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.

Kindle 2 Video User Guide

These are the top 100 things about the Kindle 2 worth knowing (to be precise they’re probably 100 of the top 150 things to know).

The addition of the video is to let you actually see what things look like, and you can try it out on your Kindle 2 as you watch and read this guide.

Kindle 2 Guide – The Basics

Here’s a video walking you through Kindle 2 basics – [wpvideo RnOnSJWI]

There are some of the basic things to know –

  1. You can charge via USB or the power adapter. Orange = Charging. Green = Fully charged.
  2. The bar at the very top always shows the name you gave your Kindle on the left, and the Wireless Signal and Battery Life on the right.
  3. When you press the Menu button the top bar also shows remaining memory capacity on the left, Time in the centre and type of wireless signal next to signal strength and battery life.
  4. The Kindle loses its battery charge very rapidly if whispernet/wireless is left on. This happens even if Kindle is in sleep mode. So do turn off the wireless whenever you’re not using the Internet.
  5. Be very careful when handling your Kindle 2. Dropping it could break the screen which is rather delicate.
  6. Customer Help –

    Kindle Help Customer Numbers – 1-866-321-8851 in the US, and 1-206-266-0927 from outside the US.

Kindle 2 Guide – Kindle 2 Shortcuts

Here’s the video – [vimeo 6449243]

And here are the shortcuts discussed (in all cases you have to hold down the first key and then press the second key) –

  1. Alt + Aa – Brings up the Font Size and Text To Speech Menu.
  2. Shift + Sym – Starts Read To Me, the Text to Speech feature. Its disabled in some books and won’t work for them. 
  3. SpaceBar (when TTS is on) – pause and restart Text To Speech. 
  4. Alt+SpaceBar – Start and Stop Background Music.  
  5. Alt+F – Next Music Track.
  6. Alt+G – Refresh the screen and Remove Ghosting (faded outlines of previous page). 
  7. Alt+B – Bookmark.
  8. Alt+Shift +1/2/3/etc. – Change Line Spacing.   
  9. Dictionary definitions – Move Cursor to any word. Press Enter to see more details.
  10. Menu button on any page – Time and Memory.  
  11. Alt+T on Home Screen – Time and Date. 
  12. Left on Home Screen when an item is underlined – delete the item.
  13. Right on Home Screen when an item is underlined – see item details, and links for last page read, etc.
  14. Type in @help on home page – see help options.
  15. Alt+Shift+M on Home Page – Bring up Minesweeper.
  16. Jump to any page – Press a number (say 2) and then 5-way controller to go to that page (page 2). Note: You can also jump to page 22 by quicly pressing ‘2’ twice and then hitting the enter key.

Additional Kindle 2 Shortcuts:

  1. Alt + Delete – Clear what you’ve typed in a note or in the search field.
  2. Alt+Shift+G – Take a screenshot.
  3. Alt+Z – Refresh Home Screen to show photo albums (see section below on how to add photo albums). 
  4. Search options (@dict, @home, @store, @web, @wikipedia/@wiki).
  5. Browser Bookmarks List – Left on 5-way to delete a bookmark, right on 5-way to edit a bookmark.
  6. Kindle Help Customer Numbers – 1-866-321-8851 in the US, and 1-206-266-0927 from outside the US.
  7. Power Switch – Slide it to go to Sleep Mode or to wake up Kindle. Slide and hold for 4-5 seconds to turn off Kindle.
  8. Sending Kindle into sleep mode is better than turning it off.
  9. Slide and hold Power Switch for 15 seconds to reset the Kindle. Use reset sparingly.
  10. In Settings enter 411 and press enter to get diagnostics.
  11. In settings enter 611 and press enter to get even more diagnostics.

 If you have found any additional shortcuts, please leave a comment.

Kindle 2 Video Guide – Reading a Book

Here’s a video walk-through – [vimeo 6449996]

This is a straightforward section. Will add notes if there’s any confusion – leave a comment if you’d like steps and details.

Kindle 2 Video Guide – Getting Paid and Free Books

[vimeo 6450403]

The best options for free books are –

  1. The link on the upper part of the right side of this page for 40 free new kindle books in the kindle store. 
  2. The link on the left side of this page for Free Kindle Books and Sites (its under ‘Popular Posts’).
  3. Manybooks and Gutenberg are the two best choices for free public domain books. At Gutenberg remember to download the Mobipocket format. At Manybooks choose the Kindle format (.azw).
  4. Mnybks.net works from the Kindle’s browser.
  5. For Google Books, choose the link on the right next to the 40 Free Kindle Books list link.

As far as buying from the Kindle Store –

  1. If you buy from the Kindle itself the purchase confirmation page will have a link at the very bottom to return the book i.e. cancel your purchase.
  2. If you buy from Amazon and want a refund, you’ll have to email customer service or call them up.
  3. When browsing Kindle Store via the Kindle you have to click through to a book’s page to see the price. The bestseller lists have no prices shown (on Amazon.com they do).  
  4. Remember that any books you download have to be placed in the documents folder of the kindle. Any audiobooks have to be placed in the Audible folder.

Kindle 2 Guide – AudioBooks and Photo Albums

Here’s a video showing how to get audiobooks and photo albums on to the Kindle and how to access them – [wpvideo DOHzFZZG].

Here are the written instructions –

Using the Image Viewer (Photo Albums)

Creating photo albums on your Kindle 2 –

  1. Connect Kindle 2 to your PC via the USB cable.
  2. Your Kindle 2 will show up as a external drive. Create a “pictures” folder on it.
  3. Create sub-folders in the pictures folder with the name that you’d like to give your photo albums. 
  4. For each folder put in the photos that you would like in that photo album.
  5. Remove your Kindle 2 from your PC/Mac and on the home page press Alt+Z to refresh and bring up the photo albums.
  6. The names of the photo albums will be the folder names you selected for sub-folders in your pictures folder.
  7. Click on one of the photo albums, and the Image Viewer on the Kindle 2 starts up.

Shortcuts in the Kindle 2’s Image Viewer –

  1. Zoom In – Q key.
  2. Zoom Out – W key.
  3. Reset Zoom – E key.
  4. Toggle to Actual Size – C key.
  5. Toggle Full Screen Mode – F key.
  6. Pan Photo – With 5-way controller. This only works for large pictures
  7. Rotate – R key

As far as audiobooks, this post on Kindle AudioBooks has details on how to get Audible books to work. The audio book player details in the post are a bit outdated as in Kindle 2 all the controls are together at the bottom of the screen.

Kindle 2 Guide – Newspapers and Search

 Here’s the video guide – [vimeo 6450971]

And the notes –

  1. All newspapers have 14 day free trials so do take advantage of that.  
  2. Some newspapers do not include all the content and pictures. Read the reviews in the Kindle Store for details. 
  3. Its useful to use the ‘View Sections’ option.
  4. Its also rather helpful that the number next to the section name (in the View Sections page) gives you a list of articles in the section. 
  5. You can clip an entire article from a newspaper.
  6. You can keep an issue of the newspaper.
  7. You can add notes and highlights in an article.

For Search –

  1. When searching you can choose to search just the current book (if in a book), or all your items, or the web, or wikipedia, or the kindle store, or google, or the dictionary.
  2. When searching, you can use search shortcuts i.e. @store, @web, @wiki/@wikipedia, @dict etc. You can also use @author when searching the kindle store to narrow a search to a particular author.
  3. You can use a combination of ‘tags/notes’ and search to create a Folders workaround for the Kindle.

Kindle 2 Guide – Browser and Kindle Store

To Be Updated. The lack of whispernet in Canada makes this rather difficult. Will figure out a workaround and update this section.

Kindle 2 Conversions

For Conversion please see the Kindle 2 PDF conversion guide. The post focuses on pdf conversions.

The emailing to Amazon methods (both free and paid) discussed in the post also work for the other formats that Amazon converts i.e. HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP.

Closing Thoughts

Will update this Kindle 2 Video Guide with new tips and guidelines as they’re found. Do leave comments and the best tips and helpful things you’ve found about the Kindle 2. Let me know if you have questions.