Windows 8 introduced some new and innovative ways to use the Start screen in lieu of the traditional Start Menu. However, they failed to gives users the tools to create, modify and tweak the lives tiles the Start screen uses. There are many tools out there to create custom live tiles, and OblyTile is one of the best of the bunch.
Why create custom live tiles?
You can create a shortcut to a document you use frequently which makes it easier to open rather than digging through folders to find it. You can create a shortcut to your download folder instead of navigating to it through the desktop. You can also create your own program shortcuts that Windows 8 does not recognize as a live tile. Creating your own live tiles adds functionality to the Start screen and gives you access to documents, folders and programs Windows 8 does not give you on its own.
How to use OblyTile in Windows 8
1. Download OblyTile. You will not need to install OblyTile to use it.
2. Open OblyTile.
3. Click the “Wrench” in the top right corner.
This will open the settings. The settings for OblyTile are fairly straightforward. You can choose whether or not OblyTile opens automatically when you start Windows 8. This is not necessary to use the live tiles you have created with it. You can choose to show a live tile preview whether or not new tiles use random colors and can choose whether the tiles you create will be used for all users or specific ones.
4. From the main screen of OblyTile, you can begin creating a live tile by naming it.
5. You can choose what type of live tile it will be by clicking the “…” icon.
It can be a live tile that opens a file, folder or even a URL. For this example, we will create a live tile that opens a website.
Under Program Path, we will type in the URL of the web site we want the live tile to open.
If you are choosing to open a document or a program, you will navigate to that document or program path to create its live tile.
6. Pick the Tile Image. Click the “…” icon next to that.
7. Select an image to represent your live tile.
OblyTile can only make small live tiles, so the best image size to use will be 120 x 120. You can use a larger image, but it will not make for the best live tile on the Start screen. At the moment you can only create small live tiles with OblyTile.
8. Pick the tile background color and title text color. You can do this by selecting a color or choosing “More colors” and entering in a HEX color code.
9. Choose the settings for your live tile.
You can opt to run the live tile as an administrator. If you are opening a program, this can be helpful because it will give you full access to everything it has to offer. Other choices include only opening a single instance of the program and hiding the program and going back to the start after opening a live tile. Depending on the type of live tile you want to create, these features can come in handy.
10. Click “Create tile” when you are ready to create your custom live tile.
11. Heading back to your Start Screen, you will see your newly created live tile ready for you to use.
12. Back in OblyTile, click the “Folder” icon.
This will open the Manager for OblyTile which is where the information on all your created live tiles will be. You can click on any of the live tiles to edit or remove them.
OblyTile lets you quickly and easily create custom live tiles in Windows 8. What type of live tiles will you create with OblyTile in Windows 8?
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