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Tile a background image Desktop
You can edit the com.apple.desktop.plist file so your background image will be tiled if it is not already.

Just go into the com.apple.desktop.plist (in your user's Library/Preferences directory) file with pico or your favorite text editor and remove the key for placement as well as the string for it. Take out these lines:
<key>Placement</key>
<string>Crop</string>
Then save the file, log out and log back in. Your background should now be tiled.

NOTE: Your background must have been set before you logged in. If you set a new background, you will have to log out and log back in before this will work. I don't know why. Also, I am working on finding a good way to do this with the defaults command.

[Editor's note: I have not tried this myself yet, but if you try it and it doesn't work, you should be able to delete the plist file and the system will create a new one for you.]
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Tile a background image | 5 comments | Create New Account
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Better yet...
Authored by: Lazarus18 on Oct 21, '01 03:39:23AM

You can also replace automatic with centered. This is good for me since I have a lot of photos that aren't the right dimensions for my screen but look bad cropped. The only problem is that if you use the system prefs to change the image it automatically picks what mode it thinks is best, and this is usually cropped.

-Rob



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Better yet...
Authored by: Lazarus18 on Oct 21, '01 04:19:46AM

I've also found that "Scale" is a valid option too. What I really wish I could find would be a way to scale to fit like in OS9. Lots of pictures get really skinny if you just scale them to the screen size. Anyone know how to figure out what the valid options are for this key in the plist? I'm going by trial and error.

-Rob



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Better yet...
Authored by: dbzvgeta on Oct 22, '01 02:03:48PM

I was the one who posted the original thread, and I was just wondering if anyone had a list of all the variables that can be changed in the plist files. Also, when I used the defaults write command, it put the change in the wrong <dict> level. Instead of putting it with the other settings, it puts it under the background key.

Finally, I was looking for the Automatic setting, I couldnt find Automatic, so I am assuming you just meant the default setting for when you put the background on. On mine it is Crop, should I try changing that to Scale or Centered? Thanks.

--Mark



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Better yet...
Authored by: Lazarus18 on Oct 22, '01 02:45:54PM

Yeah, it says crop as the result of what it picked. I really don't remember where I actually saw "automatic." But crop is the result of its automatic decision making process. Choose a small image and it will "automatic" itself into tiled mode. That's how I figured out centered and scale was by using a really small image file and forcing it to do things it didn't want to do (I think I used the Amazon ad off this site... really ugly as a tiled background FYI). I've kind of given up and just made the proper sized images with graphic converter. I'm still very interested in how to change the background RGB value you see when you center an image that doesn't fill the screen. That's more important to me than knowing all the possibilities for the plist.

-Rob



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Better yet...
Authored by: dbzvgeta on Oct 22, '01 07:10:13PM

I was just checking out some other posts about the default color when booting up, and this is hardcoded into the system apparantly. Since it appears to be the same color that is used as the background when an image is tiled, I would guess that this cannot be changed. Sorry.



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