How to Edit PDFs on the Kindle Fire

Not to be confused with Amazon Kindle, formerly known as the Kindle Fire and now simply as the Fire, Amazon’s most popular e-reader tablet is neck-and-neck with its rivals. Although Amazon Kindle and the Kindle Fire are completely separate things, the Kindle Fire is often used as a reading platform. As such, it can read PDF files without too much effort. But can you use the popular tablet device to edit PDF files? Here’s how to use and edit PDF files on Kindle Fire devices.

How to Edit PDFs on the Kindle Fire


No more than a decade ago, e-readers became more and more popular. Yes, a decade may not sound like a long time, but when you think about it, Amazon Kindle was released in 2007 and pretty much enjoyed instant popularity. Back then, e-readers were electronic devices, stripped of all redundant forms of functionality that didn’t pertain to the simple task of helping the user read their books, without carrying them around.

The Amazon Kindle was gentle on the eyes, practical, and able to store a huge number of books in a single spot – its memory.

In 2011, not even half a decade later, the Kindle Fire was released. And whilst it remains an e-reader, it has become much more than the good old Kindle. The Fire has followed in the footsteps of its peers and, like most popular models, it can work with a multitude of files and formats, whether they’re native to Kindle, or otherwise. There’s also an option to view files onscreen, and you can even connect the device to an external monitor or a projector.

The Fire is much more than an e-reader and yet maintains that very role.

kindle fire

Kindle and PDFs

When we’re talking about Kindle, there are two PDF file types: the native PDF file that you’re used to seeing and using on your devices, and the Kindle Documents. The former is essentially the typical PDF file, while the latter gives you some extra capabilities and tools. For a casual reader, a native PDF file will suffice. If you’re using your Fire device for study or work, chances are, you’re going to need a marker function, for instance.

Native PDF Files

To open a native PDF file, simply transfer it to your Kindle Fire. Once the transfer is complete, find the PDF file in question and tap it. That’s it, you can view and read it as you would on your PC. Using native PDF files may be simple, familiar, and fairly straightforward, but it will provide nothing more than an equivalent of a Google Docs viewing permission. Of course, native PDF files can be scrolled through, zoomed, etc.


Kindle Documents

If your aim is simply a reader experience, the native PDF will do the trick. However, in order to edit PDF files, you’re going to need to convert them to the Kindle format. Fortunately, this process is fairly straightforward and simple. No, you don’t need any third-party converter app as you might have thought, nor do you need to cough up extra money.

The best way to send PDF files to your Kindle is by sending it as an email. Thankfully, this is how you convert the files, too.

In order to do so, simply type “Convert” in the subject line. The device receiving the email will automatically get the PDF file in its proprietary format.

So, what does this bring to the table? Well, you’ll be able to change the text’s font size, use the Text-to-Speech tool, highlight passages, etc. Bear in mind, however, that upon converting the PDF file, the pages will be reformatted and the graphics and photos might end up out of place, accessible only when you put your Kindle Fire in landscape mode.

This, unfortunately, doesn’t make for the best reader experience, which is exactly why Amazon Kindle enables you to access the file as a native PDF and a Kindle Document. As a rule of thumb, if reading a book is your goal, there’s no need to convert the PDF. Alternatively, if you want to underline passages within the plan or gain access to more editing options for work or research, it’s recommended that you go with the Kindle Document conversion.

Other PDF Viewers

Although the default viewer does a great job when it comes to PDFs on Kindle Fire, it may simply not be your cup of tea. Luckily, Kindle Fire is a tablet, in addition to being an e-reader and enjoys full access to the Amazon App Store. This means that browsing around the store for cool alternative apps is definitely possible. In fact, the third-party apps may provide you with features that are simply ideal for you. There are many available out there and you’re bound to find the perfect one.

Editing PDFs on Kindle Fire

The most common way of being able to edit PDF files on a Kindle Fire device is converting them to Kindle Documents. However, if you’re looking for a reading experience, consider opening the files as native PDFs, as Kindle Documents often mess up the formatting options, pictures, and graphics. If you don’t find all the features that you need on the default PDF reader app on the Fire, feel free to look around the Amazon App Store for an alternative.

Do you use the default PDF reader app on your Fire? If not, which one did you go with? Why? Do you go about editing your PDFs? Feel free to hit the comments section with any questions/tips/advice.

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