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Old 01-29-2011, 01:10 PM   #1
NorthernPines
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Considering Kindle. Can I side loading PDFs?

Sorry if this question has been asked before. I am considering buying a Kindle however some of the YouTube reviews have confused me a bit. If I buy a new Kindle, will I be able to sideload/download my existing PDF documents/library onto the Kindle? Lots of reviews talk about emailing your pdfs to Amazon and then THEY put in into your archive. (one even mentioned paying them but I think that might be outdated information from the kindle 2???)

I have lots of pdf books that I've gotten for free over the years (history books, mostly, all public domain) will I be able to side load these right into the kindle or not?

Again, I apologize if this has been answered but if I can't just do it myself from books that are on my personal hard drive that's a deal breaker for me.

Thanks for the help,

NP
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:15 PM   #2
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Yes, you can load PDF documents onto the Kindle via the USB connection. However, you'll need a Kindle DX to display them well; the 6" Kindle has very, very poor PDF support.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Yes, you can load PDF documents onto the Kindle via the USB connection. However, you'll need a Kindle DX to display them well; the 6" Kindle has very, very poor PDF support.
Even for pdf books? Just text documents I'm talking about.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
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Yes, even for PDF books. The problem is that the Kindle, almost uniquely among eInk readers, has absolutely no support for PDF reflow. Since most PDF books are formatted for a much larger page size than a 6" screen, the only way to read them is to zoom in, and then pan across the page, which is painful in the extreme. That's why you've heard of people e-mailing their PDF documents to Amazon's document conversion service, to convert them to Mobipocket format.

If reading PDFs is high on your priority list, I'd look at something like the Sony Reader instead; it has enormously better PDF support than the Kindle does.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:44 PM   #5
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PDF reflow is available on DuoKan, the alternate firmware for the Kindle. Not to mention that conversion is always an open choice. I actually found recently that the Kindle 3 isn't too bad for reading PDF's if you turn it on the side and scroll down the page. But it's obviously not as good as having a DX, which will give you almost a full sized page.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PharaohsVizier View Post
But it's obviously not as good as having a DX, which will give you almost a full sized page.
Or choosing a reader with better PDF support (of which there are many). I like the Kindle a lot, but it really is NOT a good choice if reading PDFs is your priority. We shouldn't be reluctant to say "the Kindle is not best suited for your requirements" when there are devices available that suit those requirements better.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:17 PM   #7
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Well thanks for the replies. I'm still at a loss for what to do. Most of pdf books are single page version (not scanned or columns etc) but if it doesn't do pdf's well, AND it doesn't do epub, good grief what's left? To re-buy all these books on Amazon? I dunno, even if they're only .99 cents a piece, I don't like being locked into Amazon for EVERYTHING. I don't mind it for their books, which they do have the biggest selection of books that I'd buy... but, well I dunno, The more I think about the Nook's layout and it's bulkiness the more I realize I don't really care for it, and ain't paying $200 for a sony reader, that's just too much $$$. I can buy $200 in used books that would last me years. I'm beginning to wonder if the technology just isn't there yet for the typical book lover who isn't enthralled with the latest gadgets. What one device does, another doesn't, etc. Thanks for the replies though, I do appreciate it. And sorry for the bad title, I tried to edit it but realized my typo was forever a part of cyberspace.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:19 PM   #8
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To get an idea of how the Kindle's PDF to MOBI conversion will do, try importing a PDF into Windows MobiPocket Reader. It will convert to MOBI and display the results. If they look good, then Amazon's conversion will likely work (or just side-load the WMR MOBI version, which will be in My Documents\My eBooks).

To get an idea how PDF reflow will work on practically any reading device except the Kindle, try reading it in Sony Reader Library for PC or Mac. In SRL, Small is the original full page and all other sizes are reflows (e.g. Medium) if a reflow of that page is possible. Note that the screenshots are of a 600x800 reading pane (as on most E-Ink readers), but this will likely be much larger on your PC's screen than on the reader itself.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:50 PM   #9
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You can of course convert your PDFs. Text-only PDFs convert well and the process is very easy.
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:08 PM   #10
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I have to add, when using BRISS to pre-crop your pdf's, I find them quite readable on the Kindle 3 (6"). Using BRISS you can even split-up the page in parts, this is very usefull for scientific papers and their two column layout.

For regular just text pdf you can either crop the pdf and accept the perhaps bit small font-size (depending on the size of the margins and the font-size used in the pdf) or your could split the pdf in half and read it on the kindle 90° rotated.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:06 PM   #11
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By the way, converted files do NOT show up in your Archives. Only books purchased from Amazon are in Archives. You can of course back them up yourself, though.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:19 AM   #12
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If you absolutely do have to use the original PDF rather than converting as mentioned here, the best compromise I find on a normal K3 is to read PDFs in landscape mode. In most instances (and for some PDF magazines) and given that the Kindle usually crops out the blank margins, the type is just about comfortable to read without having to mess with the awful magnifier function which really is too clunky for words. But if you have slightly poor vision or low light this may not be satisfactory.
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