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The Kindle application is actually quite a reasonable PDF reader and can be used on tablets and phones relatively easily.

I actually use my Kindle more for PDFs that I physically put into my Kindle's document folder and I've not found a way to get the PDFs to open anywhere but on my Kindle. Do you know of any way to open my personal PDFs in my Kindle Reader on my phone or the online Kindle Reader?

Personally, I use my Kindle Reader application on my Android-based table and Android-based phone to read PDFs. It works well and I don't feel like I need an additional application for PDFs.

In this audio segment from an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll discuss how I get PDFs to open up in Kindle Reader on those devices.

Listen:
Download the mp3 (4M)

Transcript

I actually use my Kindle more for PDFs that I physically put into my Kindle's document folder and I've not found a way to get the PDFs to open anywhere but on my Kindle. Do you know of any way to open my personal PDFs in my Kindle Reader on my phone or the online Kindle Reader?

Let's see the online Kindle Reader. I'm not sure which one you mean. Personal PDFs in the Kindle Reader – absolutely. In my personal, PDFs on my Android phone open in my Kindle Reader. I decided didn't need a bunch of multiple PDF readers when the Kindle Reader will do it just fine.

The approach that I took and I believe the approach that's necessary works like this (and again, I'll use my Android phone and my Android tablet as my example): I actually to install a file, it's more a type of utility. I happen to use something called ES file, I think it is right now. But there are a couple, Android Explorer and a couple of others that basically boil down to an equivalent of Windows Explorer for your Android phone.

So when you install these programs, you actually get to look at a file system. You get to see files and folders and traverse up and down and so forth, which is great. It's a very nice way for those of us who are, it's a bit more on the computer literate side or the computer comfortable side, I'll put it that way to be able to traverse the files that are stored on the phone.

Now, like Windows Explorer, if you navigate to a folder that contains a PDF and you tap or open or whatever that PDF, what tends to happen is it will open the default PDF reader. If you only have the Kindle app on your phone, that's what it's going to open with. If you have more than one PDF reader on your phone (like for a while, I had Replica reader, Adobe Acrobat, and Kindle), it's gonna ask you which one you want to use and it will give you an opportunity to say, 'OK, whatever one I choose this time, use that one from here on out.'

So that way also, you then end up being able to specify 'Use the Kindle Reader all the time.' At which point, I'm not sure why you want to have the other readers on there, but that's fine. The downside (if you want to call it a downside) is that PDFs don't show up in the Kindle app as if they were books like they do on some of the Kindle readers.

They don't show up in the Kindle navigation. You end up referencing them externally from the Kindle application and having the Kindle application be the thing that fires up to allow you to use them. Like I said, I use that on my Android phone, my Android tablet, and actually surprisingly I use that on my Kindle Fire because Kindle Fire is really more like an Android tablet than it is a dedicated Kindle.

The Kindle reading is really just an application that runs it's a preferential application, but it's just an application that runs on that device so that's the approach that I take on. You just added a comment that you use a Windows phone. I gotta believe that there's a file or some sort for Windows phone. I'm not at all familiar with the Windows phone ecosystem, but my understanding that has improved dramatically in recent years and is something that I would expect you be able to find something to do this with.

Article C5475 - June 20, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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