What size should I make an image that would take up the full screen of the Amazon Kindle but not be larger than the screen? I cannot find document specs that indicate to me what size an image would need to be for a book that is entirely images (such as a children's picture book) and no text.
The Amazon Kindle has a screen resolution of 600 by 800 pixels.
I strongly suggest you first experiment with a few images, upload and preview them in the DTP Preview screen, and see if they display to your satisfaction.
DTP will try to resize and rotate images that are too big for a single screen to get them to fit. However, the image quality may be best if you make sure the images you upload are already fitting onto the screen.
I am having a issue with full screen images. No matter what size I set the image size to, when viewing the the DTP preview, images are only about 1/4th the size of the screen. I am trying to get fullscreen images, can you please assist with this issue?
I have attempted multiple sizes of images and also multiple ways of tagging the widths in the html code, but all have failed so far.
Have you tried images smaller than 600x800 to see if they retain size? Just curious if the resizing algorithm is required to keep images below the max (not including the max) or perhaps it is trying to guarantee some amount of text per page (? who knows what wacky assumptions they made ?).
If you have done significant experimenting, your feedback would be very useful to the rest of us.
I have tried many, many different ways. I have tried:
exactly the correct size images - 800x600
oversized images - various sizes, including 750x1000, 1200x1600, 1500x2000
smaller images - various sizes, including 300x400
The 800x600 and oversized images all were downsized to about a fourth of the screen size. The smaller images were downsized to even smaller, to about 1/8 the size of the screen.
I have also tried to break an image up into several pieces. For example i got my 800x600 image, and broke it up into a grid of 4 - 400x300 images. And in html I placed two images then a 'br' tag, and then the other two images. And all four images were downsized to about the size of the single 800x600 image (1/4 the screen size).
I have tried jpgs, gifs and pngs. I have noticed that the images also get reprocessed. In the preview the pngs are resized and show very apparent jpg compression. Which makes it pretty pointless to use pngs, since they are being compressed and displayed as jpgs.
I have experimented with this as well. Images are converted to JPG and downsampled so that they can be a maximum of about a fourth of the screen.
Perhaps it is fair to assume that Amazon has made a decision to actively discourage publishers from using the screen to show images of pages rather than HTML text. Unfortunately, anyone wishing to display foreign phrases (these occur in English books, too), lower case numbers, ligatures, special characters, and pretty much anything beyond ASCII text in roman, italic and bold in non-anti-aliased, dot-matrix-style printer fonts is prevented from doing so.
From a business standpoint, I can understand why they would do this: a 300k MSWord file becomes a 1.5Mb PDF, becomes a 5Mb series of indexed 6-color GIF pages. They want the smallest file, and value text-resizeable, searchable documents over typographic artistry, Zapf's hyphenation algorithms, font kerning, hanging punctuation, optical kerning, ligatures, curled quotation marks, page balance, etc.
I have no sentimentality for paper pages. I would love to see the Kindle handle attractive books. The file size is probably the issue, however.
In an age where you can watch Youtube Videos on your iPhone, it is surprising that Kindle won't even allow someone to show a slideshow of a couple hundred black and white pages if a publisher needs to have a couple of Czech characters in an English text, or needs to control line and page breaks precisely for poetry, or whatever.
You are not limited to ascii text. If you need to include czech use the appropriate unicode character. If you need to control line breaks, um.. have you ever heard of the br tag? And the support for different kinds of paragraphs gives you lots of typographic control at the paragraph level.
Plus, you can put images on any line you want using the img tag...
As far as the actual problem goes, has anyone tried specifying the DPI of their images?
Yes, I have tried specifying DPI. Doesn't solve the problem.
I strongly disagree that "support for different kinds of paragraphs give you lots of typographic control at the paragraph level". Compared with the level of control accessible in InDesign, Quark, etc. (and even Open Office, programs that can create PDF), the typographic controls in HTML are extremely minimal. Typography is sacrificed with the Kindle for resizeability. This is a web page reader. Web pages are not artistically typeset pages, and that affects their legibility, their artistry, and their ability to do all sorts of things that books can do.
While I'm sure the Kindle excites many front office professionals at publishing houses, there is a collective groan going up from the back offices: we have to take what we've designed, and repurpose it into an inappropriate and ugly format so that it will have a small file size. This seems an antique approach to the high-speed internet.
Yes, I have used the BR tag extensively. 600 pixels is not a wide screen. Consider how a line of poetry might break on resizing:
Whose woods these are I think I know.
Whose woods these are I think
Whose woods these are
I think I know.
Even with a negative space offset to imply line continuation (hanging first line out-dent), the meaning of the line is being changed, as is the legibility of the poem, etc. by making the line breaks random. This is obviously a silly example because the line is quite short, but there are long lines out there (iambic pentameter can be long for 600 pixels); poets desire (read: demand) sensitivity with their presentations, and rightly so.
Assuming that all texts are going to be as simple as the TXT version of Alice in Wonderland at Project Gutenberg is like teaching someone to send a washcloth through the washer and dryer and then proclaiming that they're ready to wash their tuxedo.
There are file types out there (PDF, DjVu) that provide searchable text with typographic artistry. Let the publishers offer a large print size version if they wish, as they do with paper. I strongly encourage Amazon to look into improving the operating system of this device so that publishers can repurpose their material easily and faithfully.
One reader mentioned that he had formatted several books effectively and he recommended the following:
"Images larger than 450x550 are rescaled by DTP but as long as the image is in an aspect ratio of 9:11 it seems to be rescaled to fit the screen of the Kindle perfectly, filling up the entire reading area on the Kindle (might be useful for people who write comic books"
I have been re-formatting my book for days now, so I understand how you feel! I hope this helps.