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #38

    10soonerlater, you may well be right. I don't know if the problem lies in Adobe's control or not, but as the 800 pound gorilla, I sure HOPE they do something soon to get around the, to me, VERY unfortunate limitations I'm hitting with 8.1. I suspect however, they'll just point a finger a Microsoft, who will point back, and the urination festival and blame game will be in full swing!

    At the moment, I'd had to dump the high contrast scheme and go back to the "normal" one, and when I calibrated to 100 cd/m(2), I wound up at a brightness of 38% and a contrast of 51%, so I'm pretty much blind while staring at these screaming white windows...

    I'm about to start wearing sunglasses when not in the editing software!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #39

    Did an iterative calibration (iterative because on a full reset with the first calibration at 100% contrast it takes a couple passes with decreases alterations on each pass to get it to where the calibrator reads the same on successive passes) on both monitors last night/this morning, and based on the measured brightness in my work area - even in daylight it's in the 14-15 cd/m2 range, I calibrated everything at 80 cd/m2. Primary monitor brightness is 8%, contrast is 61%, and the color calibration is set to display adobe RGB. I checked with a customized color chart and I'm getting visible colors well beyond the normal sRGB. I also used one of Eddie Tapps gray scales and on the 256 color grayscale I can pick up the different between 247 and 255 and between 8 and 0.
    So, all that is set about as well as the color munki can get it.

    The windows are STILL blinding as far as I'm concerned! I'm gonna rummage around and see if I can find something that'll let me tone done the ugly while NOT screwing up the editing software.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Trying to Get Started With Windows 8.1

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