This page is a wiki. Please login or create an account to begin editing.


Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)
Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
backdrop.sit_.hqx (85.51 KB)
MD5: f03a3334c8762afd733cbe2d6d402395
For System 1 - 5 - System 7.0 - 7.6
This app works with: Basilisk II, Mini vMac

Backdrop is a system utility which lets you use MacPaint images as wallpaper. It was originally developed as a bonus for buyers of the TOPS telecommunications suite, and is public domain freeware.

Installation instuctions:

1. Copy the Backdrop file to your Extensions folder (Mac OS 7) or root of the System Folder (System 6)
2. Install the Backdrop DA into your Apple Menu Items folder (Mac OS 7) or System file using the Font/DA Mover (System 6)
3. Create a folder inside your System Folder named "Screens"
4. Copy the images of your choice to the Screens folder.
5. Reboot

Backdrop chooses an image from the Screens folder at random on boot. You can choose a particular file using the DA, but that choice will only persist until you shut down or restart. You can force it to always use one image by putting your choice into the Screens folder by itself. You can choose any MacPaint image on your hard drive using the desk accessory, but they must be in the Screens folder to be automatically detected.

To make your own wallpaper, use the image editor of your choice to create a 512x342 pixel 1 bit image and save it as a GIF. Use a utility inside the emulated Mac environment such as GraphicConverter or GIFConverter to convert the file into a MacPaint image. If the picture isn't positioned properly, the desk accessory can fix that. Open the DA, click "View", open the off-center image, and drag it around with the mouse. Hit enter when you're happy with it, and the positioning infomation will be saved. (Unlike wallpaper choice, this setting is persistent.)

Backdrop is best used on compact Macs. For color, use a more modern utility that can use JPEG and PICT files.

The archive contains the Backdrop DA (Desk Accessory) & Application files, the original (quite verbose) documentation, and three example pictures ready for use.

Public domain software. Tested clean with Disinfectant 3.7.1, Stuffed and BinHexed with DropStuff 4.5.

Architecture: 68k

Requires a Mac 512ke or later and an HFS file system.

Compatible to Mac OS versions 2.1 to 7

Tested on 6.0.8, 7.0.1, and 7.1 in Mini vMac.

Under Mac OS 7, the DA acts like an application. After you pick a wallpaper using it, its window disappears but it does not completely exit. If you launch it again, the menu bar changes but its dialog box doesn't appear. Just quit the DA and relaunch it if this happens.

Centering the wallpaper using the View function in the DA does not work properly in Mac OS 7 because clicking anywhere but the menu bar takes focus away from the DA. MultiFinder may have the same issue.


MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2021, March 18 - 1:57am

@spatialspaceman: Yes, thanks. It contained an empty (useless) DA suitcase file. It has been removed from the downloads.

spatialspaceman's picture
by spatialspaceman - 2021, March 18 - 12:53am

Upload #1 works great for me, but #2 has a desk accessory file that isn't read properly by Font/DA Mover 1.4 on a real Mac SE. Just a tip if you're trying to get this to work on a System 6.0.x machine.

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2016, November 19 - 10:57pm

first download seems to be broken

No its working fine.
Try "right-clicking" the DL and choose to save to disk, this may work better for you (there's a known bug with certain browsers and DL'ing .hqx files, where right-clicking is the only safe option to use with this archive type).

ewk's picture
by ewk - 2016, November 19 - 6:20pm

first download seems to be broken (at least for me)

xy's picture
by xy - 2011, June 16 - 9:42am

Second download (sit archive) does not work even with edit trick. First download (hqx archive) does work with edit trick.