Friday, July 30, 2010

Unsung features of Kindle 3. PDF contrast, Web Zoom-ins, Time-setting etc

SEE THE MAIN NEW KINDLE INFO SECTION for details on features announced.  The following are the features that were Not announced but more quietly part of the User's Guide.

First, Len Edgerly's The Kindle Chronicle's Friday Podcast has his "Extra" audio report on the Kindle 3 seen during his visit July 26 with Kindle Team members Jay Marine, Director of Product Development for the Kindle, and Stephanie Mantello, Senior PR Manager for the Kindle in Boston.

  These are first impressions of the new Kindle, recorded immediately after the preview as well as some information from the press release.

 Friday's regular podcast will be an interview with Jay Marine.

New unheralded aspects are in BOLDface.

No-fee delivery of personal documents direct to Kindle
  "For Kindle models that include 3G, you can avoid 3G delivery fees for the personal document service by addressing the e-mail so that the second part of your Kindle e-mail address is  The document will be delivered to your Kindle when your Kindle is connected via Wi-Fi and it will also be e-mailed to your Amazon e-mail address.  If Wi-Fi is not available, you can transfer the personal document to your Kindle's documents folder by connecting your Kindle to your computer. "

Adjust the contrast!
  "While reading a PDF document, you can zoom in or adjust the contrast to make the document easier to read."

  "Pressing the Text key [Aa-key] will let you choose zoom and contrast options for a PDF page."

  The options are "lightest lighter default darker darkest."

However, into each life, some rain must fall:
  "table of contents -- this option is NOT available for PDF documents"

Place Cursor in Page
  "Press up or down on the 5-way controller to display the cursor.  If you are zoomed into a PDF page, you can also press Menu and choose 'Place Cursor in Page' to display the cursor.

    — displays a blinking cursor on the page.  Use this option when you are zoomed in to a PDF page and you want to create a note or highlight, or use the dictionary lookup."

  My note here: We were never able to access the words before.  Highlighted passages can now be forwarded to Facebook and Twitter, if social networking is enabled where you are.

Zooming into Web Pages
"You can zoom in to any web page to magnify the page. Additionally, if you see a magnifying glass displayed on a web page, you can use it to magnify a specific area of a web page."

More options similar to the PDF ones
Fit to Width, Zoom-in options, Actual Size
  My note here: Very nice!  Unfortunately, though, we can't adjust the contrast on webpages, which sometimes don't translate well to b&w.

Article Mode
"While viewing articles on a web page, you can switch to Article Mode ... allowing you to focus on the main text on the page.
  Choose "Web Mode" to return to the standard Web Browser view."

  "Lets you set the current local time on your Kindle.  On Kindle models that include 3G, you can have Kindle automatically set the device time."

  My note here: This can be done manually, finally!  When people are out of Whispernet areas, the most recent files would have no date and be placed last.  Now we can set the time ourselves.

"Microphone— the microphone is not currently enabled but is provided for future use. "

"If one or more items are in the process of downloading from the Kindle Store or Archived Items to your Kindle, you can monitor the download progress.  From Home, press Menu and select “View Downloading Items” to display a list of the items that are in the process of downloading and their download progress.  (If this option is dimmed, then all items have finished downloading to Home.)"

 This is good because I'm always wondering if it's through yet.  Sometimes it takes extra Check & Sync'g to get a blog update.

"Once you open a book, when you go to the next or previous page, the header automatically disappears to allow the page to fill the screen.  To temporarily display the header (for example, if you want to check battery status), press Menu.  Pressing Menu again hides the header."

"Your Kindle automatically turns 3G coverage off when you connect using Wi-Fi.  If you disconnect from a Wi-Fi network or if you move out of Wi-Fi range, Kindle automatically switches back to 3G coverage.  If you want to turn off 3G coverage, you can turn Whispernet off.  Keep in mind that turning Whispernet off also disables Wi-Fi connections.

Your Kindle can connect to a Wi-Fi network at home, at your favorite cafe, or at Wi-Fi hotspots around the world.  Connecting through Wi-Fi offers fast downloads, free delivery of personal documents, and allows your Audible audiobook purchases to be delivered wirelessly to your Kindle, with no computer required.

For U. S. customers traveling outside the United States, there is no additional charge to have your books, periodical subscriptions, and personal documents delivered to your Kindle if you connect to Whispernet using Wi-Fi.

Turning wireless off applies to both 3G and Wi-Fi connections"

  My note here: A humorous thought from K. Rector, posting in Amazon Kindle forums who wonders if, since AT&T offers Kindle users free WiFi at AT&T hotspots everywhere and they list Barnes and Noble as one, whether one can be in the store and browse with the Kindle, using B&N's WiFi  :-)

And the 2nd one is the Oxford Dictionary of English!
This must be a result of the UK getting its own Kindle store Aug. 27.

  Note that the hardcover version of this is $53.

 In the U.S. at least (maybe the UK too, since the User's Guide is for both the U.S. and the UK), the default dictionary is The New Oxford American Dictionary.

ALT-DEL key-combo is back to delete an entire line that was typed instead of deleting one by one slowly.

"The bottom of your Kindle contains the volume controls, headphone jack, micro-USB/power port, power switch, microphone, and charge indicator light."
  Some feel this should be 'unsung.'

BATTERY CONSUMPTION CAUTION that can use a repeat.
"Keep in mind that subscribing to multiple blogs that update frequently may increase power consumption and decrease the battery life.  Weak signal coverage can also increase power consumption."

I just noticed this capability in the User's Guide and didn't remember this being available.  Tried my Kindle 2 and, yes, it's there.

  We can now (if we want to do such a thing) write a review via the Kindle and assign a rating to a product with the K2 and DX's.

That's it for today's report :-)

U.S. and International (except UK) Kindle 3's
  Free 3G/WiFi - $189  (White/Graphite) and WiFi-only- $139  (Graphite)
    Cover, with light powered by Kindle's battery - $60
    Cover, w/o light - $35

UK-Only Kindle 3's
  Free 3G/WiFi - £149.00  (White/Graphite) and WiFi-only- £109.00  (Graphite)
    Cover, with light powered by Kindle's battery - £50
    Cover, w/o light - £30

Kindle Touch 3G   Kindle Touch WiFi   Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. anyone knows if the coming firmware updates for DX (or any previous model) will allow to highlight and annotate in PDF files?

    I think highlighting & annotations are two very important features for PDF readers like me.


  2. jomaweb,
    They've not said but one customer rep told a customer (reported on Amazon's Kindle forums) that some features were going to be also in a later update for the K2 and DX. No word which ones.

  3. I do hope the PDF highlighting/annotation is saved in the PDF file, where it can be read by other PDF reading software. It's okay to put these in Clippings as well, but if you are using a Kindle to mark up PDF, which will be sent to be read by some other PDF viewer, it needs to be saved in the PDF itself.

    PDFs do not inherently have a TOC, so I wouldn't even refer to it that way since there's no way to identify links as "TOC". They are just links. But they really need to add support for PDF links in general at some point.

    Direct audiobook delivery. Wonder how that's initiated? At any rate, a good reason to increase storage capacity. Good to see them taking steps to integrate audible and Kindle. I really like Kindle as an audiobook player, being able to switch from reading to listening. Perhaps the new text-enhanced audible format I keep hoping for is on its way? Or not..

    A microphone. Most intriguing. I would love a little voice navigation for hands free operation, and voice annotation!

    New web browser. I'm not expecting much, but it looks like it will be significantly better. And where I live (no 3G) the wi-fi will be most helpful in getting a high quality connection.

  4. Audible content. I answered my own question. KUG says Audible audio editions will be available in the Kindle Store (presumably only for wi-fi enabled Kindles?). Looks like you'll be able to purchase with your Amazon account (at regular price) or link your Audible account and use that. This is great!

  5. Oh yes, I missed 'free delivery via Wi-Fi'. Was hoping that was the case.

    Deep thought: when will TTS and Web Browser cease to be 'experimental'?

  6. Tom,
    The My Clippings file is added to w/annotations from personal documents and there's no wording that won't be the case here.

    Re notes in PDFs, it's unlikely the associated secondary file will be readable by another reader w/o some conversion procedure.

    The 'article mode' indicates it's not super fast but I would prefer to just get at the meat instead of all the side links. And it's great we can get back to web mode easily.

    Audible audio editions in the Kindle Store are downloadable by our computers also but, as you infer, not via 3G. Yah. Sounds very good!

  7. Andrys,
    I'll remain hopeful that Amazon is saving annotations in the PDF until they prove otherwise. Amazon licenses the Adobe Reader Mobile SDK, which provides the API functions to do this. They will already need to use it to navigate a cursor over the rendered PDF, so another call to store an annotation there is not going to cost much more. Plus it would be so much more USEFUL if they did that, because then Kindle could participate in PDF review workflows more seamlessly.
    It would also make sense to store the annotations in a sidecar file so that they can be consumed like other Kindle annotations. They'd have to synchronize the two instances somehow, but it is not rocket science.
    I hope they'll eventually bite off the last bite of the PDF apple and support PDF reflow and links. Looks like it is all on their list somewhere.

  8. Tom,
    In the PDF itself? I'd be surprised but we'll see. I'm happy with it in a secondary file, like a layer in Photoshop not affecting the original layer. From what I remember re iRex theirs was stored in a secondary file. I wonder what Entourage Edge does.

    But you would want them shareable the other way. It'll definitely go into the My Clippings file as well.

    Thanks for all the input.

  9. Yes, the EE would store annotations to PDF if anything does. I think it does, found this note:

    "How to export an annotated PDF:
    In order to export an annotated pdf page from the enTourage eDGe, you need to do one of the following first:
    Save the file
    Move to another page from the page you annotated
    Exit annotator mode and return to annotator mode.
    These actions will save the annotations with the page."
    (seems a little bit convoluted...)

    I guess I shouldn't expect Amazon to make improving PDF a high priority. With iPad, which probably had a lot to do with killing Skiff and iRex, the market for a large screen eink reader with top notch PDF support has gotten a lot smaller, and is probably owned by EE at this point.

  10. Thanks for that information, Tom. I think Entourage Edge is struggling. Reviews of functioning problems seem too many but it is alone in what it can do at all. And it is pretty sophisticated.

  11. Storing information to a PDF document is not possible without the document explicitly allowing it.
    And even then it requires Adobe Acrobat Creator (though maybe Adobe has licensed the functionality to others, I've never come across that).

    While it's possible to save documents with annotations as PDF on several platforms and retain the annotations, this cannot on any platform I've seen be done if the source document is a PDF (unless maybe, sometimes, the target document is a different PDF, not the same one), leading me to believe Adobe will not license this technology to 3rd parties.

  12. Tom,
    They only recently hired a specialist in web-browser technology. I guess it'll be experimental until it is solid and even then this leaves them an out if it gets too costly.

    I agree, and I think it's possible to save it as a second PDF -- which agrees also with your "unless maybe" -- if Adobe allows it) but not to overwrite the original.

  13. I would like to know when will those software features of Kindle 3 be made available on Kindle 2 or the Kindle DX graphite?

    Doesn't the Kindle DX graphite supposed to be the most feature rich? Does it also has wifi or a microphone?

    And when will Kindle Active Content arrive? All these sounds more interesting when Kindle has wifi.

  14. Tony,
    We;ll all want to know I don't thin the DX graphite is necessarily the most feature rich. No idea re a wifi card but a teardown didn't mention seeing one or a microphone.

    I imagine they may make one with a Wifi card but no idea when. The DX's are usually upgraded after the 6" Kindle.

  15. Hi Andrys,

    I haven't found your opinion on the new K3 shipping without a power adapter, only with a USB -> computer charger. Have you written about this?

    I was disappointed to see Amazon follow this all too common path. For a device that can finally be free from the tethering of a computer with the free document delivery via wifi, they really made sure to stick that extra $20 tax on us with power.

    Also, it would have been nice if they left the hinges in the same place as the K2 to support the old K2 covers on the K3, but I'm sure they and the ecosystem make boatloads off the covers so it's a clear though disappointing decision.


  16. Tom E.,
    Where are you? Here's what is said on the Kindle 3 pages:
    -----"Kindle ships with a U.S. power adapter and a micro-USB cable for charging your Kindle from a computer USB port. The U.S. power adapter supports voltages 100V-240V. "

    Always in the past, in a few countries they don't ship out the power adapter though I don't know why.

    Hinges in the same place probably would not work well for the balance of the interior elements of the Kindle. I was not surprised at that.

    What other electronics do you know of where cases and how they're attached are kept just the way they were for former quite different-sized models?

    I don't like replacing the cover either but sometimes reality takes over -- what helps to sell some used models is the inclusion of a nice cover, however. Those sell better than those w/o, for essentially the same price.

  17. The Kindle 1 had volume control down at the bottom too. Bothersome as heck to have that rocker switch pressed into your gut while reading at night.

  18. Hi Andrys,

    "Where are you?"
    I have no idea anymore! I swear I saw this all of yesterday, and even checked the amazon page that showed no power adapter section in the product grid...Maybe I was on a foreign order page?

    I must be losing my mind. I think it's Kindle-itis, I can't wait for the K3 to ship!!!

    "What other electronics do you know of where cases and how they're attached are kept just the way they were for former quite different-sized models?"
    I was hoping Amazon would be different. All they would need to do is keep the distance between the hinges the same.

    Thank you so much for the power adapter clarification, now I'm even More excited. I'll probably wait a few weeks for case/cover reviews to come through.

    I'm really looking for a good hard case, so I can toss it into my backpack. Perhaps you'll run a K3 case roundup after some folks have started shipping them?

    Tom E

  19. Tom E,
    Kindle-itis can do strange things, I hear. Yes, when you check this or that country (and the cursor can change the place unexpectedly with that table), you'll land on an int'l page that shows no power adapter being shipped.

    Yes, good idea. I will be looking at covers (for myself as well).

  20. Hi Andrys,

    This comment is probably mis-placed, but would love to see a post covering the Daily Refresh, specifically the Flashcard feature:

    I'm sure, as usual, that you've already covered it, but google shows very few mentions of the flashcards, and no one going in depth at all.

  21. Tom, I haven't used the Daily Refresh much but it's sort of fun. I think it'd be best for people using it with classroom materials.

    What struck me is I highlight things so I can remember them and when I looked at at some flashcards I sometimes could not quite remember where I had read the highlight :-)

    What would you like to see covered? How do you use them yourself?

  22. Hi, and thanks for your very informative blog!
    Going back to the point about the new PDF features and the DX, do you think we can count on them being ported at least to the DXG? I've bought one less than a month ago, and I'm not 100% happy about the contrast with some fonts in PDFs - so I think the new update might make a difference. I am not sure about returning it, but I don't like Amazon's lack of clarity on this...why would they not make an announcement on this? I suppose it would only help selling more DX?

  23. 10Q Andrys for your review!

    I have one BIG question: If I have a searchable personal .pdf document on my computer, when I will transfer it on the latest version of Kindle, it will be still searchable? I mean to search for words / sentences within the .pdf

    Please lighten me! :)

    Thank you again.

    P.S. Sorry for may english.

  24. I wish I knew. Since you have a decision to make, call Kindle customer service at 866-321-8851 and let them know your situation with the 30-days.

    In the past, making announcement about coming software changes may have raised expectations very high about when they're coming.

    One customer rep has told a forum member that some are software updatable but couldn't say which.

    PDF contrast is based on how the colors of a PDF are translated to grays. It always results in lighter shades of gray being included instead of just black and white and is then somewhat harder to read. I hope we get this in some existing Kindles but the best bet if it's possible is with the Graphite model, at least for effectiveness, maybe.

  25. That last one was to kindlematic.

    You're welcome!

    Re your question on the personal PDF file on your computer, yes, you'll still be able to do the searches on the Kindle.

    You'll also be able to do highlighting and add notes.

  26. I Would like to buy DX but Confused on PDF which I need to highlight annotate and would like to read to me. I understand that this can be done by conversion to kindle format but at what cost and time lag. Also are the PDF columns etc preserved in the translation as I tried calibre and then read as ebook and the columns etc are not preserved . My main purose would be to read and highlight PDFs as a study guide so is this the best medium

  27. Anonymous,
    The Kindle 3's that are due out next week do allow highlighting and notes to be done as well as contrast-adjustments in PDFs. We are not sure Amazon will have a software update to allow this for the DX's as well but it seems possible.

    Columns and other complex pages are not handled well in conversions. What I do is keep the original PDF for reference -- to see or check the actual layout and I do a conversion on a copy so I can annotate that and read with the text "reflowed" even if I lose the column format.

    Sorry I don't have a better answer for you right now. Good luck on how this goes.

  28. Hi,

    Will it be possible to edit Google Docs on Kindle 3?



  29. I would like to emphasize one more time that academic research work on the new Kindle will depend upon its ability to import a PDF, annotate a PDF, and export the annotated PDF in a format that can be read (and perhaps further annotated) on a computer -- all this without losing tables and charts. Almost all of the research we mine through university libraries are in PDF.

    Whoever gets this right will eventually win the campus.


  30. Good and useful info, thank you. Do you happen to know if interactive text fields in a PDF can be accessed on the Kindle 3?

  31. Salem,
    No, I don't know if interactive text files in a PDF can be accessed (and saved). I doubt it though. At this point linked Table of Contents are, from what I remember, not yet supported.

  32. An update on Audible features:
    - we're still waiting for the Audible category to show up in Kindle Store
    - if you have an Audible account, you can merge it with your Amazon account.
    - Once you do this, your Audible library items show up as Archived Items on the Kindle. When you have a wifi connection you can download wirelessly. What would normally be a multipart audiobook is combined into one file.
    - until Kindle Store is hooked up, you can use the Kindle browser to login to and do everything you'd normally do there, except download content from your library (because the Kindle browser only downloads mobi/prc/azw etc.). When you purchase a new item, there's a link to put it in your Kindle's delivery queue for wifi delivery, obviating the need to find it in Archived Items on the Kindle.

    So far, so good. But:
    - Kindle supports Audible format 4 and Enhanced. The latter is about twice the size of the former, though I doubt I could tell the difference on Kindle's utilitarian audio circuitry. You would think that your download preference would be respected, but you can only get the larger Enhanced format over wifi. They must have their reasons for this restriction, which on the surface makes no sense, but they aren't sharing them with us.
    - Also if you don't have room for a 45 hour enhanced format audiobook, there's no way to download it in pieces short of using a computer to download and move over USB.
    - also I'm finding K3 a little 'noisy'. For example if wifi is on, and something is downloading, there's audible interference, and it seems there are periodic, brief 'dropouts', as if some process running in the background is interrupting audio playback.

    For all that, I'm impressed with the level of integration they've achieved, and I'm looking forward to whether they'll expand on this with some hybrid ebook/audiobook format, or at least some co-marketing, discounts, of ebook+audiobook. As it is, I prefer having text (and TTS) most of the time.

  33. Regarding PDF:
    - Kindle's PDF annotations/highlights are not portable between PDF reading systems, as we suspected would be the case. Still, they are useful enough. Someone could probably write a program to extract them from 'my clippings' (maybe the sidecar PDR file?) and inject them into the PDF, not that I'm volunteering an attempt to do so.
    - I'm using PDF more extensively with K3 for some reason, having discovered Cropping, and having experienced nothing but frustration with conversion of PDF to mobi (I'm picky). Cropping makes it possible to crop out the header/footer and excess margin so that full screen display in portrait is often quite readable and even pleasant. The contrast adjustment is useful as well for making the small text more readable. Even many letter size PDFs are fine in portrait mode, since most have a lot of white space you can crop out.
    - landscape viewing works even better with cropping, sometimes it can consume a page in only two 'bites' instead of the usual 3.
    - however there's an annoying bug with full screen display: maybe 1 of 15 pages or so has the last line clipped off, and you have to zoom or switch to landscape to read it. I plan to report it to Amazon, but want to make some more observations first. It's not clear if it is even Amazon's bug, since they use Adobe Mobile Reader SDK for PDF rendering.
    - support for PDF links would be nice, hope they get around to implementing it.
    - PDF reflow might be nice too, but I must say I prefer to consume the original layout, to the extent that it works.

    I was thinking about getting a Sony Reader to do some comparisons of PDF support, but the new models are priced a little out of my range (just spent my play money on the K3 and now an iPod Touch). Well, there's eBay, I might pick up a previous gen model there.

  34. E-pub to PDF conversion. When I download an e-pub from my library and view it with Adobe digital Editions it looks fine, when I convert it on computer to PDF using Digital Editions Converter it also looks great on my computer. But when I put it on my Kindle2 via USB into the documents folder the margins are messed up? It seems that the document is shifted to the right and I cannot view the las few letters of each line. Any ideas? Thanks!

  35. John,
    I'm surprised you can do that much with a library book that has DRM (digital-rights-management) on it.

    I guess the answer is in what happens during the conversion of your ebook to a format that's readable on a Kindle but is not a pure PDF file since that would read fine on the Kindle though with small text.

    Try using the Aa Text-key to rotate the image to see if that helps you see more of it...

  36. Tom,
    Thanks for all the observations. I haven't had time to fully explore them but appreciate knowing about what you've discovered.

    Like you I prefer having the original PDF and wnat a reflow edition only in some instances.

    For now I use MobiPocket and doublecheck illustrations/diagrams against the original...

  37. Hello Andrys,
    My first Kindle just arrived today. A Graphite Kindle 3G. So far I love it, especially the ability to enlarge the font for these old eyes of mine. I have downloaded a few books to start my library. I have been amazed by how quickly they appear.

    The one thing that I find odd is not being able to remove a single "My Clipping" entry by using the device. I found a Google entry about editing the file while the Kindle is connected to a PC as a USB device. Sort of strange, but not a big deal.

    While it was attached as a USB, I was able to upload several PDF files. The built in reader is not too bad.

    Thanks for the information on this blog! It has proven very helpful already.

    Take care,
    Scott Mathews
    Kansas City

  38. Scott / Essjam
    Glad it's helped already, and thanks for letting me know.

    Re the "My Clippings" file - it's essentially a log file in chron order of COPIES of any and all annotations you've made and is an added file that allows you to have all notes in a text format file so that you can copy the text-file to your computer in order to print portions of it or to edit it.

    The actual notes are put into the book's secondary file, which is in binary format and therefore isn't in editable text format.

    Then you can move the My Clippings file back to the Kindle or copy it to the Kindle after archiving it on the computer OR delete the one on the Kindle and start fresh on the Kindle.

    Then there's the password-protected personal webpage Amazon makes for each customer who doesn't disable backup of annotations. You can read about that at

    That lets you see all your highlighting and notes for any Amazon-received book, and to see them all on one scrolling page if you want. That can be highlighted and copied to your computer for editing/printing etc.

    That's all part of a larger piece on the My Clippings file at

    That also includes information on a free macro file available that takes your My Clippings file and outputs the info sorted by book into table format.

    That should get you started.

    I agree that the PDF reader is pretty good and the main problem is that PDFs were meant for a physical page that is twice the size of the 6" Kindle. But it can be very useful.

    You can also ask Amazon (by sending an email to [you] with 'Convert' in the subject field]] to convert a copy of the PDF into Kindle format for easier reading (if it's not a complex PDF) and to be able to use all the Kindle features, while keeping the original PDF (layout) on the Kindle for reference.

    You can use the search box at top right to search for topics...

  39. hey, can i read my pdf files stored in my pc in kindle? how? do i need to just copy the file or anything more?is it possible?

  40. The user's guide with Kindle3 is extremely limited. Is a more extensive user's guide document available, and if so, where?

  41. Alicia,
    Yes, it can get on Facebook via the web browser.

    Also, through the social networking features.

  42. I've been reading the whole series of Louise Penny mysteries on the new Kindle 3G. Just started the final book. Starting at chapter 2, the text unexpectedly shifts to all bold at size #3- this is not one of the choices. I've tried paging ahead a chapter or two and then going back in reverse and the text temporarily returns to the regular size #3, then shifts back to bold again. Very annoying. Is this a glitch in the download???

  43. Peter,
    You can re-download the file at anytime so can check if that's the case.

    I'm afraid it might be a problem with what is called a "Topaz" file in which the publisher embeds their own fonts and you can't change it.

    They are considered prime for control but Kindle readers don't like them as they have glitches and sometimes cause freezes. They're called "the dreaded Topaz."

    If you look at the file it'll probably have the extension '.azw1'

    Try redownloading and if that doesn't improve things, call Kindle Customer Support to let them know about it.

    You can also contact the publishers directly to let them know and to see if they can't correct it (if that's what it is).

  44. Does anyone know if the Kindle 3 has a usb port?
    I heard it does but i want to be sure.

  45. got kindle 3 6" recently, my first kindle. bought it to read mainly pdfs, but not really happy with the zoom function, it would be much better if i can specify a zoom % rather than choosing from the set as some of the pdf would be in good text size if zoomed at 120% without having to scroll left to right etc. Surely it will just be a software update to allow this function. Wish amazon will do it soon.

  46. Hi, I just found your blog... I have a 3rd Gen Kindle 3G+WiFi. My fist one and I'm very happy in over all with it, even the experimental features... but as someone previously said not too happy with the pre-determied zoom % in PDF files... I bouught it to read guitar tabs on it as I'm running out of space at my apartment and have been scanning all of them... But my main concern is that sometimes it takes a lot of time to load them... even to turn pages may take up to a minute or so... I don't know why as I also have been reading full pictured PDF files that are about 70MB and my music sheets are by far smaller (20MB).

    Do you know if it has anything to do with the scan process?


    PS I haven't send them to be formatted to Kindle... because they are a lot and I don't want to be charged as they are between 10BM and 20MB.

  47. Anonymous,
    Sorry for the delay ...
    You're not alone in being dissatisfied with the very pre-set zooms. I find them very awkward and hope Amazon finds a way to improve this, and I would like a smaller pre-set zoom if they have to keep them this way. 125% is really quite necessary in many cases.

    Once you click on the zoom increase, it's scrollable. Making the zoombox where you want it in small moves is done by pressing shiftkey and 5-way direction at the same time.

    You should scan the guitar tabs at no more than 150 pixels. Don't need 300. They'll load faster that way. I have a lot of sheet music which is dense but it doesn't take more than 3-4 seconds to turn the page and even that seems long. So, taking a minute to load is really awful.

    So, yes, it's probably something about the scanning process.

    Did you know you can just scan them to images and put them in a normal Word Doc file as images within text? And then send that to your Kindle?

    BUT, if you go to PDF (pure image files do take longer to open especially if every page is a large image file, and it's deadly if it's a large book of images. At least when opening in e-Ink.

    If you send them to be formatted for Kindle you'll have to put "Convert" in the subject field, as Amazon just passes PDFs along as-is.

    Send to [you] and it will be sent to you via WiFi, costing nothing.

    You can also, in the meantime, go to (that's the manageyourkindle page). There you can set your maximum 3G fee charge for mailing things to your Kindle as $0.00 or whatever and never worry about a charge.

    Let me know you saw this and how it turns out as you may not have clicked on getting follow-up notes. Thanks.

  48. I do hope the PDF highlighting/annotation is saved in the PDF file, where it can be read by other PDF reading software. It's okay to put these in Clippings as well, but if you are using a Kindle to mark up PDF, which will be sent to be read by some other PDF viewer, it needs to be saved in the PDF itself.

  49. Direct audiobook delivery. Wonder how that's initiated? At any rate, a good reason to increase storage capacity. Good to see them taking steps to integrate audible and Kindle. I really like Kindle as an audiobook player, being able to switch from reading to listening. Perhaps the new text-enhanced audible format I keep hoping for is on its way? Or not..

  50. I'm considering buying a Kindle, mostly to read PDF academic articles. Obvioiusly, I'm questioning wether or not the screen will be big enough, but I'm thinking if I could hold the device horizontally, and then scroll while I'm reading, it would probably be just wide enough that the font will be easily readable.
    Does anyone know if this is the case? Is it possible? Or maybe I'm just thinking too optimistically?
    Thanks in advance

  51. riley,
    PDFs in Portrait mode are very hard to read if they're of the technical type with complex layouts or even two columns. Definitely easier when rotated to Landscape mode. SOME are quite readable that way but I'm not sure I'd say 'easily'... There are zoom mechanisms too.

    I keep the original to check layout and if needed and original layout is not important, I email it to my Kindle address and request an autocoversion by Amazon servers which then send (free) a Kindle-formatted version to the Kindle.

    Examples: and

    The Kindle can be used in the home for up to 30 days and returned to Amazon for any reason for a full refund.

    You MIGHT want to wait a few weeks anyway to see if they lower the price of the 9.7" Kindle DX Graphite, which is a better eInk model for PDFs, but I do carry around all my camera and digital piano, dvd recorder manuals on the K3 just in case, since I can always zoom it to look up something. BUT, not that great for straight reading in original layout, as these were done for 8-1/2 x 11" sheets and the eInk screens are 6" diagonally.


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