Skip to content

Kindle 3 Keyboard Shortcuts et al

Ver 1.16 – 15 October 2011:
[Go to the file downloads] [Go to the shortcuts] [Amazon Kindle Support]

All these shortcuts and notes have been tested on my Kindle 3 3G + wi-fi. If you find these tips useful, feel free to copy & paste this post into your own blog/web site/forum – but please include a link back to here, as this is a work in progress. Recent changes have superscript version markers (eg v1.16).

  • If you are looking at this page on your Kindle’s web browser, you can use Whispernet to download these tips as a book direct to your Kindle. To do this, just click on either link below. The files themselves now contain links to update directly while reading them.
  • In the K3 browser, Menu->Article Mode makes it much easier to read this post.
  • If you are currently on your computer but want to download directly from your Kindle, you can get to this page from your Kindle:
    • Press <Home> to make sure you are on the home screen
    • Press the <Del> key to open up the search box
    • Type in the following short URL (use Sym to select the “/” and the “3”; there is no need to type ‘http://’ in front):
    • Use the 5-way to move to the right until ‘Go To’ is highlighted
    • Press the 5-way to go to the URL; if wireless is not on, it will ask if you want to turn it on now
  • If you are on your computer, you can also click on a link below, save the book to your computer, and then transfer to your Kindle’s documents folder via USB:

Download in .mobi format – with Table of Contents and chapter marks (recommended)
Download in .azw format – converted via Amazon – no TOC or chapter marks

Kindle 3 Keyboard Shortcuts (Ver 1.16)

[Searching] [Text-to-Speech] [Voice Guide] [Background Music] [Games] [Home Screen] [General] [Reading] [Adding Books to Collections] [Sorting Collections] [Photo Albums] [Archives and Deleting Books Forever] [Web Browsing] [Kindle Calculations] [FAQs & Hacks] [Book File Formats] [The K3 Keyboard] [Just the Keyboard Shortcuts]


  • To copy text from a book to the search box (eg to search for a character’s name):
    • Use the 5-way to cursor down to the beginning of the text you want to copy
    • Click the 5-way to mark the beginning
    • Use the 5-way to move right, selecting the word(s) you want to search for
    • Instead of clicking again as you would to save a highlight, press SPACEBAR
    • The selected words are now in the search box. Move the cursor down or right, delete any extraneous characters, then move down and right to highlight ‘Find’. Click to search.
  • Clear text from search/edit box: ALT+DEL
  • Default search action: when the action on the right of the search box is the one you want, you do not have to use the 5-way to move to highlight it first; you can just press ENTER (or click)
    • Similarly, if the cursor is in the URL field of the web browser, the action shown to the right is the default and you can just press ENTER
  • When searching ‘My Items’ from the Home screen, you can change the order in which search results are displayed: v1.16
    • Use the 5-way to cursor to the top of the screen, where the number of items found is displayed
    • Use the 5-way to move right and display the available sort orders
    • Use the 5-way to move to the order you want and click to select it
  • The SYM key is only active when a search/edit box is active
    • To start a search from the Home screen with a symbol, press DEL or ENTER to open up a search box, then press SYM
    • In other screens, DEL or ENTER will not work; to open a search/edit box so you can use SYM, type a space and then delete it
  • For when you don’t even know what day of the week it is:
    • Search for DATE or TIME from the home screen
    • The current date and time is the first item in results; select it to see the day and time zone information
      • To just see the time without searching, press MENU
    • When you have a book open:
      • Enter DATE or TIME as a search item
      • Use the 5-way to cursor right to ‘my items’ and select
      • Again, the current date and time is the first item in results, and can be selected for more information
      • The BACK key will return you to your place in the book
  • @help – list all functions available for searching from the Home screen:
    • @dict <keyword>
    • @help
    • @print [no idea what this does]
    • @store <keyword>
    • @url <url> (goes to browser if no URL)
    • @web <google search term >
    • @wiki <keyword>
    • @wikipedia <keyword>

Text-to-Speech (TTS)

  • Start/Stop: SHIFT+SYM
    • To start at a specific spot, use the 5-way to position the cursor first
    • When TTS is on, BACK turns it off
  • Pause/Restart: SPACEBAR
    • When TTS is turned on, most of the keyboard is locked; if you press SPACEBAR or use Aa to pause TTS, you cannot manually navigate through the book because TTS is still active, and it may appear that the Kindle has frozen. Press SPACEBAR to resume TTS, or press SHIFT+SYM, BACK or HOME to turn off TTS entirely. The Aa key also still works.
  • TTS only works when you have a book open
  • TTS won’t work if the publisher has disabled TTS for the book; TTS status can be found under the book pricing in the Kindle bookstore
  • When TTS is on, use the Aa key to:
    • Change between male and female voice
    • Change the reading speed
    • Stop or pause TTS
  • Pages are turned automatically when TTS is turned on. By turning the volume right down and adjusting the reading speed, this feature can be used as an automatic page turner.
  • TTS continues playing even if you put your Kindle to sleep by sliding and releasing the power button. Sleeping your Kindle while TTS is playing allows you to continue listening but locks all of the keys and buttons so you don’t inadvertently press one.

Voice Guide

  • Turn on/off:
    • SHIFT+SPACEBAR (A shortcut at last! It’s only available if you have the Version 3.3 updatev1.16
    • HOME->MENU->Settings->Page 2->click ‘turn on’/’turn off’
      • If you only have one page of settings, the Kindle is not yet registered or has not yet ‘talked’ to the Amazon servers; you need to turn on wireless (if you don’t have wi-fi (or 3G) yourself, you may need to find a wi-fi hotspot)
  • The voice guide, which lets you navigate your Kindle with spoken menus, selectable items, and descriptions, is separate from TTS, which reads the text of a book/document (unless the publisher has disabled that ability)

Background Music

  • Play/Stop: ALT+SPACEBAR
  • Next track: ALT+F
  • Music files must be MP3s in the Kindle’s ‘music’ folder


  • Minesweeper: ALT+SHIFT+M from Home screen
    • MENU for game options
  • GoMoku: G from Minesweeper

Home Screen

  • Rescan for files: ALT+Z
  • Jump to page: <number> then click or ENTER
    • To type numbers, use ALT+Q to P for 1 to 0
  • Jump to Author or Title: <first letter> then click or press ENTER when in Author or Title sort order respectively. For example, to go to titles beginning with ‘M’:
    • First make sure it says ‘By Title’ on the right near the top of the Home screen; if it doesn’t:
      • Use the 5-way to move up to that line
      • Move right with the 5-way to display the sort options
      • Use the 5-way to underline ‘Title’ and click the 5-way
    • Back on the Home screen, press the letter ‘m’
    • The search box will appear with the letter ‘m’ showing, along with the wording ‘click to got to M titles’
    • Click the 5-way
  • To view the list of books in your archives: v1.15
    • MENU->View Archived Items
    • ‘Archived Items’ also appears as a clickable title on the Home screens, but may be difficult to find if you have a lot of items.


  • Capital letters when typing: Hit SHIFT first, then the letter; no need to hold them down together
  • Numbers: ALT+Q to P = 1 to 0 or press SYM when search/edit box is active
    • Like SHIFT for capital letters, ALT is sticky, so you can type ALT followed by a letter on the top row (ALT, Q, ALT, W, ALT, E types 123)
  • Redraw screen: ALT+G (removes ghosting)
  • Screenshot: ALT+SHIFT+G or ALT+SHIFT+H (saves a .GIF in the Kindle document directory)
    • The screen flashes for both ALT+G and ALT+SHIFT+G. As it is easy to do an ALT+G by mistake, ALT+SHIFT+H may be a safer way to do a screenshot.
  • Display the time: MENU displays the time at the top of the screen
  • Display amount of space left on the Kindle: MENU from the Home, Settings, or Experimental screen
  • To see if you still have books indexing, from the home screen type a nonsense search like ‘xzwwx’ [or even just a period, which is quicker] and press ENTER. If the search result says ‘No items’, indexing has finished; if one or more items are listed, indexing is still in progress. If a book gets ‘stuck’ on indexing, delete it, let other items finish indexing, then re-download the book to see if it will index.
  • Shop in the Kindle store: ALT+HOME
  • The search window can be used as a simple calculator. Simple expressions like "5+6", "2*8/3" and "sin(8)" work. See Kindle Calculations below for details.
  • Display Serial No and Barcode: ALT+SHIFT+. (period)
  • To restart your Kindle 3 (solves a myriad of problems):
    • If it is charging, disconnect from the power/computer
    • Soft restart (when the buttons are working): HOME->MENU->Settings->MENU->Restart
    • Hard restart (when everything seems frozen): Slide and hold the power switch for 30 seconds, then wait a minute or two
    • When you restart, you will see the boy reading under the tree and a progress bar
      • If you wait a couple of minutes and still only see a blank screen, you have not held the power switch for long enough and have turned the Kindle off
  • To turn the Kindle off completely (blank screen), slide and hold the power switch for around 7 seconds.
    • It is recommended to only turn the Kindle off if it is not going to be used for a long time (weeks).
    • If you are in the habit of turning the Kindle off rather than letting it go to sleep, always go to the Home screen first so it has a chance to save your current book location.
  • From Settings screen:
    • Change 3G provider: type 311 (ALT+EQQ)
    • Kindle Serial No et al: type 411 (ALT+RQQ)
    • 3G Modem information: type 611 (ALT+YQQ)
    • Wi-fi Modem information: type 711 (ALT+UQQ)


  • Add/remove a bookmark for the current page: ALT+B
  • Bookmark a specific location: use the 5-way to position the cursor at the location, then double-click the 5-way’s centre button. This is useful when viewing bookmarks because the first few lines are displayed.
  • Zoom in on an illustration: use the 5-way to position the cursor over the picture; the cursor will change to a magnifying glass with a + sign; click to zoom; the K3 will display the illustration in landscape if that is a better fit than portrait
  • Chapter marks: some, but not all, books have dots along the reading progress bar when you first open them
    • You can use the 5-way to move left and right between chapters
    • Your bookmarks, notes and highlights also add dots to the progress bar; you cannot use the 5-way to move between these marks
  • Since the Ver 3.1 firmware update, you need to press MENU to see location and page number (if available)
  • Also press MENU to also see the status bar with book name, time and wireless/battery indicators
  • To get back to the beginning of a book: v1.15
    • With the book open, press MENU and select ‘Go to…’ To ensure you are right at the beginning, select ‘cover’.
    • At the bottom of your Manage Your Kindle page on the Amazon web site is an option to "Manage synchronization between devices". If you have this turned on, the Kindle will continue to ask if you want to synch to the furthest page read. To reset this to the beginning of the book, you must call Kindle Support.
  • Visual indication of book length/proportion read: v1.16
    • Book titles on the home screen (or inside a collection) have a line of dots under them
      • The length of the line is an indication of the length of the book.
      • Darker dots are an indication of how much of the book you have read; if you remain on the last page when you finish a book, the entire line will be darker, indicating that the book has been read.
  • Nudge the selection frame when a PDF document is zoomed, or when panning a zoomed document: SHIFT+5-way direction
  • Delete multiple bookmarks, highlights, notes:
    • Select ‘View My Notes & Marks’ from the Menu
    • Use the 5-way to move to the note/mark to be deleted
    • Press DEL
    • Repeat for each note/mark to be deleted
  • When reading an Amazon format book, use the Aa key to:
    • Change font size and typeface
    • Change line spacing and words per line
    • Turn on Text to Speech if enabled for your current book
    • Change screen orientation
  • When reading a PDF, use the Aa key to:
    • Change zoom level
    • Change contrast
    • Change screen orientation
  • Vista and Windows 7 users: if you want to continue reading whilst charging from your computer’s USB port, using the ‘Safely remove hardware’ on the computer’s task bar is not sufficient. You need to eject the Kindle by selecting Computer from the Start menu; find the Kindle drive, right-click on it and select the ‘Eject’ option.

Adding Books to Collections

  • To create a Collection:
    • From the HOME screen, press MENU and select ‘Create New Collection’.
  • Your Kindle must be registered and must connect to Amazon’s servers at least once in order for Collections to become available. If your device is registered but you have not yet connected to Amazon’s servers, then:
    • When you press MENU from the Home screen, the option to ‘Create New Collection’ will be greyed out
    • When you go to the Settings screen, you will have only 1 page of settings
    • If you do not have wi-fi or 3G at home, you can go to somewhere that provides free wi-fi (eg Starbucks, McDonalds), connect to their wi-fi, and do a ‘Sync & Check for Items’
  • To add multiple books to a collection (or to remove multiple books):
    • On the Home screen use the 5-way to move to the collection
    • Move the 5-way to the right to display the collection’s detail page and click on ‘Add/remove items’
    • Use the 5-way to move up and down the list of all your books, clicking on each book you want in the collection
    • If you have just purchased books and are now adding them, it’s easier to find them if you move to the top line, move the 5-way right, and change the sort order to ‘Most Recent First’ v1.16
    • A check-mark appears next to books in the current collection; click again to remove a book from the collection
    • Use Next Page and Previous Page if you have multiple pages of books
    • When you are in the list of books, pressing MENU gives the option of adding all items on the current page of the list
    • There is no need to click ‘Done’ when you are finished. Your selections are saved immediately, so you can just go BACK or press HOME.
  • To add a book to (or remove a book from) one or more collections:
    • On the Home screen use the 5-way to move to the book title
    • Move the 5-way to the right to display the book’s detail page and click on ‘Add to collection …’
    • Use the 5-way to move up and down the list of collections, clicking on each collection you want the book to be in
    • A check-mark appears next to each collection in which the book will be listed; click again to remove it from that collection
    • Use Next Page and Previous Page if you have multiple pages of collections
    • There is no need to click ‘Done’ when you are finished. Your selections are saved immediately, so you can just go BACK or press HOME.
  • Books added to collections will still be listed on the Home screen unless you change your sort order to ‘By Collections’.
  • When setting up collections, it is a good idea to have wireless on and and to periodically do a ‘Sync & Check for Items’ from the Home or Settings menu. This saves your collections on Amazon’s servers for later importing to another Kindle.
  • If you have created collections but they have now disappeared from the Kindle: v1.15
    • First turn on wireless and try a reset (HOME->MENU->Settings->MENU->Restart).
    • If that doesn’t work, go back to the Settings screen, deregister the Kindle and then re-register it.
  • It is not currently possible to create sub-collections. However, each book can be in as many collections as you like (for example, a book could be in a genre collection, an author collection, and a to-be-read collection). v1.15

Sorting Collections

  • When in Collections sort order, the collections will display in sequence of most recently accessed, followed by subscriptions, books not in any collection and Archived Items.
  • When in Title sort order, the collections display along with all your individual books, in Title sequence.
  • You can control the Title sort order by using collection names that start with a symbol that sorts before the alpha characters in book titles. My collections are:
    • (Reading: current)
    • (Reading: fiction)
    • (Reading: non-fiction)
    • [Genre 1]
    • [Genre 2]
    • [Genre 3] etc
    • {Author 1}
    • {Author 2} etc
  • On the Home screen, use the 5-way to move to the top line, move right, and change sort order to ‘Title’.
  • When in Title sort order, my collections display first in the order shown, followed by all the individual books.
  • I created collections with names in the form ‘x mmm’, where ‘x’ represents one of the symbols available via the Sym key. I then sorted by Title and they sorted in this sequence:
    • " ? } ; , . ‘ / ] \ “ ” ¡ ¿ ! @ # % & * ) – _ : ` ^ ~ ( [ { $ € £ + < = > | 0 1 2 b B c C a A (because the sort algorithm ignores leading words like ‘a’ and ‘the’)
  • For all these collections, I then renamed them, removing the space after the symbol so all names were in the form ‘xmmm’. I resorted by Title and came up with an entirely different sort order:
    • _ , ; : ! ¡ ? ¿ / . ` ^ ~ ‘ " “ ” ( ) [ ] { } @ $ € £ * \ & # % + < = > | 0 1 2 a A b B c C
  • This testing was done with Ver 3.0.3 firmware. After upgrading to Ver 3.1, there have been report that some prefixes (such as . (period) and @) do not sort correctly. Personally, I:
    • Stick to various braces and the underscore
    • Do not put a space after the symbol (the title sort algorithm attempts to remove non-significant ‘words’ from the beginning)
  • Other naming options include using different or multiple starting symbols, starting collection names with AAA or numbers etc. It has been reported that starting collection names with a period causes problems and that if you start with an asterisk, you should put a space after the asterisk.
  • To change the name of a collection, move the cursor to the collection, move right using the 5-way, and select ‘Rename Collection’.
  • To see just your collections (plus subscriptions and books not yet in a collection), on the Home screen, use the 5-way to move to the top line, move right, and change sort order to ‘Collections’.
  • You can also change the order in which books are displayed inside your collections. Open a collection, use the 5-way to move to the top line, move right, and choose the desired sort order.
  • If you use calibre to manage your books, it has an excellent plug-in for managing and creating collections on you Kindle. v1.16

Photo Albums

  • Make sure your pictures are not too big – 600 x 800 is recommended. Converting them to greyscale will also reduce the file size.
  • Connect your Kindle via USB
  • Method 1
    • Create a folder called ‘pictures’ in the root directory of the Kindle; it should be on the same level as the ‘documents’ folder and you must use the name ‘pictures’
    • Open the ‘pictures’ folder and, inside it, create a new folder with the name you want your album to have (eg ‘Family’)
      • You can create multiple albums by creating multiple folders inside the ‘pictures’ folder
    • Copy your JPG, GIF and/or PNG pictures to the album folder
    • The biggest drawback of this method is that the only way to delete the album is to connect via USB and manually delete the subdirectory. Deleting the album using the Kindle appears to work, but the subdirectory and pictures are still there; the next time the home screen listing is refreshed, the album will reappear. v1.15
  • Method 2
    • Package your pictures into a zip file, naming the file with the name you want to give your album (eg ‘’)
    • Copy the zip file into your Kindle’s ‘documents’ directory
    • This method has the advantage that, when you use the Kindle to the delete the album, the zip file is actually deleted.
  • Safely eject the Kindle when the copying has finished
  • Go to the Kindle Home screen and press ALT+Z to refresh the listing
  • Your album will appear as a new ‘book’ which has one page for each picture
  • When in an album, the MENU and Aa buttons have picture-specific options
    • If you are viewing pictures larger than the screen, the menu option to anchor at the Top Right is useful for manga, which usually follows the Japanese right-to-left convention
    • If you ‘Enable Pan to Next Page’, the 5-way up and down will also go to the next picture
    • The Kindle remembers you Menu options, but ignores them next time you open an album; you have to turn the option off and then on again for it to be active
  • I have found the following shortcuts tend to be rather intermittent. They may function better after a restart of the Kindle. I get the feeling that using ALT+Q to nudge disables using Q to zoom.
    • q : zoom in
    • w : zoom out
    • e : reset zoom
    • r : rotate
    • f : toggle full screen mode
    • c : toggle Actual Size setting
    • Panning when the picture is larger than the screen:
      • 5-way directional buttons
      • Numbers nudge right – the picture moves left (eg ALT+Q to nudge, ALT+W to nudge a little more)
      • When in full screen mode, you have to repeat the number (ALT+QQ), as the first press brings up a scale
      • Repeating numbers eventually takes you to the next picture

Archives and Deleting Books Forever

  • Background:
    • When you look at ‘Archives’ on your Kindle, you will see a list of books purchased from Amazon that are not on your Kindle.
    • Amazon books on your Kindle + Books listed in archives = all books purchased from Amazon.
    • If you remove an Amazon book from your Kindle, the number of books on your Kindle decreases by one, and the number of books listed in your archives increases by one.
    • All books purchased from Amazon are stored on the Amazon servers and can be downloaded to any Kindle (or Kindle app) registered to that account.
    • ‘Archives’ contains links to Amazon-purchased books, enabling you to download a book by selecting it from the archive list (as long as you have a Whispernet connection).
    • For personal documents (including books purchased from sources other than Amazon): v1.16
      • If you transferred them to you Kindle via USB, they are not stored on the Amazon servers and you must keep your own backup copy.
      • Documents emailed to your Kindle via the Personal Documents Service are now stored on the Amazon servers (5 Gb is provided free by Amazon for personal document storage).
        • You can turn off archiving of personal documents in the Personal Documents Settings section of Manage Your Kindle.
        • Personal documents can only be seen in and downloaded from your K3’s archives if you have the Version 3.3 update.
        • Archived personal documents are not viewable/downloadable in the archives of Kindle devices released prior to the K3. However,
          • Archived personal documents can be sent to these older devices from the Manage Your Kindle page.
          • I have "Whispernet Delivery Over 3G (Fees Apply)" disabled in the Personal Documents Settings section. Nevertheless, when I sent an archived personal document to my K2 (on 14 October 2011 US time), it was delivered to the K2 via 3G. I am very surprised that documents are being sent to 3G only devices when delivery over 3G is not enabled. This behaviour may change.
        • Whispersync of bookmarks, annotations, and your last page read is available for archived personal documents that are in Kindle format (this does not apply to unconverted pdfs, nor to documents transferred via USB).
    • To see the books that are in your archives: HOME->MENU->View Archived Items v1.15
      • This is a list only; the books are not taking up space on your Kindle.
      • ‘Archived Items’ also appears as a clickable item on the Home screen, but may be difficult to find if you have a lot of items.
  • Removing books from the Kindle
    • To remove a book from your Kindle, use the 5-way to move to the book title and then move the 5-way to the right to display the book’s detail page.
      • You can also move the 5-way to the left, but it’s very easy to accidentally delete a collection when you do that.
    • Select the option "Remove from Device".
      • If the option is "Delete This Document" rather than "Remove from Device", the book was not purchased from Amazon; if you delete it, there will not be a backup copy on Amazon’s servers.
      • Occasionally, a book gets "stuck" and cannot be removed; instead, it remains greyed out on the Kindle even after you remove it. If this happens, connect the Kindle to you computer via USB and manually delete the book’s .azw (or .azw1 or .tpz) file and its matching .mbp (or .tan) file.
  • Deleting books forever
    • To permanently delete a book from the Amazon archive, you need to go to yourpage on the Amazon web site
    • Locate the book in ‘Your Kindle Library’ v1.16
    • From the ‘Actions’ button on the right, choose "Delete from library"
    • Warning: this is a permanent delete. If you want to read the book again, you will have to re-purchase it from Amazon.
    • If a book has been removed from your Kindle and does not appear in ‘Your Kindle Library’, but still appears in your archive list on the Kindle, you have probably moved the book to trash in Your Media Library. To check:
      • Go to Your Account on the Amazon web site
      • In ‘Digital Content’, click on the link to ‘Your Collection’
      • Once in Your Collection, click on the drop-down "view" box and select ‘Trash’ v1.16
      • Take the book out of Trash
      • Go back to Manage Your Kindle; the book should now appear in Your Kindle Library and can be deleted.

Web Browsing

  • If you know the address, you can get to a web page directly from the Home screen:
    • Press HOME to make sure you are on the home screen
    • Type in the address – the search box will open when you start typing
      • use Sym to select a “/” and numbers
      • there is no need to type ‘http://’ in front – eg just type
    • Use the 5-way to move to the right until ‘Go To’ is highlighted
    • Press the 5-way; if wireless is not on, it will ask if you want to turn it on now
  • You can get to Google or Wikipedia from any search box by typing in your search term and then using the 5-way to move to the right until ‘Google’ or ‘Wikipedia’ is highlighted, and then pressing the 5-way.
  • I don’t know of any shortcut for opening the web browser. One option is to create a ‘book’ which contains link(s) to one or more favourite sites. The book can then be opened and you can click on a link without having to go to the Experimental screen to open the browser:
    • Create and save an html file containing link(s) to your favourite sites (Word can be used to save a file as html)
    • To make the html file readable on the Kindle you can do one of the following:
      • Use Amazon’s document conversion service: send an email to or with the html file as an attachment
      • Use a program such as calibre to convert the html file to mobi
      • Rename the file to have a .txt extension (eg rename Bookmarks.html to Bookmarks.txt), connect your Kindle to your computer via USB, and copy the .txt file to the Kindle’s ‘documents’ directory
  • When in the web browser, MENU and Aa have browser-specific options.
    • MENU->Article Mode is great for pages that have columns to the left and right, though it’s not so great for home pages
    • MENU->Zoom In is also useful for improving readability; use the 5-way to pan
    • Readability can also be improved by using Aa to change to landscape mode
  • When you are zoomed in (the entire web page does not fit on the screen and there is a progress bar along the bottom) you can:
    • Use ALT+H and ALT+J to nudge left and right
    • Use the Next Page and Previous Page buttons to move up or down within the web page
    • Use the 5-way arrows to move left, right, up and down within the web page
    • SHIFT+the 5-way arrows to pan without waiting for the cursor
  • When the cursor is in the browser’s address field, ALT+DEL will delete the field
  • When in Google Reader, you can use full screen mode and some other keyboard commands [Wired’s Gadget Lab article}
    • In the Kindle browser, log into your Google Reader account
    • Navigate to your feed list and select a feed
    • Once in the articles, use the Google reader keyboard command ‘f’ to turn on full screen mode
    • Use the Aa button to increase the text size if desired
    • Use the Kindle’s next and previous page buttons to scroll through the articles, or use keyboard commands such a ‘n’ and ‘p (or ‘j’ and ‘k’)’ to go to the next/previous item, and ‘shift+u’ to toggle the navigation menu and the list of feeds [Google Reader’s keyboard shortcuts]
    • Works best for feeds which show complete articles, as the Kindle browser will not open articles in a separate window
  • In Facebook, most keyboard shortcuts seem to be Alt+number combinations, which are not possible on the K3 keyboard. However:
    • ALT+M displays the ‘new message’ box when in Facebook

Kindle Calculations

  • The search window can be used as a simple calculator. Steven Ehrbar has kindly provided most of these details:
    • Standard operators are + (addition), – (subtraction), * (multiplication), / (division), % (modulus), and ^ (exponentiation).
    • Parentheses () work for grouping, {} and [] do not.
    • You can assign values to variables with =; for example, test=9.
    • The results of the last operation are stored in the variable _ (underscore).
      • Assign _ to a variable before using it in further calculations. I have found that using _ directly results in the calculation being done twice. For example, if you enter 5*2, then _ is 10. Entering _*2 results in 40, not 20. However, if you enter y=_, you get a result of y = _ = 10. y*2 then correctly results in 20.
    • The values of pi and e are stored in pi and e, respectively.
    • Functions, which work on a value or expression in the parentheses, are:
      • Trig functions: acos(), asin(), atan(), cos(), cosh(), sin(), sinh(), tan(), tanh()
        • Arguments for trig functions must be in radians
        • radians = degrees * (pi/180)
        • You can assign pi/180 to a variable (eg k=pi/180)
        • To find the tan of 10°, you can then type tan(10*k)
      • Other functions: abs() [absolute value], exp() [e to the power of], ln() [natural logarithm], log() [base 10 logarithm], sqrt() [square root].

Kindle 3 FAQs and Hacks

  • FAQs: I have covered some FAQs in earlier sections. The list below is the beginnings of a highly selective miscellany.
    • Does the Kindle have a backlight? No. The Kindle has an e-ink screen which, unlike an LCD screen, is not backlit. E-ink emulates a ‘real’ book and you will need a lamp or booklight to read in the dark. However, e-ink screens can be read in direct sunlight, are considered by ‘many’ to be more restful for the eyes, and give very long battery life.
    • Can I read library books on a Kindle? If you live in the US, the short answer is ‘yes, if your library uses Overdrive’. In other parts of the world, the short answer is ‘no’. See Public Library Books for Kindle for details. v1.16
    • I have already bought the hardback/paperback edition of a book. Can I get the Kindle version at a discount or for free? No.
    • My Kindle is frozen/I can’t get rid of something on my screen/my Kindle is behaving strangely. What do I do? The first step when your Kindle misbehaves is always to try a restart:
      • If the keys are still working: HOME->MENU->Settings->MENU->Restart
      • If the keyboard is locked up: slide and hold the power switch for 30 seconds. Then wait for the Kindle to restart.
      • If your K3 often reboots and locks up and it’s in a non-lighted cover which uses the hinge system, try removing the Kindle from the cover. Non-lighted covers which use the hinges may cause problems.
      • If all else fails, use the ‘Contact Us’ button at Kindle Support to get help.
    • Why isn’t [insert book title here] available for the Kindle/in my region? In general, you can assume that Amazon would sell the book if it could. There are several possible reasons a book may not be available; for example:
      • The author won’t allow the book to be published as an e-book (JK Rowling, Harper Lee, Ray Bradbury)
      • The e-books rights have not yet been negotiated with the author (or the author’s estate)
      • The publisher that holds rights for your region has not yet digitised the book and made it available
      • The publisher does not have a publication agreement with Amazon
    • How do I get back to the beginning of a book? With the book open, press MENU and select ‘Go to…’ To ensure you are right at the beginning, select ‘cover’.
      • At the bottom of your Manage Your Kindle page on the Amazon web site is an option to "Manage synchronization between devices". If you have this turned on, the Kindle will continue to ask if you want to synch to the furthest page read. To reset this to the beginning of the book, you must call Kindle Supportv1.15
    • I have added books to my collections, but the books still appear on the home page. How do I get rid of them? From the Home screen, use the 5-way to move to the top of the screen. Move the 5-way to the right to display the sort options. Move to ‘Collections’ and click. This changes the sort order to ‘By Collections’. See Sorting Collections.
    • I created my collections, but now they have disappeared. How do I get them back? First turn on wireless and try a reset (HOME->MENU->Settings->MENU->Restart). If that doesn’t work, go back to the Settings screen, deregister the Kindle and then re-register it.
    • I have a brand new ebook and already it has highlights. How do I get rid of them? These are ‘Popular Highlights’. They show passages highlighted by other Kindle users. To turn them off, go to the settings screen (HOME->MENU->Settings) and click on ‘turn off’ next to the Popular Highlights option. v1.15
      • Note that the Settings screen does not show the current setting for an option; instead, it describes an action to be performed.
    • How do I update to the latest firmware version? You can leave wireless turned on and wait for an update to be pushed to your Kindle. However that may take weeks. To update manually, go to Kindle Software Updates and follow the instructions.
    • I have firmware version 3.1 but can’t see any page numbers. What do I do? Page numbers are only displayed when you press MENU while reading the book, and they are only available for books purchased from Amazon (and pdfs which have page numbers as part of the layout).
      For non-Amazon books and Amazon books without page numbers, there is an APNX Generator plug-in for calibre which will generate an apnx file, which is the file required for the Kindle to display page numbers; these generated page numbers are an estimate and do not bear any relationship to a printed edition. v1.15
      For Amazon purchases with page numbers available:

      • Front matter (Title page, copyright information etc) generally does not have page numbers. Use MENU-> Go to… to check if the option to go to a Page is available.
      • Check that the book you are reading has page numbers available by going to the Amazon product page (on the Kindle, you can use the 5-way to highlight the book, move right, and select ‘Book description’). Look in ‘Product Details’ to see if it contains the line:
        • Page Numbers Source ISBN: xxxxxxxxxx
        • That line contains the ISBN of the print edition with page numbers that match the page numbers in the Kindle edition. v1.15
      • If page numbers are available, turn on wireless and wait (im)patiently. Page number information is stored in a separate file that has to be downloaded, so wireless must be turned on to get that file.
      • You could try HOME->MENU->Sync & Check for Items, though I’m not convinced it makes a lot of difference. Downloading information for existing books seems to be somewhat erratic, at least in these first few days after the release of the ‘early preview’ of Ver 3.1.
      • Make sure your Kindle is registered to the same account you used to purchase the book, in case that is relevant.
    • I don’t have a wireless connection. Is there any way I can get page numbers to display on my Kindle? At the moment, using ‘Transfer via Computer’ to load books does not also download the apnx file required for page numbers. However, the apnx file is not device-specific. If you have a Kindle app which supports page numbers, you can copy the book’s.apnx file from the app to your Kindle via USB. v1.15
      • The apnx file must have exactly the same name as the book file on your Kindle (except for the apnx extension), and must be in the same directory as the book file..
    • What are those numbers at the bottom of the screen when I am reading? Prior to the Ver 3.1 firmware update, the Kindle did not use conventional page numbers and used locations instead. It is said that a location represents 128 bytes or one image.
      • From Ver 3.1 on:
        • Only the percentage read displays when reading.
        • To see your current location and page number (if available), press MENU. While the menu is active, above the progess bar you will see:
          • Page x of y • Location a of b
        • If a book has page numbers available, those page numbers are tied to the ISBN of a particular print edition of the book. The ‘Product Details’ section for the book at the Amazon store will contain a line like:
          • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0349122393
        • The page number information, if available, will be downloaded wirelessly and stored on the Kindle in a .apnx file (including books you bought prior to page numbers being made available).
      • Prior to Ver 3.1:
        • The number on the left shows how far you are though the book as a percentage.
        • The locations currently on screen are displayed in the middle. This will vary according to font size and margin settings. A smaller font displays more locations.
        • The number on the right is the total number of locations in the book. As a *very* rough guide, dividing that number by 20 may give a crude indication of the number of pages.
      • For all versions, the progress bar gives a visual indication of how far you are through the book:
        • The small inverted triangle shows your starting location for the current reading session.
        • If there are small black dots on the progress bar, these indicate chapter or section markers. You can use the 5-way’s left and right arrows to move back and forth between chapters/sections.
        • If you add highlight, notes or bookmarks, these are also indicated by small dots on the progress bar. You cannot use the 5-way to move between these markers.
    • Can I change/remove the screensaver pictures? No, not unless you hack your Kindle. See the hacks section below.
    • Is there a way to turn pages automatically? If text-to-speech is turned on, the pages turn as they are read. So you can try turning on TTS (if it’s enabled for your book) and turning the volume all the way down. Use the Aa key to adjust the reading speed and the space bar to pause/restart.
    • Other sources on the web:
  • Hacks and work-arounds : this list is presented only for the more adventurous and mostly contains links to instructions. Use them at your own risk. I have not personally tried these and cannot offer advice or assistance.
    • Sleep (screensaver) mode:
      • The Kindle normally goes into sleep mode after 10 minutes of inactivity, or when you slide the power switch briefly.
      • In sleep mode a ‘screensaver’ is displayed and all keys are disabled. This can be inconvenient if you are trying to follow a recipe on your Kindle.
      • Disable sleep mode:
        • This is not a ‘hack’; it simply uses built-in, but not publicly documented, commands.
        • For each of these commands, from the HOME screen press DEL to bring up the search box. Then press SYM so you can type the first character.
        • Type ;debugOn and press ENTER. Nothing appears to happen.
        • Type ~disableScreensaver and press ENTER.
        • This not only disables the automatic sleep mode, but also disables manually putting the Kindle to sleep using the power slider.
      • Re-enable sleep mode
        • To re-enable sleepmode, type ~resumeScreensaver.
      • To see other commands available in debug mode, type ~help.
      • To turn off debug mode, type ;debugOff.
    • Enable the hidden text justification menu:
      • Enables you to toggle between full and left justification from the Aa menu (as long as the book isn’t formatted to force justification).
      • Restore the text justification menu toggle without a hack
      • I tried this after updating to Ver 3.1 firmware and it is working, though I have quite a few books that seem to be formatted to force full justification.
      • If you use calibre to manage your books, the plug-in for managing and creating collections also allows you to modify your Kindle settings, including horizontal margin, justification, and fonts. v1.16
    • Change the ‘screensaver’ pictures:
      • This does involve jailbreaking your Kindle and installing a hack. I believe this will not invalidate your warranty, but may violate your Terms of Service agreement with Amazon.
      • Kindle Screen Saver Hack for all 2.x and 3.x Kindles and Fonts & ScreenSavers Hacks for Kindles
      • The screen saver hack does not currently work on the "Kindle with Special Offers", which uses the screen savers for advertising. On the mobilereads forum, NiLuJe says, "Besides, circumventing this on these specific devices isn’t something I’m particularly inclined to do, for obvious reasons…" v1.15
    • Install new fonts:
    • Duokan is an alternative OS developed for the Kindle:
    • There are other hacks but if you can’t find them yourself you definitely shouldn’t be using them 😉

Book File Formats

  • AZW: This is the format of most books purchased from Amazon; it is a modified version of the .mobi format and can be read only by the Kindle and Kindle apps.
    • Most, but not all, books purchased from Amazon have Digital Rights Management (DRM) which prevents copying from one device to another. DRM’d books must be downloaded separately for each device.
    • Samples are usually DRM-free.
    • Associated files include:
      • Bookmarks, notes etc are saved in an .mbp file.
      • Popular highlights, if you have them turned on, are saved in a .phl file
      • Page number information is (if available) is downloaded wirelessly and stored in a .apnx file (Ver 3.1 update)
      • The ‘Customers who bought this book also bought’ and ‘More by this author’ information that can now be displayed after the last page of a book is also downloaded wirelessly and stored in a .ea file (Ver 3.1 update)
  • TPZ/AZW1: "The dreaded Topaz format" is an Amazon format which can contain embedded fonts and other rendering controls.
    • Files in this format have an .azw1 extension when they are delivered via Whispernet or a .tpz extension when they are delivered via file download.
    • It is likely all books in this format have DRM.
    • If the product details for a book show the number of pages but no file size, it is likely it is in Topaz format.
    • Associated files include:
      • Bookmarks, notes etc are saved in a .tan file.
      • Popular highlights, if you have them turned on, are saved in a .phl file
    • Fortunately, relatively few books purchased from Amazon come in this format, which often behaves badly. For example, your last-read position may not be remembered when the Kindle goes to sleep.
      • It often helps to press HOME when you are finished reading, rather than leaving the book open.
  • Unprotected MOBI/PRC: The Mobipocket format is based on XHTML.
    • Either the .mobi or .prc file extension can be used; the .prc extension arose because PalmOS does not recognise files with a .mobi extension.
    • The Kindle does NOT support protected .mobi files. Even though Mobipocket is now owned by Amazon, protected mobi files have DRM which the Kindle does not handle.
    • Free books formatted for the Kindle from the catalogues of sites such as Feedbooks, MobileRead, and Gutenberg will come in unprotected mobi or prc format.
  • TXT: Plain text files are small and can be read on almost any device, but lack formatting.
  • Non-ADE PDF: PDFs are often used where layout is important and may contain embedded fonts, tables, diagrams etc.
    • PDFs which require ADE (Adobe Digital Editions) are protected and cannot be read on the Kindle.
    • You can read password-protected PDFs on your Kindle.
    • PDFs are often formatted for A4 or letter size pages and do not reflow (change their line length and page size to suit the screen size).
    • If layout is not critical in a PDF, it is often better to convert it to an AZW via Amazon’s conversion service (remembering to put Convert in the subject line of the email) or using a program such as Calibre.
  • AZW2: ‘Active content’ such as games have an AZW2 extension.:
    • These files have DRM and cannot just be copied from one Kindle to another (Active content is not yet available to users outside the US, so I can’t test this)
  • Conversion from other formats: Other book formats require conversion to .mobi format before they can be read on the Kindle.
    • Amazon’s conversion service: Unprotected DOC, DOCX (experimental), TXT, RTF, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, ZIP (converts the enclosed files), PDF (with Convert in the subject line)
    • Calibre: Unprotected CHM, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LIT, LRF, ODT, PDB, PDF, RB, RTF, TCR, TXT
    • Any file which requires the use of ADE (Adobe Digital Editions) is protected and cannot be converted.
  • HTML without conversion: If you have a simple HTML/XHTML file, you can read it on the K3 without conversion:
    • Change the file extension to .txt (eg rename Book.html to Book.txt) and then copy it via USB to the Kindle’s documents directory.
    • The Kindle
      will display the file complete with HTML formatting. HTTP links to web sites will work, but not links to other files on the Kindle itself.
    • Nested tables are not supported, even when converted to mobi format; these may need to be converted to PDF to retain formatting.
    • Very large tables, even if they are simple, unnested tables, may not render correctly.

The K3 Keyboard

Kindle 3 keyboard

Kindle 3 keyboard

Just the Keyboard Shortcuts

    Start/stop Shift+Sym
  Stop Back
  Pause/restart Spacebar
Voice Guide v1.16  
    Start/stop Shift+Spacebar
Background Music
  Play/stop Alt+Spacebar
  Next track Alt+F
  Numbers 1 to 0 Alt+Q to Alt+P
  Minesweeper/Gomoku Alt+Shift+M from home screen
  Rescan files Alt+Z from home screen
  Redraw the screen Alt+G
  Screenshot Alt+Shift+G or Alt+Shift+H
  Kindle store Alt+Home
  Display serial no/barcode Alt+Shift+.
  Toggle bookmark Alt+B
  Bookmark location double-click at desired location
  Next/previous chapter 5-way right/left
Settings Screen
  Change 3G provider 311 (Alt+EQQ)
  Kindle information 411 (Alt+RQQ)
  3G Modem information 611 (Alt+YQQ)
  Wi-fi Modem information 711 (Alt+UQQ)
Web Browser
  Nudge Alt+H, Alt+J
  Clear address Alt+Del
Picture Album Viewer
  Zoom in/out/reset Q/W/E
  Rotate R
  Full screen F
  Nudge Numbers (Alt+Q to P)

Latest Version of these tips

In .mobi format – with Table of Contents and chapter marks

In .azw format – converted via Amazon – no TOC or chapter marks

Web site

Thanks to the numerous people who have shared their knowledge via forums, blogs, web sites and comments.

{ 11 } Comments

  1. bf | December 31, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Good article, tyvm
    Not what i was looking for, but useful.
    I would like to make an index file for text, mobi and prc files on my k3 that are links to open the referred file.
    I use Mobipocket reader & creator to turn html files into prc. Works great for me on web links, but doesn’t link to files. Any help welcomed.
    Thank you.

  2. btobw | December 31, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, bf, but I don’t know of any way to link to other books on the device. It would be very useful.

    I have a catalogue generated by calibre. To get to a book from the catalogue, I highlight the title, press space bar to put the title in the search box (as described in the ‘Searching’ section above); I then cursor across to ‘My items’, and the book itself will be listed in the search results. Not quite as convenient as a link, but still useful.

  3. Barbara | February 8, 2012 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    Please help! I have downloaded 2 library books onto my Kindle. They have downloaded to the Archived Items section and are grayed out. How do I access these books? Thanks so much for your help.

  4. btobw | February 8, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Hi Barbara: You need a wi-fi connection to download library books – they won’t download via 3G. I’m not in the USA and so library lending isn’t available to me, but I’m pretty certain that they are greyed out because they’re waiting for a wi-fi connection. One of the FAQs at Public Library Books for Kindle is:

    How do I send library books to my Kindle device or reading app?

    Once a public library book has been redeemed, you can send it to any registered Kindle device or reading app from the Manage Your Kindle page. Public library books require an active Wi-Fi connection for wireless delivery to a Kindle device.
    Library books will not be delivered via your Kindle’s 3G connection. If trying to send to a Kindle device and do not have an active Wi-Fi connection, you may instead choose to load your library book via USB.

    For more information, and to learn about transferring files to your Kindle, please see our Kindle Help page at:

  5. Daniel Peterson | September 20, 2012 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    Hello. This is a great resource. Thank you for putting it together.

    I am particularly interested in making a script to toggle the screensaver. I read the part about entering ~debugOn, ~disableScreensaver, ~resumeScreensaver. I was wondering if you knew which low level application handles these options? I checked out the debug mode: ~help for options. Here’s what I see with my configuration:


    Do you know how I might make a script on the kindle to toggle these options? Thank you. Please feel free to email me.

  6. btobw | October 8, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Sorry for the delay, Daniel. I don’t know the answer to your question, but you could perhaps try asking on the Kindle Developer’s Corner at Mobilereads:

  7. meller | December 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi all,

    The pity with MP3 is that they do not appear in the list of items as Audible books for example.
    As a result, you can only jump from one title to another when listening to reach the one you want.
    That would be probably a very small change for AMZ to their soft to allow this and it will tremendously improve my user experience.
    Any idea to overcome this ? Like covnerting MP3 to audible format ? other ideas?

  8. Jim | April 27, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    These shortcuts are really useful, the kindle keyboard is still my favorite Kindle. May I also recommend as a way of managing the notes you make on your kindle.

  9. Mike | July 9, 2014 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    My Kindle just died. It is five years old and as never been dropped, hit or otherwise maltreated. I put it on my bedside table last night and this morning it was dead.
    The screen showed the Kindle picture and what looked like a simulated progress bar.
    When I plugged it in to try to charge it nothing happened.
    Any ideas.

  10. btobw | August 28, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Mike: sorry for the long delay, but this got lost amongst the tens of thousands of spam messages.

    You could try sliding and holding the power switch for 30 seconds to force a reset.

  11. Ina | April 10, 2015 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Huge thank you for this, particularly for the compiled mobi! Really helpful :))

{ 6 } Trackbacks

  1. […] bu sayfa (ingilizce) baz al?narak yaz?lm??t?r. Rate this: Çevrenizle Payla??n:Like this:Be?enBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. […] and Gomuku (press G from Minesweeper screen), on your kindle! For more shortcuts, visit this website. Related content:? Book Review: F. E. Heaton’s “Prophecy: Child of […]

  3. […] From […]

  4. […] Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Leave a Comment by projectdp on September 24, 2012  •  Permalink Posted in projects Tagged jailbreak, kindle, kindleberry pi, launchpad, myts, project, raspberry pi, usbnetwork […]

  5. […] sa sari mai multe pagini, apesi Alt + Next/Previous page (cate 5% din carte)Link-uri interesanteKindle 3 Keyboard Shortcuts et al – cea mai utila resursa cu link-uri pentru Kindle, exista si in format .azw sau .mobi The New […]

  6. 2011-08-14 ????Kindle????? | ????? | February 5, 2013 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    […] […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *