Sunday, January 9, 2011

Undocumented Copy and Paste of 1) Highlights into Notes 2) Search phrases


This is updated information from two postings for the Kindle 2 a year and a half ago, including the one for Searching a book for a name or character in the book without typing the name which was posted on June 14, 2009.

  Since then, we have the Kindle 3 (UK: K3), which changes the process just a bit.
Copy and paste words or phrases for Searches in a book or on the Net
As I've said, the Kindle keyboard is no speed demon unless we're counting the speed of mistakes that can be made on those little keys.  I've gotten used to it and use the keyboard often now because I'm forever searching in a book when I see a name and can't, as usual, remember who the character is, first introduced maybe 70 pages back.

  Searching on a name brings up a listing of each Kindle page or "location number" that has a mention of the name, word, or phrase being searched -- along with surrounding paragraph for context (and an active link to each location).

  Because the often multiple results are listed in divided rows down the screen, I can also get more context for the character just by perusing the several paragraph summaries.

  When I first posted this, I was riveted by a then new account of Columbine by Dave Cullen (the book later wound up on the Best Books of 2009 of several newspapers, including The NY Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Times, etc.)   The link in this paragraph quotes the Washington Post review of the wholly different take Cullen has on the incident.  There are a lot of people involved in this story, and I did want to remember who they were and the circumstances, which led me to post about the shortcut to finding all mentions of someone in a book.

  It's a great feature that many don't use.  We have choices of searching the book or the entire Kindle or Wiki or the full Net (free 3G Net searches from almost anywhere), using the 5-way button to select from all the options available as we move to the right.  The Kindle 1 offered searches of the entire Kindle (a much longer process) but none for just the book we're reading.

Copy and paste highlighted passages TO a note used in your Kindle
In connection with Amazon's new feature at the time which lets us see, on a private webpage for our Kindle, all our highlights and notes for each Kindle book we own, I noticed I'd done a lot of highlighting which is helpful for discussions, or as memory-joggers, but I'd typed very few notes.  Why?  It's because it takes a while to type on the small keyboard, accurately.

Notes we make are ALSO copied into our "My Clippings" file, which we can copy or move to our computers to print or edit.  Highlighted sections are also copied into that courtesy file.

 However, sometimes I'd like to add a thought about something from a passage I'm reading.  I really don't want to type the passage, so I've wished for a way to copy and paste an excerpt to my book's "Notes" box and add, to that Note, shorthand thoughts, on the Kindle.  This can be expanded on a computer later.  Wish granted.
The following steps are for For Kindle 2's, modified for Kindle 3's, and for DX's

  1.   Begin to highlight the sentence(s) you want to reference in your note by pressing down the 5-way button where you want to begin the copy.

  2.   5-way down, and at the last line to be excerpted, 5-way right, to the end of the referenced passage.   Do NOT press the 5-way button down to end the highlight.

  3.   Instead, press the space bar.  That'll bring up a search field.

  4.   Your now-highlighted passage is pasted into the Searchbar on Kindle 2's and DX's and into a Note-box on Kindle 3's.

  For Kindle 2's and DX's
   Now 5-way to the right, through several options, until you reach
   the "note" option.

  For Kindle 3's
   Upon a press of the spacebar, you don't get a Searchbox.
   Instead you get a Note-box as a main focus and
   with seemingly fewer options, but if you go to the bottom
   and keep 5-waying to the right, you'll see other options.
   In this case, we want to stay with the Note.

  For Kindle 2's, DX's
   Press down the 5-way button on "note" and you'll see
   the highlighted portion entered automatically into
   a Note-box.  You can now add some thoughts
   about the highlighted portion just pasted in.

  For Kindle 3's
   You are already in the Note-box and can save the note
   on the Kindle
   or save & share it on Facebook or Twitter. That process
   lets you write a cover note as well.

Tip: Anything you highlight, copy and paste this way, you have options to, instead, Google or search in Wikipedia or your Kindle's dictionary or on the Kindle itself.  But we've chosen "note" here because this makes notes about designated passages quite a bit easier.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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  1. I've tested and it works as you said but the selected text is *always* limited to 3 lines of text cutting it with an ellipsis. I've test it with an Instapaper sync publication and with a PDF document. Is that the usual behaviour?

  2. nice tips!..thank you..
    I do have article on kindle too..check this out:

  3. Anonymous,
    I'd not checked this out as far as length of note because with the Kindle 2 and the DX's, which are using (just updated this week) software version 2.57 (the Kindle 3 has v3.0.x), there was no limit that I'd reached with earlier Kindles -- but I never copied that much either. However, I always copied more than 3 lines.

    But you're absolutely right that with the Kindle 3 software, they've limited it to 3 lines when you copy a highlighted passage TO a Kindle note.

    I guess a different team worked on the new Webkit browser used on the Kindle 3 and decided to do that. Bizarre. I hope they don't carry that over to the older 2.5.x series, but probably they won't, since they JUST updated v2.5.x this week.

    I guess, for a workaround on Kindle 3 just highlight the amount you want from the current pages, a copy of which will go into the "My Clipping" file anyway without the 3-line restriction, and then add a note -- and they'll show up in the same spot when you're reviewing your notes...

    OTHER tests:
    Facebook-sharing (a Kindle feature)
    When I highlight a couple of paragraphs (of the same material) and 'share' it on Facebook with an attached short note we can add, it allowed more than 3 lines.

    However, there was a limit to that also, though it's a more reasonable one. You can see that at

    This was true for both the older and newer Kindles.

    My Annotations webpage on Amazon
    THEN I went to my private password-protected annotates webpage that we all have (if we allow backup of annotations in Settings) and checked the highlighting and note. There, the entire highlighted section shows up, along with the short note that goes with it when doing the sharing on Facebook.


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