Amazon has this help article on their website with some tips for converting personal documents to a Kindle Format, and there are some things listed there that I haven’t seen mentioned before, like the Kindle Scribe being unable to add handwritten annotations to documents with things like tables and mathematical equations.
That last part is particularly odd considering I have a PDF that’s been converted to Kindle format on my Kindle Scribe right now that has a bunch of math equations and adding handwritten notes to the file works fine, and there aren’t any formatting errors or issues that I can find.
But according to Amazon’s help page, handwritten annotations aren’t supported on documents containing tables, linear gradients, footnotes inside of footnotes, mathematical equations, and multi-media content like audio, video, and SVG images.
If you’re having a problem with a document and can’t add handwritten notes to it or there are some formatting or conversion errors, one of those reasons might be the cause. They don’t actually provide any tips to remedy the issue; they just say those types of elements are not supported.
There’s also a section about getting conversion fail errors when using Send to Kindle, and they give three tips for fixing the problem.
First, make sure to remove any password protection or security settings on documents before trying to send them to a Kindle.
The documents also have to be in a supported language to successfully convert them to a Kindle format. There are over thirty languages supported so make sure to check the full list on the referenced help article at Amazon.
Lastly, they say to delete any ink drawings from Microsoft Word documents because they aren’t supported and will cause conversion fail errors. They also mention that comments in Word documents will automatically get converted to Kindle footnotes with a grey background by design.
via: Tips for Converting Personal Documents to a Kindle Format
John Howell says
One major problem is that the tips page does not distinguish between things that prevent reflowable books from supporting sticky notes and fixed layout PDFs from supporting on-page markup. Most of the things listed, such as having tables within tables, can prevent a reflowable document from supporting Enhanced Typesetting (KFX format) which is required for sticky notes. Almost none of it applies to PDFs.
Yeah, the help article is confusing. I would expect to encounter problems converting documents with complex layouts with tables and such to a reflowable Kindle format, but they talk about adding handwritten annotations as if they’re referring to converted PDFs since that’s the only way to write directly on the page without using sticky notes. I wish they would’ve just kept PDFs as PDFs instead of having to do the conversion nonsense and then being left with a fraction of the features already built-in for PDFs.
Do you know how I can darken the PDFs so that the text is less faint on the Scribe? I’ve tried Acrobat’s color management, but I haven’t seen much of a difference.
Alas, we really need the option to darken the text when reading PDFs. Hope Amazon can add that in the next update.
I don’t know of a fix for that either, other than sideloading the PDF via USB but then you can’t write on it. Sometimes I’d rather have the text darken option than handwriting so I sideload instead. Amazon needs to add more features to their print replica format. Maybe after they get the new overrated Microsoft Word feature rolled out they can go back to improving reading features for sent PDFs, which to me is far more important than being able to send Word documents to the Scribe.
Hektor Rottweiler says
I agree. It took Amazon half a year to write a Word plug-in that basically does nothing but tap into Send to Kindle. What is up with all the stuff that’s not working or half baked on the device itself?