Kindle Tips App – Tips for Kindle

We’re very happy to ship our latest app for you:

Tips for Kindle – 133 Kindle Tips

It’s just $1 and here’s what you get for your $1 -

  1. 133 Kindle Tips. These are the best Kindle Tips I’ve found over the course of 3.5 years of blogging about the Kindle and searching through tips Kindle owners have shared. You will definitely find some real gems – regardless of your experience level with your Kindle.
  2. The Ability to add your own Kindle Tips. It’s a living breathing collection of Kindle Tips and you can add whatever great Kindle tips you find from other sources to have one handy reference.
  3. The Option to Select and Export Favorites. Choose your favorite Kindle Tips out of the ones included and the ones you add. Then view only those or export them in text format and read them on your computer or print them out.
  4. Slideshow Mode. You can watch a slideshow of the included tips, of your added tips, or of your favorites. There are three speeds and icons to indicate the speed and which section you are in.
  5. Usability enhancements – Two font sizes, lots of shortcuts, in-app help, downloadable help files at the Kindle Tips App Help Page. Open the Kindle Tips App and every time you get a different Featured Tip.

It’s basically a Kindle Tip & Tricks living list that you can carry on your Kindle and which will help you get the most out of your Kindle. The best Kindle Tips from us are included - and whatever you find yourself or on the Internet you can add in yourself.

What Kindle Tips is Not

  1. It’s not a Journal or a Notepad or a Flash Cards App.
  2. It’s not focused on free kindle books. Simply refer to the Free Kindle Books section of my blog if you want daily updates on offers and deals in the Kindle store.
  3. It only has 133 Kindle Tips that are stable and tested and secure. There’s nothing here that’s about hacking or removing DRM.
  4. It is not a User Guide. Please refer to the excellent Kindle User Guide.
  5. It is not a book. It only works on Kindles and not on Reading Apps.
  6. It is not a wireless email app or wireless syncing app. You cannot wirelessly sync with other Kindles. You can copy over the particular file that stores your tips (more on that later) but there is not wireless syncing.
  7. There’s no emailing because developers have to cover the cost of wireless usage and if we add email then it means that the price can’t be $1.

It’s also not free because it took a lot of effort to code all the features and find all the Kindle tips and we can’t sell it for less than it cost to make. We think $1 is a steal for 133 of the best Kindle Tips in an app that you can add your own tips to. Not to mention you get a slideshow mode which is very handy.

Where to get Help for Tips for Kindle

Please feel free to leave a comment here or email me at booksummit@ymail.com. For both suggestions and help these are the two best places.

Our Kindle App Blog has help including Downloable Kindle Tips App Help files in PDF and Word and Kindle format. It will get more help posts soon.

If you like the app please leave a review at Amazon and tell your friends. That would be a big help as a $1 price doesn’t leave much room for marketing costs.

Tips for Kindle – Credits

Andriy Kanyuka (Developer) – Tips for Kindle is a light, elegant app with some very useful features thanks mainly to Andriy’s coding skills. It’s really impressive to get a pretty app with 133 Kindle Tips, slideshow mode, and favorites in a light 150 kb package. Plus, everything is quick and intuitive.

Maurine Lee (Quality) – Maurine is responsible for the app being high quality and usable and out. She’s also done the excellent help documentation which you can download and read on your PC or Kindle.

Sergey Reva (Test) – Lots of testing and finding bugs so we don’t have to stumble through the app. Lots of useful suggestions too.

Digant Bhatt and Sergey Shevchenko (Design) – We really like the design and hope you like it too. And the icons and the fact that it’s still fast to load.

Jennifer Merkley – For suggesting the Slideshow Feature. It adds a lot to the app.

Amazon Kindle App Team and Andrea – For pushing us to make more than just a simple list of Tips. Which led to the feature of being able to add your own tips and select favorites and added motivation to implement Jennifer’s idea of a Slideshow Feature. Also for making sure all 133 tips were tested and safe and actually valuable (which is why ‘Use your Kindle as a Butter Knife’ didn’t make it in).

Official Kindle Forum and the Contributors – Excellent Tips and just a great spirit. People like Happy Reader Joyce and Emily Bronte and Bufo Calvin and Andrys and the ones contributing at the Discounted Books Thread and the Tips Thread help make the Kindle ecosystem better and happier. A ton of credit to all of them for finding and sharing such great Kindle tips.

Kindle Superstar Bloggers – Andrys at Kindle World and Bufo at I Love My Kindle. They keep writing about the Kindle and spreading Tips. Special thanks to Andrys as quite a few really good tips were first found via her blog.

Happy Reader Joyce – For her daily Free Kindle Books posts.

Me (Abhi) - Program Manager. I still don’t know what that really means. Perhaps just to make sure other people aren’t blocked by random things.

Google – For putting sites that steal this blog’s posts above this blog in the Search Rankings and forcing us to find other ways to reach and help Kindle owners.

Please let us know your suggestions and any tips you might find. The Tips would be especially appreciated. We’re looking forward to making the app better but no promises on when an update will come out.

Thanks to Nate the Great at The Digital Reader for mentioning the app already.

Switch your Kindle dictionary, Kindle Thesaurus options

Your Kindle’s default Kindle Dictionary can be replaced by another Dictionary, a Kindle Thesaurus + Dictionary combo, or a language translation dictionary.

Your Kindle ships with The New Oxford American Dictionary as the default. If you have a Kindle 3 or Kindle WiFi then it probably also includes the Oxford Dictionary of English. However, these two aren’t your only options.

How you can switch Your Default Kindle Dictionary

There are 24 ‘Kindle Default Dictionaries’ available in the Kindle Store. The link will take you to a page that shows the best-selling ones - However, the section at the top has a link called ‘compatible dictionary’ which will show the 24 ones that can replace the default Kindle dictionary.

You can buy one or more of these and then set them as your default dictionary. 

Switching Your Default Kindle Dictionary 

  1. Buy and download the new ‘default kindle dictionary’ option to your Kindle. It must be on your Kindle (physically on the Kindle) for the switch to work.
  2. Go to your Kindle’s Home Page and press the Menu button.
  3. In the Menu choose settings and on the Settings Page again press the Menu button.
  4. In the Menu on the Settings Page press ‘Change Primary Dictionary’. It’ll be the third link and just below ‘Shop in Kindle Store’.
  5. You will be shown a list of options – Only the two dictionaries mentioned above (Oxford, New Oxford American) and those out of the 24 additional default dictionaires that you have bought will be shown.
  6. Click on whichever dictionary you would like to set as the default.
  7. That’s it.

You’re limited to these 26 options so let’s take a look at what’s available.

Kindle Dictionary Options

Your options are (all are available at the link listed above) -

  1. The two dictionaries that ship with the Kindle 3.  
  2. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.  
  3. Easton’s Bible Dictionary.
  4. Dean’s Law Dictionary. 
  5. Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s Dictionary and Pocket Dictionary.
  6. Merriam-Webster’s Medical Desk Dictionary.
  7. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
  8. Translation Dictionaries from Merriam-Webster including Spanish-English, English-Spanish, English-French, and French-English.
  9. Translation Dictionaries from Barron’s including German-English, English-German, Italian-English, English-Italian, English-Spanish, French-English, Spanish-English, and English-French. 
  10. Oxford Dictionary of Idioms.
  11. Mobile Reference’s Encyclopedia of Politics and Big Polish Encyclopedia.
  12. Perhaps most interestingly there are two Dictionary+Thesaurus options – WordNet 3 and Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus.

Nearly all of these have negative reviews. Where the reviews are good overall the Kindle edition reviews are terrible. It seems that most dictionary publishers haven’t really put much effort into making these suitable for Kindle use.

The language translation dictionaries are news to me as are the Thesaurus+Dictionary combinations.

The Thesaurus options are really interesting so let’s take a closer look. 

Kindle Thesaurus Options

If you’d like a thesaurus on your Kindle there are two paths to choose from.

Replace your Dictionary with a Dictionary+Thesaurus

You can choose one of the two Dictionary+Thesaurus options – WordNet 3 from Princeton, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus.

The benefits are that these can be your default Kindle dictionary and save you a lot of time. They are also reasonably priced. The negatives are that both are considered rather limited and the Kindle edition reviews are poor.

Here’s more on WordNet 3 -

WordNet is a lexical database of the English language containing about 150,000 words organized in over 115,000 synsets for a total of 207,000 word-sense pairs. It groups English nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs into sets of cognitive synonyms called synsets each expressing a distinct concept.

WordNet provides short, general definitions, and records conceptual-semantic and lexical relations between these synonym sets. The resulting network of meaningfully related words and concepts is a combination of dictionary and thesaurus that is more intuitively usable than traditional dictionaries.

This Kindle edition is a fully functional dictionary and thesaurus and can be installed as a default dictionary on the Kindle.

This has a lot of negative reviews for the Kindle version as does the other one.

Pick a Dedicated Thesaurus that is basically a separate Kindle Book

Your other option is to pick something like Roget’s Super Thesaurus which you would use as a separate reference book. You would leave the book you are reading, open this Thesaurus separately, and search for the word you want. It’s obviously not as good as being able to use a Dictionary+Thesaurus as your default Kindle dictionary but a dedicated Thesaurus does have better word coverage.

The description for the Super Thesaurus says -

Easy to use and comprehensive in content, Roget’s Super Thesaurus includes these unique features:

· reverse dictionary
· sample sentences
· enlightening quotes
· more that 400,000 synonyms and antonyms

However, the reviews for the Kindle edition are brutal. It’s described by Kindle owners as a ‘waste of money’ and a ‘Kindle disaster’.

We also have other Thesaurus options like The Doubleday Roget’s Thesaurus in Dictionary Form but they too have terrible reviews from Kindle owners.

None of the Kindle Thesaurus and Dictionary options have good reviews

It’s pretty interesting that each of the 24 additional default dictionaries and every Thesaurus available as a standard Kindle book has terrible reviews. Perhaps Kindle owners expect more functionality, perhaps they are all just implemented terribly. The most common complaints were a lack of word coverage, difficult navigation, and poor search.

There seems to be a big opportunity to release a thesaurus or dictionary that is built specifically for the Kindle.

Kindle 3 – Kindle 3 Insights

It’s clear that the Kindle 3 still has some tricks up its sleeve – We now know there’s a Kindle 3 microphone and that the Kindle 3 supports CJK and Cyrillic fonts. 

Let’s go through these and other Kindle 3 Insights from the official kindle forum, Kindle 3 help pages, and the Kindle 3 User Guide. Instead of taking 5 hours to read through all of those get all the top Kindle 3 insights from this post in 15 minutes.

Kindle 3 – Top 22 Kindle 3 Insights

Here are the things about the Kindle 3 that really stood out -

  1. There’s a microphone on the Kindle 3 that’s currently not being used. It could be used down the line for speech to text, voice commands, and hands free reading. Here’s a full post on Kindle 3 speech to text and other microphone possibilities.
  2. Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi support CJK fonts and Cyrillic fonts. It means that Amazon is getting ready to make a big push in non-English languages.
  3. There’s now an Audible section in the Kindle Store. Audible audiobooks can only be downloaded when you’re using WiFi – else you can download to your PC and transfer to Kindle.
  4. Connecting to WiFi – On Home press Menu and choose Settings. Select ‘View’ next to ‘WiFi Settings’ and you get a list of detected WiFi networks. You can connect to one of these networks, rescan, or enter another WiFi network to connect to. For the last option you can also choose ‘set up network’ from the ‘failed to connect’ message dialog and enter network information.
  5. When entering network information you can choose DHCP or Static connections (for Static connections you need to enter IP Address, Subnet Mask, Router, and DNS). You also choose from WEP, WPA, WPA2, and None for security type. Then enter the network password.
  6. With WiFi you get – faster downloads, free delivery of personal documents, delivery of Audible audiobook purchases. US customers get free downloads of books, periodicals, and personal documents outside the US if they connect via WiFi.
  7. Pressing Alt + any character in the top row gives you a number (Alt+Q = 1 and so on). Numbers are also accessible via the SYM key. Removing the numbers row is a terrible decision.
  8. Auto-disappearing Top Bar. When you open a book there will be a bar at the top with Book Title, network type, whispernet status, and battery status. As soon as you move to the next or previous page the Bar disappears. Press Menu to get it back temporarily (until you press Menu again and it disappears).
  9. The speakers are now on the top left and the top right of the back of your Kindle 3.
  10. The back is now texturized rubber for a better grip.
  11. There’s a new WiFi symbol to indicate when your Kindle 3 is connected to WhisperNet using WiFi. You have to press the Menu button to see type of connection.
  12. There’s a ‘View Downloading Items’ option in the Menu of your Kindle 3 Home Page that will display what items are being downloaded and their download progress. This is pretty cool.
  13. Kindle 3 automatically turns 3G off if you connect using WiFi. If you disconnect or move out of range the 3G is automatically switched on. It’s a little strange that the only way to disable 3G is to turn WhisperNet off.
  14. The Kindle 3 guide talks about an easy way to add multiple items to a Collection. Navigate to a collection, press right to see the options, and choose ‘Add/Remove Items’. You then get a list of all items on your Kindle and can add whatever items you want to the Collection. Items added to the Collection have a checkmark next to them.
  15. You can adjust contrast in PDFs – The options are lightest, lighter, default, darker, and darkest. This is an interesting addition. See the shortcuts section below for how to ‘nudge’ the chosen view when you are zoomed.
  16. Password protected PDFs are now supported. For PDFs white margins of PDFs are automatically cropped – perhaps this was present in Kindle 2.5.
  17. To convert PDF files use the conversion service and include the word ‘convert’ in your email subject line. After conversion you can use Text to Speech with converted PDFs (which are no longer PDFs).
  18. The Kindle 3 Experimental Web Browser supports JavaScript, SSL, and cookies but not Flash or Java Applets. In the guide it shows the Kindle 3 browser displaying ESPN’s home page and Amazon’s home page perfectly. That would be impressive it if works - find it hard to believe.
  19. There’s a new Article Mode in Kindle 3′s web browser - Article Mode shows only the main text on a webpage.
  20. The browser lets you download Kindle format files (.azw, .azw1), unprotected Mobipocket files (.mobi, .prc), and text files.
  21. There’s an option on the Settings Page to set your Kindle’s time. There’s also an option on the Settings Page to turn on the Voice Guide (accessible menus).
  22. Finally, there’s a menu option on the Settings page to ‘Change Primary Dictionary’. Think this is available on Kindle 2.5 too.

That’s quite a few Kindle 3 insights that haven’t been discussed so far.

One useful tip is to name your Kindle 3 something that includes your contact email or phone number. That way, if it gets lost, whoever finds your Kindle 3 will know how to contact you. Thanks to someone at the official kindle forum for this brilliant idea.

It’s quite amusing to see that 75% of the Troubleshooting Questions have the same simple solution – Restart your Kindle 3. Try Again.

Kindle Customer Support

Here are the Kindle 3 support numbers -

For U.S. and other countries, Kindle Support can be reached via -

E-mail at kindle-cs-support@amazon.com.
Phone at 1-206-266-0927 (charges will apply).

U.S. customers can reach Kindle Support by phone at 1-866-321-8851 (toll free).

U.K. customers can contact Kindle Support at kindle-support-uk@amazon.co.uk or by phone at: 0800-496-2449 (toll free) or outside the U.K.: +44 (0)800-496-2449 (charges will apply).

Kindle 3 – Shortcuts

These are the shortcuts listed for the Kindle 3. There may be some overlap with the other two sections -

  1. Alt+Top Row of Alphabets to get numbers. 
  2. In most books – Press left or right on 5-way to go to the beginning of the next or previous chapter. This is an interesting one.
  3. Alt+Del to delete everything you’ve typed.  
  4. On Home Page if books are sorted by Title or Author – Press a letter key and then the 5-way to go to the first item starting with that letter. 
  5. Add/remove bookmark – Alt+B. Also, you can press the 5-way twice to bookmark a page.
  6. Press Alt+Enter on a note or highlight to share it via Facebook or Twitter.
  7. PDFs – Nudge the chosen view area by pressing down Shift (Up Arrow key) and then using 5-way controller. Nudge = Pan in small increments.
  8. Shift + SYM to start Text to Speech and Spacebar to pause/resume. Note: You can put your Kindle to sleep when using Text to Speech and it keeps working.
  9. Alt+Spacebar to stop or play music. Alt+F to skip to next track.

Have left out some of the very obvious ones carried over from Kindle 2.

Kindle 3 – Additional Kindle 3 Insights

Here are some more interesting Kindle 3 facts -

  1. Progress Bar now shows you the location at which you started current reading session and the location of various notes and bookmarks.
  2. Kindle WiFi uses 802.11 b and 802.11 g. It automatically remembers and connects to hotspots you have used in the past. It doesn’t connect to enterprise or ad-hoc networks.
  3. There’s something new called International Subscription Service for delivery of periodicals when you are outside the US.
  4. The Volume Control and Power Switch have been moved to the bottom of the Kindle 3. There’s also the headphone jack, a microphone, and a micro-USB power port.
  5. This cryptic phrase – All latest generation Kindle devices have Wi-Fi connectivity built-in. Really? Guess they meant all except the Kindle DX 2.
  6. There are 3 font types – regular, condensed, and sans-serif.  
  7. There are now Line Spacing options – Small, Medium, and Large. No idea if Alt+Shift+Number still works – Well, that’s probably impossible now.
  8. There are now two Kindle 3 dictionaries – The New Oxford American Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionary of English. Guess this is done for the Kindle UK push.
  9. With the Kindle 3 you have to slide and hold the power switch for 7 seconds to turn it off. It’s a bit much. Resetting now requires sliding and holding the switch for 15 seconds.
  10. The charge indicator light is now around/under the power switch.  
  11. To check whether you have Kindle WiFi or Kindle 3 3G+WiFi - On the Home Page press Menu, then choose Settings, and on the Settings Page look under Device Info at the ‘Network Capability’ line.
  12. Apparently, annotations created for any personal documents, blog items, or subscription items older than 7 days are not saved when they are deleted. They will be in the My Clippings File. However, if you re-load the deleted item the annotations won’t be there. Not sure if it was always this way or whether this is a Kindle 3 change.
  13. The music player is still strange - ‘songs will be played in the order they were added to your kindle’ and there’s still no ‘previous track’ button.
  14. To Turn Off the Popular Highlights Feature – On the Home screen press Menu, then choose Settings, and then on the Settings Page click on ‘turn off’ next to Popular Highlights.
  15. When on a Popular Highlight press Enter to show or hide the number of people who highlighted this particular passage.
  16. It was interesting to find out that you can view a list of Popular Highlights for a book and sort them by popularity.
  17. There’s experimental .docx conversion through Amazon’s document conversion service. Zip files sent to Amazon are automatically opened up and any convertible files are converted. 

You can check for additional Kindle 3 tips and insights at the Kindle 3 Help Pages.

40 More Kindle Tips and Hints

Our Tips for Kindle App is now out for just $1. It has 133 Kindle Tips collected over 3.5 years of Kindle blogging. It also lets you add your own tips, view tips in slideshow mode, select tips and favorites, and export your favorites in text format.

This Kindle Tips post is a continuation of a prior Kindle Tips and Shortcuts post which was a compilation of 50 useful Kindle tips.

This is a list of 40 Kindle Tips mostly gathered from the official Kindle Forum -

Read your Kindle while charging it from a computer

Notice how your Kindle goes into USB Drive Mode when you plug it into your PC. It took me over a year to figure out what the charging screen meant about ‘ejecting’ your Kindle from your computer (hey, it’s not as obvious as you might think).

Go to ‘My Computer’ and you’ll see your Kindle listed as a drive – it’ll show up as something like Kindle (D:). Right click on the drive icon and amongst the options, towards the lower half, there will be an ‘Eject’ option. Press this.
Now your Kindle will keep charging and also come out of ‘USB Drive Mode’ and be usable as an ebook reader. You will, however, not be able to transfer files.

To do that you have to go back into USB mode and the best way to do that is to pull the USB cable out of the Kindle and then put it back in.

Screen-cleaning options

Firstly, it’s a good idea to get a screen protector – preferably one that is anti-glare. They’re just $1 to $2.

As far as cleaning here are some of the good options that have been mentioned -

Anti-static wipes used for cleaning LCDs and laptop monitors.
Shoe-shine mitts – especially the tiny ones that hotels hand-out.
Microfiber towels, Shamwow (of all things), and iPhone cleaning cloths have also been suggested.

Create a Make-shift Vocabulary List

Ever wish for a way to add all the new words you find into a Vocabulary List?

Well, here’s one – When you find a word you want to add to your Vocabulary List just go into the Dictionary and highlight the Word and its meaning in the Dictionary. As you keep adding words the ‘Notes & Marks’ section of your Dictionary becomes a de-facto vocabulary list.

(Courtesy Koi)

Find your Kindle’s Software Version and Type

Go to the Kindle Home Page and Press Menu.
In the Menu choose Settings.
At the bottom right of the Settings screen will be something like ‘Version: Kindle 2.3 (343534243)’. The 2.3 is the firmware version and tells you what Kindle software version your Kindle is on.

To find the type/product line flip around the Kindle and take a look at the Serial No. on the back -
Serial Numbers starting with B003 indicate the Kindle 2 International.
Serial Numbers starting with B002 indicate the Kindle 2 US.
Serial Numbers starting with B005 indicate the Kindle DX International.

Guessing that B001 is Kindle 1 and B004 is Kindle DX US.

Use iGo Universal Charger with the Kindle

The iGo is a universal charger that you can use with a variety of ‘tips’. There are different tips for different devices. Since the Kindle 2 uses a micro-USB port for charging and so do lots of cellphones it’s easy to use the iGo with the Kindle 2.

Choose the A97 tip for the iGo. If you search ‘iGo Kindle’ at Amazon it’ll show up and it specifically says – iGo Tip for Kindle 2, Kindle DX, Motorola etc.

You can also get a Kindle specific iGo pack that includes wall and car chargers and a Kindle tip.

For Kindle 1 you need to get a different tip. It’s the A00 and shows up as the second result when you search for ‘iGo Kindle’ at Amazon. It specifically states ‘for the Original Amazon Kindle’ in the title.

Delete a Book from your Archive

Warning: This will permanently delete the book and you will have to buy it again if you want to get it back.

Go to any page in the Kindle Store on Amazon.com.
Click on the ‘Manage Your Kindle’ link on the top right to go to the Manage My Kindle page.
Log-in if needed.
Scroll down to the ‘Your Orders’ section which lists all your orders.
Click the little ‘+’ to the left of the book you want to delete.
When the row opens up click the ‘Delete the Title’ button on the bottom left of the row.

This will delete the book from your archive and your account and you can only get it back by buying it again.

Highlight Across Pages

If you’re in the middle of highlighting and want to continue highlighting after the end of the current page just press ‘Next Page’. On the new page just press down on the 5-way and your highlight will continue.

Note: Don’t know of a way to do this on Kindle for iPhone.

Kindle Calculator via Browser

Use the Google shortcut in the Browser to go to Google. Type in your calculation into Google (Ex: 75*23) and then press enter to get your result (1725).

This also works for conversions ( convert 1 kilometre into miles) and for currencies (1000 usd to gbp).

Format PDFs and Documents Before adding to the Kindle

If the text sizes and (in Kindle 2.5) PDF zoom aren’t working well for you then format the PDF (or the document) before adding it to the Kindle.

For PDFs – Consider cropping out margins. Increase the Font Size.
For Documents – Increase the Font Size. Make other formatting changes that help readability.

Now when you move the PDF or document to the Kindle the larger font sizes and other changes will be reflected.

Huge list of mobile websites that work well with Kindle

Go to http://cantoni.mobi to get a huge list of websites that have well done mobile versions which will work well with your Kindle’s browser.

You can go to this site from the Kindle’s browser itself. If it hasn’t loaded in 10-15 seconds just press ‘Stop’ and most of it would have loaded and will show up.

Kindle book bargains – Movers and Shakers

Lots of cheap and free books show up in the Movers and Shakers section of the Kindle Store. You’ll have to go to Amazon.com > Kindle Store > Bestsellers and then choose Movers and Shakers.

Free books usually make it into the Kindle Bestsellers list and can be accessed from the Kindle itself.

Progress Bar Trick to mark Progress

Note: Not being able to do this on Kindle 2 International at the moment.

(Courtesy Robin) Any highlights or notes in a book are marked as a little black dot on the progress bar.

You could go to the beginning of each chapter in a book and make a note. Then on the home page you can use the progress bar to quickly see how far along the book and chapter you are.

Cheapest cover and reading light

Search ‘Kindle light Clip-on LED’ at Amazon.com to find a $4.99 book light (shipping is $2.98). No idea of quality.

Search ‘Kindle Cover’ in the Electronics Store at Amazon.com and sort by Price:Low to High. You’ll see lots of Kindle Skins, carrying sleeves, anti-glare protective screens, and more for $5 and under. No idea of the quality – although a few seem to be well reviewed.

Better Kindle Contrast via a Dark Skin

An easy way to get better contrast on the Kindle is to use a black or dark blue skin. Even one with a design in dark colors would do although a black skin would be ideal. This causes the background of the Kindle to seem whiter (in contrast) and the text of the Kindle in turn seems clearer.

Use Text to Speech to create a virtual Auto-Scroll feature

(Courtesy KCDude) Turn down the volume on your Kindle to zero. Start Text to Speech using Shift+SYM. Press Aa and choose one out of slower, default, or faster Speech Rates based on what your reading speed is.

Now just let the text to speech feature turn pages for you. Of course you might find that none of the 3 TTS speeds suit your preferences and in that case this won’t work.

Download Files directly to your Kindle

(Courtesy Tillamook Bay) Most help pages and guides talk about downloading a file to your computer, then attaching the Kindle, and then transferring files to the Documents folder of your Kindle (or for images the Pictures folder).

Instead – First plug-in your Kindle and let it show up as a drive. Then save files directly to your Kindle.
Note: If you want a backup then also save a copy on your computer.

Copy-Paste Text into the Search Field

(Courtesy PaxtonReader) Use the 5-way to highlight the text you want to search for (a name, a phrase, a book title, etc.) and then instead of clicking the 5-way again to create a highlight simply press the Space Bar.

This will copy the text and paste it into the Search Field. You can search for it or you can save it as a note (by scrolling through choices and choosing Note).

Peeramid bookrest for Comfortable Reading

At Amazon you can find the atrociously named Peeramid Bookrest which is a pyramid-shaped book rest very appropriate for use with the Kindle.

It provides a good viewing angle, one-handed reading (hands only needed when turning pages, use with the virtual autoscroll tip to free both hands), and in general looks pretty cool. It’s also supposed to be great for reading in bed.

Switch Wireless Providers for WhisperNet

Please be careful as you may lose your WhisperNet connection. Only recommended for tech savvy users.

On the Home Page press Menu and choose ‘Settings’. On the Settings Page type in 311 to get a dialog that asks you to confirm that you want to switch the wireless provider for Whispernet. Please read the dialog box before proceeding.

(courtesy Dianne Gorman)

Make your Kindle easier to Return if Lost

(Courtesy Alan) Go to Home Page and Press Menu. On the Menu choose Settings. On the Settings Page -

1) Change the Device Name to youremail@email.com (your phone number). Ex: alecguiness@kindle.com 44-356-432-1541.
2) Enter in your name and contact information into the Personal Info field.

That way it’s hard for people to miss your information and if they intend to return your kindle they’ll be able to contact you quite easily.

You have to just press Shift, not hold it down

When typing and needing capital letters it is enough to press Shift once. You don’t have to do Shift+g to get ‘G’. It’s enough to press Shift, let go, press g and you’ll get a capital G.

(courtesy Dianne Gorman)

Ziploc bag reading

Jeff Bezos Approved ;) . To read the Kindle in the tub, at the pool, on the beach etc. without fear of getting it wet just put it inside a ziplock bag.

You could also get a Trendy Digital Waterproof case for your Kindle.

Get an Amazon Gift Certificate for your loose change

Some Coinstar machines let you choose an Amazon Gift Card in return for your loose change. The value of the gift card is the full value of your change.

Go to www.coinstar.com for a list of places that have CoinStar machines and for information on which of those let you get Amazon gift certificates.

eInk Fading in the Sun

Sometimes you might see eInk fading when in the sun (it doesn’t affect all Kindles). In case it affects your Kindle simply press Alt+G, the shortcut to refresh the screen and remove ghosting, and it will refresh the screen and get rid of the fading.

Note: No idea of why this fading happens and no idea if there are long-term implications.

Duracell Instant Charger for an extra charge

If you are travelling or just want an emergency/backup power supply for your Kindle consider getting a Duracell Instant Charger. It’s reasonably priced and there are multiple variants – http://ireaderreview.com/2009/09/05/kindle-battery-accessory/.

Get Free Books from Munsey’s – straight to your Kindle

Munsey’s has a great Kindle compatible site with lots of free books in Kindle format - http://www.munseys.com/joomla/.
Clicking on any of the links downloads a Kindle compatible .prc file. These are all public domain books and they’ve very well categorized.

Get Free Books from Feedbooks – straight to your Kindle

Feedbooks have both a Kindle compatible website and a Kindle download guide. Either can be used to download Kindle format free books.
Go to http://www.feedbooks.com/?format=mobile straight from your Kindle and then search for whatever interests you and choose to download the Mobipocket/Kindle format books.

Get Tips, Help from Amazon’s Kindle Forum

The official Amazon Kindle forum has lots of good tips and lots of kindle owners to talk to.
Type in http://www.amazon.com/tag/kindle/forum/ into your PC or Mac browser and check out everything it has to offer.

Access Your My Clippings file on your PC

All the notes and highlights you make are stored in a text file called My Clippings. You can access this on your Kindle by clicking on the ‘My Clippings’ book.

You can also access this file on your PC. Connect your Kindle to your PC and then go to the Documents folder of the Kindle and click on the My Clippings text file to open it up in Notepad. For each note or highlight it will have the Book’s name, the location in the book, the time and date of making the note/highlight, and then the note/highlight itself.

Notes/Highlights are separated by ‘==========’. You can save a backup of your notes on your PC. You can also use these notes and highlights in any way you like.

Note: Another way to access your highlights and notes is via Kindle for PC.

Access Google Reader from Your Kindle

You can access Google Reader from your Kindle by using the mobile version of the site – http://www.google.com/reader/m.
You can also access other Google products like GMail (http://m.gmail.com) and Google Calendar (http://www.google.com/calendar/m).

Get Tips and News from Kindle Blogs

There are various Kindle Blogs worth checking out – Kindle World (http://kindleworld.blogspot.com/) and Kindle Nation Daily (http://kindlehomepage.blogspot.com) are two good choices.
You can subscribe to these and other Kindle Blogs on your Kindle or just visit them via your PC.

Get Tips and meet Kindle Owners at Kindle Forums

The best options include -

Official Kindle Forum – http://www.amazon.com/tag/kindle/forum/.
Kindle Korner – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kindlekorner/.
MobileRead – http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=140.

Better Understand the Kindle Browser

It’s advisable to choose Advanced Mode with Javascript Enabled and Show Images setting enabled. It’s a good idea to delete your browser history and cookies periodically for safety and security reasons – the downside is that deleting cookies might mean having to sign-in again and deleting your history means you won’t be able to bring up where you visited.

Basic Mode – No Javascript support, only supports simple websites.
Advanced Mode – Lets you turn on Javascript support and lets you access more websites.

Clear Cache – Deletes the browser’s cache. This is all the temporary files the browser has saved up.
Clear History – Deletes your browsing history. A good idea to clear your history and prevent other people (who have access to your Kindle) from knowing what sites you visited.
Clear Cookies – Deletes cookies that websites put on your Kindle and use to track you or keep your password so you don’t have to log-in repeatedly.
Disable Images/Enable Images – Text only browsing mode that is useful if you don’t want images to slow you down.

Turn off your Kindle

You can put your Kindle to sleep and wake it up by sliding the power button. The Kindle does not use energy when in sleep mode so you don’t need to turn it off.

To turn off the Kindle – Just slide the power switch to off position and hold it for 4 seconds. Turn it on by sliding the power switch again (just sliding it is enough).
To restart the Kindle – Slide the power switch and hold for 15 seconds.

Start Text to Speech at a particular word

To start TTS at a particular word or at a particular spot on a page – Move the cursor to the spot. Press Shift and SYM buttons at the same time. Now, TTS will start from that spot.

Once TTS is on press the Aa key to change the speed and voice. Press Space to pause/restart Text To Speech.

Restart Kindle using Menus

Instead of restarting the Kindle by sliding and holding the power switch for 15 seconds try this -

1) On the Kindle Home Page press Menu and in the Menu select ‘Settings’.
2) On the Settings page press Menu and in the Menu select ‘Restart’.

Quickly Delete a Book or Item

Go to the Kindle Home Page by pressing the Home Button.
Navigate to the item you want to delete using the 5-way cursor.
Press ‘Left’ on the 5-way cursor to bring up the little ‘delete’ button.
Press the 5-way cursor to confirm deletion.

See Cover Image and Details of a Book or Item

Press Home to go to your Kindle’s Home Page.
Use the 5-way to go to the item you want to find out more about.
Press ‘Right’ on the 5-way cursor to bring up the ‘Details’ Page.
Usually a cover image and a few other options are presented.

For books you get – Option to go to last page read, beginning, the index or a location. Option to look at your notes and marks for the book.

Keep Track of new Releases

Chris Schaeffer’s www.ReaderAlert.com lets you keep track of new releases by your favorite authors or new releases corresponding to any keyword or genre.

You could go in and create an alert for every time there is a mystery novel released for the Kindle. Create an alert for every time a book corresponding to ‘vampire+romance’ gets added to the Kindle Store or one that lets you know every time a new Robin Hobb book reaches the Kindle Store.

How to disable personal document transfers to Kindle

If you’re concerned about document transfers costing you money just go to the Manage Your Kindle section at Amazon.com.

There you can specify a personal document charge limit. Set this to zero and every document will be sent to your @free.kindle.com address (i.e. to the email associated with your Kindle instead of to your Kindle) and you never have to pay charges for personal document transfers.

Of course, you don’t get them on your Kindle (you get a notification instead) – so it’s not all win-win.

Well, hopefully a few of these 40 tips prove useful to you.

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.

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