One day, looking at my dull desktop gave me the inspiration of writing a program which would periodically change the wallpaper. The idea sounded cool to me, and I decided to start this project in Visual C# as it would also help me learn more about the .NET Framework.
WallRotate is a simple-to-use software that will give your boring desktop new colours in a few minutes. WallRotate manages your wallpapers, and changes them periodically.
Some features of WallRotate:
- Supports many popular image formats (BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, and many more)
- User-friendly interface
- Creates a list of your favourite wallpapers and customizes them
- You can change the wallpaper after a set interval
- Gives you a clear preview of the wallpaper, WYSIWYG
- Changes wallpapers when Windows starts
- Sets different positions for different wallpapers (center, tile, stretch)
- Sets background colour for wallpapers
- Plays sound clips when wallpaper changes
- Hotkeys to easily change the wallpaper
- System tray icon for easy access
How it works?
Below, I present some ideas on how WallRotate works.
There is a Windows API by the name of
SystemParametersInfo, which sets system level wide parameters. With the first parameter as
SPI_SETDESKWALLPAPER, we can change the wallpaper by passing the path of the image as the other parameter.
SystemParametersInfo, I had to invoke it from my .NET application. Shown below is the declaration for it:
const int SPI_SETDESKWALLPAPER = 20;
const int SPIF_UPDATEINIFILE = 0x01;
const int SPIF_SENDWININICHANGE = 0x02;
[DllImport("user32.dll", SetLastError = true, CharSet = CharSet.Auto)]
static extern int SystemParametersInfo (int uAction,
Now, to change the wallpaper, all I had to do was:
SystemParametersInfo (SPI_SETDESKWALLPAPER, 0, strWallpaperPath,
SPIF_UPDATEINIFILE | SPIF_SENDWININICHANGE);
Storing and maintaining the list of wallpapers:
To store the list of wallpapers, I used XML. When the program loads, it looks for a file wallpapers.xml in the current directory and loads the list from it.
Loading, saving, and resizing images:
Playing with images is easy in the .NET Framework. The
Image class took care of most of my needs.
I’m a .NET virgin, so please excuse me for the mistakes you see in the program, and kindly let me know about them. Same goes for any bugs found.