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A fast and simple way to set a desktop background image Web Browsers
This hint combines two common documented tools into a time-saving trick. It requires is that you have a picture for your desktop. To use that image as your desktop picture:
  1. Open the picture in Safari. This is likely not a default image viewer, so Control-click on the image and use the Open With menu. As long as it's a common format -- JPEG, TIFF, PNG, etc -- Safari should automatically appear. You can also drag the image onto Safari's icon in the Dock, which is even simpler.
  2. In Safari, Control-click on the image and select Use Image as Desktop Picture.
VoilĂ ! That's it; this is so much faster than manually adding a photo through the Desktop & Screen Saver System Preferences panel.

[robg adds: While this is indeed a quick way to set a single image as a desktop background, it doesn't actually add the image to an existing collection; it merely sets the selected image as the desktop background. If you want to add the picture to a rotating set of images, you'll have to do it yourself. I do this by specifying my own folder of images to use for desktop images, then just adding pictures to that folder.]
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A fast and simple way to set a desktop background image
Authored by: forkbeard on May 22, '09 08:28:28AM

I wrote an Automator action a while back that does something similar.Keep the action and a desktop images folder on your Dock. Then when you feel like swapping desktop backgrounds, pop open the Stack and drag your desired image onto the Automator Action.

As simple as pie, and thrice as fast!



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A fast and simple way to set a desktop background image
Authored by: Unsoluble on May 22, '09 08:43:17AM

Anyone know where the image is stored when you set it in Safari like that? Since it lets you set images that you *haven't* saved to disk yet, it must be putting them somewhere... would like to be able to show my students how to move those into a dedicated folder for rotation.



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cache
Authored by: tedw on May 22, '09 02:16:11PM

anything that hasn't been downloaded to disk is stored in a cache somewhere - I'm guessing in ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/Cache.db. I wouldn't begin to know how to extract a particular item from a database file like that, however.



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cache
Authored by: NaOH-Lye on May 22, '09 09:46:09PM

It actually gets stored deeper than that. It goes to the hidden /var/folders and from there you have to open the folders within to find the file labeled com.apple.desktoppicture.XXXXXXXX. If the original hint is being used to make the image the Desktop Picture, it would be easier to also right-click on the image and select "Save Image to "Downloads."



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cache
Authored by: Moofisto on Jul 20, '09 04:50:18AM

And inside my cache item was a reference to the actual image file:

~/Library/Safari/Safari\ Desktop\ Picture\ .jpg

Unfortunately, it appears that each that each Desktop Picture you set in Safari just overwrites this file.



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A fast and simple way to set a desktop background image
Authored by: tedw on May 23, '09 02:29:26PM
actually, this is quick applescript job:
property DPFolder : (path to desktop pictures folder) as text
-- ...or insert a path to the folder you use for desktop pictures

tell application "Finder"
	set theSelectedImages to the selection
	set theSelectedImages to move theSelectedImages to folder DPFolder
	set theImage to item 1 of theSelectedImages as alias
end tell
tell application "System Events"
	set picture of every desktop to theImage
end tell
This gets the selected images, moves them to the desktop pictures folder (so that they will later appear if you're cycling through the pictures there) and sets the first one on the list as the desktop picture for every monitor.

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Desky does it even quicker
Authored by: tice on May 23, '09 04:11:11PM
There's a little freebie Desky I wrote years ago. Still doing that job perfectly.

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A fast and simple way to set a desktop background image
Authored by: Dave Andrews on May 24, '09 11:14:58AM

Dragging the image to the safari icon in the dock or an open safari window can also be used instead of right clicking on the image and selecting "open with safari"...



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A fast and simple way to set a desktop background image
Authored by: romahony on May 26, '09 08:25:13PM

Create an applescript droplet:

on open these_items
repeat with i from 1 to the count of these_items
set this_item to (item i of these_items)
tell application "Finder"
set desktop picture to file this_item
end tell
delay 2
end repeat
end open



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A fast and simple way to set a desktop background image
Authored by: fbitterlich on May 27, '09 08:46:53AM

I understand that everybody has their own ways of doing things, but I don't see how this is faster than...

  1. right-click on Desktop and select "Change desktop background"
  2. drag the image onto the image well in the preferences window
Anyway, both methods work.

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