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Changing the Kindle's Viewing Settings

written by: Elton Gahr•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 8/4/2011

For most things the Kindle interface is very simple. While keeping it simple is good it means that finding the keys for less common features can be hidden. One of the tricky options to find is how to increase Kindle text. Once you know how to do this, it is actually very easy.

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    Many people assume when picking up an eReader, such as the Amazon Kindle, that they will not like it as much as a book. After using the device for a short while, though, most people find that returning to a traditional book is difficult. One of the reasons for this is that the device allows you to do some things that you cannot do with a book. One of the most basic of those benefits is the ability to increase Kindle text. While it is easy to do, it can be a bit difficult to find the option unless you know where to look. A number of other simple options are similar, so that you can easily adjust the way that your book looks while reading it.

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    Chaning Text Size

    Kindle Screen shot 

    There is very little more frustrating than picking up a book that you plan to reread and discovering that it is little more than a blurry, unreadable mass of text. This is one of the ways that the Kindle has a great advantage over a typical book. To fix this in a typical book, you have to buy a pair of reading glasses or a magnifying glass.

    To increase Kindle text, look at the keyboard at the bottom of the Kindle and find a button next to the space bar that looks like a large A next to a smaller a. Once you have opened the book that you want to read, click on this button to bring up a menu. The top line of this menu is a line of text that reads Aa, getting bigger as it moves to the right. These are the choices for the size of the text. Use the five-direction button to move the line under the text size you want and then click on the button.

    In addition to adjusting the text size, there is another option to help make the book more readable for some. The line just below the text reads Words per Line and next to it is Fewest, Fewer and Default. This will adjust the number of words per line. It does this by making the margins wider but having more open space can make it easier to read.

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    Screen Rotation and Speech to Text

    Kindle Rotated 

    There are two other functions on this page including one of the most interesting options for the Kindle, which is the Speech to Text function. Some books in the Amazon library will disable this function, but most will not. In order to turn this on, simply click on the Turn On button below Words per Line. After a second or two, the Kindle will begin reading to you. This is robotic sounding, but after a few minutes, it becomes less noticeable.

    You can also adjust a few settings, such as changing the voice from male to female and controlling the speed that it reads back the text. Adjusting these can make it easier to understand. There are still a few small flaws in this, the most notable being that it adjusts for abbreviations so that it reads words such as miss as Mississippi, but it can still allow you to continue a book when you do not actually have time to read.

    The other option on this screen is to Rotate the Page. The default direction of the page is best in most cases, but there are times when changing this is useful. The most important of these is when you are reading a PDF as being able to rotate the page will sometimes make it far easier to read. It can also be useful if you have changed the Kindle text size to one of its larger fonts, as it gives more room for each line. This will not adjust the buttons, so turning pages can be a bit difficult.

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    Conclusion

    Whether it is because of getting older or simply because you have been reading too much and your eyes are getting tired the ability to adjust the size of the font on the Kindle quickly and easily is one of the features that gives it a clear advantage over a paper book. Therefore, while you might not change this often knowing how to do so, at least until you find the size that you want is worthwhile and for those with bad eyesight it allows virtually any book to be read rather than only those in the oversized section of the library.

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