Kindle 2 Tips + Kindle 2 Hack List – Top 25

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Going through Kindle 2 Reviews at Amazon I was surprised by the fact that lots of Kindle 2 owners had put up Kindle 2 Tips and Advice. Combine these with Jesse’s Kindle 2 Hack and tips from the Kindle 2 User Guide and we get -

Kindle 2 Tip #1 – Read To Me Shortcuts

There are some cool shortcuts to use with Text To Speech -

  1. Shift + Sym button to start and to stop TTS. You have to keep Shift pressed down and then press Sym.
  2. While TTS is on – Use Shift button to Pause or Resume it. Note: this might be Space (spacebar).
  3. While TTS is on – you can switch between male and female voices, and change voice speed by using Alt + Aa keys and then using the 5 way controller.
  4. To start TTS at a particular place on a page, move the cursor to the spot BEFORE starting TTS.

Kindle 2 Tip #2 – Top Shortcuts

Here are my favorite shortcuts. Note that Alt-X means you hold down the Alt button and while keeping it pressed down press the X button -

  1. Alt-B – Bookmark.  Alternate: Press 5-way up or down to go to cursor mode, and then press 5-way twice.
  2. Alt-Home – Kindle Store.
  3. Press ‘Menu’ button to see Wireless Network on top of the screen (top right), Time on top of the screen (top center) and Memory Remaining on your Kindle 2 on Top of the screen (top left).
  4. Alt+Shift+G – Screenshots. Hold down Alt and Shift buttons and then press G.
  5. Alt+Shift+M – Start MineSweeper.
  6. Alt-G to refresh the screen and eliminate Ghosting.
  7. Alt+R = reload when in web mode

Kindle 2 Tip #3 – Change Spacing and Number of Lines Per Page

By using the Alt+Shift+ numbers 1 through 9 buttons you can change the spacing between the lines on the Kindle 2 and also the number of lines per page.

  1. Press down the Alt and Shift buttons.
  2. Keeping Alt+Shift pressed, Press a number button like 1, or 2, right up to 9 to cycle through the various spacing options.

It actually makes a huge difference visually -

  1. Close-Up
    .
  2. From a Little Distance –
    .

Kindle 2 Tip #4 – Pictures on your Kindle 2.

This is how to load pictures on your Kindle 2 -

  1. Connect Kindle 2 via USB to your PC.
  2. Go to the Kindle 2.
  3. Create “pictures” folder on your Kindle 2.
  4. Now create sub-folders for your photo albums.
  5. Put in images into these sub-folders.
  6. The images that you put into a sub-folder will become part of the photo album.
  7. Unplug your Kindle 2 and go to the Home Page.
  8. Press Alt-Z on home page to see photo albums among books.
  9. When you select one of these photo albums, the experimental Image Viewer starts.

While you are viewing pictures in the Image Viewer:

  1. Zoom In on the Picture – Q key.
  2. Zoom Out – W key.
  3. Reset Zoom Level for the Image – E key.
  4. Toggle Picture to Actual Size – C key.
  5. Toggle Picture to Full Screen Mode – F key.
  6. Pan Photo if its larger than the Kindle 2’s screen – With 5-way controller.
  7. Rotate the Image – R key.

Also, do not press the ‘1’ key in the image viewer as that brings up a bug.

Kindle 2 Tip #5 – Screen Saver Options for Kindle 2

Update:

Amazon.com Customer Service does not support or provide instructions for adding custom images to your Kindle to be used as screen savers. However, should you choose to do this on your own it will not void your warranty.

At mobileread, they’ve come up with a way to change the screen-saver pictures. DO NOT use this if you are technically inexperienced. This could cause problems as it is a hack/mod of your Kindle 2 -

 Go to this page, and see Post #41 for directions and the code. Once Again, NOT RECOMMENDED unless you know what you’re doing with code and are willing to risk your Kindle 2.

Kindle 2 Tip #6 – Access Free Kindle Books via Kindle 2

Courtesy CheseM at booksummit -

After you sign into Amazon and choose Kindle store to search in:
type ” -domain ” (no quotes) into the search field.

This will give you a list of free books offered by Amazon

Kindle 2 Tip #7 – Restart Kindle 2 in 2 seconds.

  1. Go to the Home Page.
  2. Press the Menu button to go to the Menu.
  3. Navigate to Settings and press 5-way to go to Settings.
  4. Press Menu button Again.
  5. Navigate to the ‘Restart’ option, and press 5-way to select it.

Kindle 2 Tip #8 – Delete a Book or item from your Kindle 2

  1. Press the Menu button to go to the Kindle 2 Home Page.
  2. Use the 5-way to go to the item you want to delete.
  3. Press Left on the 5-way to bring up the Delete selection.
  4. Press the 5-way to confirm that you want to delete the item.

Note: Books you have purchased are available in the Archive selection even after deletion – you can reload them.
Note: There are reports (that I’ll confirm in a week or so once I have my Kindle 2 in hand) that you can use the backspace key to delete an item on the home screen. Whatever item the cursor is on.

Kindle 2 Tip #9 – Mp3 Player Shortcuts

  1. Alt+Space – play or stop background audio.
  2. Alt-F – Skip to the next audio track.

Note: When playing an Audio book, you can press Space to start or pause it.

Kindle 2 Tip #10 – Navigating within Newspapers and Magazines

  1. 5-way controller to the left – previous article.
  2. 5-way controller to the right – next article.
  3. Press the 5-way – A list of sections within the periodical will appear.
  4. On this Sections List page – Selecting the Number to the right of the Section Title will take you to a list of Articles within a section.

Kindle 2 Tip #11 – Change the dictionary used by Kindle 2.

You can change the default dictionary used by Kindle 2 from the New Oxford American Dictionary to another Kindle 2 supported dictionary. Merriam Webster is supported (although it was out of stock/not yet available on April 4th – it had been available in the past so not sure what’s going on – also, only buy the collegiate version – do NOT buy the pocket edition as it has very few words). Please check before buying any other dictionary as it might not be supported. Directions -

* First, press the Home button to go to the Home Page.
* Press the Menu button.
* Move the 5-way to underline ‘Settings’ and press 5-way to select.
* Press the Menu button.
* Move the 5-way to underline ‘Change Primary Dictionary’ and press 5-way to select.
* Move 5-way to select the dictionary you want as your primary dictionary, when it’s underlined press 5-way to select it.

Kindle 2 Tip #12 – Kindle 2 PDF Conversion

You can get all your questions on PDF conversion for Kindle 2 answered at this post on Kindle 2 PDF conversion. There’s a video included to make things easier to understand.

Kindle 2 Hack #13 – Kindle USB Internet Hack from Jesse Vincent

You can connect to the Internet via a USB connection to a computer (rather than WhisperNet).

Kindle 2 Tip #14 – Kindle 2 Customer Support

To get help from Amazon Kindle Customer Service Team -

E-Mail: kindle-cs-support@amazon.com. Phone numbers -
* 1-866-321-8851 (if you are calling from within the US)
* 1-206-266-0927 (if you are calling from outside the US)

Kindle 2 Tool #15 – ePub to .mobi Tool by Jesse Vincent.

Jesse’s hack/tool to convert ePub files to .mobi format (which the Kindle 2 supports).

Kindle Tip #16 – Kindle Text Entry Shortcuts

Update: Don’t work on Kindle 2. You can use these shortcuts when entering Text -

Alt-6 for question mark ?
Alt-7 for comma ,
Alt-8 for colon :
Alt-9 for quotation marks “
Alt-0 for single quotation marks ‘

Kindle 2 Tip #17 – Search Shortcuts + Tips

You can use these shortcuts while using search (just enter @help in the search box) -

* @help – will show a list of supported commands.
* Instead of pressing your 5-way on ‘find’ you can move the 5-way right to bring up other search options i.e. your items, Kindle Store, Google, Wikipedia, Dictionary and your notes (if you have notes for the particular book/item).
* In Kindle 1 you could use @web, @wiki/@wikipedia, @store, @time, etc. In Kindle 2, you’ll have to see what options are available by using @help.
* @author – Narrow a search in the kindle store to a particular author by using the author’s name.

Kindle 2 Tip #18 – Recharge your Kindle Battery when it’s at 20%

Thanks to this discussion at Amazon Forums (courtesy Scott K), and the take-apart which does confirm that Kindle 2 has a LiPo battery, we know -

  1. You can re-charge your Kindle 2 battery at any time, without using up its life. There is no memory and there is no ‘let it drain completely before charging’ rule.
  2. You should maximize by re-charging your Kindle 2’s LiPo battery when it’s at 20% charge left. The worst thing you can do is let the battery completely drain out.
  3. Do not recharge it to full every day. The battery is happiest in the >20% charge, <80% charge range (close to 80% is better than close to 20%).
  4. Always keep the phone cool (not extreme low temperature cold, just cool). High temperatures are bad for the Kindle 2 battery. As are extremely low temperatures.
  5. Do read this post on taking care of the iPhone’s Lipo battery, and factor in that Kindle 2’s battery has a longer life so the charge every day tip isn’t valid.

Kindle 2 Tip #19 – Navigate through the Home Screen’s pages

  1. Jump to page ‘x’ on the Home Screen – Press the number ‘x’ on the keypad and then press the 5-way.
  2. Also you can use the Next Page and Previous Page buttons to circle through the pages.

I’ll add on more tips as I find them. Also, I get my Kindle 2 this weekend when I can confirm all these tips myself and also search out new Kindle 2 tips and hacks.

And you could also check out the Kindle Tips – Top 25 list that I had created for Kindle 1 for tips like reading blogs for free on Kindle 2.

65 Responses

  1. [...] iReaderReview has put up an excellent collection of tips, tricks, and hacks for the Kindle 2. Rather than attempt to build my own list, go check out their posting. [...]

  2. [...] 2 List of Top Tips & Hacks…03.10.09 10 03 2009 Kindle 2 Tips + Kindle 2 Hack List – Top 25 is a post today from the Kindle, Kindle 2, Kindle Books Reader 2.00 – Amazon Kindle 2 [...]

  3. I love this site! I’ve had my K2 for two weeks now and it’s my new best friend. Thank you for your posts!

  4. Kindle 2 Tip #2 says:

    3. Press Home button to see Time on top center and Memory Left on your Kindle 2 on Top Left.

    I don’t get it. I press the home button and it just takes me to the home screen. Am I missing something? Am I supposed to press Alt + Shift as well or something?

    • I’ll correct it – You actually have to press the Menu button. From amazon’s official kindle blog –

      Show the time: press “Menu” and the time shows at the top of the screen

  5. cnuque, if you think this is fun you should come join a bunch of us enthusiastic Kindle users at [link removed].

  6. In K1 you could enter Alt-T to get the time. It seems to be missing in K2. Anyone know if its hiding somewhere else?

  7. Abhi, re: Kindle 2 Tip #11 – Change the dictionary used by Kindle 2 : The only Miriam Webster Kindle dictionary I can find at the Kindle store is a pocket dictionary which has very few words compared with the built-in Oxford American. Is there another Miriam Webster dictionary I can substitute for the OA that would have more words? Or any other dictionary that can be substituted? When I go to Home/Menu/Settings/Menu I don’t see a “Change Primary Dictionary” option. Perhaps because I have not bought another dictionary.
    I had a listener ask about this and am trying to help her, and it will make a good Tech Tip if I can figure out some Dictionary options for K2 and K1 users. Thanks! Len

  8. I uploaded the Noah Webster Dictionary .prc file to the Documents folder of my Kindle 2, and I still do not see the “Change Primary Dictionary” choice when I do Home-Menu-Settings-Menu . I tried opening the file and returning to the home menu. Any idea on why it’s not working? Thanks.

  9. can’t get it to work either Len. seems that Kindle 2 isn’t recognizing this as a dictionary. the user on mobile read said they were able to do this. that’d be a place to check.

  10. In “settings”, type 411 for software diagnostic information or type 611 for WhisperNet diagnostic information.

  11. [...] you own a Kindle 2, please first see this post for Kindle 2 Tips – a lot of the shortcuts below don’t work for [...]

  12. [...] by switch11 April 17th Update: You might prefer to check out the Top 50 Kindle 2 Tools post, or Top 25 Kindle 2 Tips & Hacks post instead of this post. Else, read on [...]

  13. Is there a way to turn off the Kindle 2 completely and not show the screen saver?

    • slide and hold the power button for 4-5 seconds.

      • I think this only works if you are reading a page of a book (or possibly newspaper, magazine)–I haven’t been able to turn it off if I’m on my home page or if it’s on the screen saver.

  14. Here’s one: Read HTML files on Kindle 2
    1. tether to your computer
    2. using Explorer/Finder, create a new folder at top level, e.g. ‘html’
    3. copy your HTML files to the new folder
    4. untether
    5. launch Kindle browser (‘Experimental’ from Home menu)
    6. ‘yes’ if it asks to turn on wireless (or it won’t launch)
    7. ‘Enter URL’ from browser menu (or navigate to URL entry field)
    8. type ‘file:///mnt/us/html/myhtml.html’
    9. HTML file loads
    10. Bookmark it so you don’t have to type it again..

    • It is said that K1 cannot do this, but I cannot verify one way or the other.
      Seems this could be really useful for some content, and note the browser supports JavaScript where the book viewer does not afaik.

    • wow – that’s a really good tip. wonder what’s possible with on-kindle javascript+html.

      • It also ‘works’ to rename .html to .txt and drop it into Documents folder. It appears as another book and can be viewed by book viewer.
        That said, I have had some problems viewing a particular html I created, that contains Cyrillic text. The viewer shows patches of garbage characters amid other correctly rendered Cyrillic text; the browser would not advance past the first screen. So YMMV…

  15. [...] of the tips in the Kindle Top Tips list and in the Kindle 2 Top Tipslist also apply to the DX – so do take a look at those [...]

  16. [...] of the tips in the Kindle Top Tips list and in the Kindle 2 Top Tips list also apply to the DX – so do take a look at those [...]

  17. [...] Top Posts Free Kindle Books, Amazon Kindle Book, Amazon.com BooksKindle PDF conversion – View PDF on KindleKindle Electronic PenKindle Tips – Top 25 Kindle HacksKindle DX ReviewKindle Store – 7K+ free booksKindle DX PDF FAQKindle 2 Tips + Kindle 2 Hack List – Top 25 [...]

  18. [...] Electronic PenKindle Tips – Top 25 Kindle HacksKindle DX ReviewKindle Store – 7K+ free booksKindle 2 Tips + Kindle 2 Hack List – Top 25Kindle 2 PDF FAQ + Conversion [...]

  19. Can I save a book I have finished reading to my computer? Possibly transfer it to someone else’s Kindle?

    • yes, you can just transfer it via usb to any folder on your computer. you cannot, however, transfer it to a friend’s kindle and you cannot read it on your pc.

  20. I would like detailed instructions on how the email works…..how do I get email from others (if they are in my amazon approved list) and how do I get into my yahoo mail account….I have tried but I am NOT a techie! Please list details regarding different email ways. thank uyou

    • As far as getting email sent to you. just ask the person whose email is on your approved list to send an email to the email address that you have associated with your kindle.
      Its meant to send documents and books – whatever documents are attached to the file will be converted (if needed) and show up on your kindle.

      you can find the email address for your account at the Manage My Kindle page. and i have a post explaining the use.

      http://ireaderreview.com/2009/02/23/manage-my-kindle-kindle-2-amazon/

      as far as using email (yahoo mail) – go to Home, press Menu to get the Menu, select Experimental to get the browser, and in browser type in –

      http://m.yahoo.com.

      Then you can log into your account and send emails.

      if you want more detailed instructions i suggest you call up kindle customer support.
      1-800-201-7575 or 1-866-216-1072, Kindle customer support:

  21. Does the Kindle 2 not have the GPS feature at all???? Is there no way to “get” it?

    • no way that I’m aware of. You might want to head over to jesse vincent’s kindle blog and ask him if he’s been able to get it to work.

      • In “settings”, type 611 for WhisperNet diagnostic information. Among this information you will see the (approximate) latitude and longitude. Next go Home, then press Menu and choose Search. Type those numbers into the search box (like “33.8725,-104.1094″) and search on Google. It will take you to the browser, and the first search result should be a google map of your location.

      • wow – thanks for that tip. Not in the US (in vancouver) so can’t test it – However, that’s awesome.

      • Trying Ross Presser’s instructions using “611” in “settings”. For me, there are two coordinate pairs (Lat, Long), one of them in the 1xRTT section, and one in the EVDO section. These are the locations of two Sprint towers in my area, and you can see them in Google Street View on a PC. That’s very interesting, but it’s not the location of my Kindle 2!

  22. Thanks! Will post if I find something!

  23. [...] here for additional information on the Kindle picture viewer (scroll down to Kindle 2 Tip #4). Discuss [...]

  24. [...] – it just so happens that the Kindle 2 Hack and Tips post has 25 of the best tips for [...]

  25. OK, I’ve got my new Kindle 2 and I think we will get on well. The first book that I purchased was the Mobile Reference Travel Madrid to use on an upcoming trip to Spain. It has maps that zoom only 1 step using the 5 way toggle switch. With bifocals it’s not bad to read, but it’s not great either. Is there any way to enlarge these maps maybe 1x or 2x more to really view them well? Thanks!

    • Bob, have you tried to zoom into the images in landscape mode?

      • Well, the particular map that I’m viewing is in the landscape mode automatically, both in it’s initial viewing and in the “zoom” mode. I would be pleased if I could get it to “zoom” just one more step, and perhaps to be able to use the 5 way switch to navigate around the portions that would probably be off the screen. Maybe I’m chasing a rainbow, but it would be nice to scroll. Thanks for the help!

  26. I have accidentally experienced the ‘delete by using backspace’ on K2. Or rather SWMBO managed it within a minute of starting.
    Thanks for all the tips.
    jp

  27. [...] in an E-book reader including MP3/audiobook playback, web browser, Text-to-Speech functionality, a (hidden) image viewer and an inbuilt oxford dictionary. On the technical side the Kindle uses a very light [...]

  28. There’s a free dictionary called the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (CIDE) that works fine on the Kindle 2.

  29. Kindle2 tip #15 Jesse’s hack/tool to convert Epub files to .mobi format link does not point to anything useful anymore. Too bad because I would love to have this tool.

  30. My Kindle screen will not shut off completly and there is an irregulary square in the top right hand part of the screen when the power is on.

    • Ivan – please contact kindle customer service. US – 1-866-321-8851. Outside US – 1-206-266-0927. For some countries there is free ‘contact us’ support if you go to the amazon website.

  31. Question: Is there a way to see a 20% instead of the battery icon on the top left? or any way at all to see the amount remaining in a non-icon way?

    Thank you in advance!

  32. Any hack to get around the registration? I have hundreds of kindle 2 global that cannot be registered because amazon said they have been lost or stolen.

    • Not aware of any hack. Hundreds of kindle 2 global? Why would you need so many?

      • I bought 600 of them thru a second party to resell so amazon will not offer support since they were not sold directly by them. They have been selling on ebay for 180 but some of the functions are limited due to not being ale to register them.

  33. To whom this may concern:

    I just purchased one Kindle electronic reader and have been sent two. I will be sending one back. Also, if you have no Louis Lamour titles in your repertoire, you are of no use to my husband. That is all he reads. Is there some way of finding all of Louis Lamour’s books as e-books with you? If not, I will be returning the e-reader I did buy.

  34. Send and receive SMS using google voice mobile site:

    http://www.google.com/mobile/voice/

  35. [...] the basic Kindle 2 tips will mostly work on Kindle 3 except the Line Spacing [...]

  36. How can I transfer from one kindle to another.

    Thanks
    RMc

    • If you’re asking about book you’ve bought at the Kindle Store it’s impossible.

      Each book will have to be re-downloaded to your other Kindle straight from the Kindle Store – either through

  37. [...] Here’s the link I found it on Tweet [...]

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