When most authors of a PDF are designing their document, they don't ask themselves, "How can I make this look great on a Kindle?" They’re expecting you to read it on paper or on a large, full-color computer screen, not a six-inch, black-and-white, E Ink screen. This means color is lost on you and small fonts could befuddle you.
Luckily, Amazon provides a remedy for the small-font-size thing. You can rotate your Kindle screen so that you’re reading on your Kindle sideways. You can also zoom in on PDFs. The rotation makes it so documents, especially PDFs, can be wider than what your Kindle can show when you hold it vertically. A wider document means small fonts look bigger. The zooming thing, well, its benefits are obvious.
Rotating Your Screen
To rotate your screen, press the Aa button and choose one of the four screen orientations you see at the bottom of your screen (Figure 4-13). When you first held your Kindle, did you think, “I wish I could read this upside down?” You’re in luck! Even an upside down screen orientation shows up as an option.
Note: If you’re the lucky owner of a Kindle DX, you don’t need to use this menu. Just tilt your Kindle on its side, and the screen rotates automatically. But use this screen orientation menu if you want to lock the screen into a specific orientation (handy for reading in bed).
If you’re reading a PDF with the screen rotated sideways, you’ll only see part of your PDF at a time. The Next Page button actually takes you down through a page, from the top to the bottom, then on to the next page. (Intuitively, you’d think the joystick would scroll you up and down in a page, but it doesn’t unless you are using the screen zoom.)
Zooming Your Screen
You might be reading a PDF for which screen rotation doesn’t quite go far enough. Pressing the Aa key while reading a PDF shows the screen zoom options (Figure 4-13). You can zoom in up to three times a document’s normal size.
When you select a zoom level, a box covers part of your document, with a little magnifying glass in the middle. Move this box around with the joystick. Click the joystick to zoom in. Move the joystick around while zoomed in to see more of the PDF. The Next Page and Prev Pages buttons take you to other pages of the PDF, but you’ll stay zoomed in as you change pages.
To exit the zoom and go back to normal, press the Back button, or use the zoom menu you get by pressing the Aa button.
Learn more about this topic from Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual.
So, you have your Kindle and are ready to start reading. Great! But did you know that you can play music on the Kindle while you are reading that new bestselling novel? How about sharing your thoughts about the book with friends via Facebook and Twitter? More than just an e-reader, Amazon's popular device lets you do those things and much more. You can create a custom calendar to help plan your day or remember your mom's birthday, calculate the tip at your favorite restaurant, and waste a little time and have fun playing games or surfing the web. Check out Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual to learn how to get the most out of your device.