Optimize PDF’s for reading on your Kindle 3: crop then (optionally) convert to AZW

If you have a Kindle 3 (the one with the 6″ screen) chances are that you love it, as I do. Except that reading most PDF ebooks and documents on Kindle 3 is rather annoying and can be downright impossible, with unreadable, miniscule text and lots of wasted white space in the margins.

This is the case because the Kindle 3 attempts to display each page of a PDF document fully on its 6″ screen, and the zoom function seems like it was purposely designed to be as unpractical and un-user-friendly as possible, segmenting your PDF pages into strange quadrants that make reading a chore.

In this post I am suggesting that the best way to read a PDF on a Kindle 3 involves cropping it first so that the white space in the margin as well as page numbers and any text in the header and footer is removed.

This process can in itself result in a PDF that is perfectly readable on the 6″ screen; but if not, I will also describe how to then convert your cropped PDF to the Kindle friendly AZW format, resulting in a continuous text, and without legacy headers, footers, and page numbers showing up as artifacts in your document.

Optimize PDF on Kindle Screenshot3

The process described here is based on 4 assumptions:

  1. That you do not need the white margin around the text when you are reading it on a Kindle
  2. That you do not need page numbers (especially as the Kindle will display its own and calculate a percentage complete for you anyway).
  3. That headers and footers can be dispensed with in the interest of getting a text that is more 6″ screen friendly, and finally
  4. That once you get rid of these elements you can set out to convert the clean text to another format such AZW or MOBI.

Why crop?: you may be asking why bother cropping a PDF rather than simply converting to another format. The answer to this is that such conversions usually result in text in the header/footer and page numbers being strewn about your ebook as artifacts that interrupt the text and make for a very unpleasant experience. This post aims to help you produce a continuous ebook with a much better and more natural reading experience.

Tools mentioned in this article: a freeware called Briss that lets you manually crop your PDF document visually, and Amazon’s free Kindle conversion service ). Note that in most cases cropping will be enough and you will not need to perform conversions of PDF to other formats. (You may also be interested in my full review of Briss).

I also mention a free program called PDF Split and Merge (henceforth referred to as PDFSam) that can be used to edit and re-arrange pages if you need to, and Calibre, a free desktop based ebook manager that can perform format conversion. (Also check out my full review of Calibre, full review of PDFSam).

Here are step by step instructions:


Step 1: Estimate your chances of success before you start out.

Eyeball your PDF file in your PDF reader on your PC to decide whether you should bother cropping. You should look for a page that has the most content in the document, and ignore the cover (and/or the back cover).

Depending on how much content is on the page, you can determine whether your document is liable to work on a 6″ Kindle 3 screen. All you have to do is look at an individual page in its entirety on your PDF reader and gauge, visually, how much content is on a page vs. the white margin around it, and whether it has dispensable content in the header and footer.

The image below shows 4 pages from 4 different PDF’s where the probability of successfully attaining a decent result on a 6″ screen increases as you go from left to right:

originals left to right numbered

The cropping objectives would be to eliminate not just the white margins (colored in green below) but also some of the elements in the text or so-called inked area itself (colored in pink).

cropped outlines left to right

The chances for success just by performing the crop is highest for documents #4 and #3, and lower for #2 (but it may still work if you subsequently convert from PDF to another format such as AZW). If your document is very content heavy, as in #1, you probably shouldn’t bother trying to put it on your Kindle at all (in such cases save your time and energy and see if Amazon offers a native Kindle version that you could buy).


Step 2: download Briss (free). You do not need to install this program; simply unzip it to your desktop or an appropriate location. If you need a zip extraction utility you could use any of these free unzip programs.


Briss Screenshot excludeStep 3: Run Briss and go to File > Load File, then browse to your PDF document.

A dialog will appear asking for pages to exclude from processing. Here, it might be useful to exclude the cover of your ebook from the cropping action (there really is no reason to crop a cover), inwhich case enter “1″ and press “OK”. Alternately if your PDF doesn’t have a cover or you don’t care to crop it simply click “Cancel” to move on.

Depending on your document the program might take a few minutes to load it up.


Briss Crop VisuallyStep 4: Crop your document manually.

Once loaded, you will be presented with “piles” or groups of pages to crop. In the screenshot to the right you can see 3 groups: the cover itself, the odd-numbered pages and even numbered pages.

Use the mouse to draw rectangles around the text such that the page numbers and any text in the header and footer is excluded (outside the rectangles). Try to make the crop as close to the text in the middle as possible, and leave the cover uncropped. Go to “Action > Crop PDF” then save your cropped document under a new name.

 


Step 5: Troubleshooting. If you are having problems cropping then read below; otherwise move to step 6.

Troubleshooting (1) the document will not load in Briss: it could be password protected or locked or both. This freeware can help in this case (instructions here). Or try this web service to unlock your PDF quickly without loading up any software on your machine. If you find that your PDF is in fact not locked or protected and still would not load then the fault may be with the cropping program (Briss) itself. This program is still in its early stages and still needs improving and some kinks being ironed out. I apologize.

Troubleshooting (2) the program presents too many groups of pages: if your original document contains many irregularly sized pages you may see many groups of pages rather than neat and uniform groups in the screenshot here. If so, you will simply need to put more manual effort into it, cropping each of these groups separately, and not worrying too much about uniformity. Sometimes it can happen that you get many dozens of groups, which would be really unlucky and you might consider looking into the prospect of obtaining a better version of your source PDF.

Troubleshooting (3) impossible to make a clean crop: some documents will conflate text in the header (which you want to exclude) with chapter headers (which you want to include). You have 2 options in this case; the first is to separate all such pages (i.e.beginning of chapters) out of your document using a program such as PDFSam, and create two PDF files that you crop separately and then recombine using PDFSam again. The other option is to live with an imperfect crop that either truncates chapter headers or crop the footer and page numbers but leave the header intact, for example. The first option is better, of course, but it can be quite labor intensive.

Troubleshooting (4) columns: if your document is arranged into columns then crop each column on each group of pages separately. This will create many more pages in your cropped PDF than the source, but is probably necessary.

Note: if you find that more than one troubleshooting scenarios above apply to your document you might want to consider simply buying a Kindle version of your ebook from Amazon. Or bite the bullet and do the manual labor.


Kindle FStep 6: copy the PDF to your Kindle, and see what it looks like on screen.

To copy a PDF to the Kindle plug it into the USB port then go to “My Computer”. It will be displayed as a hard drive volume (volume “F:” for example in the screenshot to the right). Click into it then click into “Documents” folder. Next simply drag and drop to move your cropped PDF file to the “Documents” folder.

Next, eject your Kindle as you would any USB device (use the system tray icon). The cropped ebook will show up under the same name as your PDF file. Open it and see what it looks like and how readable it has become.

If you like what you see then you may stop at this point and not go any further. Mission accomplished. Otherwise continue with the steps below.


Step 7: convert your cropped PDF to AZW (Kindle format)

To do this, send an email to yourname@free.kindle.com with “Convert” as the subject, and the cropped PDF file added as an attachment. Note the following.

  • To determine “yourname” in the email address above, go to your Kindle management page at Amazon and sign in. Find the email address under the “Your Kindle(s)” title; it will read “Kindle E-mail Address” in the middle column. Note that you will not be sending to this email address (yourname@kindle.com) but rather to (yourname@free.kindle.com).
  • The difference between the kindle.com and free.kindle.com email addresses is that when using the former Amazon will send your converted document straight to your Kindle but will charge a fee ($0.15 per megabyte, with a max of $2.50), while in the latter it will send your converted document back to your official email address for free.
  • Make sure you send your email from one of your approved emails. You can check and/or add these on the same Kindle management page already mentioned in the section entitled “Your Kindle Approved Email List”. Your converted document will be sent back on your “official” email address (the one that you use to log into Amazon).
  • Note that some email services have size limits on attachments in email (for example max attachment size in Gmail is 25 megs). Also note that you can zip your PDF first before attaching
  • The conversion will typically take less than 10 minutes before you receive the link to download the converted document by return email.
  • If you don’t get your return email check to see if perchance it was interrupted and sent to the SPAM or junk folder. Make sure to set up filters to prevent this if it happens.

Once you download your AZW file you can transfer it to Kindle via the same process described in Step#6 above.


Do you know of a better way (or better tools) to do this? Please share in the comments section below.


 
 
 
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Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
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  • Pipps

    Would this work for displaying pdf ebooks on a smartphone device such as Android?

  • Alex

    For Android there’s no need to edit PDF files to get them readable. Just use ezPDF viewer which crops or handles columns in PDFs automatically. It can also display PDF files as text, so it’s like you’re reading an ebook file (like epub), not a PDF. For this to work the text has to be saved in the PDF (it usually is).

  • Steve

    Great work here! I had found Briss here previously, it is a great app. I had previously encountered problems converting PDF’s due to header/footer/page number extraneous text, didn’t think of using Briss to eliminate that stuff as a middle step to full conversion!

    • Samer

      @ Steve: thanks
      @ Pipps: assuming you are not using the ezPDF viewer app mentioned by Alex above, this process would indeed make a PDF much more readable on Android and other small screens.
      However, after cropping your PDF if the text is still too small you might want to convert the cropped PDF to MOBI format using Calibre, and view it on Android using an ebook reader.

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  • http://carbonize.co.uk Carbonize

    If you are going to convert them I would suggest converting them to epub format rather than mobi. Most of the ebook readers for mobile devices support the epub format. There is also this website for converting PDF to epub but I have yet to test it – http://epub2go.com/Web/default.aspx

    I would recommend changing the title of this post as this could also be used for my Sony PRS-600.

    • Samer

      @ Carbonize. Thanks for pointing out that web service.
      You’re right in that these instructions can apply to many ebook readers not just Kindle. I purposely focused on Kindle though because I figured Kindle users are more likely to type in “Kindle” in search engines.
      However, it is possible that a related post is in order that would target generic ereaders and devices.

  • Tricia Romano

    Hi there,
    I read your blog about converting kindle docs and it was very helpful. question for you though. i tried the bliss trim and convert via kindle email method and it sort of worked, but it also broke up lines and didn’t align paragraphs correctly. so i tried the calibre to mobi method and ended up slightly better but with these weird documentation notes at the bottom of certain pages (had snipped out page numbers and such in the pdf).
    any idea about this?
    tried selecting different options on that calibre preferences, but didn’t seem to matter….
    ooh kindle….

    • Samer

      @ Tricia: I would recommend you try the following:
      - Using Calibre to convert your cropped PDF to ePUB format rather than MOBI, and see if that works, and/or
      - Using the web service that was mentioned in the comments above to convert it to ePUB (http://epub2go.com/Web/default.aspx)

      I hope this works out.

  • Ken

    What about scanned .pdf files? For instance, I have some magazines I’ve scanned to pdf, but they always turn out horribly when trying to convert them to view on an ereader.

    Thanks for this useful post
    -Ken

    • Samer

      @ Ken: I’d say, for scanned PDF’s, crop them as outlined in this post (getting rid of header/footer elements and page numbers), then see what you get.

  • http://www.amitsrivastava.net Amit Srivastava

    This was really helpful. Thanks a ton!

  • student-jg

    I am a student and I am thinking of getting a kindle. But I would want to put dozens, possibly hundreds of PDFs (mostly journal articles) on my kindle. I don’t have time/patience to crop each one individually – is there a way to batch crop? Or will journal articles actually display reasonably well without conversion? OR, could I just convert them all without cropping? Basically, whether I get a kindle depends on how easy it will be for me to put my PDFs on it! Thanks in advance.

  • http://www.whu.edu Johann

    @Samer: This article was of GREAT help. Thanks alot! One remark though: following your suggestion to use Briss and playing around with it a bit I now disagree with you on your verdict on your sample #1 case (text-heavy pdf in 3 columns). In fact, I think especially with this kind of pdf Briss works true wonders! Just crop each of the 3 columns seperately and you get a wonderfully readable pdf on your Kindle.

    @student-jg: I am in a similar situation than you. For starters: I bought a Kindle about 2 weeks ago and also plan to use it for my Master thesis research. On the good side, putting pdfs on your Kindle is a matter of seconds. Just put in on there like you would on a USB harddrive. However, how readable the pdf (without doing any conversion) then is depends heavily on the layout of the pdf and your willingness to read small print. That being said I would NOT recommend reading Journal articles with the common 2-column formatting on a Kindle without converting it in some way. This is mostly due to the aforementioned rather moronic zooming capabilities of the Kindle. What you could do though is check out the Sony PRC that seems to feature far greater zooming flexibility in pdfs.
    As for the cropping tip given in the article above: the whole process of cropping a multi-column Journal pdf into perfectly readable Kindle-chunks and transferring that than to the device takes around 2-3 minutes. Although I understand your reservations towards wasting time on playing around with pdfs in that way, I personally think that this should be insignificant in comparison to the time it takes to read one whole article.
    All that being said and admitting that I love reading books and newspapers on the Kindle, I still have my reservations about performing intensive Journal research on it. Especially when I think about all those databases which are full of scanned Journal articles and synchroinzing work I’ve done on my Kindle (highlighting passages, making notes there…) to my laptop, I anticipate problems. Anyhow, I will definitely give it a try and will prbly know more in a week or so from now.

    • Samer

      @ Johann: I agree with you; Briss can indeed crop columns in a page, and thus my sample case #1 above can work very well.

      Good luck with your thesis/research.

  • Dan

    Thank you so much for your wonderful tips. I can’t believe how easy it was to use Briss and how painless the whole process was. No more annoying headers and page numbers in my converted PDFs.

    You’re a hero among men (and women).

    • Samer

      @ Dan: you’re welcome!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks a lot for this. However, I still ran into some problems. First of all, after cropping, the pdf still won’t show up as that much larger in my kindle. So I decided to convert it to mobi using calibre but apparently, calibre does not recognize the cropping of the pdf. The resulting file still shows the original uncropped ebook with all the page numbers, headers and footers even though it was the cropped file that I converted. I tried converting to prc using mobi pocket creator but it was even worse. Any help on this would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  • Lars

    Hello, I have two questions. I have a Kindle 3

    1 I have a multicolumn page. How should I split this into several pages? Johann is talking about it in a previous comment, but how do I actually do it?

    2. I cropped a pdf, but I would like it to be even better so I sent the cropped pdf to Amazon with “convert” in the subject. But I got an automated reply from Amazon:

    “Adobe PDF (.pdf) documents are delivered without conversion to Kindle DX, Second Generation and Latest Generation Kindles.”

    Well, is it possible to convert to azw at all with Kindle 3 with the e-mail service?

  • Samer

    @ Lars: when using Briss to crop, highlight each of the columns within its own rectangle.
    If Amazon won’t convert for you, use Calibre (free software – search Google) and convert your PDF to mobi instead of AZW. It does a great job.

    Having said that, Amazon should be converting. I have converted more than a dozen PDFs that way. Try “Convert” with a capital C (sounds silly, I know, but what if that was the problem?).

  • http://andrewbolster.info/blog/ Bolster

    If you’re a commandliner there’s a quirk of MIME types that lets you send pdfs to your device in such a way that its properly converted to nice kindleable text, including font changing and text to speech. Disclaimer: Self Promotion http://wp.me/pKDYh-9Q

  • Jamie

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together. It was very helpful.
    I found it useful with some books where there are tricky sized illustrations or unusual elements to use Adobe Acrobat Pro as well as bliss. Once you have a good text version with Bliss you can crop and extract individual pages from the original pdf in Acrobat then also re-combine these with your text version using Acrobat. Finally run the whole final pdf through a program like calibre or use amazon for conversion and works pretty well.
    Time consuming I know but if you take the time its well worth it.

  • Jesper

    Hi all,

    First of all, thanks for this magnificent article. I recently bought a Kindle and was a little disappointed, that the PDF integration wasn’t better.

    Nonetheless, I am still having some minor problems with the whole cropping thing and all. I’ve done everything as specified in the article and so on but when I read it on my Kindle it seems as only some of the pages have been cropped thus some pages fits perfectly and others is more like it hadn’t been cropped at all.
    The funny thing is that if view the cropped PDF file on my laptop it’s all nicely cropped – no margins, nor problems…

    Has anyone else had the same experience?

    Anyways, thanks again!

    Best,
    Jesper

  • Jesper

    Sorry for the double-posting. It didn’t seem to work with the first post.

  • http://arcelik-sisli-servisi.com ?i?li arçelik servisi

    The difference between the kindle.com and free.kindle.com

  • willus

    Way too much work! Try k2pdfopt. Auto-crops and sizes PDFs for 6-inch kindles. Google it and check the examples.

  • Pete

    Jesper, I am having the same problem. New Kindle 3 and sometimes the PDF shows up reduced (small but in its entirety), sometimes centered and blown up nicely and other times a couple of lines cut off at the bottom. Strange that it seems to have some “intelligence” doing something that isn’t too intelligent. :)

    Pete.

  • http://sisli.arcelikservisi.net ?i?li arçelik servisi

    DF is in fact not locked or protected and still would not load then. what this say ?

  • Chad

    I found a much easier way to do it.

    when i downloaded the book i wanted, it was in a .docx format.
    First just open the book on word, and increase the font size of the entire book to around 18 or 20.
    Then convert that file to a .pdf using a simple program.
    The file is now similar to an actual kindle file.

  • Steve W

    Jesper and Pete have the same issue I do. This software appears to “HIDE” the whitespace not crop it. I see no difference once the “cropped” file has been moved to the kindle and running the “cropped” file through calibre results in exactly the same issue I had running and “uncropped” pdf through it.

    Perhaps it is the file(s) I am using as input. Would someone who has had success doing this point me to a pdf they used so I can differentiate between user error on my part vs not asking the right question?

  • http://ctybrd.blogspot.com ctybrd

    Thank you very much for noting the tool.
    I add my vote to Jesper and the others who see the file cropped on laptop and just reduced a little on the reader (I use kobo touch and Kobo wifi both with same result.
    any advice?

  • http://ctybrd.blogspot.com ctybrd

    Sorry for posting thanks again to follow up

  • Mfayek

    PDF cropping on it’s own is amazing! thanks for sharing this…!!!!!

  • Mfayek

    This is very useful! thanks for sharing…!!!!!

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  • MacFan

    I cannot figure out how to run Briss on a MacBook. I have downloaded the .zip file, extracted the contents. There is a single .exe file which, when I click it, creates another folder with other random files in it. Which of these files must I click to get the thing to run on a MacBook?

    Thanks so much.

  • Rob

    The difference between kindle.com and free.kindle.com is that the non-free one is delivered straight to you kindle via whispernet (3g), whilst the free one gets delivered to your kindle via wifi only.

  • Claude

    Thanks, very helpful article. Briss is a blessing! Gotta try Mobipocket to convert PDF to a more kindle-friendly format.

  • http://www.trebiano.it fabio

    …one further step should be splitting the cropped pages in two parts by using PDF Scissors: http://www.pdfscissors.com …even if sometimes it’s not easy to calibrate the cut for some pdfs…

  • Dan

    Turns out there is a MUCH easier way to convert PDFs to Kindle… there’s a FANTASTIC program called Calibre that you can download for free. Once you have the software you just add the PDF to your library and then convert it to a .MOBI file (which is formatted and easily read on Kindle). Then just hook up your Kindle via USB, the program then will recognize your Kindle and you can add the book or file right from the software. It’s outstanding software–no bugs with a super-user-friendly interface. I LOVE THE PROGRAM!! No, I don’t get any sort of endorsement fee… it’s just great software. Try & see then if you want you can send me money and accolades! LOL!

  • Mark Crane

    The mac’s PDF viewer, “Preview” allows batch cropping.

  • http://www.stevecaston.ca Steve

    Thanks! Great idea – worked for me… easier to read manuals with diagrams etc. on my Kindle.

  • Me

    Excellent article citing some great software I’m already using and would definitely recommend – Calibre, Bliss and PDFSam.

    Before doing this stuff though I suggest changing the kindle to landscape mode and fitting text to width. This can immediately make some PDFs a lot easier to read on the Kindle with minimum effort.

  • Johnny drama

    Hi,

    Great artical, answered some questions for me. However my issue has been downloading ebook PDF’s and having two pages of the book on each page. What is the best program and how do I edit these PDF’s to make each page of the book on a seperate page for me to then convert to mobi.

    Thanks

  • Rob

    I’ve had the same issue as others have noted. Briss doesn’t appear to crop permanently, it just hides what you’ve cropped. Once on the Kindle it’s identical to the original ‘uncropped’ PDF. Unfortunately it doesn’t fool my Kindle :-(

  • ctybrd

    I tried adobe acrobat it has a command called: remove hidden data
    after using briss but acrobat is not free my trial period is about to expire

  • Rob

    I’m thinking Kindle automatically formats PDFs if it finds space missing. I cropped using this method in Preview on my Mac http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=200711012305556 Sure enough the file size was around 10MB smaller after cropping so it obviously erased the cropped areas. Uploaded onto my Kindle and and it shows uncropped. Arrgghh!

  • Dan

    You REALLY DON”T need to do anything to a PDF except convert it in Calibre software! It’s a free program and it will even make a Table of Contents for you during the conversion. It turns the PDF into a Mobi doc (easily read on a Kindle) and there is no need to crop at all… automatically word-wraps the text. The conversion is easy, straightforward–just add the PDF to the Calibre library (one button touch), then convert from PDF to Mobi format (a few buttons in a user-friendly interface), then send to your Kindle. It’s a snap and it’s free! No, I don’t work for Calibre–I just think it’s the greatest software you can have for the Kindle.

  • Rob

    Dan – I have Calibre and it’s great – I use it all the time. I use it to convert many PDFs to MOBI. It’s also fantastic for collecting newspapers and having them sent via Whispernet. Free papers every day wherever I am. I love it! But, it works great for some PDFs but not for PDFs with images and illustrations. These are the PDFs I’m trying to crop.

  • Pete

    I’m extremely disappointed in how poorly my new kindle scrolls in pdfs.

    No step by step scrolling down a page. You can only go a whole screen size down.

    The problem is that the kindle often cuts lines in half, so at the bottom of the screen, you only see the top part of a line. When you go to next page, you only see the bottom part of that line, at the top of the screen.

    This happens even though the pdf actually has text in it, and is not just scanned pages. I know this, because I can select the words on the kindle, to look up the definition. So there is no excuse for the kindle to cut it in half, and not detect it. It should make sure that the full line would be shown on the next page.

    Also the kindle seems to try to do some automatic cropping. Sometimes the bottom part of a page is missing, and there is no way to get to it. If you go to next page, it actually goes to next page, and not that bottom part.

    I also wish I could turn of the bottom bar, showing page number and percentage, since that part could be used to show more of the page, sometimes enough to actually show the whole page. This may in fact be the reason the bottom part is sometimes missing and unreachable, because it’s hidden by that bottom bar, and they failed to realize this when programming it.

    The zoom options are very disappointing. The 4 way button should be able to function to scroll down step by step, instead of only to select words, but they failed at that too.

  • Marian

    Thanks a lot Dan for your advice to go for Calibre. I’ve never been so happy with my various files I loaded from http://ww.grin.com – which I do love to read on my Kindle, but now with Calibre it has become much easier and more comfortable. Now I’m looking forward to more and more authors that go for GRIN to have their papers and essays published with them – and I will read them.

  • Dannel

    That’s a problem on the Kindle software itself. We the users must complain about this to the Amazon, because we bought something that promises to read PDF but it has a bug which shows the PDF contents wrong.
    Stop trying to do what Amazon’s devs MUST do.

  • Helen

    Calibre does not work well for the complex pdf files in scientific articles. But if you save the html file from the journal you can better convert the text to the MOBI format of the kindle with the free Calibre program. Unfortunately not all journals have html files to copy and you loose all the images. So you need to also transfer the original pdf file to the Kindle to see the figures. I’ve only had my Kindle for less than a week, but am determined to figure out how to best get scientific articles on my new Kindle or trade it in for something else.

  • Earl

    Thanks for the article.
    The other possibility for converting the cropped PDF to Kindle format, besides Calibre, is Mobipocket Creator.

  • Levi

    Hi Helen (the person that posted a comment on December 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm )

    I am having similar problems with scientific journels, I would appreciate it if you could post an update if you do find a way.

  • Nick

    To clarify step 7, sending to yourname@kindle.com only incurs a fee because Amazon uses 3G to deliver the file(s) to your Kindle, whereas the @free.kindle.com address only ever delivers via Wi-Fi.

    If you have a Kindle without 3G, files sent via the @kindle.com address will not attract a fee because they will not be delivered through the 3G network.

  • Andy

    Cropping by Briss worked. Thanks.

  • Marshall

    barnes & noble nook both blackandwhite and the color read pdf just like acrobat does. As they were compiled. I know because I have tested the nook reader software for the pc and it reads pdfs just fine. I also asked at a local B&N store in their publishing department.

    There is also free nook reader software similar to the kindle previewer or kindle reader you can download to your pc.

  • Elizabeth

    With the new Send to Kindle app it is easier when using with Briss.
    1. Follow steps 1-4 above.
    2. Select Print to Kindle
    3. Change Page Scaling option to “Fit to Printable Area” (this is half-way down the print screen window..

    P.S. Info about Send to Kindle app is available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/?docId=1000719931

  • Earl

    @Elizabeth,
    Thanks for the tip. For the Print to Kindle to work, I’m guessing that you first have to convert the PDF file to, say, an RTF file, open the RTF in Word, then Print to Kindle? Or is there another way? Thanks again.

  • Elizabeth

    @Earl,
    Nope. No RTF conversion needed. If you already loaded the Briss and Send to Kindle software just open the Load and Crop the PDF file in Briss. When it opens in the PDF viewer just use the print function to select the Send to Kindle print driver, change Page Scaling option to “Fit to Printable Area” (this is half-way down the print screen window) and when you click okay it will send the file to your Kindle to view.

  • Earl

    @ Elizabeth,

    Thanks very much!!

  • Lukas

    @Elizabeth

    Your method is just a round about way of putting a pdf on your Kindle. If you use ‘print to pdf’, it uploads the pdf to your Amazon account. Then when you sync your Kindle, it just syncs that same pdf. There’s no conversion of formats. You may as well just copy said pdf straight to your Kindle from your computer instead of uploading it to your Amazon account first.

  • Erin

    Hi There,
    I went through all the steps meticulously. My pdf cropped very well, and I did the conversion through amazon, but the finished product still has minuscule type.
    Any thoughts on this?
    Thanks,
    Erin

  • Samer

    @ Erin: sorry to hear that. Try a program called K2PDFOpt. It’s an easier program to use and might just give you an excellent result. I wrote a ‘part 2’ of this article that describes how to use K2PDFOpt (click here to go there).

  • Carlos

    Thanks for the helpful article. Clean cut explanation and simplicity.Two Thumbs up!

  • http://korkma.net/ korkma

    Hey, thanks for the article post.
    A very successful site.
    Thank you for documents.

  • Sundeep

    Many thanks for the article and introduction to Briss, I read a lot of mathematical books and Calibre, as good as it is, jumbles up the mathematical symbols and is therefore not good for conversion of these sort of books.

    Now with Briss, it has breathed new life into my pdf experience on Kindle, I don’t need to convert these books to AZW format, with the cropping they are much more readable.

    Thanks and keep it up, bravo.
    S.

    • Samer

      @ Sundeep: you’re very welcome. My own Kindle experience has been enhanced by Briss as well!

  • T.J.

    Hmm. I opened my document in Briss, adjusted all my little rectangles, hit “Crop,” and nothing happened. I’m off to read Part II.

    • Samer

      @ T.J: I’ve heard this reported by others. Sometimes Briss doesn’t work. Try PDF Scissors: http://www.pdfscissors.com/ instead and let me know if that works

  • http://www.free-ebooks-kindle.com/ Freekindlebooks

    This is a fantastic post. There are many tutorials on how to convert PDFs to Kindle, but it is seldom for pdf optimization for kindle. Actually the converted mobi file with calibre is not as good as original pdf file.

  • http://techconsultlk.blogspot.com Pasan Wijesinghe

    thank you very much. It was really helpful

  • Pingback: KIndle : Make pdf more readable with Briss | ottotrail

  • morgan

    Just love it – thanks for this awesome tutorial!!! Now I’ve started cropping all of my pdfs (not less than1256) – the first few are just great. Now, all of the papers on my first best archive for academic research (www.grin.com) will be adjusted step by step as not all of the papers there are available as a kindle edition yet. So cool that I found this article of yours – thankx again.

    • Samer

      @ morgan: you’re welcome!

  • Kennyut

    My response seems little late, but i am still using my Kindle 3rd, it fits my needs well.
    The date today is 4/26/2013, we can now use Android (installed Kindle app) to share (in menu) a pdf document to our Amazon Kindle account. and its way better than converting a pdf file with images. Using Briss to crop it before sharing it to the kindle account is still a smart idea.