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How to Optimize PDF Files for Kindle

You love to sit back and catch up on your reading on a Kindle. E-ink not only saves your eyes, but Kindle can also import any document or PDF How to Send eBooks, Documents, and Articles to Your Kindle App or eReader How to Send eBooks, Documents, and Articles to Your Kindle App or Kindle Email makes it easy to buy and read e-books from Amazon. But what if you want to read your own eBooks, documents, or articles on your Kindle? Amazon's Send-to-Kindle has you covered. Read more . What annual report in a PDF? The proposal written in Microsoft Word? Send it.

But whether you used a professional tool like Adobe Acrobat or a free one, not all PDF documents are created equal. And most people don't expect their PDF documents to be read on a Kindle. As such, most PDFs are unreadable when read on Kindle devices. Common frustrations include:

  • Fonts in PDF documents appear small on Kindle screens.
  • Document margins make the readable area smaller..

This is expected behavior for PDF files, so we can't blame the PDF format itself. However, we can't deny that it's annoying, and wouldn't it be great if we could Read PDFs on Kindle without all these drawbacks?

Fortunately, there is a free and open source tool that can fix this once and for all.

Enhance your PDF experience on a Kindle

K2pdfopt is a small free program that optimizes PDF (or DJVU) files for the Kindle. It can handle multi-column PDF files and even scanned PDF files, both of which can hurt your eye when you put them on the e-reader. The next two screens illustrate what you get after the conversion. The k2pdfopt website also has more examples.

The operation is simple:

  1. Download K2pdfopt for your Windows, Mac or Linux machine. Run the GUI.
  2. Add a single file or batch process multiple files or a selected folder. Set the destination folder.
  3. Set the screen size of your target device. Or use the few device-specific presets from the dropdown selection.
  4. Now you can click Convert all files or press Enter to convert the file using the default settings.
  5. Check the file, it has a [_k2opt] at the end of the filename.

The developer says that K2pdfopt does not attempt to convert the document to plain text and reconstruct it as a PDF. Instead it works by converting each page of the PDF/DJVU file to a bitmap. K2pdfopt scans the bitmap for visible areas, then cuts, crops, and assembles them into several smaller pages without excessive margins. The display area is now maximized. Since the pages are bitmaps, expect an increase in file size.

You can override the default settings with your own measurements. There are many variables that you can customize to build a file optimized for your reading comfort.

For example, you can control the magnification and quality of the output. You can change the PDF from portrait to landscape. You can also use the built-in OCR engine to convert the PDF from bitmap to searchable text.

Have you found it necessary to convert eBooks to PDF for a better reading experience? What software did you use??