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A whole new look
Give your Communicator a whole new look without messing around with skins

You'll have noticed a whole 'skinning' craze going on in the computer world. Even the most innocuous programs have alternative 'skins', image sets that transform the program's appearance without actually changing the functionality. Indeed, it's possible to 'skin' a Nokia 9500 or 9300, using tools like SkinInstall (which automates the swapping of skin file sets and makes sure you don't leave your Communicator in a non-working state) and Skin Wizard (which helps you create your own skins on your PC).

Now, 'skins' in this context means a set of image files that get mapped into all the graphical panels in the Series 80 interface. And by images, I mean absolutely any image at all; if you want a Madonna, Darkness or Teletubby-themed 9300 or 9500, it's really up to you, limited only by your imagination, your free time and your skill with computer graphics.

However, moving to the subject of this tutorial, there's a far easier and quicker way to ring the changes on your Communicator, without having to install new utilities or risk damaging system files. If, instead of topical, photorealistic skins, you simply fancy a change from the boring blue that each device starts with and wish that the screen and its elements had a different basic colour and shading scheme, note that every device comes with five choices: Blue, Orange, Lilac, Brown and Green. And each of these has two matching wallpapers, giving ten choices in all. Read on to find out how to select each one.

Tip: Just so you don't get caught out, note that when changing colour schemes, all applications get closed, so be prepared for a short wait next time you press 'Messaging', 'Contacts', 'Web' or 'Calendar'.

From Blue to Orange, the Series 80 way

First stop is the 'Tools' folder. Open 'Control panel' and go to 'General | Display', where you'll find a 'Colour' tab with this single setting. Press 'Tab' or 'Change' to pop-up the list of choices. For the purposes of this tutorial, pick 'Orange' and press 'OK', then 'Done'.

Screen grab 1

There will be a short wait (around 15 seconds) while all running programs get closed and while the appropriate system colour changes are made. When the busy indicator disappears, the Control panel screen should reappear, but with everything nicely colourised, as shown here.

Screen grab 2

The colour scheme applies to all on-screen elements, so you're mostly done. But what about the image shown behind Desk, the so-called 'Wallpaper'? Staying in Control panel, if you select 'Wallpapers' then you'll see this dialog. Press 'Change' and select one of the two 'Orange' wallpapers, then press 'Done'.

Screen grab 3

Time to sit back and admire your handiwork. Press 'Desk' and you should see something like this. Notice how the wallpaper is styled to match and merge into the colourised side panel (on the left). For a quick change of scenery, this colour scheme/wallpaper combination is quick, safe and effective.

Screen grab 4

But what, I hear you say, about the cover phone? No problem! Pop back into Control panel and select 'Wallpapers' again, but this time switch over to the 'Cover' tab. Change 'Wallpaper' to 'Yes' and pick the one you want on the second line (probably the same as you chose for the main Desk display).

Screen grab 5

Screen grab 6 If you now wait a couple of seconds and then close the clamshell of the Nokia 9300 or 9500, then press the red 'Hang up' button, you'll see that the cover phone standby screen is now kitted out in the same wallpaper as your main Communicator Desk. Your 5 minute makeover is complete!