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Old 12-24-2012, 12:17 AM   #8
DuckieTigger
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Posts: 1,354
Karma: 25263866
Join Date: Dec 2011
Device: Kindle Paperwhite
Add fonts to PW and KT

As alternative to embedding a font into a KF8 file, you can also install custom font(s) on the PW. No jailbreak is needed on 5.3.1 and newer. The fonts will be available on all books as part of the regular font-selection screen (aA). This includes old mobi and new mobi (KF8) files. All you need to do are these steps:
  1. connect PW/KT to computer per USB
  2. on usb-drive create an empty/new file with name: USE_ALT_FONTS
  3. create the folder: fonts
  4. copy your font in regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic into newly created fonts/ folder (see Note4)
  5. eject/disconnect PW/KT from USB ( unplug cable after ejecting )
  6. restart PW/KT ( menu->settings, then menu->restart ) (see Note1)

The newly installed font will be visible (among a few others previously unavailable) in the font menu of a book. The only exception where it won't work is some KF8 books that have the font annoyingly hardcoded into the book (font won't change no matter which font is selected). The USE_ALT_FONTS will work on non-jailbroke PW, but firmware 5.3.1 or 5.3.3 is necessary. (see Note2)

How many fonts?: You can put up to 10 custom fonts on PW and still be able (barely) to change the settings for line-spacing and margin-size. When using KF8 books alot, it is better to limit the custom fonts to 9, as an embedded font will take up one spot. To avoid partially cutting off the icons on bottom of aA-menu use 6 or less custom fonts.

How to hide extra fonts?: It is not possible to hide fonts that show up extra, unless you edit a config file that can only be accessed with jailbreak. WARNING: This is dangerous, use at your own risk, link to instructions here.

Kindle Touch: This works on (non-)jailbroken KT running new FW 5.3.2 and for older FW down to 5.1.0. On KT (menu->settings) above only works from home screen - on PW the settings can be entered even inside a book.

Note1: Full restart is not necessary, ;fc-cache in search bar should be enough. When I tested on my PW the restart was faster than waiting on ;fc-cache to be done fiddling around. Please see eureka's post mentioned in Credits for more details.

Note2: It may or may not work on 5.3.0 non-jailbroke, but does possibly work jailbroke. Also if it works on non-jailbroke FW, it will still work if jailbroke.

Note3: fonts/ mentioned is /mnt/us/fonts/ when you have access to the complete filesystem (needs jailbreak)

Note4: You don't have to put all 4 styles of a font into the fonts/ folder. Unexpected results may occur though if you don't. Most of the time the Kindle will display the font automatically slanted for italic if italic font-file is missing, or substitute bold with the regular version. Other times a missing style might be replaced with a fallback font (e.g. Caecilia). There might be a logic behind it, but only Amazon will know. Some fonts will not work and crash the Kindle (offending meta-data in font ). When that happens, after it restarted, simply remove the last added font and it will be back to normal after restart or maybe ;fc-cache.

Credits: I have merely written this guide in easy to follow steps. The real work of the discovery of USE_ALT_FONTS was done by eureka and first mentioned by him in this post for the Touch. If you find my guide useful, then please also stop by eureka's post and give him a nice chunk of Karma to say:
eureka, you rock!!!

Last edited by DuckieTigger; 02-04-2013 at 08:32 AM. Reason: extended, added credit
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