Thursday, October 22, 2009

Searching a book for a name without typing the name

This is another popular blog-article which is being highlighted for newcomers and Kindle-blog edition subscribers.  During my vacation I'm including the more popular tips and guides. Kindle-blog edition subscribers will not have had these on their Kindles before and the subscription (99c per month) allows offline-review of the last 25 blog articles.

(Another related capability -- "Highlight-copy-paste to a note on Kindle 2" was featured on May 29, 2009.)

Originally posted June 14, 2009
I commented on a question posed in a column today and thought I'd use that question here for those who don't already know the answer.  The Kindle forums indicate that a lot of the Kindle features go unused because most people want only to read their books, which makes sense.

Q. "Ability to search (like Control F  to find a word in a document).  I would like to search for the one character I like and see the pages devoted to him."

A. Yes, I do this constantly.  Search results are shown for any find, surrounded by the context in which the name appears, one after another, in the order they appear in the book.
  TIP: If I see a name in a book or news article but can't remember who the character is or what part s/he plays in it, normally I'd just type out the name.  But there's another way and I now use it more often than not.  (This tip works with Kindle 2 and Kindle DX.)

  I start a highlighting process on it (w/the 5-way cursor) but instead of ending the highlighting at a certain point, I end it with a Spacebar and that copies the name into the search box that comes up when pressing the Spacebar at that point.

  (When doing this, instead of opting to 'find' the result my book, I can choose from the other options in that bar, which include Google, Wikipedia, searching the entire Kindle, etc.  Very spiffy.)

Or -- similar to the way I documented pasting highlighted sections into a Kindle-book Note, here are the steps for this.
  1.   Begin to highlight the name(first, last, or full) that you want to search, by pressing down the 5-way button where you want to begin the copy of the name.

  2.   5-way to the right, and at the last character to be highlighted,   be sure to NOT press the 5-way button down to end the highlighting of the name.

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

  4.   Your now-highlighted name is pasted into the search bar.

  5.   "find"  should be the Action (at the right) to be done by the Kindle
        [ If so, you can just press the Enter key to start the search. ]

      If not, then 5-way to the right until you see the Action wanted and then click on the 5-way.

Tip 2: Anything you highlight, copy and paste this way, you also have options to, instead, Google or search in Wikipedia or your Kindle's dictionary.  But we've chosen the "find" Action here because we want to search only this book or article.  It's especially useful for complicated names.

  Caution: The Kindle doesn't search substrings.  If looking for a word you think might be in a certain section you want to get back to, you need to search a full word that is actually there.  Searching just part of a word won't work.  But I can usually find a word that works.

TIP 3: After browsing search results and reading the one(s) you want, then press 'BACK' button to return to the list of results and then press 'BACK' button once more to get back to the page you were on before the search.

Q. "If I find a particularly interesting paragraph, can I send a quoted copy to friends?"

A. If it's an Amazon article, you can opt to "Clip This Article" (Kindle-2 Menu option) but if it's not, just highlight what you want.  That goes into the "My Clipping" file, which can be copied to your computer with the USB cable that is part of your power cord. Your connected Kindle will be seen as just another drive letter.

Then you can edit that file on your computer and put the copied or extracted portion into an email for your friend.  Doing email on the Kindle via gmail or any other web-mail is arduous. and you can't attach files to it anyway.
  (Except for 'Clip This Article,' this works with all Kindles, including Kindle 1.)

( If this was helpful, please check the "Interesting" (or "Cool") box so I can get an idea of the level of interest for entries like this one.  So far, it seems these are usually of interest though sometimes the level might be considered too basic. )
  7/5/09 - I've eliminated the 'Interesting/Cool' Google widget because it caused the page to take too long to calculate and load, but on the Tips/Guides, it did give me good (easy to rate) indication of interest in those.  There were 45 responses using the 'interesting' box so I will be doing more of these.
 Thanks to those who took the time to let me know.

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 £5 Max 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.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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