June 7, 2018

Amazon Allows Custom Fonts in Latest Kindle Update

A long-awaited capability arrives

Addressing a long-standing request, Amazon has quietly unlocked custom font support in the latest (5.9.6) firmware update.

The update is available to all e-ink Kindle models from the Paperwhite 2 onward and can be installed manually or over-the-air as usual.

All you need to do to make this happen is connect your Kindle to a computer and place compatible OTF or TTF font files into the fonts” folder. There’s an instructional readme file in the folder with more detailed notes:

You can now install your favorite fonts on your Kindle and choose one of them to read your eBooks.

Any font you install must be either an OpenType (OTF) or a TrueType (TTF) font. All other font formats are unsupported. Also, fonts are usually available as a font family and may consist of several files for different font styles - one each for Regular, Italic, Bold, BoldItalic, etc. For the best reading experience, we recommend you install all the files in the font family. Supported font files will have .ttf, .otf, or .ttc file extensions.

How to install fonts on your Kindle:

  1. If the font is packaged into a compressed file (such as a ZIP file), uncompress the files using your favorite file extracting program
  1. Copy the font files into the fonts” folder on your Kindle
  1. Disconnect your Kindle from the computer
  1. You can now choose a custom font in addition to the Kindle fonts from the Display Settings (Aa) menu

Once you choose a custom font from the Display Settings (Aa) menu, your Kindle will render the book content using that font for most books. If the font is not able to be used for rendering the book’s content, your Kindle will use the default system font instead. This can happen if the font does not support the characters in the book or if the font is damaged.

Amazon respects the intellectual property of others. You are responsible for ensuring you have obtained the necessary rights and permissions to use any fonts you upload to your Kindle. By using the font upload functionality on Kindle, you agree that your use of the fonts you upload will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party, and that you will indemnify Amazon for all claims resulting from your use of the fonts you upload.

For further help, please visit: http://amzn.to/2F2DhMK

I’m eager to test the functionality out in more detail, but early impressions are very positive. It even includes support for adjusting font weight (called Bold” in the interface).

I wonder what Amazon has in store for firmware 6.0.0? Maybe we’ll finally get book cover screensavers…

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