When I talked about the Kindle Fire, I mentioned one of the interesting features was the ability to send things to it – documents, and in particular PDFs.
Amazon released a nifty little add-on for Windows called Send to Kindle. So let’s say you want to view your documents on your Kindle – and by documents, I mean Word, text files (meaning Notepad) or PDF’s. There’s now an easy way using either Windows Explorer or the print button to send things to your Kindle device.
You do have to install the tools on your computer – it’s a 5MB download, installs in about 5 clicks and 30 seconds. There’s really nothing to change, unless you want to change the directory where the application installs; I accepted the defaults (and Terms of Service, of course), and it was ready to use once the installation is complete. No reboot required.
Once it’s installed, you can use it in one of two ways: from Windows Explorer or as a printer (yes, I said printer).
The way most people will use it is from within Windows Explorer. Once the tool is installed, Send to Kindle appears as a right-click option:
You’ll be asked to confirm your document information and delivery options:
Once you send, it will take a few minutes for the file to find its way to your Kindle library – but only a few.
This works great, as long as you’re a) sending a file, and b) the file is in a supported format (Word, .txt or PDF). For unsupported things (like a web page, or a page from a spreadsheet file), use the Send to Kindle Printer.
I’ll use a web page as an example:
I want to send this document to my Kindle for reading later, so I’ll click the Print option that’s on the page (or you can always use the Print option of the browser itself – you can usually launch the print options with Ctrl-P). This displays the printer dialog – I select my Send to Kindle Printer, click OK, and the page is sent in the same way a file is sent – except it’s automatically converted to and sent as a PDF file.
And it works – quite well. The only additional step is to tell the Kindle to sync with Amazon – and the files are automatically downloaded and stored on the device. On the Kindle Fire, Sync is an option from the Tools menu (the little gear at the top right of the screen):
Like I said – this is for Windows. Nothing available for the Mac (yet), but if something is released, you’ll hear about it here.
For the person like me, who likes to have not only the library of others’ work in portable form but their own library as well, this is just plain nifty.