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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Convert PDF to Mobi

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Showing 1-25 of 59 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 19, 2011, 11:58:10 AM PDT
I'm trying to find a (free) way to convert PDF's to Mobi...I've find a few sites but when you convert them and save them to your Kindle they change the title into something crazy..."Microsoft Word..." it doesn't even show the name change on the converted file it just shows up like that on the Kindle. Anyone have any suggestions?

Posted on Oct 19, 2011, 12:05:54 PM PDT
S. Dunham says:
You can email the PDF file to your free Kindle account, put CONVERT in the subject line, and Amazon will convert it to AZW format for you. And if you have a WiFi version, it will send the file directly to your Kindle. You can also use Calibre. That is a free conversion software that also does a nice job. If the PDF file is just text, it converts well. If there are graphs and double columns of text, and pictures...not so much.

Posted on Oct 19, 2011, 12:42:49 PM PDT
Use Calibre. You can download it at:

You can use Calibre to convert a variety of non-DRM'd files, including LIT, EPUB, PDF, etc. to a MOBI file. When you convert each file you can type in a name, author, how to sort the author's name, etc. Calibre won't convert files with DRM.

Posted on Oct 19, 2011, 12:52:41 PM PDT
L L. says:
Calibre is the best way. I've converted hundreds of there, as many as 200 at the same time, then calibre sends them to the kindle in the same job. It's very convenient. I can plug the kindle in, pull the books off, change their metadata and send them back.

Posted on Oct 19, 2011, 7:50:19 PM PDT
deannah says:
I just converted a book today using Calibre (which is free) and here is how I did it. The book was one a friend had written in Word several years ago. I used OpenOffice (which is free) to save as a PDF file. I then dragged it from my desktop into Calibre and converted it to a *.mobi file. Used the USB to put it into the documents folder on the Kindle. Worked great. It didn't seem to center things like headings, etc., but not a big deal to me.

Posted on Oct 19, 2011, 7:53:39 PM PDT
AmeliaAT says:
I love calibre! It doesn't do as great a job with PDFs as it does with other formats (html seems to come out the best for me, and I can tweak the formatting before conversion -- so I convert my doc to html then to mobi), but emailing and converting a PDF through Amazon is also less-than-satisfactory. However, given the choice between trying to read a pdf natively on the K and reading it after it's been converted, I'd go with the conversion, given my experience with it. YMMV. :-)

Posted on Oct 20, 2011, 7:49:45 AM PDT
I checked out Calibre...the only thing I didn't like was that I would have to switch my amazon email (yahoo) over to my gmail account but it seems like I just have to get over it!! :-)

Posted on Oct 20, 2011, 10:48:50 AM PDT
MamaSylvia says:
I love Calibre, but the developer himself says PDF is the *worst* format to convert from. I still use it to convert PDFs, but occasionally the result comes out unreadable.

S. Arnold, what told you to switch your Amazon account to gmail to use Calibre? I have my Amazon account on one domain but I entered my gmail info into Calibre to enable it to email files to my Kindle and did NOT have to change anything about my Amazon account. I did have to go to MYK and enter my gmail address as an approved sender to my Kindles.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2011, 11:13:26 AM PDT
MamaSylvia...I read something on the site where it said you would have to change your email on amazon to your gmail account...I will go back and double check that. Also, I don't want the files emailed to my kindle (since they charge)...can you have the file emailed your gmail or is there an option to download it directly to your kindle once the conversion is made?

Posted on Oct 20, 2011, 11:24:37 AM PDT
MamaSylvia says:
Hmmm. I don't know what you saw, but I know I do NOT use a gmail address for my Amazon account and I've been using Calibre for months AND having it email conversions to my K3.

Definitely you can have Calibre put converted books right onto your Kindle, I just don't do it that way because my K3 is wifi only (no charge) and I rarely have my Kindle and laptop in the same room. ;) Or you could simply manually copy the desired ebooks from the Calibre directories to the Kindle documents directory.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2011, 11:34:32 AM PDT
AmeliaAT says:
They don't charge if you send it to your address. As long as you add the "free" in there, it will be sent & converted for free & will download on a schedule via WiFi, not 3G.

You don't have to change your Amazon email address. You just have to put into your MYK page the approved email addresses, which can be any of the ones you use. I think the email address you normally use for Amazon is automatically an approved email address, but you can add others. I have three listed, and if you shared with a family or a workgroup or something, you could have more.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2011, 2:45:43 PM PDT
deannah says:
@charliechillout .. I agree on the poor quality of the PDF format. I used that to begin with and found that there were no paragraph indents and a pic was not inserted properly. I later deleted that book from Kindle and saved it again from Word in the *.htm-filtered format. All went well and it looks much better. I was a bit confused as it came into Calibre as a *.zip file but converted to *.mobi with no problem. Quite impressed with Calibre for the Kindle!

Posted on Oct 20, 2011, 9:56:48 PM PDT
Mobipocket Creator does a pretty good job of converting PDF to mobi. It also converts MS Word, HTML and text. And it's free.

Posted on Oct 21, 2011, 11:19:44 PM PDT
technorebel says:
I got my Kindle on Monday and have been messing around with PDF conversions for days. I tried Calibre, Mobipocket, and K2pdfOpt. I thought Calibre was a little complicated--I just want to drop the books in and be done with it. K2pdfOpt generates such huge files and they don't flow well.
Mobipocket Creator (you have to install the Publisher Edition but it's still free) is the easiest and seems to make the best ebooks for Kindle.
I had the same problem with the long names in the title list on Kindle..they'd look something like "projectgutenberg1385966399399..." and with many books like this, it's impossible to know which one you're opening.
I realized by tinkering, that when you import the pdf into Mobipocket, you need to click on "metadata" and change the title of the book to the way you want it to read on your Kindle home page. Then scroll down the metadata page and click update. THEN click build.
Another thing I was doing wrong was just picking up the entire build folder and dumping it into my Kindle drive (which takes up a lot of room) when all I needed to move was the .prc file.
Now I'm converting my pdfs pretty quickly. Love the free software. But you do need to remember during the installation of Mobipocket Creator to check the "Publisher Edition" and not the "Home Edition". The publisher edition is the one that allows you to import PDFs, Word docs, text docs, and HTML.

Posted on Jul 12, 2012, 11:59:04 AM PDT
i am trying to convert filess into mobi files but everytime i click convert it pops up saying "can not convert because no suitable source format found... does anyone have any idea why?

Posted on Jul 12, 2012, 1:00:30 PM PDT
LadyHawke says:
I am also a fan of mobipocket creator. Very easy to use.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2012, 1:02:51 PM PDT
What tool are you trying to use?

Posted on Jul 12, 2012, 1:08:25 PM PDT
If you have a Word document, why on earth would you convert to PDF before converting to .mobi? Either save as filtered HTML, or keep the original Word document, and send it to your Kindle email address to convert. Or, use Mobipocket Creator.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2012, 7:52:15 AM PDT
Turtle Owner says:
This was very helpful, just wanted to add that in order to receive documents you must email from the same email address your kindle is registered to or add the email address as an authorized sender to the kindle. It's in the manage kindle settings - personalized document settings. I kept trying to email from a different account and couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. Added the account and it worked great! Thanks!!

Posted on Sep 8, 2012, 5:53:49 AM PDT
Joshua T says:
Have new refurbished Wi-Fi keyboard Kindle. Agree that conversion with Calibre from .pdf does not work well with double columns. Calibre simply reads across as though the two columns were just one.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2012, 6:01:01 AM PDT
K. R. says:
"Agree that conversion with Calibre from .pdf does not work well with double columns."

I've had a weird problem with using Calibre - I've scanned an old OoP book, OCRed it, and then formated the text the way is should be in Open Office, when I converted the text file to mobi using Calibre it came out looking great - but then I read the mobi document, and found that for some reason Calibre left out a number of words - all of them the word "it". I've got no clue as to why Calibre would have a problem with that one particular word.

Posted on Sep 8, 2012, 8:05:55 AM PDT
This tutorial explains how to optimize complex pdf's prior to converting them with Calibre:

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012, 5:33:54 PM PST
I'm unaware of having a "free Kindle account" or how to e-mail to it. Can you enlighten me? thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012, 6:02:33 PM PST
ok. I figured it out. what i need to know now is this: is there any way to create a mobi file that is kindle friendly in that you can change text size, color, etc.?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2012, 10:51:45 AM PST
technorebel says:
Using either MobiPocket Creator or Calibre, once you upload the file you have converted to your Kindle, you can definitely change the text size and create bookmarks or highlights, etc. I don't know about the color as I have the basic Kindle which is only black and white.
I would suggest downloading the free softwares and playing around with them until you get the hang of it. There's more of a learning curve with Calibre than Mobipocket Creator, but Calibre gives you more options during the conversion and creates a better Kindle book, I think.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  44
Total posts:  59
Initial post:  Oct 19, 2011
Latest post:  22 days ago

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