A little dip in Microsoft paint program meshes photos

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I’ve been trying to figure out how to put a picture within another picture. The first picture would be the background and the second picture would be on top of the background. How could I make it wallpaper with this kind of picture-in-picture look? I’m lost … please help.

-John Isay

Your solution lies in a couple of little-known features of the Paint program built into Microsoft Windows, Mr. I. They are simple features once you’ve been told about them.

Call up Paint by clicking on Start and then All Programs and then Accessories. The Paint icon will be in the Accessories list or in one of the included Accessories folders, probably Entertainment. Click on the Paint icon and let the games begin.

First, you need to get the background picture into the program. Click on File and then Open and use the Windows File Explorer that pops up to point Paint to the image file.

With that file open, go to the Paint icon and open another instance of the software and load the second picture into it. Maybe the background would be a beach and the secondary image would be one of me getting sand kicked in my face by a bully.

So select a section of the secondary picture by clicking on the mouse cursor and dragging it to create a box enclosing the desired part of the picture. With the box drawn, click on Edit and select Copy to place that portion of the image into the computer’s memory.

Now open the first picture for the background and click on Edit and this time choose Paste.

The second image will appear in the upper left of the background. You can use the mouse to drag this smaller image to wherever you want it and then click to let it go. This permanently places the second picture in place so you need to be careful to position it as desired before letting it go.

This technique also can create collages made up of a number of images, each pasted into a part of the background, which is something many amateur picture takers relish.

It’s simple to make any image the computer’s desktop wallpaper. Just open the image and give a right-click somewhere inside it. The pop-up menu this summons includes the choice Set as Desktop Background. Mission accomplished.

How can I rearrange the lower-right toolbar in Windows XP so it doesn’t fill up with all the different icons from one bootup to the next? I can arrange the icons on the left-hand side but not on the right.

-Gene R. Nathan

I can show you how to get rid of most of those automatically displayed items in the lower right-hand corner of the Windows display, but you’re probably not going to like all the bother it entails, Mr. N.

That row of icons on the lower left of the screen is called the Quick Launch Toolbar while the ones to the right are in the System Tray, an integral part of Windows. Quick Launch items can be moved about to change their order or removed by dragging icons onto the desktop, but that System Tray requires some deeper digging.

System tray icons represent software that runs in the background when the computer boots up, so you need to stop these automatic activations.

Start by moving the mouse cursor over each of the System Tray icons. A small display pops up when you give each a right-click or a left. It shows the name of the program and often includes a choice to stop the item from automatically running during bootup.

Another place for System Tray programs is the Startup Folder, where icons are placed for a few programs to run without waiting for the user’s request. Right-click on Start and select Explore and then open the folder called Programs in the pane on the right in the display that pops up. There, open the subfolder called Startup and remove any icons it contains.

This will only cover a few of the items in the system tray, so you would need to dig deeper to attack the rest.

To find the rest of the System Tray icons, click on Start and then Run and then type in msconfig and click OK to run the Microsoft Configuration module.

This brings up a menu of choices, including a tab for Startup. Open Startup and you will find a list of items set to run in the background with a check box by each. Remove the checks to stop those you don’t want.

Do not remove checks if you have items for “systray” and “explore” but otherwise you can remove anything you’d like.

Use these three tactics and you’ll be able to dump the majority of startups – but remember that there are some items wired into the System Registry that may still appear there. Those you’ll just have accept, I fear.

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Contact Jim Coates via e-mail at jcoatestribune.com.

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