Putting a PDF on the Kindle

Kindle05.jpgI am loving my new Amazon Kindle. Because of the massive amount of research that I did ahead of time, I had a good idea of what to expect. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by just how happy I am with it. On a recent trip, I read an entire book from cover to cover (so to speak). I haven’t been able to do that easily in a very long time due to my eyesight being what it is. One feature, that I wanted to try out is the free file conversion that Amazon offers.

According to the Amazon Kindle help pages, the conversion process can convert a number of different file types, including .TXT, .DOC, and HTML files to the native .AZW format that the Kindle reads. It also supports converting PDF files, but only on an experimental basis. The process has not been perfected apparently but I wanted to give this “experimental” conversion a try as I had a PDF that I wanted to put on the Kindle.


  1. After consulting the help pages again, I e-mailed my PDF, a manual for Rapidweaver 4, to the Amazon Kindle e-mail address for file conversion. The address is your Amazon login “name”@free.kindle.com. I sent it as an attachment and did not need to include a subject line. You can even send multiple attachments at once or even a ZIP file and the included files will all be converted. You can send the e-mail from any address but you have to have that address on your list of approved addresses in your Amazon Kindle account. You can have more than one address; in fact, I have several in case I want to e-mail from the office or from the house.
  2. I waited a few minutes and then fired up my e-mail that is my main Amazon e-mail account. This is the e-mail that I use to login with and is the e-mail that Amazon sends receipts to when I purchase from them. I had an e-mail from Amazon waiting for me with my PDF converted into an AZW file attached.
  3. I connected my Kindle to my PC via the USB cable.
  4. I dragged the recently received AZW file over to the Secure Digital (SD) card that I have in my Kindle via Windows Explorer.
  5. I unplugged my Kindle from the USB cable.
  6. Turned the Kindle on and there at the top of the home screen was the newly converted PDF. I opened it and was very surprised at how well the conversion went. The table of contents of the manual was a bit of a mess format-wise, but once I got to the content of the manual, it was very well formatted, including images.

All in all, it was a fairly painless process. Amazon offers to send the converted file to the Kindle wirelessly for 10 cents which might be handy in a pinch. But the free method was easy and quite satisfying as well. Now I can peruse the manual on my Kindle at my convenience and I got to discover another great feature of my handy little e-book reader.

5 Responses to “Putting a PDF on the Kindle”

  1. Blog Kindle · Sunday Night Links: 6 July 2008 Says:

    [...] Putting a PDF on the Kindle – RichardCravy.com [...]

  2. Orawan Says:

    Great Tips! Very objective and professional review. I’ve been using Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader for about a week now, I am very happy with my Kindle and look forward to many happy hours of reading. I love it so much. Thank you

  3. tiffany Says:

    thanks for the easy-to-follow instructions! worked like a charm :)

  4. Ian Says:

    Yes, very cool, one of the best Birthday presents I’ve ever received. One thing I have noticed however is that if the file you want converted is over 5mb it does not get converted.

  5. James Says:

    Thanks Richard, I’ve been accumulating pdfs of old books that I want to read, so I was wanting to how people thought the kindle performed.
    I hadn’t actually realised that the kindle displayed pictures – I’d not thought about it!