5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)

mycomputer   5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)If you are reading this on your own “˜personal’ computer, you will agree that computers are indeed that ““ personal. Screensavers for many are maybe a thing of the past, once being needed to prevent phosphor “˜burn-ins’ on CRT and plasma monitors. Today we use it mostly for visual appeal.

And that takes us to the download pages of the many screensaver sites out there. The one problem? They aren’t too personal or one never knows which one could be a malware pushing host.

To have the best of both worlds, why not make some of our own? Here are some ways to make your own screensaver without all the coding mumbo jumbo.

The Easiest Way To Make A Screensaver

It’s right there in Win XP and Vista!

Win XP

1 xp my pictures   5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)

  1. Arrange your desired screensaver photos in a folder of your choice (or use the default My Pictures folder).
  2. Right click anywhere on the desktop to access the Display Properties applet. Select the Screen Saver tab and then drill down to Screen saver ““ My Pictures Slideshow ““ Settings.
  3. Configure the settings according to the options given and your first self made screen saver is ready to roll.

Vista

Vista makes it even easier to organize your photos through the Windows Photo Gallery feature. Within it are the tools to turn your pictures into a screensaver.

  1. Click on File ““ Screensaver ““ Settings.
  2. Choose Screen Saver list, and then select Photos.
  3. The Settings for the screensaver allows you to further customize the screensaver -
  • You can show only pictures with a particular tag : Type the tag in the With this tag box that is associated with the pictures.
  • Display only pictures with a particular rating : Click a star rating on the With this rating or higher list.
  • Apply a slide show theme to your screen saver : Select one from the Use this theme list.
  • Play your pictures and videos in random order : Check the Shuffle contents box.

The PowerPoint Way

We all get those high impact motivational PowerPoint attachments in our inbox sometime or the other. We can turn these into engaging screensavers quite easily with the help of PowerPoint 2007. I have one which shuffles around motivational quotes whenever my computer goes inactive.

  1. Open the presentation that will become your screensaver in PowerPoint 2007.
  2. Click on Office Button ““ Save As ““ Other Formats to open the Save As window.

    2 powerpointscr01   5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)

  3. Through the Save As window, select an empty folder or create a new one to hold the PowerPoint images.
  4. Enter any file name you want. In the Save As Type dropdown scroll down to select any of the image formats (GIF, JPG, TIFF, PNG, BMP). Click Save.
  5. 2 powerpointscr02   5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)

  6. PowerPoint gives an option to save every slide or the current slide only as an image. Select one to click OK in the next dialog box to finish this part of the process.

    3 powerpointscr03   5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)

  7. The screensaver can then be activated using the Display Properties ““ Screensaver tab as mentioned earlier.

Note: This method though fails to retain any animations, transitions and embedded rich media present in the original PowerPoint slide.

The Picasa Way

Picasa is one of the best free photo management apps out there and it has a nifty feature which allows you to set screensaver properties.

  1. Open Picasa and click on the Tools menu.
  2. Select Configure Screensaver. The system’s Display Properties applet appears with the Screen Saver tab active.

    4 picasa menu   5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)

  3. The Settings button takes us into the configurable part of Google Photos Screensavers. Set the photo transition styles (collage, wipe, fade, pan and zoom etc.) from a dropdown, the photo duration (between 0 to 24 seconds) with the slider and photo captions with the checkbox.

    5 picasa settings   5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)

  4. Google Photos Screensaver gives us many sources ““ Picasa collection, online Google Web album, public photo sites with photo feeds and specific folders to choose from. The Configure button for each source allow for individual settings.
  5. Click OK to save your changes.

The Flickr Way

You can get photo feeds from Flickr using Google Photos Screensaver. Another option is to use an open source tool called Flickr.NET Screensaver. This small application gets photos from Flickr and displays them as a screensaver. It enables you to select a wide range of photos, including your own, your contacts, and your favorites or from a group or global tag.

You can also get photos that are locked as private through an authentication which checks your permission to view a private Flickr album. The download is small at 423 KB and all it requires is .Net Framework 2.0 to install and run.

  1. The application can be run from the Display Properties applet. Choose Flickr in the dropdown list of the applet and to configure the Settings.
  2. Choose from the three ““ Per User, Per Group or Everyone, to source your photos. A few sub-options help to narrow down your choices.

    6 flickr   5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)

  3. The Options tab is where you can play around with most of the screensaver display and duration settings. For instance, the three Drawing Methods (Plain, Postcard, and Moving) control how the photos will be rendered on the screen.

    7 flickr options   5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)

    With 3 Billion plus images to choose from, that’s a lot of stock for your screensaver.

    The Flash Way

    If you want rich and animated content for your screensaver then Flash is the way to go. And InstantStorm fits the job. This free Windows only software helps you to create Flash based screensavers as executable files.

    8 instantstorm   5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)

    The user just has to choose the SWF file, configure the options and compile it into an executable file for installation as a screensaver. An integrated settings dialog designer allows you to customize the content of the screensaver’s settings dialog which is accessed through the Settings button in system display properties. Screensaver preview and settings dialog preview allows you to check out your work before you compile it into an executable.

    InstantStorm is compatible with Microsoft Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista.

    Even though I am among those who believe that the best screensaver is to power off the monitor, I have never resented a self created and personal screensaver for myself.

    Are you among those who like to put a personal touch on your screens through a self made screensaver? What’s your favored method to make your own screensavers? Let us know.

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20 Comments -

0 votes

Arun shivaram

I’m using picasa screensaver now. Should try the flash alternative- instant storm.

0 votes

cidman2001

Good article….open source Electric Sheep is by far the coolest screensaver available.

0 votes

Jersey Bob

A couple of years ago, I used Flash to create a screen saver for a client, using a different swf-to-scr converter. One that I had to pay for!

The screen saver had a purpose. My client was hosting a conference and had several PCs set up in a lobby for people to check their e-mail. The artwork I created was a large, animated logo and some text about how great their company was.

0 votes

Saikat

That’s one of the simpler (and professional) ways you can create and use screensavers…another part of company branding.

0 votes

Jon Howard

What about screensavers that do more? I’m a programmer – I want to do something more powerful than just display images! :)

0 votes

Mark O’Neill

What do you want the screensaver to do exactly?

0 votes

Saikat

Hi Jon,
I covered some of the simpler ways to make screensavers. Screensavers can be complex programs too depending on what you want it do (as Mark asks you). Here’s what Wikipedia says…

Screensavers are usually designed and coded using a variety of programming languages as well as graphics interfaces. Typically the authors of screensavers use the C or C++ programming languages, along with Graphics Device Interface (GDI), DirectX, or OpenGL, to craft their final products. Several Mac OS X screensavers are created and designed using the Quartz Extreme graphics layer. The screensaver interfaces indirectly with the operating system to cause the physical display screen to be overlaid with one or more graphic ‘scenes’. The screensaver typically terminates after receiving a message from the operating system that the mouse has been moved or a key has been pressed.

Here’s a resources to help you out…

http://www.wischik.com/scr/

0 votes

Dreamparlour

Yes, you are right. I prefer the simpler screensavers, preferably self created, to the download ones. Thanks for this informative article.

0 votes

neeraj

I an using screenswift for making screensavers out of flash files. Its very easy to use.

0 votes

sunny

Nice post, I also found another good article, it supplies sameshow.com/other/3-ways-to-create-new-year-screensaver.html#110 3 ways to create screensaver

0 votes

Highland

3 ways to create screensaver. I love the method which creates the screen savers from PowerPoint slideshow. It is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

0 votes

Karen Leslie

Thanks for the article. I’m going to be creating a screensaver to help my clients remember the principles of successful personal finance (which basically is more mindset than money – with the correct mindset the money will follow).

I’ll try these ways first to see what it looks like and then decide whether I need to create it some other way.

Regards,
Karen Leslie

0 votes

Cyril

I create screensavers for my clients with Bytescout SWF to Screensaver Scout utility. It actually is a flash movie extractor which then turns flash into screensaver or exe installator. So, it is “The Flash way”. Of course, the prog is not free, but for clients screensavers must be excellent.

0 votes

Shannon

all of my pictures are on Kodak Easy Share and i do not know how transfer them from kodak to my pictures

0 votes

Saikat

Hi Shanon,

I don’t have a Kodak camera, so really can’t tell you first hand. Why don’t you google for the answer. Check this video. See if it helps. Let us know if it worked out.

0 votes

WNCmountaingirl

If you have kodak easy share simply copy pics (right click on pic and copy) then paste into another folder and label it screensavers (makes it easier to find)….then follow the directions in this article using windows (XP or vista)

0 votes

chris

I am creating a slide to unlock screen saver like the iphone but on computer..

0 votes

michbex

Is this yours?

0 votes

WNCmountaingirl

If you have kodak easy share simply copy pics (right click on pic and copy) then paste into another folder and label it screensavers (makes it easier to find)….then follow the directions in this article using windows (XP or vista)

0 votes

natalie

I am 22 years old but i am u sing my moms email address