How to Read PDF Files on Your Amazon Kindle (Version 3)

By Lowell Heddings on October 25th, 2010

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If you’ve got one of the newer Kindle devices, you’ve got the ability to read PDF files built right in—very convenient, but how does it work? Let’s take a quick look at how to get them on the Kindle.

Note: this isn’t exactly rocket science, and the majority of Kindle owners probably already know how to do this, but we figured we’d cover how to do it anyway just in case you’re considering buying a Kindle.

Reading PDF Files on Your Kindle

The first thing you’ll want to do is connect the Kindle to your PC with the USB cable, and wait until the screen changes to the USB display. At this point you should see the drive show up in My Computer on your PC.

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Head into the Kindle drive, and you should see a “documents” folder.

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Just copy your PDF files into here…

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And then Eject the device using the Safely Remove Hardware icon.

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You can unhook your USB cable at this point, and the new PDF should show up.

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You’ll find that some PDF files look great, and some other ones don’t look as good—just depends on how they are formatted.

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You can mess with the size of the display, but your best bet is to switch the Screen Rotation using the Aa button—landscape mode helps make small fonts readable without a lot of panning around.

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In case you’re wondering about the book in the pictures, it’s Focus by Leo Babauta, and there’s a free version available.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/25/10
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