How To Create Kindle Optimised Screensavers

This guide will walk you through the basic steps of creating an optimised screensaver for your Kindle.  Aimed at the Kindle 3, the end results should look fine on Kindle DX or Kindle 2.  The walk through uses Photoshop CS4, but any version of Photoshop should suffice.


Shades of Grey

The Kindle 3 (and Kindle DX) support the following sixteen shades of grey:

kindle-shades-of-grey

The key is try and use only these sixteen shades of grey.

Step 1.

Download the Photoshop colour table below

kindle photoshop colour table

Step 2.

Start Photoshop and create a new blank document.

  • For Kindle 3 create a document 600px wide by 800px tall.
  • For Kindle DX create a document 824px wide by 1200px tall.

kindle-new-document

Step 3.

Import a picture or draw your own design into the new document.  High contrast designs look the best on Kindle’s eInk display.

kindle-new-design

Step 4.

Once you have your design, it needs to be optimised for the Kindle by reducing the colour depth to the 16 supported shades of grey.

From Photoshop menu choose Image > Mode > Indexed Color

kindle-menu-indexed-colour

Photoshop should prompt if you want to flatten layers, choose OK.

You should now have the Indexed Color window showing.  Click on the Palette menu and choose Custom

kindle-custom-palette

From the Color Table menu, select Load and locate the kindle3colours.act file you downloaded in Step 1.

kindle-custom-colour-table

The Color Table should now display the 16 Kindle supported grey’s only.  Select OK to close the window.

In the Indexed Color window, under the options section select the Dither menu and select None.  If the picture does not look good, select the Dither menu again and choose one of the other options.  Repeat until you find the best representation.

kindle-indexed-color

Click OK to close the Indexed Color window.

Step 5.

The design is now ready for export.  From Photoshop menu, choose File > Save for Web & Devices

kindle-save-for-the-web

Make the following changes:

  • Set file format to PNG-8
  • Deselect Transparency
  • Set Colors to 16
  • Deselect “Convert to sRGB”

Step 6.

Save the file and transfer the screensaver to your Kindle.

3 comments

  1. Thanks for this. I’ve made custom wallpapers before but this is the only place I’ve found that shows specifically what 16 colors the Kindle displays. This quick how-to helped remove all the annoying diffusion I had in my wallpapers.

    Thanks again!

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