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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Why can I not change fonts on some books?

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Showing 26-50 of 51 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 7:19:47 PM PST
I've found that some e-books in KF8 format work fine. For example, The Racketeer is an azw3 file and has a publisher-embedded font (Georgia). I can choose Publisher font or any of the other standard Kindle font options and they display correctly. I can also change line spacing and margin and the display responds correctly. This e-book is published by Doubleday/Random House Digital.

On the other hand, Winter of the World is also a KF8 e-book, but font selection doesn't work properly. It displays text in Caecilia regardless of font selection. It doesn't have a publisher-embedded font. Line spacing and margin controls work. This e-book is published by Dutton/Penguin.

This makes me think that the problem isn't the Paperwhite or a bug in the firmware, because the same device and firmware work fine with one KF8 ebook and incorrectly with another. Must be the way the e-book is formatted/encoded. Seems some publishers have figured this out while others are struggling with it.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 7:50:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2012 7:58:17 PM PST
Vmurph says:
The problem of the microscopic font and wider line spacing is definitely a firmware problem (not just on the Paperwhite, but all Kindle models, now). It's not that The Racketeer worked fine and Winter of the World didn't. It's that the publisher of The Racketeer decided to include (or enable) the option to turn publisher fonts off, and the publisher of the other book did not.

If the publisher fonts (in The Racketeer) are turned *on*, you'll probably see that the line spacing isn't quite right. Not *every* KF8 book has that problem, but the vast majority do. It does depend, somewhat, on the typeface and/or other formatting that the publisher uses. But it's mostly the way kindle's firmware handles KF8 formatted books.

I remember Hugh Howey (Wool) couldn't understand why his books weren't displaying properly on Kindles, when they were displaying fine on several other devices (Nook, Sony, etc). So he started enabling the 'turn off publisher fonts' option in his books, so we'd be able to view it in our default settings.

EDIT: I just wanted to add that some KF8 books display fine, even with publisher fonts ON. That's probably because not all KF8 books have embedded fonts. KF8 format *supports* embedded fonts, but that doesn't necessarily mean the publisher used them.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 8:40:02 PM PST
Brian Hall says:
Amazon either needs to require that all books allow the bad, publisher chosen fonts to be turned off or have a big warning on the book that it uses a bad font and doesn't allow you to change it.

I am going to return any future books I get that don't allow me to change the font to my preferred choice. It is my kindle and I should have full control over the font, text size, spacing, etc when I am reading books.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 9:18:30 PM PST
Vmurph says:
I agree completely. But apparently, we're in the minority. I was surprised at how many people are absolutely thrilled with the recent firmware updates, supporting KF8. A lot of readers were actually wishing for it.

It's fine for people who aren't picky about typeface and size, etc. I guess I'm just too OCD to let the publisher decide the font choice for me. And I can't help the fact that I can't stand the way serif fonts look.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 9:31:59 PM PST
Vmurph says:
I just read A.W. Brewster's post---I must have missed it before---and he/she is right. Amazon does something to them after they're submitted. I've heard others complain of that.

So if the bad formatting is Amazon's fault, then they need to update our firmware and give us the option to override publisher fonts, no matter what. I don't see Bill Gates deciding what font I should view the websites I visit, or the emails I read.

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 7:04:43 AM PST
Mary McManus says:
Has the new Paperwhite update solved the tiny font problem for anyone? If you formerly had a problem with a book and then downloaded and applied the 5.3.0 upgrade, did it fix the tiny font problem with that book?

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 8:12:49 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 11, 2012 8:18:19 AM PST
Vmurph says:
@ Mary:
I don't have any to test it with, because I was circumventing the problem by downloading all of my books to my Kindle Keyboard first (which didn't support KF8), and then transferring them to my Paperwhite. Unfortunately, that solution has been thwarted, thanks to a recent firmware update to the K3, making it now support KF8 :(

However, to answer your question, I read the list of changes and it only mentions improvements for 3 of the fonts, manga & comics handling, a home screen change and certain settings that've been moved, nothing about KF8 handling, so I'm assuming it has not been fixed.

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 7:54:14 PM PST
Paul says:
I'm having this issue in Zero Sum (Zero Sight Series, Book 2). Strange thing is that it comes up in Helvetica on the Paperwhite, but Caecilia on my first gen Fire. But I can't change the font on either device. I can on my iPad, however. Very frustrating.

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 8:40:45 PM PST
Somebody says:
I'm throwing in the towel with the Paperwhite. Tried of fighting the font problems, and I'm also not in love with the weird blue glow even when the light is turned all the way down. It gives an other-worldly look to the screen. I gave up on the light (turned up) a while back because I don't like the splotches. They're more muted than on the other three PWs I bought and returned, but still highly distracting. It's too late for a refund, so I'll keep it but probably won't use it. I'm going back to the trusty little basic Kindle that behaves quite well with my book fonts. Just ordered it to replace the two basic Kindles I gave away when the PW arrived (kicking myself for that).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 9:02:30 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 11, 2012 9:05:55 PM PST
Dorsie says:
I think you should ask for a refund despite the time frame. Everything I've experienced with the two I returned and all of the posts on the Paperwhite threads tell me that this is a product that is simply unusable for a significant number of users.

It can't hurt to ask. You've given Amazon more than a good chance to fix the problems. Instead, they have introduced new ones, like this competely miserable font mess. Enough is enough.

Like pauljk, I only read on my iPad now (with a nice matte screen protector), but I had to scream bloody murder at Amazon for weeks to fix the brightness problem in the August 29th version of the IOS app.

Don't let them take your money for a product that does not work correctly. It's fair to argue that you should have gotten a new thirty day period to evaluate each replacement you had to get.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 9:11:22 PM PST
Somebody says:
The one I kept is PW #2, the least of the four evils. I would like it if the light could go all the way off, but there's just something odd about that blue glow. It affects my mood, and not in a good way. Bezos used to say the device should "disappear" for the reader, but I'm aware of it the whole time I'm using it. The basic Kindle did disappear in the sense he meant.

I'll give a return a try, but my biggest gripe is about something they said from the beginning: the light is "always on." I just had no idea that would be a problem for me. It probably isn't for most people. The font problem, though, is something I don't think any of us anticipated. That alone should be a good reason to be able to return a PW.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 9:38:00 PM PST
Dorsie says:
They didn't say the light is always on. Bezos said that people would always want it on. He was very wrong. The initial user's manual said it could be turned off, and was later changed to make a defect seem normal. That alone is grounds for a refund.

I've never seen such shenanigans before, and you shouldn't lose money because Amazon was not honest.

As for the font problem, I don't think Amazon's programming staff has anywhere near the talent they need to adequately support the Kindle environment. It's been one fiasco after another for a year. Don't let their failings cost you money.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 10:05:12 PM PST
Somebody says:
Honest, they did say it was "always on" ... that's a term Amazon used early on, and it appeared in tech coverage at the time.* But, yes, Bezos did say people would always want it on (I agree he's wrong).

I followed your advice and asked for a refund, but went at it via email because I can't tell from my orders which one is the one I want to return and which are the ones I already returned.

*Here's a quote from from September:

"It's worth noting that the Paperwhite's LEDs are always on, even when you turn the light all the way down. Amazon reps told me this is intended, because they believe the lights are always useful and do not, according to them, diminish the promised eight weeks of continuous-use battery life (a claim I could not test in my relatively short time with the device)."

The one thing I'll miss about the Paperwhite is the touch operation. I do like that better than buttons, but I'd rather have good fonts back and get rid of the eerie glow.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 11:09:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 11, 2012 11:28:08 PM PST
Dorsie says:
This is from the first user's guide .pdf that was linked to the product page, on 9/26/12.

"Screen Light: Slide your finger along the scale to adjust the screen brightness. Press and hold the "-" button to turn off the light. Tap and hold the "+" button to turn the light on at maximum brightness."

That's the whole paragraph, as it first appeared. I was about to cancel my order after seeing some announcment day video reviews until I read this. I figured, like you, that I could use it as an upgrade Kindle Touch if I didn't like the light. But when I got it, I found it couldn't be turn off and that even the lowest setting showed interference patterns and color mottling that was very unpleasant with my single-eye vision.

Here's a 9/26 thread with the proof that the light was intended to go off.

The .pdf has since been changed, but the third post references the light off function. I copied the paragraph from my download of the .pdf, still on my iPad.

You should get a Kindle Touch refurb. Same touch layout, although it also has some font problems. Not as bad, though, from what I've read.

Good luck. I really want you to have something you can use well.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 7:59:11 AM PST
Somebody says:
I did have the touch, briefly, but got a bad one and returned it. I didn't care for how touch worked on the Touch. Liked it a lot on the PW. Got my PW return label today, so you were right. Amazon's taking it back. At first they asked me to call them for troubleshooting, but I emailed back and told them there was no troubleshooting that was going to work. That's when they approved the return. Thanks for pushing me to do this. The return will more than pay for the basic Kindle (which I already know from past ownership I'll love). I'm really looking forward to the restoration of readable font sizes in my Kindle.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 10:41:15 AM PST
Dorsie says:
I'm so glad you got your money back. So many of the changes that Amazon have made this year to all of their Kindles have caused new problems for the visually impaired, and they just don't seem to get it.

Between the new sparse distribution of larger fonts and the removal of line spacing from all of the Kindle Fires, Amazon no longer makes an ereader I can use.

When you get your Basic, you might want to disable WiFi and sideload books instead. That way you can't be victimized by a poorly designed update that will screw up those fonts too.

Be well. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 11:47:15 AM PST
Somebody says:
Thanks, Dorsie.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 4:11:47 PM PST
Don Quixote

Posted on Dec 24, 2012 5:08:22 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 24, 2012 5:12:05 PM PST
Jacob says:
Email the 'file' to your kindle email address and write 'convert' on the subject line. I hope that fix the problems.

Posted on Jan 19, 2013 9:55:42 AM PST
Thomas Raven says:
Back to the OT, I just published a file through KDP and everything looked good -- all the previews showed me what I expected. But then I purchased my book to see for myself how the formatting looked on my e-ink Kindle. Sadly, on my Kindle (older keyboard version) the font seems to be locked even though I never intended it to be, nor was I ever presented with any font options in any of Amazon's instructions during the publishing process. It's very frustrating trying to do right by readers when the middleman is serving up erroneous information to KDP authors. I personally hate serif fonts, yet that's what I'm stuck with on my own book! BTW, this doesn't happen when reading through the browser. I've yet to check my Android tablet or any I-device.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2013 10:04:45 AM PST
Brian Hall says:
Amazon needs to just completely remove the publisher font flag. There is no reason for it to exist.

Posted on Jan 26, 2013 9:39:50 AM PST
I have just bought Kindle version of Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed (released 17 Jan 2013), and cannot change the default font. First time this has happened. How do I check what format the downloaded file is? Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2013 9:45:17 AM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
I agree. Every book I purchase that the font is locked I remove the DRM to fix it....

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2013 9:53:42 AM PST
Mary McManus says:
If the font bothers you enough, you can return the book within 7 days. State your reason so they will know this is starting to annoy us.

Posted on Nov 28, 2015 2:24:46 AM PST
Lulu Evans says:
First, I only download books in mobi or kindle format exclusively.
I open the Kindle app in my computer and choose a book. Then, it´s just right click with the mouse or pad. This will bring up some options, one of which shows Aa. You click it and there you get different options to enlarge the font, change its color and even change the original font. You click "Apply" and you´ll see the changes immediately.
You´re welcome.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  23
Total posts:  51
Initial post:  Oct 24, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 28, 2015

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