How to Convert PDF files into Kindle Ebooks

The Kindle can display files in four different formats:

  • .TXT files (HTML files can be viewed if you change the extension to .txt as well)
  • .AZW files – Amazon’s own exclusive ebook format for the Kindle
  • .MOBI files – content formatted for the MobiPocket Reader
  • .PRC – These are the exact same format as .MOBI but were designed to be compatible with Palm PDAs

Odds are, though, that the bulk of the documents you have on your computer that you might wish to read on your Kindle are in PDF format. If you’re like me, you’ve got a lifetime of reading stored up in PDF files that you’ve been meaning to get around to “some day soon.” Adding them to your Kindle library would be a good way to make them more accessible, and make it far more likely that you’ll get around to reading all those files at one point or another.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can convert your PDF files into formats accessible to your Kindle.

The first is by emailing your PDF file to your Kindle account email address. If you want the resulting ebook to be sent wirelessly, send the PDF as an attachment to yourusername@kindle.com (replacing yourusername with your actual Kindle username, of course). You’ll be charged a fee of 15 cents per megabyte for having the file delivered this way.

If you want to get your converted file without a fee, send the PDF as an attachment to yourusername@free.kindle.com. The converted file will be sent back to you via email for free, and you can then transfer it to your Kindle via USB connection.

This method is not foolproof. Some files come out somewhat mangled, and you can’t use this method to convert any file that is very large or that has a password or DRM securing it.

The other method to convert PDF to Kindle-compatible files is the one I use most often. It works with some DRM-enabled PDFs — I use it with NetGalley files, for example — and does a pretty fair job of keeping the content, including images and tables, intact.

To proceed, you’ll need to download and install the MobiPocket Creator Publisher Edition from the Mobipocket.com website.

Once you’ve started the program, there’s an option to import a PDF file. After running the import feature you will have generated an HTML file which you can then “build” into a .prc file immediately, or you can choose to add a cover image, a table of contents, or metadata to the ebook first.

Once you’ve built the file, it’s a simple job to drag it over to your Kindle over a USB connection.

MobiPocket creator does a great job of reflowing the layout and removing headers and footers which would otherwise mar your newly created ebook.

37 Responses to How to Convert PDF files into Kindle Ebooks

  • sanders says:

    i am planing to get a kindle dx, but for the time being – by virtue of my location outside kindle territory – i will be using the kindle very much like a sony reader. Is the transfer of pdf. books possible via usb cable?

  • admin says:

    Yes, if you convert your books into .mobi format first as outlined above, you can transfer them by USB. I highly recommend using Calibre to easily move and convert text files, RSS feeds and more to formats acceptable to the Kindle. http://publishingcentral.com/blog/ebook-publishing/how-to-read-all-your-favorite-blog-feeds-on-your-kindle-for-free

  • Hi,

    I agree with author about converting pdf to html via mobipocket creator, but formatting was no so good in look.

    Pls guide me about how can we see the Ebook(kindle, Epub) same as PDF.

  • Fernando says:

    Hi Sunil,

    It depends how the images are inserted in the pdf file. Some images cannot be copied even if you open the pdf and try to copy it. These documents won’t work for sure.

    Try this guide to convert your pdf files with mobipocket creator to kindle

    http://www.lodomus.com/how-to-use-mobipocket-creator-to-convert-pdf-ebooks-to-kindle-format

  • Dereck says:

    Thanks you so much for this! Ive been searching this on google for a while now with no results and I finally got to your page. The mobi converter thing works perfectly =) Thanks again!

  • Glen says:

    First try converting PDF to .Mobi/.PRC for Kindle worked like a charm; hyperlinks work perfectly! Calibre had issues when I tried the same conversion. Mobicreator seems to be pretty great and easy to use too!!!

  • Kindle Fan says:

    1. Save PDF on computer.
    2. Connect Kindle to computer.
    3. Open email. Address it to MyName@free.kindle.com . Do NOT put any text in the Subject line or in the body of the email (when I do, it doesn’t work). Attach PDF file to email and send.
    4. Receive an email (in about 30 seconds) from Amazon Kindle Support. The email says, “[your email address] has sent the following files” and then has a link that looks like a link to the PDF file — but it is a link to the AZW file that they converted it to.
    5. Save link from email to computer.
    6. In Windows Explorer, copy the AZW file to your Kindle’s Documents folder.
    7. Disconnect Kindle and read!

    http://www.azkindle.com/ –> more info on the kindle + link to the user guide is at the bottom

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  • tham tu says:

    Please tell me the best converter from PDF 2 Kindle.

    Thanks
    tham tu

  • Char says:

    I’m having trouble importing .PDF files to my Kindle in such a way that the type remains a decent font size. No matter what I do, if the file comes over to the Kindle as a .PDF file, the type is extremely small and there is no way I can increase it as the font size feature on the Kindle doesn’t appear for the .PDF files. The only option I get is to increase to something larger than 100% which is worthless for the Kindle’s small screen. I downloaded the MobiCreator and imported the .PDF files according to the directions, and it still doesn’t work. Help!

  • jonjo says:

    Ther is another method.
    Open the pdf first, now go to top ,open file ,save as text.
    this produces an almost perfect text file.
    At this point you can either import the txt file to kindle,
    OR yoy can use calibre to convert it to mobi etc.

  • PLR Dating Ebooks says:

    Converting complicated pdf file to kindle format which mainly consists of … kindle ebook conversion at very affordable rates, mostly for the PDF ebook …. Have you found any way to convert a kindle file into any of these formats?
    …………

  • Nataly says:

    I used to have Sony reader and I was very happy as almost all my books are in PDF format as you can upload them for free from internet. My friends bought me a Kindel and I found it ‘s so frustraiting becouse Kindel doesn’t work very well with PDF .
    Sony actualyy adjust the size and font of the PDF text and it looks formatted and readable. So , I guess , I ‘m going to return the Kindel as there is no reaon to have it . In addition , design and sowtware reminds my the first comupter like 20 years ago …. :)

  • Nataly says:

    and iddition, I like the Kindel manual process : User should send the file via email and then get back formatted. It’s so rediculous…

  • Tammy says:

    Guys its so easy use mobipocket creator or calibre whichever you choose will work to convert pdf or abc lit which is free also and will convert lit to pdf then you connect your kindle to the computer via a usb port then you click and drag the mobi or prc file (whichever program you use) THEN WHEN DONE YOU SAFELY REMOVE FROM THE COMPUTER, after that open up your kindle then you caan make the text size whaterver you want YOU DO NOT HAVE TO EMAIL IT TO YOURSELF (REMEMBERIF DONE THIS WAY IF YOU REMOVE FROM THE KINDLE IT IS DELETED)SO IF YOU WANT TO SAVE THAT DOCUMENT OR BOOK MAKE SURE TO SAVE IT ON YOUR COMPUTER OR AN AXTERNAL HARDRIVE. RELAX AND ENJOY

  • Charles says:

    Calibre does work well to convert sometimes. Another way is to use a program like pdf to epub to make it an epub file, import it to sigil (to put any links in like chapters)then load the epub into calibre to convert the epub to kindle or mobipocket file.

  • Delton says:

    mobipocket creator=didn’t work for me!!! got error messages and was direct to mobipocket website/forum to report problem. where they expect you to register…is it doesn’t work=don’t use it!!!

    And if I can’t find another way to easily convert all my pdf s to kindle I won’t bother to continue to use kindle.

  • Athena says:

    i tried what you recommended but there seem to be a problem with the building. i cant begin building the file. the error is: no body tag found in content file.

    so what should i do? :(

  • Aniline says:

    Worked wonderfully! :)

    I had a few issues with a couple .pdf files that wouldn’t import, but it ended up that the file names were too long. I shorted them up and it worked.

    I didn’t want to use the email method because I’d heard too many problems with the files not converting correctly and I didn’t want to lose any text. This program worked very well.

    The process I used:

    - Downloaded the program and installed the Publisher Edition.
    - Opened Mobipocket Creator.
    - Went to the “Import from Existing File” and selected “Adobe PDF”.
    - A “Choose a File”, select “Browse” and open the PDF file you want to convert.
    - Adjust any settings you wish, such as the publication folder, language and encoding.
    - Click “Import”. This process may take a minute depending on the size of the file and number of images in it.
    - Once it’s done, you can select various options for your ebook including adding cover art, table of contents, etc. Be sure to select “Update” after each change.
    - After all the various bits are added, click on the “Build” option at the top of the screen. This will create the file you need to read on your Kindle.

    - Connect your Kindle to your computer via the USB cord.
    - Open the file where you are saving all of your publications, and open your Kindle (this may open automatically when you plug in your Kindle to your computer).
    - Drag the .prc file from your publications to your “documents” folder in your Kindle.
    - Repeat the above for any additional file you want on your Kindle.
    - Once done, click on the USB icon on your task bar and select “Safely Remove Device”.
    - You can now access your Kindle as normal and read the shiny new ebooks on your Kindle. :)

    Overall, it was pretty user-friendly. And other than the long file name, I had no issues.

  • Kalika says:

    Thanks a lot for this nice converor.

  • Kalika says:

    I am able to convert the HTML, TEXT & Word files only using Mobipocket Creator. But I could not find the option for converting adobe files . please help….

  • Paddy says:

    Kalika, you need to install the advanced edition and not the home edition.

  • bolster says:

    If you’re a commandliner theres 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

  • admin says:

    I have to admit, that’s very cool and appeals to my inner geek very much.

  • Louise Stols says:

    What do I do with a PDF encrypted file?

    Help!

    Louise

  • Bryce Collins says:

    Louise try these guys to see if they can help. http://www.1pdftoepub.com/pdf-to-epub They do all type of conversions.

  • MzLizz says:

    I went to download Mobi but it only works with Windows 2000 or XP. Any suggestions for Windows 7 users?

  • Fr Serafim says:

    Tried to convert Pdf to Kindle format using Mobipocket but it does not include my graphics or images. I have written a parents’ guide to the Internet and need to include images (screen dumps) and some basic graphics. Would appreciate some help.

  • MIck Damouze says:

    MzLizz,
    My Mobipocket creator works fine in Window 7. It will install just fine and will convert your files to .prc with little or no trouble. I have had a couple of issues trying to convert .doc files. If you can save your file in .txt or .html, there is no problem converting them to mobi. There is a plethora of conversion programs out there. Google “convert documents to kindle”.

  • Venus says:

    I’ve done a tutorial on how to convert pdf to kindle format WITHOUT any conversion software. Check out my blog for the article and video

  • Sarah says:

    hey, i have load of ebooks in mobi file but it wont go into my kindle! why is that? please help.

  • s.a.krishnan says:

    I tried sending the file to free.kindle.com but no response. Once I put the word “convert” in the subject line and second time leaving the subject blank. Both attempts brought no result.

  • Venus says:

    Oops. Forgot to mention the link. :http://goo.gl/ctknK
    On how to convert pdf to kindle without conversion

  • Anonymous says:

    PDFs are viewable on the kindle in that format

  • Siar says:

    I suggest you try http://kitpdf.com I am using it and i think it’s really fast and easy to use. So far, I haven’t found any mistakes after conversion.

  • I recommend you a nice article to help you convert kindle azw file to epub/pdf/txt or other formats.

    pdf to kindle, kindle to epub

    I think it’s useful for you.

    .

  • Tim Hansen says:

    I really struggled to find a good way to convert PDF files into mobi files for my early model Kindle. This was the first solution I found, and it worked very well. Thank you.

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