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Once that is done, the next thing I do is some 'fine tuning' of the desktop. Most of my computers are netbooks or sub-laptops, with small screens (10"-12", the screen shots shown here were made on my HP Pavilion dm1-3105ez with an 11.6" 1366x768 display), so I don't want to permanently give up the space used by the Panel.
Panel control menu
Right-click on the Panel to get to the Panel Preferencesmenu.
That will bring up the Panel control window, where I select the automatic show/hide option.
There are other options here for size and positioning of the Panel, but my next interest is the Items tab, where I can add to the contents of the Panel. I like to have a Weather icon and a Logout/Shutdown control on the Panel.
Obviously there are quite a few other items which can be added to the Xfce Panel.
If you prefer to have either Panel launchers or desktop icons, the menu is a convenient place to set them up. Simply click and drag an item from the menu, and drop it where you want it. If you drop it on the Panel, you will get a dialog to confirm creation of the new Launcher.
If you drop it on the desktop, the icon will be created without further confirmation.