How to read TeX-works on my Kindle
October 4, 2011 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Instapaper + Kindle is reading bliss. How do I extend this bliss to PDF documents with annoying formatting?

So, I come across a lot of papers like this one on PVRTC*, which are all TeX-formatted. I'd like to read them in the comfort of my Kindle, but emailing the PDFs to the device has it making the text tiny tiny, and its browsing is terrible for reading columns.

Is there anything that can transform this sort of text into a more readable format?


* the fact I wish to read about encoding in my free time is a separate issue
posted by tmcw to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: One of the bad things about the Kindle (apart from the fact that it doesn't support ePubs) is that it doesn't understand PDF reflow hints, so reading PDFs on it is an exercise in pain, even more so if they're multicolumn documents.

There are a variety of tools out there which will try (with varying success rates depending on the source PDF) to generate something that will display better on the Kindle from a given PDF. You could try Calibre or try using Amazon's conversion service by emailing the pdf to your Kindle's email address.
posted by pharm at 10:03 AM on October 4, 2011

Best answer: Try Calibre first. Convert your pdfs to mobis. Tweak the settings until it works how you want it.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:04 AM on October 4, 2011

Not sure if this will work with columns
Send an email to
subject: convert
attach pdf
It will come back to you quite quickly in kindle format as an attachment
download attachment, plug in kindle via us connector and transfer across.
posted by adamvasco at 12:59 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

I second Calibre, and remind you that if you're sending documents to be converted to, they're only delivered via Wi-Fi, not 3G, even when you have the 3G-capable model.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:02 PM on October 4, 2011

Response by poster: Sweet, I had never realized that Calibre had a lot of reformatting options when you convert to .mobi - reformatted, these look pretty nice! Thanks.
posted by tmcw at 2:11 PM on October 4, 2011

I have had some luck with the freeware program K2pdfopt, which will format your PDF's to read more nicely on the Kindle.
posted by joshuaconner at 5:17 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

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