Another look at Kindle Tips and Shortcuts

September 2011: Please check Kindle Tips App. It’s our app with 130+ Kindle tips and it’s just $1. It even lets you view tips as a slideshow and lets you add your own tips.

These are mostly Kindle 2 and Kindle DX shortcuts. Please do add tips and hints that you’ve found useful.

Update: There is now a follow-on Kindle Tips + Hints post with 40 additional Kindle Tips.

Check the Time

Press the Menu Key to see the time on the status bar.

On Kindle 2 US version – type in @t on the home screen to see the date and time.
On Kindle 1 – Alt+T to see the time.

Bookmark a Page

Alt+B to bookmark a page.
Press Alt+B again to remove the bookmark.

Jump to a Page from Home Page

Type in a number (say 3) and click 5-way to go to Page 3.
Then you can type in 1 to go back to the home page.

Jump to Authors or Books from Home Page

Type in one or more alphabets (say br) to go to a list of Authors whose names (or whose book’s names) have ‘br’ in them.

Sleep Mode for Kindle 1

Press Alt+Aa key to put the Kindle 1 into sleep mode. Does not work with new Kindles.

Free Books from ManyBooks

Manybooks has Kindle format free books at http://www.manybooks.net/. The Kindle compatible url is http://mnybks.net.

Kindle Help Contacts

E-Mail: kindle-cs-support@amazon.com. Phone numbers -
* 1-866-321-8851 within the US.
* 1-206-266-0927 outside the US.

Free Audiobooks for Kindle

There are over a thousand free books at LibriVox.

Access your email from the Kindle

Use Read To Me – Kindle’s Text to Speech Feature

Start Text to Speech using Shift+SYM button. Shift is the Up Arrow button.
Pause and Resume Text to Speech using the Space Bar.

Note that some books have Text to Speech disabled and these shortcuts won’t work for those.

Go to the Kindle Store

Press Alt+Home to jump to the Kindle Store from anywhere.

See Time, Network Type, and Free Memory

Press Menu and you can see these in the status bar – On the top left is the amount of free memory your Kindle has, in the centre the time, and on the right the type of wireless network the Kindle is connected to.

Take a Screenshot (Photo of the Screen)

Press Alt+Shift+G to take a screenshot.
The Shift Key is the Up Arrow key. These screenshots are saved as images in the Documents folder of your Kindle.

Play MineSweeper and GoMoKu

Press Alt+Shift+M to start Minesweeper.
On the Minesweeper screen press G to go to GoMoKu.

Refresh the Screen and Eliminate Ghosting

If faint traces of the previous screen are left you can eliminate these by pressing Alt+G.

Change line spacing when reading Kindle Books

Press Alt+Shift+Number to change the spacing between lines.
Alt+Shift+1 sets the smallest line spacing and Alt+Shift+9 sets the largest line spacing.

Reload/Refresh a webpage in the Kindle Browser

Press Alt+R to refresh the webpage you are on.

Get Pictures on your Kindle 2, Kindle DX

Create a ‘Pictures’ Folder on your Kindle (same level as the Documents Folder). Create sub-folders within the Pictures Folder.
Put images in these sub-folders.
On the Home Page press Alt+Z to have these sub-folders show up as Photo Albums.

Shortcuts when Viewing Pictures on your Kindle 2, Kindle DX

Zoom in on the Picture – Q Key.
Zoom Out of the Picture – W Key.
Pan photo – 5-way controller.
Reset Zoom – E key. Actual Size – C key.
Turn Full Screen Mode On and Off – F Key.
Rotate Image – R key.

Quick restart of the Kindle 2, Kindle DX

Instead of keeping power switch pushed for 14 seconds -
On Kindle Home Page, press Menu, then choose Settings. On Settings Page, press Menu, and then choose Restart.

Mp3 Player Shortcuts

Play or Stop Background Audio – Alt+Space.
Skip to the next song – Alt+F.

Newspaper and Magazine Navigation

Left on the 5-way – Previous Article.
Right on the 5-way – Next Article.
Press 5-way – List of sections in the magazine/newspaper will appear.
On Sections List Page select the number to the right of the Section Title to see a list of Articles within the section.

Search Shortcuts + Tips

List of supported commands – @help.
Search Dictionary – @dict.
Search Store – @store. Narrow search to a particular author by using author’s name and @author
Go to a URL - @url.
Search the Internet – @web.
Search Wikipedia – @wiki or @wikipedia.

Optimize Kindle Battery Life

Ideally recharge your Kindle when it has 20% battery life. Try not to let it drain completely. If it does it might take a few minutes of charging before the Kindle starts – that’s normal.
Keep the wireless off when not using it.

See Kindle Diagnostic Information

On the Kindle Home Page press Menu button and select Settings. On Settings page -

Type 411 to see Software diagnostics.
Type 611 to see Whispernet diagnostics.

Read an html file on your Kindle

Rename an html file to .txt and put it in your Documents Folder. Now the Kindle will open it up just as it would a book.

Return a Kindle Book you purchased accidentally

On the order confirmation page choose the option to cancel the order.
If you miss that opportunity – Contact Amazon at the Kindle Support Page within a week (ideally as soon as possible).

Kindle Recommended Operating Temperatures

Operating Temperature: 32 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Storage Temperature: 14 degrees to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check if new picture folders have been added

Press Alt+Z if you have added new sub-folders (with pictures) in the Pictures folder. This will make the Kindle scan for new folders.

Only sub-folders that have photos in them show up.

Turn Wireless On and Off

On Home Page press the Menu Button and scroll up to select Turn Wireless On or Turn Wireless Off.
It’s important to keep wireless off if you want to conserve battery life. It’s necessary to have wireless on to browse, surf the store, or to get Kindle updates.

Use the Dictionary

Move the cursor in front of any word in a book and a short definition will pop up at the bottom of the page. Press Enter to look up the full definition in the Dictionary.

Shortcuts for navigating when viewing Pictures

Once you’ve created photo albums (by creating a ‘Pictures’ folder on the Kindle and then putting photos into sub-folders in this ‘Pictures’ folder) you can use these.
Press any number to see a list of numbers at the very bottom of the screen. You might not always get this.
Press any number twice to go to the next picture.

Travelling with the Kindle

The power adapter of the Kindle is a universal power adapter. If you can get a physical plug to match the outlets of whatever country you’re in the Kindle will work. Australia is excluded.

Find Free Public Domain Books

The three best sites are Manybooks.net, Gutenberg.org, and Internet Archive (archive.org/details/texts/).

Always look for kindle compatible formats and choose these formats -
‘Kindle (.azw)’ on ManyBooks.
‘Mobipocket (experimental)’ on Gutenberg.org.
‘Kindle (beta)’ on Archive.org.

Find Free Books in the Kindle Store

Go to any category and search by Price:Low to High to find the free books. To remove public domain books type in ‘-public’ in the search box and press Enter.

To find all the new free books in the Kindle Store select ‘Kindle Books’ in the drop down box on the left of the Search Bar and then type in ‘-public’ and press Enter. After that in the Sort By drop-down box choose - Price: Low to High.

Get list of free new books in the Kindle Store

Please go to the top of the right side column on this page and click on the ’50 New Free Kindle Books’ link. That’ll take you to a blog post that lists all the new books that are currently free in the Kindle Store.

Free Conversion of Personal Documents to Kindle Format

If you attach the document(s) to an email and send the email to “name”@free.kindle.com (your official kindle email address with free added in) then the documents will be converted and sent back to the email you have used to register your Kindle.

Calibre and AutoKindle are programs that you can install on your PC and use to convert to Kindle format. Calibre would be my first choice. AutoKindle is also good and converts PDF, Lit, PDB, CHM, and HTML files into Kindle format.

Convert Documents to Kindle Format for 15 cents per MB

Any documents attached to an email sent to “name”@kindle.com (your official kindle email address) will be converted to Kindle format and sent to your Kindle.

The cost is 15 cents per MB and the formats that can be converted to Kindle format are – PDF, Word (Doc), html for documents and JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP for images.
Note that PDF is natively supported on the Kindle – However, converting a PDF document to Kindle format lets you use highlights and notes and also use text to speech.

What formats not to buy

Kindle only supports one DRM protected format – its own Kindle format.
Kindle does not support some common ebook formats - ePub, DRMed ePub, DRM protected PDF, DRM protected Mobipocket, etc.

It supports unprotected files in PDF, txt, mobi, and prc format. It supports Word (Doc) and html after conversion.
Note: The Kindle supports unprotected Mobi files natively. However, it does not support DRM protected Mobipocket files.

Authors that offer free books online

There are lots of independent authors and some well-known authors that offer their books for free online.

Published Authors – Paulo Coelho, Cory Doctorow, Seth Godin, Chris Anderson.
Independent Authors – Go to www.smashwords.com to find thousands of free self-published books.

Free SciFi Novels from Baen

You can find lots of free Science Fiction novels at Baen’s Free Library – http://www.baen.com/library/.

You can find past compilations of Baen Free Books at the Fifth Impaerium – http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/.

Convert Google Free Books for use on the Kindle

Download any Google Book in PDF or ePub format (ePub is better). Then download Calibre – http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/download.
Use Calibre to convert the book into Kindle format. Works Perfectly (most of the time).

Convert PDF books to Kindle format to get Text to Speech and Note-taking

PDFs do not support Text to Speech or Note-taking on the Kindle. To get these features simply convert the PDFs to Kindle format using Calibre or Amazon’s conversion service.

Make the most of free books in the Kindle Store

The Kindle Store has over 20,000 free public domain books. Go to any category of the Kindle Store and arrange books by Price Low to High to see the public domain books. Alternately search for ‘public’ in the Kindle Store and go into the subcategories.

Use Kindle Apps to extend your experience

Amazon now have Kindle for iPad, Kindle for PC, Kindle for Mac, Kindle for Blackberry, and Kindle for iPhone.

All your Kindle books are usable on these. Try them out.
Your place in a book you’re reading is synchronized across these and your Kindle(s). Your notes and highlights are synchronized across most of these.

Kindle related tools and websites

Mysteria (http://oscurapress.com/mysteria/cgi-bin/mysteria.cgi) lets you keep reminders for when books are available in Kindle format.
Skweezer (http://www.skweezer.com/) takes any pages and squeezes it into a version that is more readable on Kindle 1 and Kindle 2.
Kindle Feeder (http://www.kindlefeeder.com/) sends RSS feeds to your Kindle or Kindle 2.

Get a Kindle Hack

Warning: Only for technical users willing to risk their Kindles.

You can get a Kindle hack that lets you use custom screensavers. You can get a Kindle hack that gives you additional fonts and adds Unicode font support.

Tips for using Kindle Folders (Collections)

Note: For Kindle 2.5 upgrade and above only.

Books can be in multiple Collections.
You can put book samples in Collections.
Deleting a Collection does not delete a book.
Collections are synchronized across Kindles and will also be synchronized across Kindle Apps (when they get support for Collections).

Use Kindle Gift Cards to budget your Kindle book purchases

If you feel your spending is getting out of control just buy a Kindle gift card (corresponding to your monthly ebook budget) every month and use that on your account. Remove your credit card from your account and you’ll be limited to the amount on the Gift Card.

Tips when typing Notes

Press Alt+Del to delete everything you’ve typed.

Press Del to delete a character at a time.

When you place your cursor at a word and start typing – your note will begin. The Kindle’s screen takes a little bit of time to refresh and show the Note – You don’t have to wait. Just keep typing your note – it’s all captured even if it isn’t yet showing up.

Sharing Kindle Books

Kindle books can be shared by Kindles that are registered to the same account.

At any one time a book can be shared between 5 to 6 devices (depending on Publisher imposed limits). This includes Apps like Kindle for iPhone. After authenticating a book for use on these 5 or 6 devices you have to talk to customer support to enable it for more devices (you will have to remove the book from one of the prior 5-6 devices).

Kindle Books can only be shared amongst Kindles and devices registered to the same account.

5 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for the time you spent compiling this very useful article.

  2. Thanks so much for this incredible resource! I’m trying to decide if I want to print it out (I’m sure many would immediately think that quite silly) and keep in my work bag to pull out, or put on my Kindle as a personal document for reference.

    It’s amazing how much i’m enjoying this Kindle and i’m so glad that I decided to purchase it… I thought I was a big reader (everyone who knows me thinks so) but since getting a Kindle, I am consuming a ton of books that i’d never before even have thought of trying.

  3. [...] Posted on May 14, 2010 by switch11 This Kindle Tips post is a continuation of a prior Kindle Tips and Shortcuts post which was a compilation of 50 useful Kindle tips. Here are 40 more Kindle Tips [...]

  4. [...] Kindle Tips and Shortcuts – This has 50 tips and also links to a follow-on post with 40 more Kindle tips. Most of these will apply to Kindle 3.   [...]

  5. [...] read this Kindle Tips post. Most of the tips will apply to Kindle 4 [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,228 other followers