Customize Your Reading on Kindle 2nd Generation

Content Formatting on Kindle

When you read a book on Kindle, you will find that the formatting generally follows the printed version of the book. If the book has a table of contents, it will appear in Kindle. If the book has chapters, a preface, an illustrated cover, and so forth, these will be displayed.

While you are reading, each page displays a header showing the content title and/or issue date. The top of the page shows the battery and Whispernet status indicators.

Setting Text Size, Screen Rotation, and Words per Line

Available with the 2.5 software release.

You can choose from eight different font sizes to find a text size you can read comfortably. The text size of menus and other screens is fixed and cannot be modified. Kindle also allows you to change your screen rotation and set your preferred words per line.

Illustration of text key on Kindle keyboard and reading
formatting options.

To change your text formatting options:

  1. Press the Text key on the keyboard to display the text size menu.
  2. 2. Select the desired text size, words per line, or screen rotation.

Using the Progress Indicator

At the bottom of every page of your reading material, you can see where you are by glancing at the progress indicator. As you progress further into the content, you will see a solid bar growing longer. The progress indicator also shows structural marks within content such as chapters, articles, or bookmarks.

In books, the progress indicator also shows you the overall percentage of the book you have read and a numeric location of where you are reading, so you can easily find a particular passage or reference it to your friends. Locations are the digital answer to page numbers. Changing the text size on Kindle also changes the page numbering, but with locations, you return to the same place every time regardless of the text size.

Annotations: Highlights, Bookmarks, Clippings, Notes

Information about using Kindle is also available in your Kindle User's Guide--you can download a copy on the Kindle Documentation page.

Overview of Annotations

Annotations (bookmarks, highlights, notes, clippings) you make on a Kindle book are stored in your Kindle library on when your Kindle is connected to Whispernet. When you open the title on any registered device, you'll be right where you were the last time you read and your annotations will be included.

To view your annotations: Open your title, press the Menu button and select "My Notes & Marks."

Adding Bookmarks

You can place a bookmark at any location and place multiple bookmarks in whatever you are reading. You can select "My Notes & Marks" from the Menu to return to any bookmarked location. Bookmarked pages have a "dog-ear" icon appears in the upper right corner.

To place a bookmark:

  1. Go to the page that you want to bookmark.
  2. Press the Menu button.
  3. Highlight and select "Add a Bookmark" using the 5-way controller.

Tip: You can quickly create a bookmark by either holding down the Alt key and pressing the B key, or by moving the 5-way up or down to go into cursor mode and then pressing the 5-way controller twice.

To view a bookmarked location:

  1. Press the Menu button and Select "My Notes & Marks."
  2. Highlight and select the desired location from the list.

To remove a bookmark:

  1. Go to the bookmarked page.
  2. Press the Menu button.
  3. Highlight and select "Delete Bookmark."

To remove several bookmarks at one time:

  1. Press the Menu button and select "My Notes & Marks."
  2. Underline the bookmark you want to remove with the 5-way controller.
  3. Press the Delete key.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to remove additional bookmarks.
  5. Select "Close Notes & Marks" when finished.

Highlighting Passages

You can highlight text in Kindle like you would use a highlighter pen on paper and view them at any time by pressing the Menu button and selecting "My Notes & Marks." The text you highlight appears with a gray underline.

To highlight one or more lines:

  1. Use the 5-way to position the cursor where you want to start highlighting.
  2. Press the 5-way to anchor the cursor.
  3. Move the 5-way to select the desired text. Use Next Page or Prev Pages to highlight text across multiple pages.
  4. Press the 5-way at the place where you want the highlight to end.

To remove a highlight:

  1. Press the Menu button and select "My Notes & Marks."
  2. Underline the bookmark you want to remove with the 5-way controller.
  3. Press the Delete key.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to remove additional highlights.
  5. Select "Close Notes & Marks" when finished.

Viewing Popular Highlights

Available with the 2.5 software release.

Amazon displays Popular Highlights by combining the highlights of all Kindle customers and identifying the passages with the most highlights. The resulting Popular Highlights help readers to focus on passages that are meaningful to the greatest number of people. Some books don't have enough highlighting in them to have Popular Highlights. Popular highlights are marked with a grey dashed underline in your reading. You can see Popular Highlights for all books that have them at

To view Popular Highlights:

  1. Open a book on your Kindle.
  2. Press the Menu key and select "View Popular Highlights" from the options.

To turn Popular Highlights on and off:

  1. Navigate to Kindle's Home screen and press the Menu button.
  2. Select "Settings" from the Home screen menu.
  3. Select the desired option next to "Popular Highlights."

Managing Popular Highlights

If you have a Kindle device, you can turn off having your highlights in popular highlights by turning off Annotations Backup in Settings on your device. If you have a Kindle App, we will be adding this capability soon. Annotations BackUp backs up your annotations and last page read and syncs them across devices. You can also remove highlights you made previously from Popular Highlights.

To turn off Annotations Backup:

  1. Navigate to Kindle's Home screen and press the Menu button.
  2. Select "Settings" from the Home screen menu.
  3. Select the desired option next to "Annotations Backup."

To remove previous highlights from Popular Highlights:

  1. Visit the Amazon Kindle website and sign in using the e-mail address and password for the Amazon account you used to register your Kindle.
  2. Select Your Highlights from the Browse options at the top of the page.
  3. Select Delete this highlight next to each highlight you wish to remove.

Adding Notes

Kindle allows you to add comments, make notes, and mark up passages just as you might in a printed book.

To add a note:

  1. Move the cursor to where you want to place a note using the 5-way controller.
  2. Type your note.
  3. Select "save note" at the bottom of the screen.

A superscripted number appears where you inserted your note. Notes are numbered in the order they appear in the content and update automatically if you add more.

To edit or delete a note:

  1. Select the note's number using the 5-way controller so the note appears at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Press the Return key to edit the note or the Delete key to delete the note.
  3. Use the keyboard to make changes if editing.
  4. Select "save note" to save any changes.

Making Clippings

You can "clip" an entire periodical article and save it to the "My Clippings" file.

To clip an article:

  1. Go to the article you want to clip.
  2. Press the Menu button.
  3. Select "Clip this Article" from the menu.

To view your clippings:

  1. Press the Home button to display the Home screen.
  2. Select "My Clippings" from the Home screen.

Editing the "My Clippings" File

All of your bookmarks, highlights, notes, and clippings are stored in the "My Clippings" TXT file on your Kindle. You can transfer and copy the file to share and use your clippings.

To transfer the "My Clippings" file and open it on your computer:

  1. Connect your Kindle to your computer using the USB cable.
  2. Use your computer's file browser to view the Documents folder on Kindle.
  3. Transfer the "My Clippings" file from Kindle to your computer.
  4. Open the "My Clippings" file on your computer using an application that can read or import a .TXT file.

If you wish, you can make changes to the file and transfer it back to your Kindle. Changing your "My Clippings" file does not affect any notes, bookmarks, or highlights you've made in the actual content. The next time you read the content, you can still use them for navigation and reference.

To remove the "My Clippings" file from your Kindle:

  1. Press the Home button to display the Home screen.
  2. Underline "My Clippings" on the Home screen.
  3. Move the 5-way controller to the left.
  4. Press the 5-way to select "Delete."

Kindle adds a new "My Clippings" file the next time you add a clipping or annotation to any content.

Before You Go: Social Sharing and Recommendations

On the final page of a book, you can tweet/share that you've finished, rate the book, see recommendations for additional books and more books by this author.

View the final page at any time by selecting Menu, then "Go to," then "End."

Tweet/share via social media

Select "Tweet/share that you've finished this book" to let everyone know you've read it. You can enter or update a message before sharing. A link to the book will also be appended to your message.

If you don't have a Facebook or Twitter account associated with your Kindle account, you'll automatically be prompted to manage your social network registration before your message is posted.

To manage your social networks:

  1. Navigate to Kindle's Home screen and press the Menu button.
  2. Select "Settings."
  3. Select the "manage" option next to Social Networks on the Settings page.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to link or unlink an account.

Note: In order to share passages from your Kindle books through your social media networks, you must set the Country of Origin on the device. Go to Manage Your Content and Devices, select the Settings tab, scroll to Country Settings, and click Change.

Rate This Book

Select "Rate this book." Select the number of stars you'd use to rate the book, then select "save & share."
You can rate the book at any time just by going to the final page. Press the "Menu" button, select "Go to" and select the "End" button.

You can rate a book even if you haven't linked your account to your social media accounts. Ratings are displayed at

Note: You can only rate Kindle books purchased from the Kindle Store.

Book Recommendations

When you're finished reading a Kindle book, you'll see recommendations for similar books on the last page of the book. Recommendations are based on what other customers who bought this book also purchased.

To see these recommendations at any time, press Menu while reading. Select "Go to" and choose "End." Select a recommendation from this page to go directly to the recommended book's detail page in the Kindle Store.


Your Kindle can read aloud your books (where allowed by the rights holder), newspapers, magazines, blogs, and personal documents with the Kindle Experimental application, Text-to-Speech.

To turn on Text-to-Speech:

  1. Press the Text key .
  2. Select "turn on" next to the "Text-to-Speech" option using the 5-way controller.
  3. Press the Text key again to adjust the speaking voice and rate.

By default, content is spoken with a male voice, but you can select a female speaking voice. You can also slow down or increase the rate of speech as well as pause or turn off Text-to-Speech. While Text-to-Speech is playing, the screen will update to the corresponding page of text.

Text-to-Speech starts reading at the beginning of the page currently displayed. To start reading at a particular spot, move the cursor where you'd like the reading to begin before starting Text-to-Speech.

If the "Text-to-Speech" option is grayed and you're not able to select it, that indicates the rights holder does not allow use of Text-to-Speech for their content.

Tip: You can also play or stop Text-to-Speech by holding down the Shift key and pressing the Symbol key . You can pause and resume Text-to-Speech by pressing the Spacebar.

Listening to Audiobooks

Audible offers five versions of its audiobook format.

  • Kindle (6" Display) and Kindle DX are compatible with Audible audio formats 4 and Audible Enhanced (AAX).
  • Kindle 1st Generation supports Audible audio formats 2, 3, and 4.
  • Audiobooks provided from other sources are not supported.

Audible files appear on your Kindle Home screen with the word "audio" next to the title. You can purchase and download audiobooks from and then transfer these books over USB to your Kindle's "Audible" folder.

To listen to an audiobook:

  1. Select an audiobook from your Home screen.
  2. Select the desired action with the 5-way controller to start, skip through, and stop playback.

Here's a list of the options you'll see for listening to your audiobooks:

Illustration of audiobook controls on Kindle2.

  • Progress Indicator: indicates how far you have come in the audiobook, the elapsed time, and the section you are in.
  • Pause/Play: pauses or plays the audiobook (there is no Stop control).
  • Forward 30 Seconds: moves ahead thirty seconds from the current location.
  • Beginning: takes you back to the beginning of the audiobook.
  • Previous Section: moves backwards in the audiobook to the previous section.
  • Back 30 Seconds: moves backwards thirty seconds from the current location.
  • Next Section: moves ahead to the next section in the audiobook, which is usually the next chapter.

Tip: To pause the playing of Audible, press the space bar on the keyboard and press the spacebar again to resume.

Activating Your Kindle with

If you use Audible Download Manager or Audible Manager on your PC, your Kindle will automatically be activated. Mac users will be prompted to activate their Kindle with the first time they transfer audio content to their Kindle.

If you have purchased Audible titles via the Kindle Store or linked your Amazon and Audible accounts via the Audible website, you can log in at with your e-mail address and password. Otherwise, use your username and password.


  • Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7
  • Audible Manager or later
  • Mac OS X (can be used to transfer content to Kindle (6" Display) or Kindle DX)

Playing Music While Reading

You can transfer your favorite MP3 music files to your Kindle using the USB connection and then listen to them while reading. You cannot play music when using Text-to-Speech or listening to an audiobook.

Transferring MP3 music files to your Kindle

You can transfer your MP3 files to Kindle by copying them to the "music" folder on your Kindle over USB. For more information on connecting your Kindle to your computer via USB, see Transferring Files via USB.

Kindle only supports MP3 audio files; AAC, WAV and other music file formats are not supported.

To transfer MP3s to your Kindle, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your Kindle to your computer using the USB cable that came with the device.
  3. Your Kindle should appear on your computer in the same location you would normally find an external USB drive.
  5. Open your Kindle. You should see a folder entitled "music." Drag any MP3s you'd like to play on your Kindle into this folder.
  7. Using your computer, safely unmount or eject your Kindle from your computer.

Tip: While there is no limit to the number of MP3 files and audiobooks that you can transfer to your Kindle, keep in mind that these files are larger, and space may become a consideration.

To play or stop background music:

  1. If you are not already on the Home screen, press the Home button.
  2. Press the Menu button and select "Experimental" from the menu.
  3. Select "Play MP3" from the Experimental options.

The songs are played in order, by the date you added them to your Kindle. You can adjust the volume of the music using the volume controls on the right side of your Kindle.

Tip: You can also play or stop background audio by holding down the ALT key and pressing the space bar. You can forward to the next track by holding down the ALT key and pressing the F key.

Using the Basic Web Browser

Your Kindle comes with an experimental application called Basic Web, a Web browser optimized to read websites that are primarily text-based. It supports JavaScript, SSL and cookies but does not support media plug-ins (Flash, Shockwave, etc.) or Java applets.

To launch Basic Web: Select "Basic Web" from the Experimental screen or follow a link from within your reading material.

To launch Basic Web via search: Type in a word anytime from any book, blog, newspaper, or magazine you happen to be reading. When you begin typing, a search box will pop up at the bottom of the screen, and you can move the 5-way controller to the right and select "google" or "wikipedia" from the menu to search those sites directly for the word you typed.

Illustration of internet search options for Kindle Basic Web

Using the Basic Web Menu

The Basic Web menu contains many browser functions also available in the Browser's navigation bar. To view the menu, press the Menu button when the Basic Web browser is on the screen. Here's a list of options you'll find:

Illustration of options on the Kindle Basic Web menu

  • Turn Wireless Off: Turns the Whispernet connection off. If you turn the wireless off, you will not be able to use the browser.
  • Shop in Kindle Store: Takes you to the Kindle Storefront.
  • Enter URL: Takes you directly to the URL field where you can enter a web address to visit.
  • Go to Top: Returns you to the top of the current Web page.
  • Bookmarks: Displays your list of Web bookmarks.
  • Bookmark This Page: Adds the current page to the bottom of your list of bookmarks.
  • History: Displays your History page, which keeps track of the sites you have visited.
  • Settings: Displays your list of settings where you can change the options for Basic Web.
  • Use Advanced Mode: This mode squeezes pages down to fit the width of the Kindle screen. In this mode, JavaScript can also be enabled. When this mode is selected, the menu selection then changes to "Use Basic Mode" which optimizes the Kindle's browser for viewing most pages.

Entering a URL

The URL text field retains the last URL you entered in case you want to quickly edit the same address and submit it again. If you want to enter a secure site with an "https" address, use the backspace key to delete the automatically entered "://" and type the address you want.

Illustration of browser navigation options for Kindle Basic Web

To enter the URL for a website:

  1. Press the Menu button and select "Enter URL" from the menu if the URL text field is not visible at the top of the screen.
  2. Type in your URL when the cursor is located in the menu bar.
  3. When you are done typing, select "go to" with the 5-way controller to view that website.

The URL text field is embedded in a navigation bar with a few other key shortcuts. To the right of the URL text field there is a button to stop loading or reload the current page. From there, move your 5-way to the right, and you can quickly search the Google search engine for the text entered in the URL text field.

Above the URL text field are shortcuts to navigate back and forward one page, an indication of how much of the page has been loaded, whether you are viewing the page in Basic or Advanced Mode, and where you are in the web page.

Using Bookmarks and Adding Your Own

Bookmarks let you easily access a website without needing to type the address every time. When you open Basic Web from the Experimental page for the first time, you will see a list of default bookmarks with links to information such as daily news and weather. While browsing, you can also access the same list of bookmarks by selecting "Bookmarks" from the browser menu (just press the Menu button).

To add a website to the Bookmarks page:

  1. Navigate to the site that you want to bookmark.
  2. Select "Bookmark this page" from the Menu.

To remove a bookmark:

  1. Select "Bookmarks" from the Basic Web Menu.
  2. Highlight the bookmark with the 5-way controller.
  3. Move the 5-way controller to the left and select "delete bookmark."

To edit a bookmark: You can change the name of a bookmark by moving the 5-way controller to the right and selecting "edit bookmark." This only allows you to change the name. If you want to edit the URL, delete the bookmark and add a new one.

Using Next Page and Previous Page

Most Web pages you find on the Internet will have more content than can be displayed on one page. Use the Next Page and Previous Page buttons to move through these pages. This is equivalent to using your mouse on a computer to move up and down through a Web page. You can also move the cursor down with the 5-way controller until it reaches the bottom of the page.

Selecting Links, Buttons, and Boxes

Navigate to links on a Web page using the 5-way controller. Links in Basic Web are shown as underlined words, just like in the Reader. Highlight the link you want to go to and press the 5-way. The browser will open that page. Below is a Web page with multiple selectable links.

Illustration of selecting a hyperlink within the Kindle browser

If you want to enter information in an input field in a Web page to search that site, for example, you should move the cursor to that input field and begin typing. When you finish typing, press down on the nearby Go or Enter or Search button to retrieve the results. If there are radio buttons embedded within a Web page, you can change the input by maneuvering the cursor to the button you want to change and press the 5-way to "push" this button.

Using History

You can easily return to websites you recently viewed by pressing the Menu button and selecting "History." You will then see a list of recently visited websites to select from. As noted above, you can also use this list to add a site to your Bookmarks by moving the 5-way to the right.

Changing Text Size

Just like when you are reading a book or periodical, you can adjust the size of the text when viewing Web pages.

Downloading Files

Some websites may have books or documents you can download and read on your Kindle. When you select these books or documents using Basic Web, you will be asked to confirm if you want to download these to your Kindle Home. The types of files you can download include Kindle content (.AZW, .AZW1), unprotected Mobipocket books (.MOBI, .PRC) and text files (.TXT).

Using Basic Web Settings

You can modify the default browser behaviors and perform simple maintenance procedures using Basic Web Settings. To display the Settings screen, press the Menu button while in the browser and then use the 5-way to select "Settings."

Illustration of browser setting options for Kindle Basic Web
  • Switch to Advanced Mode: Switches between Basic and Advanced modes, when you view Basic Web.
  • Clear Cache: Removes temporary Internet files from your Kindle. Move the on-screen highlight to "Clear Cache" and move the 5-way controller to the right.
  • Clear History: Removes cached Internet address entries from your Kindle. Move the on-screen highlight to "Clear History" and press the 5-way to clear this list.
  • Clear Cookies: Removes cookies from your Kindle. Move the on-screen highlight to "Clear Cookies" and press the 5-way to remove the cookies.
  • Enable Javascript: Enables or disables Javascript to be executed on the pages you visit. Note that if Javascript is disabled, Web pages will load faster. The view mode must be set to Advanced Mode to use this feature.
  • Disable Images: Select whether you want images to appear when you load a Web page. Note that if you do not show images, Web pages will load faster.

Using the Built-in Dictionary

While reading a book or periodical, you can see a brief definition of a word using the Lookup feature. The Lookup feature uses The New Oxford American Dictionary.

To see the definition of a word in your reading:

  1. Move the 5-way controller up or down to display and place the cursor in front of the word.
  2. If the word is found in the dictionary, a definition extract appears at the bottom of the screen.
  3. To see the complete definition, press the Return key. You will now be placed in the dictionary and can use Previous Page and Next Page to view other word definitions.
  4. Press the Back button to return to your reading.

Choosing your primary dictionary

You can choose the dictionary you want to use when you look up words while you are reading. The default is "The New Oxford American Dictionary" included on your Kindle, but you can change your dictionary choice by purchasing a supported dictionary on the Kindle Store and then following these steps:

  1. If you are not already on the Home screen, press the "Home" button.
  2. Press the "Menu" button.
  3. Move the 5-way controller to underline "Settings" and press to select.
  4. Press the "Menu" button.
  5. Move the 5-way to underline "Change Primary Dictionary" and press to select.
  6. Move the 5-way to underline the dictionary you want to use and press to select.

Zooming on Images and PDF Documents

Available with the 2.5 software release.

If you'd like to see a larger size of a picture or image or want to zoom in on sections of a PDF document, Kindle gives you tools to set a custom size. The only Kindle devices supported for PDFs are the Kindle and Kindle DX.

To zoom on an image in a book, magazine or newspaper:

  1. Position the cursor over the picture using the 5-way controller. You'll see a magnifying glass icon appear.
  2. Press the 5-way to zoom the image.
  3. Press the 5-way to return to your content.

When Kindle increases the image size, your view may change from portrait or landscape if necessary to maximize the use of the display.

To zoom on a PDF document:

  1. Press the Text key .
  2. Select the zoom percentage from the available options.
  3. Position the zoom box over the section you'd like to view using the 5-way controller and press to select.

You'll see scroll bars appear at the edges of the page that indicate what section you're viewing. Use the 5-way controller to move across the page and view different sections. To return to the previous view, press the Text key and select "fit-to-screen."

Using Kindle Active Content

Within Kindle active content titles, you may see customized options for how individual keys are used.

The menu in each active content title will provide instructions for that title. How to adjust text appearance, look up words with the built-in dictionary, create highlights and notes, and share your thoughts through your social networks. Also provides information about features such as Text-to-Speech, listening to audio books, using the web browser, and playing music.

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