If you are like me, you have tons of PDF files stored on your computer hard drive that you have promised to actually read some day. If you absolutely love reading books on your Kindle, you will probably realize that if these PDFs somehow got transferred to your Kindle, you would definitely read them right away. The question is, how do you convert PDF to Kindle format and then transfer it to your device?

Why Convert a PDF to Kindle Format?

If you are the proud owner of a Kindle eBook reader, there have undoubtedly been situations where you wish you had the ability to convert PDF to Kindle format. But why? There is no argument that the Kindle has always had the built-in ability to display PDF files without losing the formatting of the original file. All you need to do is use your USB cable to transfer the file from your computer to your device, email it to your Kindle email address or use the built-in web browser to view it.

In fact, the most recent versions of the Kindle have enhanced PDF support which allows for features such as magnifying text, viewing documents in landscape mode, adding notes and highlights, dictionary lookups, zooming and panning. But if you own an older version of the Kindle, none of these features are included. While you will be able to view PDF documents in their original format, you would not be able to use any of the features listed above. But what if you absolutely needed these features? The answer is simple: you will need to convert your PDF to Kindle format.

What PDF Features Are Available for Older Models?

For older models, the only available feature is the ability to view PDF files in their original format. Most of the time this may be adequate. However, if the font size on a PDF is very small and hard to read without zooming in, you would most likely not be able to read it on the smaller Kindle screen. In simpler terms, for older Kindle models, the PDF will look exactly the same as it appears on your computer monitor with no options to change it. What you see is what you get!

Which Models Have Enhanced PDF Support?

Latest generation Kindle
Second generation Kindle
Kindle DX
Enhanced PDF support implies that you will be able to use features such as viewing documents in landscape mode, adding notes, magnifying text, dictionary look-ups, panning and zooming.

However, even on the latest generation Kindles, if you want PDF features such as variable font size, annotation, text-to-speech and document re-flow, you will have no choice but to convert PDF to Kindle format.

Converting a PDF to Kindle Format will Enable All Kindle Functionality

However, if you convert a PDF file to Kindle format before transferring it to your device, you will be able to use all the built-in Kindle features including text-to-speech. Even on the most recent Kindle models, text-to-speech does not work on PDFs unless they are converted. Another advantage of converting to Kindle format is that the document will be re-formatted so that the words “flow” more evenly across the screen. To many, the “re-flow” feature is the biggest advantage of converting a PDF file to Kindle format.

What does re-flow mean exactly? It simply means that if you change the font size, the words will shift in the paragraph much like a word-processing document or regular Kindle eBook.

What Types of PDF Files Cannot Be Converted?

PDF files that are mostly graphical in nature (pictures, charts, diagrams, tables, etc.)
Files that have added security. For example, some authors protect their PDF files so that they cannot be altered whatsoever including the ability to copy and paste
Password protected PDF files (if you do not know the password)
Most DRM protected files
Why Not Simply Email the PDF to Your Personal Kindle Email Address?

Sending a PDF file to your Kindle email address will work in some cases. The cost is pretty cheap as well (15 cents per megabyte). However, this method is not fool-proof. Here are a few disadvantages:

The file will come back in an unreadable, mangled format. Depending on how complex the PDF is (because of pictures and other graphics), the conversion may not be smooth. The alternative would be to have my service strip out the text only and create the converted file from that.
There is a size limit of the PDF that you email
The online converter will not convert any password protected or DRM PDFs
Has PDF Support Prevented You from Purchasing a Kindle?

If you do not yet own a Kindle because you were not sure about the devices PDF support, you should no longer need to be concerned. You can now convert PDF to Kindle which will allow the document to function just like a regular Kindle eBook.

Convert PDF to Kindle Format – Conclusion

There are significant advantages if you convert PDF to Kindle format before transferring them to your device. These advantages will allow you to view documents in landscape mode, add notes, magnify text, get the definition of any word in the file, enable text-to-speech, adjust font size, pan documents and zoom in on hard to see areas.