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Amazon has made reading books on Kindle as simple as clicking a button every couple of minutes. However, that has led to many overlooking the rest of the Kindle’s abilities. Most users don’t look past the standard Kindle features. Therefore, here are some tips to help you get more out of Amazon’s ebook reader.
1. Convert Documents Before Sending to Kindle
You might be familiar with the Send-to-Kindle feature which lets you quickly email books or documents to your Kindle. But while it’s compatible with a vast range of file formats, only two allow you to take complete advantage of its functionalities like font size and WhisperSync.
Fortunately, Amazon offers an easy solution. For converting documents to the Kindle format, all you need to do is write “convert” as the subject line when emailing a personal document to your Send-to-Kindle address. Amazon will automatically convert the file and add it to your Kindle library.
2. Get a Clutter-Free Kindle Home Screen
By default, your Kindle’s home screen is populated with books Amazon thinks you might be interested in and items from your reading list. That leaves little room for the books already in your library. However, you can declutter your Kindle’s home screen by turning those recommendations off.
To do that, you will need to go to the Settings, then Device Options. Then tap Advanced Options. There, you will find an option to disable Home Screen View.
3. Connect Social Accounts to Your Kindle
Amazon also lets you link your social accounts like Facebook and Twitter to your Kindle. Doing so allows you to instantly share excerpts and passages from a book on your social timelines. At the time of writing, Amazon supports only three websites: Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
For connecting your social profiles, you will have to head into the Settings and tap My Account. Go into Social Networks and click the one you would like to configure. Once that’s done, you can highlight any text while reading a book and hit the share button for forwarding it to your social timelines.
4. View the Most Highlighted Passages in an Ebook
There’s also a way for you to view a book’s most highlighted passages on a Kindle. For reading those, open the book and tap the three-dot button present in the top quick access menu. Next, click Notes and then enter the Popular tab.
Here, you should be able to view the text which was highlighted by the maximum number of readers. The device will even show you how many people highlighted it and on which page is it situated. You can tap any individual paragraph to quickly jump to the associated page as well.
5. Export Your Kindle Highlights
For people looking to share all their highlights and notes from a book, there’s an option for exporting those as well. In the same Notes pane, a button titled Export Notes is available. When you request your highlights through that, Amazon will send you an email with both a PDF and a CSV file containing all your notes from that specific book.
6. Take a Screenshot on Your Kindle
Like your phone or computer, you can also take a screenshot on a Kindle. The process is slightly more complicated and can take a couple of attempts if you’re new at it. To capture a screenshot on your Kindle, you will need to tap two opposing corners like the top right and bottom left.
If successful, the screen will flash momentarily. To use these screenshots, you will have to connect your Kindle to a computer and export them. They will be present in the root location, not inside any specific folder.
7. Extend Your Kindle’s Battery Life
Even though your Kindle probably lasts weeks on a single charge, it’s still annoying to see it has run out of battery when you’re about to start reading a new book. With a few tweaks you can extend that battery life even further. The first one is to turn on Airplane mode when you’re not downloading or browsing new books. The quickest way to do so is by revealing the top menu and clicking the cog-wheel icon.
In addition, you can also switch off Page Refresh from the Reading Options in Settings. Disabling this setting will essentially prevent the Kindle from manually refreshing its e-paper screen with every page turn.
The reason the screen needs to be refreshed is that e-paper displays tend to suffer from an issue called “ghosting” where residues of the last page’s text are visible on the next one. Leaving the Page Refresh setting on ensures you never run into ghosting. However, even without it enabled, it’s highly unlikely you will ever encounter any problems. If you do, you can always turn it back on.
8. Quickly Change Your Kindle’s Brightness
The brightness slider on your Kindle comes with a quick shortcut for shooting it up to the maximum level. But what about those late night reading sessions when you’d like it to be at the minimum? It turns out there’s a nifty shortcut for that too.
For bringing your Kindle screen’s brightness to the minimum, press and hold the little sun icon at the left edge of the slider. While there is a Max button already provided, you can also hold down the sun icon at the right edge for raising the brightness to the highest level.
9. Learn a Language Using Your Kindle
Kindle devices come with an inbuilt tool for readers who are trying to get better at understanding English. It’s called Word Wise, and when enabled it shows hints over difficult words. You can also adjust the number of hints the device shows on a single page depending on how well you know the language.
To enable Word Wise, go to the settings and then click Reading Options. Tap Language Learning and switch on Word Wise. You can specify whether it should display multiple hints for more complicated words. At the time of writing, Word Wise was only compatible with two languages: English and Chinese.
Expand Your Amazon Kindle Library
While the majority of these tips may seem trivial, they can significantly improve your experience, especially if you’re an active Kindle user. If you want more, there are a host of brilliant websites for Kindle owners to browse when they’re not reading books. And, check out how to get news updates on your Kindle with Calibre.