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JPG Wallpaper

How do I create a theme that displays a JPG for wallpaper instead of the regular BMP?

Creating a theme with a JPG wallpaper file is certainly the file size efficient way to go but requires a few tricky steps. Go to your Program Files\Plus!\Themes folder (or as appropriate on your system) and single click on the theme file you wish to adjust. Now press and hold down the shift key while right clicking on the file again. Choose "Open With..." in the menu. Make sure there is NOT A CHECK in the box on the lower left. Browse down the list and double click on Note Pad to open your theme file as a text document. Find the line that addresses the wallpaper and change it to your new settings. Save your changes and close Note Pad. Double click on the theme file and test it out. This is a little tricky but it works. (Try opening another theme file that uses a JPG wallpaper using a text editor to compare notes. You can learn a lot this way.)

Why does my JPG wallpaper file loose quality when I save it to a theme and then change the display properties to a larger screen size?

A JPG file is automatically saved in a compressed format even if you set the compression ratio to zero. As a result, the image will loose some portion of resolution.

Either save the file in several JPG display sizes or as one high quality 800 x 600 pixel BMP image so that it doesn't loose as much quality at larger display settings. A BMP image is best for clarity but also requires more space. If you use a JPG file for compression reasons, go with a size of at least "800 x 600" or higher in order to have the option of changing between a 640 x 480 to a 1024 x 768 pixel display setting.

Most Zip programs will compress a BMP well but does almost nothing to the size of a JPG file since it is already under compression. If you are zipping a theme for distribution to the public domain, the size of the theme should not turn out to be significantly different when using a BMP or a JPG image file. (Experiment and see what is best for you.)

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