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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

PDF to Kindle


Files in Portable Document Format (or better known as PDF format) are great. The format is universally recognized and what you see in terms of layout is the same no matter which device is used to open the file. This become a problem when you try to read these documents on a small form factor device like your smart phone. The display is either too tiny or if you enlarge the fonts, you will be faced with the problem having to scroll just to read a line of text.

Luckily, there is a solution. Amazon provides us a way to convert these PDF files into kindle format. In that format, the text will automatically wrap around within the screen improving the reading experience. In order to do that, just send the file as an attachment with the word “convert” in the subject line to your kindle device email address. Each device with the kindle app installed will have a unique email address available under the settings tab within “Manage Your Content and Devices” section. There is an option to edit and change the email address to make it more readable.

In order to prevent spam, the email from which the file is sent will need to be authorized. By enabling Personal Document Archiving, all the documents will be added to the Kindle Library. The converted files will be listed as documents within the content tab in “Manager your Content and Devices”.

I found a few limitations in the convert capability:
  1. The conversion works with text only. Everything else will be discarded including tables and other forms of formatting.
  2. Some fonts may not be properly converted so you will find the spaces in odd places making the words difficult to read.
  3. The converted files (docs) can be delivered can only be sent to the following devices:
    • Fire tablets
    • Kindle e-readers
    • Kindle for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
    • Kindle for Android
    • Kindle for BlackBerry10
  4. The resulting file will not have any table of content.

This is the only option I know that will allow me to read my PDF file collection on my phone comfortably.


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