How to format PDFs for the Kindle

A PDF shown on a Kindle screenLike many, I love my Kindle. What a wonderful piece of technology. OK, the browser’s a bit slow and not powered by Opera but even so, having a world-wide 3G connection is fantastic, as is the great reading experience. However, some PDFs don’t look so good on that small screen. Here are some (almost) ideal settings that I’ve found make PDFs more readable for the Kindle.

I’ve tried to find the optimal PDF settings using lots of trial and error with OpenOffice/LibreOffice. The result is not perfect, in particular on pages with very few lines of text, so if you have any suggestions for improvement please leave a comment below. Anyway, enough talk…

Best PDF settings for the Kindle

Page size:

  9.1cm x 12.3cm

Page margins:

  Left: 1cm
  Right: 1cm
  Top: 1cm
  Bottom: 2cm

Font size:

  9pt (I recommend Georgia or other serif font)

Line spacing:

  120% (or 12.5pt)

There you go – nice and simple but it makes a big difference. Don’t forget to add page breaks for each new section or chapter. Of course, you can also add headers but I’d avoid footers because of the Kindle’s progress bar at the bottom of the screen.

And finally, here’s a pre-made template you can download and use:

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