Whether you like the feel of a paperback in your hands or usability of an ebook reader on your phone, you’d agree that the Amazon Kindle is a sweet spot in the middle which is loved for its unique screen and almost paper-like experience. If you’re planning on buying a Kindle for your commute or you’ve just started using one, Kindle’s features will help you use your Kindle more effectively. I know Kindle has been around for a long time and we’re late to the party but I used the Kindle to find features that are really helpful in the real world scenarios and made a list of best Kindle tips, tricks, and hidden features. Let’s begin.
Kindle Paperwhite Tips and Tricks
1. Set a Passcode
If you want privacy on your Kindle then set a passcode on it so that no one snoops in on your reading material.
2. Send Articles to Kindle
Your Kindle comes with an experimental web browser which works fine for occasional surfing but is in no way a viable option to read articles online. A better way to read web articles on your Kindle is with the app ‘Send to Kindle’ which automatically converts the article you are reading on your Android, to a Kindle-ready format and sent it to your Kindle email address. It is not the fastest way but it will get the job done. On the desktop, I used, Tinderizer, to send articles to my Kindle. You can find the detailed steps in this article so that you don’t get stuck midway.
If you’ve recently made the switch from physical books to Kindle then you must try Kindle Matchbook. It is a service offered by Amazon which gives you discounted or free Ebooks for your past and latest paperback purchases through Amazon. The only catch is the book must be sold and fulfilled by Amazon. If you like reading physical books at your home and catching up on your Kindle during commute then Matchbook would surely come in handy.
WordWise is one of those hidden gems which is a treat to discover on your own. It shows you the meaning of unfamiliar words right on top of them. To turn it on, open the book, tap the top side of the screen, tap the options button on the top right, and select WordWise. You can adjust how many hints to be shown on a page by adjusting the slider.
5. Book Progress
If you always promise yourself “one more chapter and then I’ll go to sleep” and then fail anyway, check this feature out. Instead of stopping in the middle of a chapter(which you can totally do btw) you can optimize your reading time by getting the progress info on the bottom of the page. Just tap the bottom left corner of the screen to toggle between information such as location, book progress in percent, page number, minutes left in the chapter, minutes left in the book, etc.
6. Clock during reading
Like I said, if you go down the rabbit hole easily and forget the track of time while reading a book then it would be a good idea to keep a clock visible on the top so that you don’t end up glued to the Kindle till 4 in the morning. Or hide it, if it is too distracting. I won’t judge.
Tap the top side of the screen > Go to Page Display > Font & Page Settings > Reading tab> Toggle ‘Show Clock While Reading’.
Bookmarks are not just used to guide you to your last page read and as you’ll be putting bookmarks on a digital copy of your book, you won’t have to worry about ruining your favorite copy with sticky notes and folded corners. You can do it by tapping the top right corner and selecting the Plus button.
8. Looking up Meanings and definitions
Reading fantasy novels is often followed with a lot of homework because the authors want you to immerse in their fantasy world with their own made-up words and languages. Kindle makes looking up meanings of those words so much easier. Now, WordWise is always an option, distracting still. You can tap and hold on a word instead to get the meaning, a Wikipedia page associated with the word, and a translation in one of 23 languages. Awesome.
Also Read: Best PDF Reader apps for Android
9. Vocabulary Builder
Looking up meanings on Kindle while reading is one thing and memorizing the words is another. Kindle very subtly adds the words to the vocab builder whenever you look for the meaning of a word. After that, you can just go to the vocabulary builder and find all the words you’ve ever searched. You can use the words as Flashcards to help you learn the meaning quicker and become a master of words.
To go to vocabulary builder, tap the options button on the top, and select Vocabulary Builder.
10. Add Notes
Instead of looking up the translation for individual words, you can select entire paragraphs to find the translation. Not just that, you can add the paragraph as a note or share it via Email, Goodreads, and Twitter. After the latest firmware update, you can delete the selection if you ever accidentally select it.
The X-Ray feature on the streaming services is amazing, you can instantly look up the characters, important details, and trivia. The X-Ray feature on Kindle is just as awesome and you can get info like notable clips, characters, terms, and images.
It has been moved to the options menu from the top bar and to access it you’ll have to tap the options menu from the top right and select X-Ray.
12. Adjust Page Settings
One of the best features of reading on a Kindle is the customizability, you can adjust the page to your preferences and optimize the reading experience. You can choose between different spacing, narrow or wider margins, Left or Center Alignment, and even change orientation.
Tap on Top to reveal the options> Page Display> Font & Page Settings.
13. Add a Custom Font
Just like Page Settings, you can fully customize the font as well. You can choose from a list of 9 popular fonts or upload your own. The OpenDyslexic comes preloaded on the Kindle so that people with Dyslexia can read Ebooks without any special formatting.
To upload your own custom font, connect your Kindle to a computer with a USB cable> browse the Kindle directory to find ‘Fonts’ folder> copy OTF or TTF font files in the fonts folder.
14. Themes for people with low vision
Kindle comes with three different themes namely Compact, Standard, and Large which you can switch in an instant from the menu bar. However, there is a hidden theme which is meant for people with low vision. You can enable it in the Themes tab and make the Kindle suitable for people with low vision.
You can create and save your own themes by choosing your own font and font size, spacing, margins, alignment, and orientation.
15. Enable WhisperSync
If you enjoy reading your Kindle content on Multiple devices such as PC, smartphone and other tablets then you should enable this feature. It will keep the books and read progress in sync. It will also back up your annotations to Amazon’s servers so that you’re always on the same page.
While you can take a screenshot on your Kindle Paperwhite, most of you will ever use it, unless you’re writing an article like this one. Anyway, you can do that by tapping the diagonally opposite corners of the Paperwhite’s screen and the screenshots will be saved on the Kindle’s storage. You can then access those from a computer by connecting the Kindle via a USB cable.
These were some of the few features which I found interesting. I’m sure you’ll discover many more tricks on your own when you start using the Kindle regularly. However, I felt that using it for longer durations my hands started to hurt even though Kindle is lightweight. I would recommend you sticking a pop socket or two on the back for a more natural grip. If you found a cool feature on your Kindle that I missed, let me know in the comments?