Kindle is undeniably one of the best eBook readers (aka eReader) in the market. And right so — primarily because, over the years, Amazon has managed to take into consideration customers’ inputs and build upon them to offer an end-product that everyone enjoys reading eBooks on. Not to mention the massive library of books across various genres that it has accumulated all these years that caters to the needs of almost every individual. While it is not easy to decide on which Kindle to buy given the numerous options it offers (Kindle buying guide), it is also not easy to get hold of all its different features and abilities right away. So, in this article, we take you through all the different Kindle tips and tricks you should know to get the most out of your device.
1. Capture a Screenshot
Similar to how you take screenshots on your mobile phones, tablets, or laptops to capture things that come across as interesting, you can also do the same with Kindle. For this, tap on the opposite ends of the display, like the top-left and the bottom-right simultaneously, and it will take a screenshot, with a flash to notify the screenshot capture is successful. Now, to access these captured screenshots, connect the Kindle to a computer, and copy the images to your machine. You can find the screenshots in the root directory.
2. Highlight Text
Kindle allows you to highlight text in a paragraph/passage you find interesting while reading, which you can then at a revisit later time. To highlight a text, simply press and hold on the beginning word of the passage you want to highlight and drag your finger to the end of the text. You should now see a few options that you can perform on your selected text. From these options, tap on Highlight. To see a list of all your highlighted text, go to Your Library, and from there, open the file that says My Clippings.
3. Send a Document to Kindle
Of all the different features that you come across in this list, Send-to-Kindle has to be the most essential of the lot. As, it serves one of the most useful purposes — the ability to send documents or books (in a few supported formats) to your Kindle and read them on it.
For this, compose an email and add the file your want to send to your Kindle as an attachment. Now, in the subject line, type “convert” and send it to your Kindle address. Your Kindle address is your email username, followed by [at kindle dot com]. So for instance, if your Amazon email address is [xyz at gmail dot com], your Kindle address would be [xyz at kindle dot com]. However, before you proceed, make sure the email address you plan to send your files to is added to the Kindle Personal Documents Service list. Once the email is sent, Kindle will automatically convert it to a compatible format and add it to your library.
4. Send an ePUB eBook to Kindle
ePub is one of the most popular eBook file formats that support a range of devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers. It ends with the .epub file extension and is basically an archive of HTML file with various images and other supporting files. Sadly, Kindle does not offer support for the ePub format. And although you can use ePub reader apps for both computers and smartphones to read ePubs, there is a workaround to get it on your Kindle.
For this, install the Calibre app from here and set it up with your details. Now, add your books and convert them to the supported Kindle formats MOBI or AZW. Once done, you can either send them to your Kindle manually or using the built-in email service.
5. Use Kindle X-Ray for Book Summary
If you thought of Kindle as a mere tool to read eBooks, you might certainly be unaware of its capabilities. And the Kindle X-Ray feature is one such feature that demonstrates this. Essentially, it offers you different insights into a book, which might be related to a character, topic, event, place, or even a term.
To use this feature, open a book (that offers X-Ray) and tap on the top to unveil different options. From here, hit the three vertical dots on the top-right. You will now see a list with different options. Choose X-Ray, and on the next screen, it will provide an in-depth insight into the book for Notable Clips, People, Terms, Images, etc. Now, depending on what you want to learn more about, select the particular tab to get the relevant information.
6. Read Articles
Besides reading eBooks, your Kindle can also be used to read articles saved in your Pocket or Instapaper library. Depending on what service you use, there are different ways to go about this. If you use Pocket, go and download the Pocket-to-Kindle tool (from here) and sign in to your account. Now, choose a plan, and from the different delivery frequencies, select the one you that goes with your reading habits. On the final screen, enter your Kindle address and hit Start Delivering Now. You should see your library updated with new articles in some time. Also, do note that you need to add the sender address to your approved list of devices under Personal Document Services Settings for the service to allow a third-party to send an email to your Kindle account.
On the other hand, if you use Instapaper, the process is quite straightforward. For this, go to Instapaper’s website and sign in with your account. Here, open the How to Save guide and drag the Save to Instapaper bookmarklet to the toolbar of your browser — this will be used to queue up your digest. Similarly, go to the Settings and under the Kindle section, enter your Kindle address and click on the Get Kindle Bookmarklet button. Grab this button and drag it to your browser’s toolbar. You can now use these bookmarklets to sync articles to your Kindle. Further, if you want, you also have the option to change trigger settings for these bookmarklets.
7. Organize Books using Collection
For those who have a large collection of books spread across different genres, being able to organize them categorically is a godsend. If you find yourself belonging to this tribe, the Collection feature can turn out to be pretty useful. To create a collection, go to the home page on your Kindle and tap the three vertical dots on the top-right. From the list that pops-up, select Create New Collection, and on the next screen, give a name to your collection. Once that’s done, you will see a list of all your books. From this list, select the checkbox next to the book you want to add to the collection and hit Done. You can find your collections in the Your Library section.
8. Use Dictionary more effectively
Most of the Kindle users might be aware of the dictionary feature, which helps you find the meaning of a word you are otherwise unfamiliar with. However, besides that, there are a few more options that people usually do not pay attention to, such as Wikipedia and translation options. As its name suggests, when you press and hold on a button, besides giving you the meaning of that word, Kindle also gives you insights into a word on the Wikipedia page. Similarly, it also has a translation page, which allows you to translate a word to a different language. Both these options can be accessed by scrolling to the right on the dictionary pop-up card.
9. Learn new words in a different Language
While you can translate a word to a different language using the translate option, it becomes a tedious process when you want to know the meaning of a lot of words or learn a new language. This is where the Word Wise comes into play. The feature gives you hints for difficult words, and as of now, supports only two languages: English and Chinese.
Moreover, similar to the X-Ray feature, it is also not available in every book. To enable it, tap on the top of the screen and hit the three vertical dot button on the top-right. From the list of options, select Word Wise, and on the next page, toggle the button and change the settings to your requirements. You should now see some words with their meanings displayed on top throughout your book. Tap on these to learn more about the word.
10. Adjust Screen Brightness
The ability to adjust brightness is only offered with the Kindle Paperwhite and other high-end models that come with a backlight. So, if you own an old Kindle (with no backlight), you might not be able to change your screen’s brightness. However, for those with the other models, all you need to do is press and hold the sun icon on the left edge of the slider and change the brightness level as you find fitting.
11. Change the Font and Text Size
Although eReaders serve reading as their primary objective, and to a large extent the eInk displays take a less-nuanced approach at it, you might still want to adjust things like font and text size to your liking. Luckily, with Kindle, you get the option to modify these settings.
To change the font and text size, open an eBook and tap on the top part of the display. You will now see a dropdown menu with different options. Tap on the one that says Page Display and select Font & Page Settings. From here, you can change the font, text size, and make the text bolder or lighter. Moreover, you can also change the page view, orientation, and alignment. Besides, if you find trouble reading compact text, there is an option to change that using the different theme options, to suit your vision.
12. Enable Page Refresh
If you often read books on Kindle, you must have noticed that after every six page turns you do, the page refreshes itself. Basically, this is to prevent the artifacts due to the ghosting effect. To ensure this does not happen to your Kindle, you can enable the page refresh option for each page turn. For this, go to Settings > All Settings > Reading Options. And from there, toggle the button next to Page Refresh.
13. Extend Battery Life
Although the battery on Kindle easily lasts weeks, you can extend it to its full potential by ensuring certain features and settings are not consuming excess juice. This can especially come in handy when you are traveling. Here are a few settings you can tweak to extend your battery life – disable Page Refresh, reduce Brightness levels, turn on Airplane mode — found under Settings, and Turn Off Screen – press and hold the power button and select Screen Off from the options.
14. Set a Passcode
If you carry Kindle to places or have kids at home, you might certainly want to lock it to prevent people from using it. To do this, go to Settings > All Settings > Device Options. Here, select Device Passcode and create a passcode. You will now need to enter the passcode every time you want to unlock your Kindle.
15. Reset Kindle
Although you might not be required to do it very often, there are times when your Kindle might get stuck or not respond to touches. Not to mention the instances when you want to sell your Kindle, and therefore, need to wipe it clean. To do this, tap on Settings and select All Settings. From here, go Device Options and hit the Reset option.
That’s it for this article!
Those were some of the Kindle tips and tricks you can use to customize your Kindle and get the most of your reading experience. Do you happen to know more Kindle tricks, shoot us your suggestions in the comments below.