Monday, August 23, 2010

Kindle Skills - pdf files

August 23, 2010 Cindy O'Neal

Text to Speech does not work with PDF files. You need to convert them to .prc or .mobi files in order to use Text to Speech with a pdf book on your Kindle.

The FREE MobiPocket Reader will convert the average pdf file to a prc file on any Windows computer (sorry Mac users) by simply dragging the file into the MobiPocket Reader main screen area. Needless to say, a little experimentation will show you pdf files that are mostly text are the most likely to convert with the most success. Some will certainly convert better than others.

Once your file is converted by the MobiPocket Reader, you can skim through the pages to make sure it is satisfactory. Do check it out in your MobiPocket Reader on your computer first (will save time). If it is converted satisfactorily, you can find the file in your Documents folder in the My eBooks folder. Drag the title from there to the documents folder on your Kindle and you will be all set. The newly converted pdf to .prc file will appear in your Home list on your Kindle as soon as you disconnect it from your computer.

The MobiPocket Reader does have a nice Send to button, and if your Kindle is connected, it will show it as a device of sorts, but when you click the Send to button, it creates a special eBooks folder on your Kindle and parks the book there... not a place your Kindle is going to look for your books. Hopefully they will get that worked out in a future update, especially as popular as the Kindle is.

OR... You can drag that same pdf file to the book list area in Calibre. That will import the pdf book into Calibre and place a copy of the pdf file in the Calibre eBooks folder. Then select the book and click the Convert Books button and see how that conversion looks.

To check out a converted file, right click the title in the Calibre book list and choose Open containing folder. This will open the folder where the book actually is and you will be able to see any converted copies Calibre has placed there.

I have to say, if Calibre can convert it better, you can save the hassle of finding the file, then dragging it to the documents folder on your Kindle. With Calibre you can (while the book is selected in the main Calibre screen) click the Send to device button and it will automatically send it to the Documents folder on your Kindle (all converted and everything). It simply knows the perfect place to send your book if you have a Kindle connected via the USB cable. The more I use Calibre, the more attached I am becoming to it as a great all around conversion and organizing program for ebooks.