9/4/209:00 am 10 Ways To Make Your Mac's Wallpaper Unique Instead of using the default desktop background wallpaper, you can easily set it to something to fit your style. You can use custom colors, your own photos, create your own gradient wallpapers and much more. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's look at ten simple ways to make your Desktop Wallpaper unique. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 750 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So a lot of people just use the Mac default wallpaper. But it's really easy to set it to something else and make your Mac a little more unique. To change your wallpaper go to System Preferences and then click on Desktop & Screen Saver. Make sure you've selected Desktop here at the top. So this is where you can go and change things. Now I really like the dynamic desktops and in Catalina you've got the Catalina desktop and also the old Mojave desktop. But in addition to that you have the Solar Gradient desktop which I really like. It's very simple and distraction free. It's just a gradient color and it changes sixteen times throughout the day. I don't see enough people using this but I really like ti because being a dynamic wallpaper it gives you sense of the movement of time throughout the day. You kind of get a feeling when it's getting late in the day and maybe it's time to quit work. Another simple thing that you can choose is colors. You click here and you have some color choices and you can choose one of these. I like the idea of a solid color because it's the most distraction free of all of the options. If you have a nice LCD screen there's no reason not to choose black and just have really nothing be on your desktop except the things that you put on it. You may already know that you can have your desktop cycle between various wallpaper. I'm going to show you how to do that in a minute. A lot of people don't know that you can do that here with these colors. So you can click on Change Picture here with colors selected and it's going to cycle through all of these colors. You can set it for every 30 minutes down to every 5 seconds or just once a day. So every day your desktop is a different color. So if you like distraction free solid colors but you don't want it to be the same color all the time you can choose this. Now another option is to use Custom Colors. Click here and it brings up the Color Chooser and you can use any mode of the Color Chooser to select a color. So it doesn't have to be one of these colors here. It can be any color of the spectrum. Now you can also, of course, choose one of your own photos. If you open up the Photos section here you can access your Photos Library including all of your albums. So you could go into your albums here and pick a photo and use that as your background. It's really easy to do. You could also go down into Albums here and choose an album. So you can create an album that's specifically for your desktop wallpaper. Once you choose that you can than click change picture and now have it rotate every 30 minutes, have it go on a Random Order is you want. I like the option to change it whenever you login. So if you login 2 or 3 times throughout the day, say before and after lunch, that kind of thing, then it's always going to be a different picture chosen from this album every time you login again. Now let's say I want to choose a photo like this one but the photo doesn't look great here as a desktop. I want to make some changes to it. Well, you can easily go into the Photos app and make changes there. So here's that photo and I could go to Edit and then I can use all the controls here to do things like change the lightness, the color, maybe take it to black and white. All of the options are available. Then when I click Done now I have my new version of the photo. To apply that I'm going to go back into System Preferences, Desktop & Screen Saver, and select that photo again. Now you can see those changes are applied. If you don't want to change your original photo, and you could always go into Edit and Revert to Original in the Photos app, you can always duplicate it and use the duplicate as your wallpaper. So with that image selected I'm going to go to Image and then Duplicate and now I've got the copy here. Now I can make this copy something a little different to use as the wallpaper and have the original still there. What if we wanted to build our own custom desktop wallpaper? Well, we can do it using a tool that's either already on your Mac or free from Apple in the App Store. It's Keynote. So let's go into Keynote here and I'm going to create a basic black presentation. I'm going to get rid of the things that are there on the first slide. I want to go to Document and then I want to change the slide size here to Custom. I want to make this the pixel size of my screen. So I have a 4K screen. A 4K screen is 3840 by 2160. So now that's the size of the slide so now any image I make will be that size and will work perfectly as a wallpaper. Now one of the things I can do here is click on Format and then I should see Slide Layout. If you don't see that make sure you've selected the Background and not something else. Here I can change Background to something else. I can do a Color Fill or I can choose Gradient Fill. I'm actually going to choose Advanced Gradient Fill that will give me more options. So you can see here it goes from a light blue to a dark blue. I could change the colors here very easily clicking there and choosing something else. So let's have it go from an even darker blue to almost black. I could actually even change to a gradient here. So now you can see the light blue kind of glow in the middle going to dark at the corners. So to Export this I just go to File, Export To, Images and then I'm going to select PNG for the highest quality, do Next, and then I'm going to Export this temporarily to the Desktop. I'll call it Dark Blue Gradient, and export it. Now when I Hide this and I look here on the desktop I see a folder. In the folder I'll find Dark Blue Gradient and then dot 001 for the slide number. Let's change that name here. Let's get rid of that. Now I'll have this file here. I'll drag that out of the folder. I don't need that folder anymore. Now I should put this someplace. I could put it anywhere like in a folder in the Documents folder or something like that. But I like the idea of using the Pictures folder for this. So I'm going to choose Go, then Home, and then there I'll see the Pictures folder and I'll move this into here. So now it's in the Pictures folder. Now if I go to System Preferences and then Desktop & Screen Saver all I need to do is drag this image here into this picture here and it will change my desktop. So I see this Dark Blue Gradient used as my desktop wallpaper. So you can do a lot with these gradients. There are even someones that you can choose from here. So I can do something like this say. Then I can go and add more elements to it. So, for instance, I can go into Shapes and let me add a palm tree. I'll stretch that to make it a little bigger. Let me reverse it. I'm going to grab the left side and drag it over to the right like that. I'm going to put it down here at the bottom. Get it to be the right size. Let's change the color here. So Fill I'm going to change to Black. Let me go to Opacity here and make it semi-opaque. So 50%. I can do the same process to make this my desktop. I can go Export to Images and I can choose PNG, Next, let me call this orange palm and Save it to the Desktop for now. Then I see this file in here. Let's take away the slide number there and drag that into the Picture folder. Now I can go to System Preferences and drag the orange palm into here. Now that's my desktop. Another thing I like to do with Keynote is take an existing image and use Keynote to change it drastically. So, for instance, I'll take this image here and drag it into the slide from the Photos app. I'll position it here and stretch it so it fills the entire thing and maybe get it to where I want. Now I can go into Image here and change things like Saturation and make it black and white there. I can also click here and do all sorts of things with the colors and brightness and all of that. I can also now add a shape on top of it. I'm going to just choose a square shape here and I'm going to stretch it to fill the entire thing. Then I'm going to set it to a color like this blue. Now I'm going to change the opacity to make it semi-opaque. You could see now what I've done to the image. I've kind of created this monotone blue image and when I export this as an image I get something I could use as a desktop that's both partly a photo I took but also something that works really well as a desktop without being too distracting. Like that. Now what happens when you don't have good photos to use as a background. Well, there are plenty of free photos you could use online. Go to a site like Pixabay.com and you could search for things or look at what they've got here. You'll find tons of stuff that works great as a desktop by itself or you could use that technique I just showed you and kind of turn it into a single color. Now you can create a whole bunch of these and create a folder. Do it in your Pictures folder here. I'm going to do File, New Folder, and I'm going to create Wallpapers. This could be anywhere but I like putting it in the Pictures folder. You can take a bunch of different images. Ones from your own photos and ones you've downloaded and put them in here. I just added some JPEG images that I think would look good as different desktops. Now I can go back into System Preferences and I can set this folder up in here. So you could see I click on Folders and it has the Pictures folder there. But I could click the Plus button and I hit Add that Pictures folder. So I'm going to go to my Home folder, Shift Command H, and then I'm going to go to Pictures and there's that Wallpaper folder. Select Choose from here and it adds a folder there. You could see these three photos. Then you could set it to Change a picture and rotate through these. Now you can stick whatever photos or graphics or anything you create into that folder and it will change them every so often depending upon your settings. Now another option, if you want to go a step further, is to go to the App Store and search for Desktop Wallpaper. There are a variety of different apps that you can use to get new wallpapers but also to create your own. Search through these. There's even some that will allow you to create your own dynamic wallpaper. Then there are some special ones that actually extend the system and add special kinds of desktops instead of using just a picture as your desktop.So really the sky is the limit for what you want to do. It depends if you want to buy one of these and learn how to use. it.Related Subjects: System Settings (150 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 5 Responses to “10 Ways To Make Your Mac's Wallpaper Unique” Kathleen Maasberg 3 years ago Absolutely Fascinating! Thank you. Ken Vignona 3 years ago Hey Gary, I have asked this before, but I set up photos for my desktop. I use 5 desktops and three finger swipe to switch screens. After a few weeks my desktop reverts to the original Mac supplied photos. How come this setup is not permanent? Is there a setting? Thanks Ken Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Ken: It should be permanent. Not sure why it is resetting for you. Shirley Allan 3 years ago I do something similar by creating two Albums in Photos, one called "Desktop" and the other called "ScreenSavers" which allows me to drop pictures I might want to use into each and use them as I wish. Lindy 3 years ago I right-click on my desktop and get a drop down menu that includes: Change Desktop Background. I think it is part of the OS X system and not a 3 party app that allows me to do this... I have doing this for years and never thought to go to the menu bar. It is the standard desktop/screen saver preference window. Comments Closed.