Tidy It Up

So you have a pdf sitting on your computer that you would like to read on your Kindle? First, don't send it! We need to clean it up before you send it.

The three different methods are:

1. Extracting the text from the pdf file

If your pdf is all plain text, are you able select the text? Great! You can easily convert it to a simple textfile (txt extension) that the Kindle is compatible with. Open Adobe Reader, click "Edit" -> "Select All", then "Edit" -> "Copy". Paste into a txt file and send it to your Kindle (details below). Sometimes I've found that the line breaks interfere so this doesn't always work.

2. Email it to Amazon and have them convert it

Your pdf isn't all plain text or has special formatting you want to keep? Try emailing it to Amazon (details below) with the subject line "convert". If you're lucky, the format will come out correctly. If not, continue below.

3. Cleaning up the pdf file

Other two methods didn't work? The last option is to keep the file in pdf format, although most pdf files have a border surrounding the text already making the text shrink to an unreadable size once it's on the Kindle. There is a solution for that, it's called BRISS. This is a cross-platform tool for cropping pdfs. First load up the pdf you want to crop.

BRISS pages input

When you first load a pdf, it will ask you to exclude pages from merging. This is a good chance to skip irregular pages that you don't want to crop, like the cover or table of contents. Feel free to ignore this option.

BRISS preview

Now you can tweak it by dragging the edges of the tinted overlay to include all of the visible text. Choose "Action" -> "Crop to PDF" when you are finished.

Lastly, there might be some pages you don't need. You can use another cross-platform open source tool to take those pages out called PDFtk. On Windows I prefer the portable version by portableapps.com.

PDFtk Split Source PDF File

First you want to Split the pdf up into separate pages.

PDFtk Split PDF Example

You will see something similar to the screenshot above, except for the name of the pdf you are editing.

PDFtk Collate

For this example, I'm taking out the first page. Save your page and you are done getting the pdf file ready!

Send It Off

Amazon offers many ways to transfer your PDF file.

  1. Send to Kindle for PC/Mac (free for Wi-Fi download) I like this option because all I have to do is right click the file, and choose "Send to Kindle" from the context window. It also gives you the option to archive it to your amazon account in case you ever accidentally delete it or lose it. (You can't view it online, only download it or re-send to your Kindle. Make sure to connect by Wi-Fi only, else you will have to pay a small fee to have it delivered by Whispernet.

  2. Email it to Amazon (free for Wi-Fi download)
    Send your pdf to Amazon using your special email they assign you. It can be found at the "Manage Your Kindle" -> "Personal Document Settings" page. Usual it follows the format "_<2 digit number>@Kindle.com". You will need to add your email to the list of approved email.

  3. Find that USB wire and transfer it
    This may be the easiest method for some people. Since the other methods are so easy and free, I rarely connect by Kindle to the computer.


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