Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kindle Skills - File Management

Copying files from your computer to your Kindle doesn't need to be a personal curse. With a few basic file management and multi windows skills you can be comfortable browsing and copying files soon. The key is practice. Do it as many times as you need to be comfortable with the procedure. After all, if you want to take advantage of all the great free book resources out there in cyberspace, you need to develop certain skills, and file management is at the top of the list.

The most important part of file management is knowing exactly where your file is at all times. On your computer, if you create the document yourself, it will usually end up in the Documents (or My Documents) folder, unless you save it somewhere else. Your Documents folder is pretty easy to get to by clicking the Start button on a Windows computer, then looking up and to the right for the Documents folder shortcut. Click it once to open. If it is a file you downloaded (like a nifty book from, I hope you downloaded it to your Desktop so it will be easy to spot and drag to your Kindle when the time is right.  If you are getting nervous right about now, rest assured I will be covering Downloading from the Internet for both Internet Explorer as well as Firefox in other articles. The bottom line is, you must know where your stuff is. Pay special attention when you save a file. Take your time. Look at the little save window that comes up. It always tells you where that file is going, and it always gives you a chance (with a few mouse clicks) to put it somewhere else. It's up to you to make the choice.

I like to use my Desktop (the main computer screen) as a staging area for things I download. Then, if it is a book, it will go to the Kindle, then the copy on the Desktop will be moved to a more permanent storage in another folder I have created just for books I have downloaded.

To transfer (copy) a file to your Kindle:
  • Connect the Kindle to your computer with the supplied USB cable
  • If you are using Windows (XP, Vista, Windows 7), a little popup window will appear asking you what you want to do... Choose Open folder to view files by left clicking those words.
  • This will cause another window to appear with the folders on your Kindle showing. Look for and double click to open the Documents folder. You should see your books listed. The best view is Details. Click the word View at the top of the window, then the word Details. This way you can see your books listed alphabetically, straight down the window. Make sure this window is NOT filling your screen. You need to be able to put your mouse in the Title Bar of the window and (while holding down the left mouse button) drag it to move it. The Title Bar is the very top part of any window. You should see the title of the window you are working with in it. The X to close the window is on the same level. If your window is filling the screen you will not be able to drag it anywhere.
  • Move the Kindle window out of the way and find the book file you want to put on it.
  • Right click on the book file and choose the word (single left click) Copy.
  • Move your mouse pointer to the Kindle Documents folder and right click in an empty white area inside that folder. Choose Paste.
  • You should see your book file listed in your Kindle folder now. Disconnect your Kindle and your new book should be listed on your Home screen.
Another way to copy files from one place to another is to left click on the file and (while holding down the left mouse button) drag it to the other window. When you have your pointer where you want to drop the file, let go of the mouse button. For some people, this can get messy. Files can be accidentally dropped in the wrong place and even lost. Using the copy and paste technique can be a neater solution.
The way to really learn something new is to practice, practice, practice! After a few times, it will be more natural.