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How to convert a PDF file for your Kindle

Recently, a friend sent me a preview of a book that she was about to have published and asked me to read it. I was delighted — but unfortunately, the copy she sent was formatted as a PDF file. And as many of us know, reading a PDF on a smartphone or even on an ebook reader is a recipe for eyestrain.

I spent a frustrating three days squinting at my screen until somebody reminded me that you can email a PDF file to your Amazon account, and it will convert the file to Amazon’s .Mobi format, making the document much easier to read on a phone or a Kindle.

It worked like a charm. There are a few quirks in the resulting document (no indents to indicate paragraphs and the occasional strange symbol), but it is much easier to read. If you ever find yourself faced with the same problem, here’s how to convert a PDF file so it can be easily read using a Kindle or Kindle app.

First, you have to establish two points of information: you need your special Kindle email address (to which you’ll be sending the file), and you need to make sure the personal email address from which you’ll be sending the file is verified by Amazon.

On your laptop or desktop:

You can also find your Kindle email address on your mobile Kindle app:

Once those have been established, it’s very simple to send a PDF document to your Kindle or to a device with a Kindle app:

It may take a couple of minutes for the file to appear on your Kindle or Kindle-enabled device, but soon, you should have a Kindle version of your PDF file that you can bookmark, annotate, change the typeface and type size of, etc. Even with the glitches that will inevitably appear (most conversions are not perfect), you will end up with a far more readable document.

This Article was first published on theverge.com

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