Many computer users take advantage of the fact that there are hundreds and hundreds of available themes available to give their computer a customized look. There are different window and button controls, color schemes, icon sets and cursors, not to mention thousands and thousands of different wallpaper options. On devices such as the Barnes and Noble Nook, customization is really no different, although done in a slightly different manner.
In this article, we’ll go through the steps necessary to take an image and get it ready for use as a wallpaper or screensaver on one of the black and white Nook models (either the Nook Classic or the Nook Simple Touch).
First, we need to understand a couple things about the Nook models we’re dealing with. The screen is 6″ diagonal, but more importantly, is 600 pixels wide by 800 pixels tall. That doesn’t mean that every image we throw at it should be 600×800 however. If we’re creating a screensaver for the Nook Classic, it should be 600×800, but for wallpaper images (because of the toolbar at the top of the screen), 600×760 is the correct size.
So, let’s say you have a picture you want to use. We like the picture of the New Parliamentary Building in London (found at this page) but you can use whatever you like.
As nice as that image is, however, there are a couple things wrong with it. First, it’s in color, and second, it’s the wrong screen resolution. So, we’ll open up the image with an image editor.
We’re using GIMP, in Linux, but Photoshop would work well, of course, as would Paint.NET, or any image editor, really, that can crop, resize, and perform other image editing fuctions. Once opened, you’ll see something like this.
Once opened, let’s first resize it to 600×800 for use as a screensaver. You could also resize it to 600×760 for use as a wallpaper. Regardless, to resize images in GIMP, click the Image menu, then choose Resize.
The following window will appear; go ahead and resize it to your liking.
After doing this, we could simply save our image and be done with it. However, the image is currently color, and for the Nook Classic and/or Nook Simple Touch, the screen is black and white. We could use a color image (it would be shown in black and white, of course), but the Nook screens aren’t incredibly high contrast, so we may want to increase the contrast of our image, to make it appear a bit sharper.
First, we’ll convert the image to black and white. To do this, click the Image menu, then scroll down to Mode, and finally choose Grayscale.
Our image should now appear like this.
Now we’ll increase the contrast. This will make the light areas lighter, and the dark areas darker, which will show up better on the Nook screen. To do this, click the Colors menu, then choose the Brightness-Contrast option.
You can then adjust the contrast using the provided tools.
Note: the amount you adjust the contrast (or any setting, really), is completely up to you. While two different Nook screens may be identical, two different people will have two preferences, so adjust to your own taste (and not the numbers shown in the screenshots).
Once you have resized, converted to black and white and adjusted the contrast of your image, you’re ready to save it. Go ahead and click Ctrl-S to save it using the original name, or Ctrl-Shift-S to save it with a new name.
Once saved, go ahead and quit your image editing program and return to the Desktop. Now, plug in your Nook using the USB cable and wait for it to appear on your Desktop.
Double click it to open it in your file browser. You should see something like this.
You’ll notice a couple folders: my screensavers and my wallpapers. If you want your image to be a wallpaper, simply drag it into that folder.
You would then – in the Nook – click the Settings button, then Display, then Wallpaper, and finally choose your wallpaper from the list. Whatever you named the image is how it will appear in the list.
If you want it to be a screensaver, you’ll first need to open the my screensavers folder, create a new folder (right-click, then choose the Create New Folder option), and give the folder a name. This name will appear in your list of available screensavers (Settings button, then Display then Screensaver), and any images within it will be rotated as part of that screensaver.
When you’re finished, go ahead and disconnect your Nook, then choose your options as mentioned above. You’re finished!
As mentioned, there is a bit of trial and error in figuring out how much contrast should be used. It will vary from picture to picture, although a general rule is the higher the contrast, the sharper the image will look, especially on the Nook screen.