Kindle 2 PDF FAQ + Conversion Video

Kindle 2 PDF Update: Great News! Amazon has added PDF support to the Kindle.

  • PDF support, landscape mode, bookmarking pages, and searching PDFs is supported.
  • Changing font size isn’t. You can view PDFs in larger size in landscape mode and it crops margins too (only in landscape mode).
  • You cannot add notes and highlights.

Take a look at my video discussion of the new Kindle PDF feature.

You can convert PDFs to Kindle format to get the ability to change fonts and add notes and highlights.

Kindle 2 PDF FAQ

This post covers how to use PDFs with the Kindle 2, and how to do kindle pdf conversion.

May 7th, 2009 – Kindle DX has an in-built PDF reader with technology licensed from Adobe (so you know PDFs will work).

Thanks to W. Neff for pointing out that Kindle 2 and its purported PDF support (aka converted PDF support) is not well documented, and that it was holding back people from making a Kindle 2 purchase decision. This Kindle 2 PDF FAQ should answer your questions and help you determine whether you will buy Kindle 2.

Q1: Does the Kindle support PDF format files?
A: No, the Kindle 2.0 and Kindle do not natively support PDF files. They do however support conversion from PDF into a Kindle 2.0 compatible format.

Q2; How do I get PDF files converted into Kindle format?
A: If you want the convenience of getting files sent straight to your Kindle 2 -

An attachment sent to your Kindle’s e-mail address (”name”@kindle.com) will be converted and delivered wirelessly to your Kindle for a charge of only ten cents per document.

Q3: Can I get conversion done for free?
A: Yes, you can also get free conversion done in the following manner -

send attachments to “name”@free.kindle.com to be converted and Amazon will convert and e-mail the documents back to your computer at the e-mail address associated with your Amazon.com account.

 Q4: Can I do conversion on my own?
A: Yes, you can use Stanza on the Mac, and MobiPocket Creator on the PC. 

Q5: How do I convert PDF Files using Stanza?
A: Open the PDF file using Stanza, then plug your Kindle 2 to your PC using the USB wire, then in Stanza select the File->Export Book As->Amazon Kindle option. In this file dialog, browse to the Kindle (it’ll show up as the name you gave it when you registered).

Q6: How do I convert PDF files using MobiPocket?
A: There are a few steps -

  1. Get the Publisher Edition of MobiPocket Editor.  
  2. On the main screen, choose Import from Existing File -> PDF.
  3. In the file dialog choose the file to import.
  4. Now select Build from the top menu, and this will create the file and also open the folder in which the file is contained.
  5. Find the .prc file in the folder and copy it to the Kindle’s document folder.  

Here is a video showing how to do this, and also showing the effect on formatting of the PDF (please just watch the first 7:43 – it loops once after that) –

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 Q7: How do I convert files using Microsoft Word?
A: (Courtesy The Dude – an appropriate alias given the awesomeness of his solution).

open your PDF document
do a “save as” to a Word Doc format – for 800 pages it took about 2 minutes
Open the new Word document
do a “save as” to a Plain Text TXT format – took about 1 minute
connect your kindle to your computer and put the new TXT file on your kindle.

Q8: How do I convert files using AutoKindle Project Software?
A: AutoKindle takes PDF, Lit, PDB, CHM, and HTML files and converts them to .mobi. Please look at the AutoKindle Page for details.

Q9: Is there a way to get perfect conversion?
A: No. none that I know of. Certain PDFs that have DRM are difficult to convert (or impossible even). There are usually problems with PDFs that have a lot of charts, tables, images.

Q10: Is Amazon’s conversion better than this?
A: Not that I know of.

Q11: Why doesn’t Amazon support PDF conversion on Kindle 2.0?
A: No Idea.

Q12: Will Amazon ever support PDFs on Kindle 2.0 or a later model?
A: No Idea.

Q14: I really need PDF conversion support – what should I do?
A: Look at Foxit’s eSlick Reader. Foxit is a company that specifically creates PDF conversion and PDF related software. They are building and selling an eReader that ought to (and is claimed to) have great PDF support.

Q15: I have another PDF related question. Can I leave it in the comments?
A: Yes, of course.

Thanks for reading through all of this – please let me know if this helped you decide on whether or not to buy Kindle 2.

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