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Keyboard Shortcuts for the Kindle

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  chco's Photo
Posted Aug 18 2010 11:12 PM

Here's a helpful listing of some of the keyboard shortcuts that you can use with the Kindle. This is an excerpt from Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual.
The Kindle has a keyboard, so why not keyboard shortcuts? Some of these shortcuts are simply faster ways of making something happen, like starting Text-to-Speech and some are the only way of making something happen, like launching Mine Sweeper.

Most shortcuts require you to press two keys at once. Unless you have a skill for perfectly coordinated key presses, hold down the Alt and/or Shift keys before pressing the other keys in the combination.

Many shortcuts are situational, meaning that they only work during a specific activity on your Kindle, like shortcuts during reading or shortcuts while surfing the web.

Shortcuts You Can Use Anytime

These shortcuts will work no matter what you’re doing on your Kindle at the time.

  • Alt-Home. The quickest way to get to the Kindle bookstore. Press this combination to go directly there.

  • Alt-Shift-G. This takes a screen shot of what you see on your Kindle. The file is saved in the documents folder—you won’t see it in your booklist. You have to connect your Kindle to your computer with the USB cable to access the screenshot files. Their names all begin with “screen_shot.”

  • Alt-G. Sometimes when your Kindle screen changes, not all of the stuff from the previous screen gets cleared away properly. The technical term for this is ghosting. This keyboard shortcut refreshes your Kindle screen to clear out any ghosting from the previous screen.

  • Menu. Not really a true keyboard shortcut, but every time you press it, you can see the free space on your Kindle, the time, and the speed of your WhisperNet connection (Figure A-1).


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Shortcuts While Reading

These keyboard shortcuts work while you’re reading.

  • Alt-B. Places a bookmark at your current location. Pressing this again will delete the bookmark. If you used the joystick to move the cursor next to a word in your book, Alt-B will put a bookmark on that spot. Double-clicking the joystick will also insert a bookmark, but won’t delete it.

  • Alt-Shift-1 through Alt-Shift-9. Pressing Alt-Shift plus a number will change the spacing between words and between lines of text without changing the font size. The lower numbers result in narrow spacing, the higher numbers lead to wide spacing (Figure A-2). Alt-Shift-3 is the default setting.

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  • Shift-SYM. Automatically starts Text-to-Speech. Also stops Text-to-Speech if it’s currently reading to you.


Shortcuts While Listening to Audio

  • Alt-Spacebar. Starts playing background MP3 music.

  • Alt-F. Skips to the next song.

  • Spacebar. Pauses audiobooks and podcasts playing through the audiobook feature (Chapter 6).


Shortcuts While Viewing Photos

  • C. Zooms your photo to actual size.

  • F. Displays your photo in full-screen, without the title bar.

  • R. Rotates your photo 90º to the right.

  • E. Resets the zoom level on your photo.

  • Q. Zoom in on your photo.

  • W. Zoom out on your photo.


Other Miscellaneous Shortcuts

  • Alt-Shift-M. Starts the Mine Sweeper game. Only works from the Home screen.

  • Alt-R. Reloads a web page in the Kindle Browser.

  • Alt-Shift. Highlights the address bar in the Kindle Browser.


Power Down Options

  • Slide and Hold Sleep Button for 4 seconds. Shuts down your Kindle.

  • Slide and Hold Sleep Button for 15 seconds. Resets your Kindle, but don’t worry, this doesn’t delete any of its content.


Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual

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.

See what you'll learn


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  jgoltz's Photo
Posted Oct 08 2010 09:45 AM

Not all of these work on all models of the Kindle. Alt-Shift-[1-9], for example, don't work on my Kindle DX Graphite running 2.5.5.