Navigating Your Kindle

  • Views of Kindle
  • Using Kindle's Menus
  • Entering Text
  • Screen Rotation

  • Views of Kindle

    This section reviews all of the physical features of Kindle and covers the basics of using the Kindle buttons, menus, and keyboard.

    Front View

    The front of your Kindle contains the screen the keyboard, and the navigation controls. These features are illustrated below and explained in the list that follows.

    Volume controls: controls the headphone or speaker volume for audiobooks, background music, and Text-to-Speech.

    "Previous Page" button: takes you to the previous page in your reading material.

    "Home" button: shows content stored on your Kindle as well as content archived at Amazon.

    "Next Page" button: takes you to the next page in your reading material. To accommodate different ways of holding the Kindle, there is a "Next Page" button on both sides.

    "Menu" button: displays application and navigation choices that are related to the screen you are viewing.

    5-way controller: selects an item or action when pressed down. Moves the on-screen highlight or cursor up and down when moved up and down. Moves the on-screen highlight or cursor side-to-side when moved left or right.

    Keyboard: use to enter search terms, notes in your content, URLs for websites, etc.

    "Back" button: retraces your steps on Kindle just like the "back" button on a web browser. For example, you can follow a link in a book and then press the "Back" button to return to your place.

    Symbol key: presents a menu of punctuation marks and symbols. Move the 5-way controller to select the desired symbol and press the 5-way to select.

    Text key: changes the size of the text and number of words per line while you are reading and presents available controls for Text-to-Speech. Move the 5-way controller to select the optimal text size, words per line or a Text-to-Speech action.

    Back View

    The back of your Kindle contains stereo speakers for audio content.

    Top View

    Illustration of top of Kindle2 showing power button and sound port.

    Power switch: puts your Kindle to sleep, wakes it up, and turns your Kindle on or off. To put your Kindle to sleep, slide and release the power switch; a full screen image appears on the display. While your Kindle is asleep, other keys and buttons are locked so that you don't accidentally change the place in your reading. To turn your Kindle off, slide and hold the power switch for four seconds until the screen goes blank and then release. To wake up or turn on your Kindle, slide and release the power switch again.

    If your Kindle does not power on or is unresponsive during use, try resetting the device by disconnecting your Kindle from any power source, and then sliding and holding the power switch for 15 seconds before releasing.

    Tip: Your Kindle will also go to sleep by itself after ten minutes if you are not using it. If your Kindle had wireless on prior to going to sleep, it will continue to receive your regularly scheduled subscriptions while in sleep.

    Headphone jack: plug in headphones to listen to an audiobook, background music, or content read aloud through Text-to-Speech. Attaching headphones turns off the built-in speakers.

    Bottom View

    The bottom of your Kindle contains the charge indicator light and a micro-USB port.

    Micro-USB/power port: Attach the USB cord that came with your Kindle into the micro-USB/power port and into the Kindle power adapter. Plug the adapter into a U.S.-compatible electrical outlet to charge the Kindle battery. You can also charge your Kindle by detaching the USB cord from the power adapter and connecting it to a computer's USB port or powered USB hub. The charging status light will turn yellow, indicating that the battery is charging; you can continue to use your Kindle while it charges. A green light indicates that the battery is fully charged.

    Check to make sure the power adapter is not covered by anything that could cause it to overheat. If the charge indicator light does not light up, make sure that the USB cable is fully inserted into your Kindle and the power adapter or USB port. If Kindle still is not charging, try another electrical outlet or USB port.

    To transfer content between your computer and your Kindle, connect the provided USB cable to the Kindle and to the computer's USB port.



    Using Kindle's Menus

    In addition to the physical buttons, you also navigate Kindle using the menus. Kindle's menus are context sensitive, but they all work the same way.

    You use the 5-way controller to navigate within the menu and press the 5-way to select an item. The illustration below shows the Home menu; the bold line under "Shop in Kindle Store" indicates that it is ready to be selected.

    The Application Menu

    You can display a menu from any screen on your Kindle. When you press the "Menu" button, it displays choices related to the screen you are viewing. The sample screen below shows you the screen you would typically see when you press the "Menu" button from within a book.

    Entering Text

    To use the Kindle keyboard, most people find it easiest to hold the device in both hands, and use the tips of their thumbs to press the keys.

    Lowercase and Uppercase Letters

    To enter lowercase letters, press the appropriate letter key. To enter uppercase letters, hold down the Shift key, and then press the desired letter key like you do on your computer keyboard. Alternatively, you can press and release the Shift key and then press the desired letter. Only the next letter will be capitalized.

    Numbers, Punctuation, and Symbols

    The number keys are located at the top of the keyboard. If you need a punctuation mark or a symbol that is not shown, press the Symbol key on the bottom row of the keyboard. You will see a menu of punctuation marks and symbols.

    Use the 5-way controller to choose the character you want and it will appear in your text entry box.

    Screen Rotation

    The Kindle screen image can be rotated so you can see the entire width of a web page or magnify the page of a PDF file. The buttons work the same in either rotation, but the 5-way controller movements are switched to match the rotation.

    Here's how to lock your screen into portrait or landscape mode:

    1. Press the "Text" key located on the bottom row of the keyboard. Screen Rotation is displayed at the bottom of the menu.
    2. Move the 5-way to select one of the four options to lock the display in a set orientation:
      • portrait
      • landscape with the keyboard on the left
      • portrait with the keyboard at the top
      • landscape with the keyboard on the right
    3. Press the controller to confirm your choice.

    You can view Kindle Store pages only in portrait mode.

    Status Indicators

    At the top of every screen, you also see Whispernet and battery life status indicators to keep you in the know.

    Whispernet Status Indicators

    The Whispernet status indicator shows you whether the wireless radio is turned on or off, the signal strength of your Whispernet service, and the connection speed. Here are the indicators and their meanings.

    The Whispernet service is active and your Kindle has a strong signal. The more bars that are filled in with black, the stronger the wireless signal.

    None of the bars are filled in. This means the wireless signal strength is too low to connect. You will not be able to connect to the Kindle Store, Basic Web, register your device, retrieve content from Archived Items, receive your subscriptions, or sync to furthest page read.

    The bars are outlined in gray. This means Whispernet is checking for signal strength. This usually lasts less than 30 seconds.

    The Whispernet service is turned off. You can turn on the wireless by pressing the "Menu" button, and using the 5-way controller to navigate to "Turn Wireless On."

    Battery Status Indicators

    You have your Kindle plugged into power and the battery is charging. The charge indicator light on the bottom of your Kindle also lights up. Note that if your Kindle is plugged into a low powered USB port such as those found on some keyboards or older computers, you will only derive enough charge to avoid depleting the battery but not enough to recharge it.

    The images above show the various states of the battery as it discharges. As you deplete the battery, less of the battery indicator will be filled in.

    The battery is too low to power the Whispernet service. You must charge your Kindle battery to restore wireless service.

    Activity Indicator

    Your Kindle is busy downloading new content, checking for new items, searching for an item, or loading a web page.

    Using the Menu to Get Around

    To go to the menu, press the "Menu" button when reading a book or periodical. You will have slightly different options depending on the content you are reading. Examples of the menu options are described below.

    If you are reading a Kindle book, the menu shows the following options:

    Turn Wireless Off: turns off Whispernet. When Whispernet is off, this option will change to "Turn Wireless On."

    Shop in Kindle Store: takes you to the Kindle Storefront.

    Buy This Book Now: connects to the Kindle Store, purchases, and downloads the full book to your Kindle. Only appears if you are reading a sample from the Kindle Store.

    Go to: allows you to move to another location in the item you are reading. Choose one of these options:

    Cover: takes you to the cover page of the item you are reading. This is usually the cover of the book.

    Table of Contents: takes you to the Table of Contents for the item you are reading.

    Beginning: takes you to the place in the book the publisher considers to be the beginning. This is usually the first chapter, but may be a foreword, the table of contents, or other point the publisher chooses.

    Location…: enter a location to jump to in the content, and then select this option.

    Sync to Furthest Page Read: connects to and compares your current reading location with the one saved at Amazon. If you are further along in your book using another device, Kindle gives you the choice to go to the furthest page read.

    Book Description: connects to the Kindle Store and displays the detail page for the full book.

    Search This Book: displays the Search line at the bottom of the screen.

    Add a Bookmark: bookmarks the page you are currently on. After selecting this option, the upper right corner of the book will be dog-eared and this menu option will change to "Delete Bookmark."

    Add a Note or Highlight: puts you into annotation mode. Additional details on how to create a note or highlight are provided later in this chapter.

    View Popular Highlights: displays a page containing all of your current item's Popular Highlights. This option is dimmed if you've turned off Popular Highlights in Kindle Settings.

    View My Notes & Marks: displays a page containing all of your current item's notes, highlights, bookmarks, and clippings.

    If you are reading a periodical or blog, you will see the following different options:

    Clip This Article: makes a copy of the entire article and adds it to your "My Clippings" file.

    Keep This Issue: designates the newspaper or magazine issue as one to be stored in your Kindle until you remove it.

    Navigating Within a Periodical

    At the bottom of a newspaper or magazine you will see options for quickly navigating within an issue. When viewing a blog, you will see similar options for navigation.

    Previous Article: takes you to the previous article when you move the 5-way controller to the left.

    View Sections List: takes you to the sections list of a newspaper or magazine when you press the 5-way controller.

    View Articles List: takes you to the articles list of a blog when you press the 5-way controller.

    Next Article: advances you to the next article when you move the 5-way controller to the right. By default, "View Sections List" for newspapers and magazines is highlighted and when you press the 5-way, a list of the sections will appear. If you are viewing a blog, "View Articles List" is highlighted and pressing the 5-way shows a list of the blog's articles.

    To navigate to a particular section, use the 5-way controller to underline the section title and then press the 5-way to select. To dismiss this view and return to where you were last reading in the magazine or newspaper, select "Close Sections List" located at the bottom of the screen. Selecting the number to the right of the section title will take you to a list of articles found within that section.

    To navigate to a particular article within a section or blog, simply move the 5-way controller to underline the article title and press to select. To dismiss this view, select "Close Articles List" located at the bottom of the screen.

    Selecting Internal Links

    Your reading material may also contain links to other places in the document. For example, in many books, the table of contents is set up to link to the content pages. Links are easy to spot because they are underlined. To select a link:
    1. Move the 5-way over the link.
    2. The cursor changes to look like this:
    3. Press the 5-way to select the link.
    4. Kindle takes you to the linked location.
    5. Press the "Back" button to go back to where you were.
    6. Your reading material may also contain external links that take you to locations on the web (if you have Whispernet turned on and are in range).

    Was this information helpful?

    Thank you for your feedback.

    Please select what best describes the information:

    Thanks! While we're unable to respond directly to your feedback, we'll use this information to improve our online Help.