Kindle Version 2 Shortcuts, Tips, Tricks and Hacks

Below is a list of shortcuts, tips tricks and hacks I have found for the Kindle version 2.

General Shortcuts:

  • Sleep/Wake – Slide and release the power button (on top of the K2)
  • Power Off – Slide and hold the power button for 4 seconds
  • Reset – Slide and hold the power button for 15 seconds
  • Screen-shot – Alt+shift+G creates a screen-shot (.gif format) that goes to the Documents Folder of the Kindle 2 which you can view when connected to computer.
  • Refresh Display – ALT+G (if you notice any ghosting, try this shortcut) Also useful for refreshing web browsing page
  • Jump to page 1 – 5 on Home Screen – Press the number on keypad and then press 5-way Controller
  • Display the Time – Press MENU button
  • Display Free Memory – Press MENU button
  • Display Wireless Network (3G or 1X, if wireless is on) – Press MENU button
  • Alt-Shift-0 set current picture as screensaver
  • Play Minesweeper – Shift+ALT+M (from home page) (M or enter to mark; R to restart game; 5-way controller to move cursor)
    F toggle fullscreen mode MinesweeperI,J,K,L up,left,down,right (or use 5 way controller)
    M mark mine
    R restart
    Space open cell
    Scroll move cursor up/down
    Alt-Scroll move cursor left/right
    H return to Home screen Text input
  • Go to Amazon Kindle Store – alt-home
  • Jump to Web – Type in your search terms and move the 5-way controller to the right and then select “google”.
  • Search Wikipedia – Select “wikipedia” in search category
  • Search Content by Specific Author – Enter @author [author’s name] in the Kindle Store search bar
  • Alpha Search – To search for an author or title by first letter, click one letter on the keyboard and press the 5-way controller.  Then go immediately to the place on the list with the first author or title under that letter alphabetically, *but only if that match exists*. So if you have no Q’s, you can’t get to the R’s that way.  This doesn’t work for “Most Recent First” listings but seems to work for title or author sort and could be useful if you have a lot of books on your Kindle 2.
  • List Supported Search commands – Type @help in the search string to display other supported search commands like @dict, @url etc.
  • Search Kindle Store by Author – When in Kindle Store, type @author in searchbar to limit your search to author names
  • Show Diagnostic Data – From Settings Menu, enter 411
  • Show Current Radio Diagnostics –  From Settings Menu, enter 411 (constantly refreshes the data)
  • Search Amazon Kindle Store for Free Books – From Kindle Store search, type in -domain into the search field.

 Some Kindles have location capability in the CDMA module.
Alt-1 show current location in google maps
Alt-2 find gas station nearby
Alt-3 find restaurants nearby
Alt-5 find custom keyword nearby
Alt-D dump debug info to the log and toggle highlight default item
Alt-Z toggle zone drawing and show log Audio Player

Entering Text – Symbol Shortcuts

  • Double Quotes “ – Alt-9
  • Colon : – Alt-8
  • Comma , – Alt-7
  • Question Mark ? – Alt-6
  • Apostrophe ‘ – Alt-0


Book or Periodical Viewing:

  • Add or remove a bookmark – ALT+B.  Alternate Method: Press 5-way up/down to go to cursor mode, and then press 5-way controller twice.
  • Alt+shift+1-9 – changes the spacing and number of lines per page (default is 3)
  • List Sections of Periodical – Press the 5-way Enter Button
  • Newspaper View Summaries – To view summaries of the articles in a newspaper or magazine, while viewing the newspaper section list, press the 5-way controller to the right to highlight the number showing the number of articles in a section, then press the 5-way select button
  • Jump Quickly through Periodical – Move 5-way controller to right to go to next article or to the left to go to the previous article
  • Start or stop text-to-speech – Shift+SYM (shift key is the “up arrow”)
  • Pause text-to-speech – Spacebar
  • Switch Between Male and Female Voices & Change Voice Speed – Alt + Aa keys & then toggle between settings with the 5 way controller
  • Start text-to-speech at specific point on a page – To begin the text-to-speech at a particular point on a page, move the cursor with your 5-way controller to the point just before you want the reading to begin.
  • Play or stop MP3 Audio – ALT+spacebar
  • Skip to the next audio track – ALT+F
  • Pause Audible Audiobook – Spacebar

Text-To-Speech Shortcuts:

Audio Controls:

Photo Viewer Controls:

The picture viewer can be activated by connecting your Kindle2 via USB cable to your PC and create “pictures” folder in Kindle USB disk. Create subfolders inside of that and copy the pictures. The subfolders will then become “book” names and the pictures will be pages. *.gif, *.jpg and *.png files all seem to work. Now you disconnect the USB cable and press Alt-Z in the home screen.  Your picture folders should now appear among the books now.

While you are viewing pictures in the Picture Viewer:

  • Toggle Actual Size – C
  • Toggle Full Screen – F (currently not working properly)
  • Zoom In  – Q
  • Zoom Out – W
  • Rotate – R
  • Reset Zoom Level – E
  • Pan Photo Larger Than Screen – Use 5-way controller to pan photo


Other Tips and Tricks:

  • Save All Words You’ve Looked-up in Dictionary – When you look a book up in the dictionary, highlight the word & the definition and it will save it to “My Clippings.”   You can then track all of the words you’ve looked up.  My Clippings is accessible in a text file when your Kindle is tethered to your computer with the USB cable.  Here’s a step-by-step guide on saving your looked-up words:

1. Place the cursor over the word you want to look up. (or search for the word)
2. A “mini definition” displays at the bottom of the screen.
3. While the mini-definition is showing, press the “return” key.
4. The more detailed definition from the dictionary will appear.
5. Place your cursor at the beginning of the entry and click the 5-way controller.  Then move the cursor to the far-right point of what you want to save to “my clippings” and click the 5-way controller once more to highlight the definition.

  • Turn multiple pages at once – Hold down the next/prev page button or click them multiple times causes the Kindle 2 to turn several pages at once.  It’s slow and not ideal, but does work.
  • Delete Book from Kindle – Highlight the item you want to delete (navigate with 5-way button), then press left with the 5-way controller to bring up the Delete selection option.  Press select with 5-way controller to confirm deletion.

Advanced Kindle 2 Hacks

  • Make your own custom screen-saver images – You will have to upload a piece of code to do this
  • This linke has a number of firmware hacks –
  • Free eBook Sites

    The following links are to sites that offer free books you can downlowd to your reader.

    • Baen Free Library — Over 100 free Science Fiction/Fantasy books, mostly from baen books. Available in several unencrypted, non-DRM formats: HTML, Rocket, Ebookwise, Mobipocket, RTF and Microsoft Reader.
    • BeBook catalog — These are PDF books properly sized for 6″ readers. The also have plain text directly from Gutenberg.
    • BooksInMyPhone — Hundreds of Public Domain and Creative commons books that can be read on java enabled ‘dumb’ cell phones.
    • FeedBooks — Public Domain or CC licensed books available in ePUB, mobi, pdf, custom pdf, and pdf pre-formatted for Sony and Iliad. Users can add books and write book reviews. RSS feeds and Sudoku for your e-ink readers.
    • — Free eBooks mostly in PDF and EXE format. They have an RSS feed that can deliver eBooks.
    • Girlebooks — Free ebooks by women writers, formatted into PDF, LIT, PDB and plain text.
    • Gutenberg Canada — Canada has different copyright laws than the US. These eBooks are public domain in Canada. content is HTML and TXT.
    • Internet Archive:Text — Free Books from a variety of sources, most available as scanned PDFs and OCRed plain text.
    • ManyBooks.Net — Free eBooks, in a variety of formats, mostly from Project Gutenberg. Formates include: Kindle, PDF, PDF large print, eReader, Doc, Mobipocket, Plucker, iSilo, zTXT, iPod Notes, iRex Iliad PDF, Sony lrf, custom PDF, custom HTML, RTF, Newton, TCR, RocketBook, iPhone PDF, iPhone, Mobipocket mobi, iPhone bookmarklet, JAR file. They provide excerpts and sometimes a book description. They allow readers to leave book reviews.
    • Memoware — Another giant collection of texts. This one is not just classic texts, but does include classics. The advantage of this site is that you can usually find a PalmDOC or iSilo text for most of the books. Other PDA formats are also supported on some books. They have their own excellent guides for many aspects of ebook reading on PDAs. It’s a great resource even if you don’t download any of their books.
    • MobileRead uploads — 5,000+ postings in LRF, MOBI, IMP, and miscellaneous other formats. Many of these are hand checked versions of the highest possible quality. They have been prepared by MobileReader users.
    • Munseys — The new name of BlackMask. 20,000+ titles in a variety of formats.
    • Project Gutenberg — Thousands of out-of-copyright books available for free, with more being added every month. This is a huge collection of classic texts that is sure to include your favorites. It is growing all the time, and the most popular books are even available on a CD or DVD that you can receive for free if you don’t have adequate online access. You might even want to consider donating a small amount to support their ongoing work to expand their library. And don’t miss their page on converting texts for PDAs and eReaders.
    • Project Runeberg — Project Runeberg is a volunteer effort to create free electronic editions of classic Nordic (Scandinavian) literature and make them openly available over the Internet.
    • Stanford Collection — Documents and some eBooks – check the dime novels and medieval collection.
    • The – click on digital for Bookseller supplements. The click on PDF to download the book.
    • The Fifth Imperium — CD-ROM images. Mostly the images are of the free CD-ROMs included with some Baen Books. Baen Books allows the CD-ROMs to be copied and distributed for free. Every CD-ROMs contains several complete novels in HTML format, and some have extras, like MP3 readings. All CD-ROMs also contain artwork for the CD-ROM itself.
    • University of Virginia Electronic Text Center — Free online HTML collection with some Adobe Acrobat, Palm Reader, and Microsoft Reader formatted books available. Hosting some books I believe are not found elsewhere online. 2,100 eBooks available.
    • Finding Free eBooks — Frequently updated, links to lots of free ebooks with descriptions and file types available; also links to time limited promotional give-aways. Categorized and searchable. Leave comments and ratings.
    • Free Books — Really big list of links to eBook sites, with descriptions.
    • Free Tech Books — Links to free computer science, engineering and programming books.

    To see updates to this list go to