Users of these devices can now automatically read PDF files, use the landscape mode for wide-format viewing, and add bookmarks. While these features were inherent with the Kindle DX, the early version of the Kindle 2 did not have these capabilities then. But thanks to a software update, PDF reading is no longer an issue with the Kindle 2.
This would leave Kindle 1 owners to deal with the problem of how to read PDFs on the Amazon Kindle. The company does offer a way to convert PDF and DOCX files to AZW (Amazon’s proprietary format) for the 1st generation Kindle, and that is having the file sent directly to them. But because many have been wondering whether this service is still available, we did some digging around in Amazon’s Kindle support pages and in the forums to find out if PDF conversion can still be done via this method.
Judging from the information provided by Amazon’s help pages, this service is in fact, still provided. It states that documents not natively supported by the device such as Word and picture files can be converted to a Kindle-recognized format and then sent as attachments directly to the Kindle 1 or to one’s default Amazon email address. Included in the file types is the PDF, although currently this service is still labeled as ‘experimental.’ Quoting directly from the Amazon help page:
“PDF and DOCX conversion is experimental. The experimental category represents the features we are working on to enhance the Kindle experience even further. You can e-mail your PDF or DOCX files wirelessly to your Kindle (1st Generation).”
To date therefore, there are still two ways to read PDFs on the Amazon Kindle 1 and the first is to:
Send the file to Amazon for conversion.
Before you can start sending document files for conversion, you have to make sure that your Kindle has a unique email address attached to it. If you haven’t done so yet, you can easily set up your Kindle email at http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle.
You have the option to establish a Kindle address that provides wireless delivery to your device for a small fee – “name”@kindle.com; or, opt for the free delivery service to an Amazon.com account email address – “name”@free.kindle.com.
Then, these are the steps to follow to have your PDF file converted as outlined in the Amazon help page. Note that the same process applies for personal documents you want converted.
1. Open a new e-mail message in your e-mail client.
2. Check to make sure the “From” address is on your approved e-mail address list.
3. Enter the desired Kindle e-mail address in the “To” field. Use the “name”@kindle.com address for wireless delivery, or “name”@free.kindle.com for free delivery to the e-mail address associated with your Amazon.com account.
4. Attach your document or documents to the e-mail message. If you are sending multiple files, you can compress them into a .ZIP file.
5. Send the e-mail with attachments. A subject line is not needed.
6. Personal documents below 5 MB in officially supported file formats are typically delivered to the “name”@free.kindle.com e-mail address within 5 minutes (per document). Personal documents above 5 MB may take longer.
7. Personal documents below 5 MB in officially supported file formats are typically ready for wireless auto-delivery to your Kindle within 5 minutes (per document), not including actual wireless download time, which will vary with file size. Personal documents above 5 MB may take longer.
8. Personal documents in experimental file formats (such as PDF files) may take longer.
9. Your email provider may have additional limitations on file size.
Bear in mind that fees – at 15 cents per MB (rounded up to the next whole MB) – apply for wireless delivery to the Kindle 1. If you opt for the free delivery, the converted file will be sent to your Amazon-associated email address, and you can then transfer it to your 1st generation Kindle via USB.
Now there has been some feedback from Kindle 1 users not receiving their converted PDF files even after sending these to Amazon using the instructions given above. If that’s the case with you as well, then you might want to try the second method:
Do the Kindle PDF conversion yourself.
Here’s a step-by-step process if you want a do it yourself approach.
For a PC user – MobiPocket Creator
1. You can convert your PDF and Word files using the Mobi Pocket Creator which is a free software. You need to choose the MobiPocker Creator Publisher edition.
2. When you run the MobiPocket Creator, you should see on the right side of the main page an option to Import From Existing File. Among the file types included are Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word Documents.
3. Choose a file from your computer and then click Import. This process should be done in a matter of seconds.
4. MobiPocket Creator will then take you to the next page where you can Build the document as an ebook.
5. Once the Build process is done, you are given the option to preview the file. Or you can directly choose to Open folder containing ebook.
6. You will find a .prc file of your PDF or word document in the folder and this is what you should copy to your Kindle’s document folder via USB.
Here’s a video for this:
For a MAC user – Stanza
1. Open your PDF document using Stanza.
2. Then attach your Kindle to your MAC using the USB connector that comes with the device.
3. Select File, then Export Book As, then Amazon Kindle.
4. On the Save File dialog, browse to the Kindle. Note that the Kindle will appear under the name you gave it when you first registered.
As mentioned above, Kindle PDF conversion, whether through Amazon or any other software, could be a hit or miss. If you intend to do a lot of PDF reading on your Kindle 1, then upgrading to the Kindle 3 or Kindle DX is worth considering.